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Amsterdam's 'Pink Christmas' Features Mary in Drag, Leather Joseph


An event called 'Pink Christmas' opened in Amsterdam on Thursday, the AP reports:

"Organizers said the event was meant to raise Amsterdam's profile as a gay capital at a time when homosexuals feel threatened. Christians for Truth, an independent religious group, had asked the city council to cancel the 'Pink Christmas,' event, saying it made a mockery of Christian tenets. The city did not comment. A male entertainer known as Wendy Mills posed as Mary in a blonde wig and high-heeled black boots and holding a plastic doll. Another man played Joseph in black leather trunks and a silver shawl. The five-person manger scene was staged off the street, in the courtyard of a nightclub. Visitors were invited to be photographed with the group."

Amsterdam City Council sponsored the 'Pink Christmas' event, which features vendor stalls and gay-themed holiday card sales, at a cost of $21,000.

Said the event's chairman Frank van Dalen: "Our objective is not to be offensive. This is about visibility."

So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists. No doubt this story will get much more play for its colorful theatrics than the candlelight vigils that went on across America Saturday night.

A group called Christians for Truth objected to Amsterdam's event in a statement: "By portraying Joseph and Mary as homosexuals, a twisted human fantasy is being added to the history of the Bible."

One more shot, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Even I object to that as a homo. I mean, come on folks, let's get real.

    Seeing this stuff, I'm ashamed to be gay. This stuff makes me glad I detest 'mainstream' gay 'culture'. How sad.

    Posted by: B.J. | Dec 21, 2008 4:32:15 PM

  2. LOVE IT!

    Posted by: MAJeff | Dec 21, 2008 4:41:44 PM

  3. You know, there are drag queens and leather men in our community. They deserve every right to express themselves regardless of what any self-loathing "straight-acting" gay man might think.

    The religious bigots will seize anything about us to show we are different. Even if we play their game and eliminate all outward appearances of being gay, they would find something else to criticize us about. Their goal is to deny us rights no matter how well we act. So why let them force us into a different closet?

    I was taught that when you are ashamed or disappointed in the actions of another person, the problem lay within yourself, not in the other person. The other person is acting exactly as he or she is supposed to act, as God made them. There is nothing that you can say or do that will stop them from being who they are. Nor should they change.

    The change comes from within. The only change you can make is in your reaction to the other person. Learn to accept other people as they are instead of how you want them to be and you'll be a far happier, more fulfilled person.

    After all the Christianists have done, we deserve to be in their face now and again. Why should we show any respect to them or their religions?

    I may not have done what our friends in Amsterdam did, but I would die for their right to have freedom of speech to do it. I applaud them for having the balls to fight back against a religion that has done us much harm.

    The Christianists will always be with us. Let us celebrate our love for one another in our own way, be it perverse or pious, but let it be our own.

    Posted by: Atagahi | Dec 21, 2008 4:59:43 PM

  4. Is this more of American Christo-facists trying to get a foothold in the EU?

    Posted by: Qjersey | Dec 21, 2008 5:02:59 PM

  5. haha,nice. very amusing. :-)

    Posted by: Liz templin | Dec 21, 2008 5:09:22 PM

  6. BJ

    Take the stick out of your butt.


    "...a twisted human fantasy is being added to the history of the Bible."



    The real fairytalists are so warped by burying their noses in a myth book they don't see the irony of their statement

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Dec 21, 2008 5:16:52 PM

  7. Ooh, I'd have Joseph's baby, forget the virgin birth!

    Or maybe those are the 3 wise men? At least one seems to be holding a gift. What is it, a silver butt plug? There seem to be too many men around (not that I ever find that a problem).

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Dec 21, 2008 5:30:35 PM

  8. thank god they didn't make a mockery of Santa Claus.

    Posted by: Pbar | Dec 21, 2008 6:06:03 PM

  9. Expressing disapproval of drag queens and the like doesn't make one self-loathing. Spare me the armchair amateur psychoanalysis. By your same twisted logic, someone who doesn't like peanut butter merely hates their own peanut butter. Drag queens are not representative of gay men any more than Hitler is representative of Germans. The end result of generalization in an effort to found a cohesive identity leaves many behind and disenfranchised. It's simply not a valid logical argument.

    There is a portion of our community that subscribes to Jesus' teachings and excludes the dogma that many Christianist churches propone. This display is blatantly offensive to a portion of our own community who not only identify as gay but perhaps also identify as Christian, without the bigotry that accompanies other denominations within Christianity.

