Tag: LGBTQ event

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

In November, Sheetal Sheth (actor), Shamim Sarif (director), and Hanan Kattan (producer) visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. Not the entire fifteen-minute interview is written down below, so if you want to know more, please watch the video below this image.

‘I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London’ In November, Sheetal Sheth, Shamim Sarif, and Hanan Kattan visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. You can find the interview here: http://bit.ly/CantThinkStraight

If you had unlimited time and budget, what would you change about I Can’t Think Straight if anything?

Shamim: The changes would be subtle: the shot making, the editing, some of the direction. I think that is just part of evolving as an artist. I think you would feel that for a song you have written ten years ago or a novel. So, what I tried to do at the end of that screening [ClexaCon held an anniversary screening of the movie on Friday] was think: “Wow, look at the impact it is having. People get the core of it.” So, I should not be pernickety whether a steady cam would have been nice here or there. But I think it is just having more tools […], that would be fun to experiment with.

Hanan: And very expensive [laughs].

Shamim: And very expensive. And often I think time is a pressure for movies. With a bit more time, actors would be able to explore their characters more, there would be more ideas, and we would have been able to shoot scenes that were supposed to be in the film but never made it. That would be great. I think it is time that would be more of a luxury.

More time and money

Sheetal: I think it is the same. For more time, you need more money, so that is usually why you do not have a lot of time. For an actor, it is really about having the space to do your work and generally, in smaller movies, you do not have that much, you know. You have to deliver the moment you get there because of time. I am very proud of the film but of course, if we had more time, we could have maybe expounded something else or explored something else or maybe done a cool shot from a different angle. You know, you can spend a day on a scene, which a lot of movies are afforded to do and you can really find so much in that.

On the other hand, there is also something really organic and spontaneous that happens in an environment of small films. I have done so many independent films. If you have the right people involved and the right kind of hearts involved, and everybody knows what to expect when they go there and do not get caught up on the fact that you do not have that stuff, you can really create in a different space, which is also very exciting.

Pre-sale distribution

Hanan: For me, besides the money factor and time, is to have some pre-sale distribution in place, because it guarantees a wider release. For that to happen, people need to know they can invest the money and know that there is a bigger release. But if you are a first-time or second-time movie, that is not that easy.

As queer women, what are your feelings on the importance of having queer actors portraying queer characters?

Shamim: It is actually something that has come up more recently for me as we cast our next film Polarized. It gives queer women more opportunity. I think there are two things. Here has been such a taboo in Hollywood for women to come out because it feels it is killing their career as a heterosexual portrayal. So, I think it is nice to share the other side of that. That you can have queer women play queer characters.

At the same time, I do not think it should be a limitation. In the same way that I do not think queer women should not play heterosexual characters. On a practical level, sales and distribution, sometimes people want a name. If the only name you can think of is Kristen Stewart and she is busy that moment, there are probably not enough queer actors with enough profile to pre-finance a movie. That is another consideration that people do not want to talk about but it is a reality of making film.

Hanan: Whoever suits the role the most. I think it is limiting. It is really the person, do they fit, the chemistry there, can they do it and do it with justice? For me, it is irrelevant as long as they portray the character well.

Tricky

Sheetal [not queer]: I think it is a very tricky thing. First of all, I think the labeling of an actress in any way is the problem. You are not a queer actress: you are an actress who in your personal life is gay. To me, your sexuality should be irrelevant in the sense that you are in your workspace.

But I totally understand the idea that if that somehow has become something you are labeled with, and you are not able to get jobs as a heterosexual person in a movie… This whole conversation is like… But this is the world we live in, right? If it is a problem, then, of course, you should be able to have the roles that are written for someone who is gay.

But to me, as an actress, I am not interested in playing myself. It is about stretching. There is no point in being an actress if you are only going to do the same thing over and over again. But I do think, as a producer and a content creator, you should just be open to hiring people of all backgrounds, making sure there is a seat at the table for everybody, whatever that may mean. But I do not think that can be the only factor; I think it is a more holistic way of making movies.

What does it mean to you personally and to your career to be at an event like ClexaCon London?

