Amsterdam has long been known as a gay-friendly city (it used to hold the unofficial title of Europe's Gay Capital). With mostly excellent tolerance, progressive thinking and a mayor named Eberhard and a deputy mayor named Asscher (yes, sometimes this stuff writes itself) it is a perfect place for a boisterous and booming Pride Parade.

It was a great day, albeit pretty rainy. Float after float drifted by on the canals, with mostly booming techno music (although some classical music and Dutch folk lietjes also drifted past) and the gay, lesbian, tranny, and impossible-to-label categories all in fine form.

It was an all-inclusive event. Tons of families, older folks and everyone in-between were lining the bridges and the very happy crowd lining the Prinsengracht (more like the Princessgracht, in many cases) canal.

The Netherlands, as I've seen time and again at big events, is for the most part incredibly inclusive (politics aside) for spectators and participants alike. In particular for the Amsterdam Pride Parade, you see company-sponsored floats celebrating gay employees for banks, electronics multinationals, and even the police force.

It was a very similar feel to the Queen's Day celebrations held in April - basically hours and hours of dancing on the boats and in the streets, with everyone completely positive and upbeat.

As a breeder, one has to tread delicately when writing about this stuff. On the one hand, you want to be culturally sensitive, especially when discussing a minority whose experiences and challenges are well outside your level of knowledge.

On the other hand, providing mainstream acceptance also means you should be able to poke fun at the subject just like anything else when the situation calls for it (like say, Mel Gibson, or hipsters).

So without further ado, some images from Saturday, August 7th in Amsterdam. It was another very fine day.



Amsterdam city float, with mayor Eberhard van der Laan in the foreground

I'm having nightmares...

...and I suspect more are forthcoming

Le freak, c'est sheik

A moment of reflection... "Too subtle?"

"We have no idea either! But yay parades!"

The police force float

Check out that guy's hat!