Amsterdam Colors Pink for Gay Pride Festival
AMSTERDAM (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of gay rights supporters thronged Amsterdam’s canals for the city’s annual boat float parade, a party marking the high point of Gay Pride week.
The event features gay, lesbian and transgender people, many of them scantily-clad, dancing to music on elaborate boat-floats with onlookers cheering them on.
This year, Dutch homosexuals of Turkish ancestry had their own float, a first. One massive muscle-bound man on the boat swung a big black sign reading "Turkish, Dutch, Netherlander and Proud."
The ancient Westerkerk - the church with bells that once comforted Anne Frank while she was in hiding from the Nazis - has been draped in the rainbow flag that has become a symbol of tolerance and the gay rights movement.
"The first boats have entered the Prinses’ canal" Amsterdam police said on their official Twitter feed.
Actual homosexual police in uniform joined countless imitators - many with cliche fake mustaches, handcuffs and leather hats - with their own boat.
There were several "Lez-boats," including one sponsored by Playboy. A royal-themed boat sailed along to the sounds of - what else - Swedish pop group ABBA’s "Dancing Queen."
Fittingly, the local water utility’s boat entered the canal route during the only cloudburst during a mostly sunny day. Men and women on the boat took full advantage, dancing joyfully in the downpour.