Sheetal: It is so exciting. I still cannot believe I Can’t Think Straight has been ten years. Obviously, The World Unseen as well. I could never have imagined the impact that these movies have had on so many. You hope for that. You know, you hope that when you make art, that impacts somebody at some point other than yourself. I think to be invited and welcomed in this way is really sweet and lovely.

The things that I am hearing from meeting everybody and also being able to meet fans that have been messaging and tweeting me and then finally being able to put a face to a name has been really exciting. And then also hearing what it is. What is the story? Hearing in person what the story is and what it has done and why.

Happy ending I Can’t Think Straight

Sheetal: What I keep hearing about I Can’t Think Straight is the happy ending, which I did not realize, is so rare in stories having to do with two women. I am like: “Is that true?” And they are like: “Yeah, actually, either someone dies or there are drugs or there is something.” How is that supposed to give anybody hope? I just do not even understand. Honestly, it blew my mind when I kept hearing over and over ‘thank you for this.’ I did not even write the movie. I learn. I am learning a ton. The fact that that seems to be the reality for this type of content is troubling. It is shocking.

She asks Shamim if she knew this. Shamim: I did not actually, but I am terrible…

After I Can’t Think Straight

Hanan: No, it is after I Can’t Think Straight. It is based on us really [points to Shamim, her wife], some fiction. So, it is amazing how it has affected women. Many women have come out as a result of this film in particular.

Sheetal: The coming-out scene. Word for word, people will quote me. They say: “This is what I said too.” I am like: “Oh my Gosh, you did?”

Hanan: Yes. A lot of women have felt more comfortable in their skin. Maybe some have not come out still but they feel better about themselves. That it is okay to have such feelings or to go through this and to come out. So, coming to events like this is very important to continue with spreading the message and reaching more people.

Sheetal: And giving it the space and the pedigree that it deserves. You do not want to be in the corner. You absolutely have… Everybody has the right to have their own voice and space heard. And so, for ClexaCon to do that, that is really great for them.

More I Can’t Think Straight

As mentioned, this is not the full interview. You can hear more in my video. Do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and share my videos. That really helps with future trips to LGBT+ cons and with me bringing the cons home to people who cannot go to them themselves, for various reasons. It only takes a few seconds to help our beautiful community!

Have not watched I Can’t Think Straight yet? You can find the movie on Amazon or in iTunes.

PS here are my interviews with Kat BarrellNatasha, Elise & AnnieJamie Clayton, Nicole Pacent, Mandahla Rose,  the writer and producer of Different for Girls, and the directors of ClexaCon.

NFF 2018: What LGBT Movies Can You Watch?

NFF 2018: What LGBTQIA Movies Can You Watch?

I am really excited about this week’s blog post and video. For the past few months, when talking about queer representation in media, I have mostly addressed shows and movies from the US and Canada (and Brazil, hey RED 😊). This week, I finally get to talk about productions from my own country, the Netherlands. The Nederlands Film Festival (NFF – Dutch Film Festival, the link leads to English program) has sent me a list of LGBTQIA productions that will be shown at NFF 2018, which is held September 27 to October 5. I will discuss my favorite ones in this blog post and in the video below this image. Most of these have English subtitles so you can enjoy them too!

The Dutch version of this blog post can be found here.

‘NFF 2018: What LGBT Movies Can You Watch?’ The Nederlands Film Festival (Dutch Film Festival) will be held September 27 to October 5 and these are my favorite LGBTQIA productions that you can watch at the festival. Most of these have English subtitles so you can enjoy them too: http://bit.ly/NFF18

LGBTQIA productions at NFF

From that impressive list, I have picked the movies that I would want to watch myself as a visitor to the festival after watching the trailers and reading their synopsis. That means not every LGBT production available at the NFF will be described in this blog post and the video below.

I have contacted the production companies of the movies that I have picked for a preview and so I am able to give you my opinion about those and help you decide which ones you want to see. One production, which I have been anticipating for a long time now, was not able to give me a preview but their material will be available this Sunday. That means I will be able to dedicate a single blog post and video to Anne+ next week.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Taxi Stories

Feature film, 101 minutes

I first want to talk about Taxi Stories.  Before watching this movie, I was the least fascinated by this production because I did not know how it could be interesting. I knew there would be three stories in one movie, all revolving around a taxi ride. I knew class differences would be highlighted and that there would be some LGBT elements. Nevertheless, this movie was the biggest surprise for me.

