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Amsterdam Gay Pride 2013

Amsterdam Gay Pride shows that we are open to the world and happy to welcome everyone. Whether heterosexual, bisexual, transgender or homosexual, everyone can be themselves here.

3. What is the defining aspect of Amsterdam Gay Pride for you?

The highlight of Amsterdam Gay Pride is undeniably the Canal Pride parade. A colourful spectacle making full use of the canals that celebrate their 400th anniversary this year, this alone makes Amsterdam Gay Pride a unique proposition. That said, I think the diversity of the participants grows more heartening with each passing year. I'm thinking about the people aboard the Turkish boat, the boat representing our Ministry of Defence, boats representing international companies that have a presence here in Amsterdam… It’s this particular breadth of diversity that makes Amsterdam Gay Pride unique.

It's the diversity that makes the Amsterdam Gay Pride unique.

4. The theme of this year's Amsterdam Gay Pride is 'Reflect'. How does that correspond to the broader 2013 celebrations across the city?

The 400 th anniversary of Amsterdam's canal network, along with the anniversaries of several of our cultural icons, has combined to make ' Amsterdam 2013' a year-long celebration. One of the icons is the 225-year old Felix Meritis on the Keizersgracht Canal. In many ways, this Enlightenment institution, steeped in Enlightenment values, holds the DNA of Amsterdam. Inevitably, we occasionally fall short of those values. So it's appropriate that we reflect and take stock on how far we've come, but also on the work that remains. In the true spirit of reflection, we invite LGBT activists from all over the world to come to Amsterdam and exchange their knowledge with the LGBT community of the Netherlands.

5. You've spoken in the past of your desire for a more compassionate city. How is that coming along?

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