    I'm all for making statements that have a purpose and intelligent argument, but this Amsterdam scene is controversy for controversy's sake.

    In the mission for equal rights, I'm not proposing we appease the Christianists at all. Rather, beat them at their own game by using their own book against them and pointing out their own hypocrisy in an intelligent way through pointed and thoughtful discourse.

    There seems to be a sentiment to fight fire with fire, but why can't we take the moral high ground here, if nothing more than to maintain our own dignity when all is said and done? Sinking to their own level does nothing to further our argument or our position in our quest for equality.

    Posted by: B.J. | Dec 21, 2008 6:31:17 PM

  10. @B.J.

    The Bible is a twisted human fantasy, and most of the people that believe in it are not reachable by "using their own book against them and pointing out their own hypocrisy in an intelligent way through pointed and thoughtful discourse".

    You're being extremely naive.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 21, 2008 7:18:26 PM

  11. "So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists."

    Andy, I find that line offensive; what they did in Amsterdam, not so much.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 21, 2008 7:32:59 PM

  12. @Mike
    "The Bible is a twisted human fantasy,"

    No more a fantasy than a man masquerading as a woman? My point was, how exclusive does the gay community want to get? We should be reaching for the broadest amount of support as possible, and excluding those within our own community by making fun of their individual beliefs.

    "So nice of Amsterdam to broadcast to the world that the gay community is made up of drag queens or kinky leather fetishists."

    Exactly. When did drag queens and leather daddy fetishists become representative of a sexuality? Many drag queens identify as heterosexual. Wouldn't that in essence exclude them from the basic premise of the 'community'? Before we go about wishing for equal rights, maybe we ought to take a look at the broad spectrum of people that make up our community and be careful not to exclude them. In this fight, we need all the help we can get to secure an archaic, Church-inspired institution such as marriage for ourselves.

    Posted by: B.J. | Dec 21, 2008 7:47:27 PM

  13. Gosh, ANDY, what an unusually ignorant comment from you. What is wrong with leatherboys and drag? Would you rather some twinks and macho musclemen?

    Just because the USA is controlled by Rick Warren and his Bible-abusing buddies doesn't mean the rest of the world can't express itself and its beliefs as they wish. Should we not print cartoons of Muhammed either?

    You're sore that here in Amsterdam we're harming the cause in the USA? Trust me, they have plenty of ammo in Folsom Fair or half the pics you post on this blog.

    Posted by: urbantroll | Dec 21, 2008 7:48:08 PM

  14. For better or worse, we can't police the big gay world out there. People lucky enough to have freedom of expression (and Amsterdam sure does, from vomiting British tourists to hash brownies to Pink Christmases) are going to use it and not everyone's going to approve, c'est la vie. (Of course when straight people do curious or offensive things, no one considers tarring the whole lot of them--the usual double standard.) This doesn't offend me, since I'm fond of drag queens and leather daddies and think the theatrics of the season, religious and otherwise, are generally silly, but, even if I did, I'd rather that people be able to do as they wish than attempt to force them into conformist boxes 24/7.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 21, 2008 7:48:55 PM

  15. "I did" should be "it did", sorry

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 21, 2008 7:51:23 PM

  16. "Many drag queens identify as heterosexual."

    I think you're confusing drag queens with transvestites or transsexuals. They are hardly all the same.

    "Before we go about wishing for equal rights, maybe we ought to take a look at the broad spectrum of people that make up our community and be careful not to exclude them."

    That's exactly why drag queens and leather daddies should be included. Drag queens and leather daddies have done a lot for our community here in the States. And I think they have every right to send up religious bigotry, if that's even what they're doing. Maybe they're just creating a living nativity scene in their own vernacular. Christ was the champion of the marginalized, after all. He didn't care so much about the well-off. I think Jesus would prefer the company of drag queens to that of HRC types or Log Cabinites as much as I would.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Dec 21, 2008 8:03:23 PM

  17. Andy's comment wasn't ignorant. The fact is, the majority of homosexuals are neither drag queens nor leather fetishists. To represent them as such is somewhat offensive to the majority of a minority community that doesn't identify with either stereotype.

    Posted by: BJ | Dec 21, 2008 8:04:41 PM

  18. First off, fuck Christians. The Bible already is a "twisted human fantasy". Blasphemy is a victimless crime and religious people taking offense to mockery of their absurd, nonexistent deity are more guilty of manufacturing drama than the cattiest of all drag queens.