The movie takes place in three different Asian cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, and Jakarta. I am immediately drawn to the colors and the people. I want to know the backstories of the main characters and I am constantly wondering where the stories are going. At some moments, I feel disgusted and at other moments, I feel intrigued. The cultural differences are interesting and the scenery is beautiful. There were much more LGBT elements than I expected too.

Let me tell you, though, this movie does not make us people look good! We are a pretty disappointing bunch. Yes, you will definitely have feelings after watching this movie.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Mother’s Balls

Short documentary, 48 minutes

You need to know about ballroom dancing before watching Mother’s Balls. If this is your first introduction, your questions are left unanswered for a long time, which distracts from the real story. The real story is Amber’s efforts to have The Netherlands and Belgium get to know ballroom dancing. She puts so much time, effort, money, and love into it. The ballroom scene also means being a family and that really comes to the forefront.

I could really relate to the ending, where Amber starts talking about her family. She does not want to cry but she does. You just feel for her. As a kid, you simply want to be loved by your parents. It is amazing to see how she finds that family love in her ballroom family and gives that feeling back to others. I am happy they did not just show the confident performer Amber. If they had not shown vulnerable Amber, I would never think the ballroom scene would be something I could possibly belong to; this part makes the ballroom scene look more accessible and relatable.

The documentary has beautiful close-ups and nice breaks from the colorful, loud scene to small dances, like the one with a white background and a man in black dancing and moving merely with his hands. Those 48 minutes flew by.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Otherland

Short documentary, 13 minutes

Otherland offers a small peek into the life of one of the men who has joined House of Vineyard. Elvin grew up in Saint Martin. As a gay man, he felt he was suffocating on the island. Elvin discovered ballroom through a friend. They practiced it in the dark “because if we had been caught, we would have been killed.”

His story ends when he arrives in Rotterdam. Up to that point, we see him dancing in contests (where Amber is present), we see him all by himself, and we see him together with his mom. Most of this is shown in slow motion so you can really listen to his story and still get a glimpse of his dancing.

This documentary offers many close-ups and artistically shot poses and dance moves to support the story. I really want to hear what happened after he arrived in Rotterdam, how he felt, and how he ended up with the House of Vineyard. So, the documentary drew me in; I felt it.

NFF shows Otherland before Mother’s Balls but I prefer watching the movies the other way around. Still, I get why they have chosen to put a short film before a longer film.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Dòst (One Night Stand XIII)

TV drama, 41 minutes

I really liked Dòst. The setting of this movie felt really familiar to me. I grew up in a village in the countryside and this movie focuses on two teenage boys working together on the land, cutting asparagus. It is all very relatable, how awkward the guys and girls are with their first kiss. I sometimes even felt embarrassed for them.

Things change halfway the movie. You have come on a journey with the main character but now, you start to dislike him. You feel bad for him but you feel bad for the other character ten times more. The peer pressure in this group of guys is real.

After watching the movie, I really wondered how the story continued and what happened to the two characters, apart from each other but also together. It pulls you in, thanks to the beautiful close-ups and the perfectly cast actors.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Stille Dorst

Short film, 22 minutes

Stille Dorst highlights the moment Tarik rents a holiday home from Jonas to process his divorce.  This short film offers few lines and many moments of silences. As a result, you are really focused on what Tarik is seeing and you are constantly wondering what he is thinking. His inner struggles are clearly visible, which is powerful. However, even though the movie is only twenty-two minutes long, it still feels long to me. I think it feels this way because it focuses on details so much and offers so many silent moments. One moment I like in particular is when the two main characters go outside to find some peace and quiet. You can clearly hear the sounds of nature, which almost made me feel zen at home.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Wognum

Short documentary, 54 minutes

Wognum took me by surprise. This short documentary is very special because you see two completely different worlds and only one main character. Matthijs is forty-two years old and still frequents the rave world. In the first few minutes, you feel his loneliness, which is painful. At big, crowded parties, he does not seem to connect with anyone. You learn that he has a boyfriend but at home, things are not going great. It seems as if he has money that he feels that people use him for that. He has a big collection of model trains in the attic, with which he plays. He invites others to play with them as well. You can tell this is where he feels safe.

