Amsterdam, possibly the most liberal and LGBT-friendly city in the world, hosted the climax of its unforgettable Pride celebration this weekend. Aside from the parties and panels―which included a memorable discussion on gender led by Lady Bunny and hosted by the W Amsterdam―this city's Pride offers a different spin on the typical Pride parade; it's on the water.
We were lucky enough to tag along on the W Amsterdam floating float, which was decked out in black and gold―and later won best float design from the Canal Parade organization―as it glided through the city's canals. Aside from the panel and float, the W also played host to Danielle Levitt's "Queer Me Out" photo exhibition, which featured powerful images of LGBT notables. Pride participants remarked that life is good, but not perfect, for queer people in Amsterdam, and they try to serve as a beacon of hope to other places struggling with discrimination. Things are indeed different in Amsterdam; the Pride is not just an LGBT party, but a joyous citywide celebration that holds up diversity as a gift―not a burden.