    Second, fuck internalized homophobia. I'm not a drag queen or leather daddy either, and I am in no way, shape or form threatened by this. Nor do I in any way get the impression that five people in costume are claiming to represent all gay people everywhere.

    Posted by: Eshto | Dec 21, 2008 8:43:38 PM

  19. @BJ & Andy.

    Andy, I have to agree with those who found yr comment insensitive at best. Not quite what I would have expected from Towleroad.

    You seem to have some issue with drag queens and leather daddies. Like it or lump it they are as much a part of our community as we are and trying to exclude those portions of our community that you [certainly appear to] find personally distasteful is every bit as bad as those fundamentalists who wish none of us existed period, unless theyre being exceptionally generous [for them] in which theyre sort of happy for us to continue to exist as long as we dont ever have sex or behave in any way different to them!
    For me, the community is all about diversity. Be you straight-acting, big nelly fairy, drag queen, leather daddy, bull dyke or lipstick lesbian, black, white, asian or whatever.
    The Amsterdam Nativity doesnt claim to represent what every single gay man or lesbian woman would like to see themselves as. They went out and made a bit of a splash. And if it hadn't been for people like them who were prepared to get out and aim for a bit of visibility like the Stonewall Queens did, then we wouldnt be anywhere near as visible and accepted as we are today.
    Oh and one other thing... nice that you chose Hitler as an example to compare drag queens to. Drag queens are to gay as Hitler is to Germans huh? You couldnt have thought of a nicer comparison perhaps? Although judging by your comments perhaps Im expecting too much there. :)

    Posted by: OberonOZ | Dec 21, 2008 10:28:36 PM

  20. Silly queers!

    Posted by: brad | Dec 21, 2008 11:57:09 PM

  21. Was it Andy who said this comment about Drag/Leather representation or the guy that fills in from Thursday to Monday?

    Honestly, I'm disgusted by the negative implication of Drag Queens and Leather Fetishists, This work is not supposed to represent the gay community, it's meant to be theatrical, and Drag and Leather garb is just that. Would this have worked if we out a suit wearing gay professional in the mix - for christ sakes.

    I'm really disgusted by this comment Andy, subtly deriding sections of our own community should have no place on his blog.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 22, 2008 12:15:02 AM

  22. I'm calling for an apology from this BJ fellow for that comment. I've been an avid reader of this blog for six years and I've never once questioned my loyalty to - until now.

    For the record, I'm not one of the many misogynists that spends their spare time writing negative comments on these posts either.

    Please Andy a correction is in order for that comment.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 22, 2008 12:20:24 AM

  23. Out with BJ I say. He really doesn't know when to be impartial.

    And ever since he began writing for Towleroad I noticed things started to become a little more verbose and a little less sophisticated. Andy I think you should be looking for a new writer.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 22, 2008 12:26:24 AM

  24. Hmm. I see some clarification is needed.

    First of all, I do not nor have I ever written for this website.

    The implication that I was in ANY way equating drag queens and Nazis (or their leader) is not at ALL what was meant by that passage. In my mind they are nothing at all alike, and that was never my intention.

    What was meant was that in America if I mention to someone that I lived in Germany for a time, I am immediately asked, "Did you see any Nazis?" to which I take offense and even though I am an American, I scold my fellow citizens for being so prejudiced. My point in the passage was that if we continue to be seemingly represented by the minority within our minority, the misperception that drag queens and leather daddies represent all homosexual men may be allowed to spread. Of course such a rumor isn't true, but fact/fiction and the differentiation thereof is of less and less importance to the anti-gay crowd, which in many ways is the same crowd that believed ad to this day believes that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

    We can say of course that Jesus would indeed care for all the members of society, especially those cast aside by society at large. I totally and completely subscribe to that. The problem lies in the fact that the vast majority of "Christians" (in reality, more Christianist) have very little to do with the Lord they propone in word or deed.

    Posted by: B.J. | Dec 22, 2008 1:46:09 AM

  25. oh fer chrissake bj stop being such a good german!

    drag queens are to be celebrated! leather men are to be enjoyed! there is no hope for our community if we are to reject those who are, how shall we say?, more vivid, perhaps?

    i made up my mind many, many years ago to forget about what makes the straights happy-that's not why i got into gay pride. i got into gay pride to make myself happy-not the heteros. i figured they'd had enough amusement at our expense & discomfort for long enough. let 'em get be a little uncomfortable for while-it's good for 'em.

    Posted by: alguien | Dec 22, 2008 2:58:49 AM

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