Then, you discover another side of Matthijs. You wonder what a man like him is doing in a piano store but when he starts playing, you know why. It is lovely to watch him play. The ending is very emotional and heartwarming. It is beautiful to see when a person is finally recognized for one’s talents. It obviously has not happened a lot to him.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Vlam

Short film, 16 minutes

Vlam is a very short production of only sixteen minutes but you see quite a lot. This short film revolves around a camping trip with two friends, who meet three French guys. The first thing you notice is the colors of this movie. There are a lot of neon colors and bright pink, which make the story a bit absurd. Since they smoke weed at a certain point, you are almost looking at everything in a haze.

The story is very relatable too. I am sure you can remember the jealousy when someone you liked made out with someone else right in front of you. You can probably also remember some stupid things you did after that.

Also, the ending left me wondering what happened next. I really wanted this short film to last longer!

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Yulia & Juliet

Short film, 11 minutes

Yulia & Juliet is a brilliant short film.  Yulia and Juliet are in love with each other but they are in a juvenile detention center. We know TV shows with lesbian relationships in institutions: Orange is the new black and Wentworth. Now we have Yulia & Juliet too.  You can truly feel the sense of confinement. They speak to each other through the ventilation system, they whistle to let the other person know they are there, and they find short moments together. This movie knows how to use the main elements of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in a very short amount of time and it is great to see this version of the classic.

LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018: Dante vs. Mohammed Ali

Short film, 28 minutes

Dante vs. Mohammed Ali is an absurd and entertaining short film.  Most of the time, you are wondering what the setting is. The way Wolf talks (and he calls himself Dante) makes you wonder whether you are watching a movie set in medieval times; or, is it a play turned into a movie? But then the clothes remind me of the 80s/90s. Also, where in the world is everyone so occupied with a weekly boxing match on a boat? In a way, this movie raises a lot of questions that it never answers. You do not really mind though. What you are here for is the love story and yes, that guides you through all the weirdness.

Bonus LGBTQIA movie to watch at NFF 2018: Niemand in de Stad

Feature film, 98 minutes

I would not recommend Niemand in de stad as an LGBT movie to watch. In fact, it falls victim to the Bury Your Gays trope, about which you can read here, here, and here, so if you are looking for positive queer representation, this movie is not for you.

That said, if you are okay with that and you want to look for (straight) beauty elsewhere in the movie, Niemand in de stad is a good choice. The movie has likable actors, it has its funny moments (I mean, the beginning nearly had me vomiting while still making me laugh), and it makes you go on a journey with the main character. You do not always like him or his actions but you do understand how he is trying to figure everything out growing up. Plus, I always love seeing Amsterdam frat boys make themselves look like idiots. :p Consequently, despite the lack of positive queer representation, I am happy I watched this movie so I still want to add it to my list.

Other LGBTQIA movies to watch at NFF 2018

Other LGBT movies that you can watch are At Midnight Plays a Dance-Tune, Error of Eros, and A Double Life.

Shannon Beveridge Talks YouTube and LGBT Representation

Shannon Beveridge Talks YouTube and LGBT Representation at Love Fan Fest 2018

At Love Fan Fest, I was allowed to talk to Shannon Beveridge for a while, who is the genius behind YouTube channel nowthisisliving. I really appreciated this moment as I have just started my own YouTube channel. Being able to talk to somebody with over 600k subscribers is a chance you hardly ever get. What can you do with such a platform? What does such a platform mean to others? Also, what does she WANT to do with it?

In this blog and vlog, you will find out more about Shannon Beveridge, whom I think is very talented, caring, and chill. She talked about characters she felt attached to as a teenager, YouTube censorship regarding LGBTQIA topics, and visiting conventions.

‘Shannon Beveridge Talks YouTube and LGBT Representation at Love Fan Fest 2018’ At Love Fan Fest, I was able to talk to Shannon Beveridge, who has over 600k subscribers on her YouTube channel nowthisisliving. What can you do with such a platform? In this blog and vlog, you will find out more about Shannon. She talked about characters she felt attached to as a teenager, YouTube censorship regarding LGBTQIA topics, and visiting conventions: http://bit.ly/ShannonBeveridge

Below, you will find a video of the entire interview. I was not the only press member present during this conversation so you will sometimes hear LGBT Fans Deserve Better. If you liked the video, would you give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to my channel? That would help so much. Thank you!

A chill environment

The other press members and I were brought upstairs to the relaxing room of the guests. There, Shannon was chilling on a couch and jumped up the moment she was asked whether an interview would be okay: “Let’s do this!” I loved the enthusiasm! We decided to all sit at one big table so it would not be a separate interview per media outlet but a joint conversation. That felt very organic to me (but the lighting in the video is a bit off).

LGBTQ YouTuber

An interesting topic to me, which was also addressed rather quickly by LGBT Fans Deserve Better, was how YouTube’s rules regarding LGBTQIA content have affected her the past two years or so. After all, it is increasingly harder for us in the LGBT community to start or maintain a YouTube channel. The horror stories that I have heard from multiple YouTubers made me worry about starting my own channel. Would it even matter?

Background info

Maybe you need some background information to understand that question. I have a simplified version for you. If you put the words lesbian, LGBTQ or something similar in a video title, the video will often immediately be considered not advertisement-friendly. If videos are demonetized, YouTube is not making money off them either so the videos are not shown in suggested videos. That means viewers will not organically find your videos; they will actively have to search for them. If you do not put those words in your title, how is the audience that actively looks for these videos going to see your video? It is simply not a fair system.

If you want information from other LGBTQ YouTubers, these two videos are great examples: Bria and Chrissy and Michael Rizzi.

More difficult

Shannon admitted it was getting more difficult to get content to reach the people who need it the most. She gave a very elaborate explanation of how quickly videos become demonetized and what the effects are of that. First of all, creators do not get paid for their work and without resources, it is harder to make this content. Still, she feels she wants to make videos because they mean something to her viewers. However, if her video gets flagged, it takes about 24 hours to be reviewed. That is also the period you see the biggest jumps in views. As a result, it is hard to get in the suggested videos list after the review, gain a good spot in search results, etcetera.

Restricted Mode

Another issue she talked about is YouTube’s Restricted Mode. LGBT content often ends up being blocked in the restricted mode. Who uses restricted mode? Public schools, public libraries, and conservative parents do, she said. So, when you cannot watch those videos at home and you cannot go to your library or school, where can you watch this content safely? Man, I remember what it was like not knowing of any representation. I do not wish that upon anyone else!

Practical tips from Shannon Beveridge

I wanted to know whether Shannon had any practical tips for me. After all, our community will not be getting answers from YouTube itself anytime soon. For instance, would she advise me to put lesbian, LGBTQ or something similar in the video title or not? What does she normally do?

Shannon said that she usually does not put these words in the title. She wants to make her channel about more than just lesbian or LGBTQ topics even though it is a big part of her channel and many of her followers are queer.

However, if she does talk about it, she does put the word lesbian or something similar in the title. One example is ‘Lesbian interviews ex-boyfriend’. She told me to put the words in the title because I am specifically targeting that audience and they will search for it. Also, ‘Lesbian interviews ex-boyfriend’ did not get flagged. She called YouTube’s policy a crapshoot; you never know what will happen.

See, that is exactly what I needed: advice from someone with experience who has seen the changes herself.

Type of content

Shannon Beveridge was asked whether she sometimes feels pressured to make content that she did not want to create. She told us that she feels much freedom. However, she also feels that her viewers want her to release four videos a month and that she does not know how to give that to them. She sometimes asks herself what is left to give as “you already know all of my soul.”

I sensed she was at a point where she was wondering what the next step would be for her channel. Coincidentally, she posted a video about two weeks ago, which completely differs from her other videos. It is about her trip to Spain, Love Fan Fest and other parts of Europe. It looks very creative and it has a different vibe, right? I would not mind seeing more of this!

Shannon Beveridge at Love Fan Fest

I hope you liked this description of the interview at Love Fan Fest. I thought it would be more fun than simply publishing a page stating the answers and questions. Next week, I’ll go back to the chronological order of my Love Fan Fest experiences. Last week, something happened that made me move away from the content schedule I had originally planned for you. As a result, I had no more time to add a blog to the videos I posted online. Sorry about that! Anyway, here they are and I hope to see you back as subscribers on my YouTube channel if you have not subscribed already!

Showing my Pride at The Hague Rainbow Festival 2018

Showing my Pride at The Hague Rainbow Festival 2018

Last weekend, the third edition of The Hague Rainbow Festival covered The Hague with rainbow flags. I joined the Pride Walk and other festivities, which I will describe in this blog. This fairly new Pride celebration in The Hague was a great combination of advocacy, sunshine, beautiful people, and fun entertainment. You can also find my vlog right below this image!

‘Showing my Pride at The Hague Rainbow Festival 2018’ Last weekend, the third edition of The Hague Rainbow Festival covered The Hague with rainbow flags. I joined the Pride Walk and other festivities, which I will describe in this blog. This fairly new Pride celebration in The Hague was a great combination of advocacy, sunshine, beautiful people, and fun entertainment. Read about it here: bit.ly/THRF2018

The third edition of The Hague Rainbow Festival

In the Netherlands, more and more cities are deciding to throw their own Pride parties in addition to the big one we have in Amsterdam every year. As a result, we now also have Utrecht Pride and The Hague Rainbow Festival. This year, it was time for the third edition of The Hague Rainbow Festival, which was held at de Grote Markt. I absolutely adore the fact that my own city now has a pride, so I just had to be there.

Increasing LGBTQ visibility in our city

De Grote Markt, as the name says, is a big location but it is still only a single spot where the pride festivities take place. I hope this pride festival will grow over the next few years, so that the festivities take place across the city, increasing LGBTQ visibility in the city.

That is why I am happy COC Haaglanden, the regional branch of our country’s biggest gay rights organization, hosted the second annual Pride Walk. With a Pride Walk, you effectively go from a static festival to a dynamic festival, raising awareness on the go. There was even talk about a canal parade like the one in Amsterdam but unfortunately, we have to wait a year (if all goes well – fingers crossed!).

Pride Walk

Look, I have been to the Dyke March in San Francisco. I know how cool and big you are. Still, walking the Pride Walk made me feel just as proud! Passing The Hague’s highlights, like the Peace Palace, with a big group of LGBTQ community members (of all ages!), a brass band, a DJ, a gigantic rainbow flag, and more rainbow flags, and seeing people cheering us on along the way was a wonderful experience. Thank you, organization and volunteers, for making Pride Walk happen!

The only thing that could have made this Pride Walk even more awesome was if my son had not decided it was time for an extended nap. Consequently, my wife and son had to miss out on Pride Walk. They joined me afterward at the Grote Markt.

The Hague Rainbow Festival

At around 4 pm, the Pride Walk arrived at the Grote Markt. The official opening of The Hague Rainbow Festival was at 5 pm. We had a few drinks and saw Sandra Khouw, our new Miss Gay Holland, being honored. After that, our son was getting hungry so we needed to head home for dinner.

After our babysitter arrived, we were able to head back and join the festival again. You know what I love about these outdoor festivals? The fact that you can just stand somewhere with a beer in your hands, listening to live music, and friends and acquaintances can just join you and your group. Those friends and acquaintances, in turn, bring their own friends and acquaintances and so on and so on. Those are the best nights, right?

The Hague Rainbow Festival last year

Miss Gay Holland

I have asked Sandra Khouw, our new Miss Gay Holland as well as organizer of the Pride Walk, how she looks back on the THRF weekend. “Last Saturday went by so quickly. People told me things like ‘I dream that it is normal to be different’ or ‘This is my family; I feel at home here.’ A big smile from ear to ear appeared on my face when I saw how proud everyone was during the walk. I got goosebumps all over my body when I heard the whole parade scream and saw how happy everybody was. This was a great day and I enjoy all the videos, photos, thank-you’s, and congratulations.”

She continues: “I was also very happy when I saw that people traveled to The Hague to support me when I was being honored as Miss Gay Holland 2018. It is truly fantastic to see how they appreciate it and are so happy that there is attention to them. That makes it worthwhile for me to dedicate my time and effort to our LGBTQ community. I love people the way they are.” Thanks, Sandra!

Happy

I really hope The Hague Rainbow Festival continues to grow and that more people will join next year. I am happy that our country is seeing more and more pride festivals. How wonderful would it be if every region in The Netherlands had at least one? Think of the sense of community that could bring!

PS I’m leaving for LOVE Fan Fest in Barcelona really soon. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay updated!

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