Out of all European countries, the Netherlands together with Sweden and Denmark, is the country where its inhabitants think most positively about LGBTI’s. 7% of the Dutch think negatively about homo- and bisexuality, 10% think negatively about transgenders.

Overall, LGBTI’s in the Netherlands can be whoever they want. You can walk hand-in-hand with your partner of the same sex. You can give each other a kiss in public. You can tell your colleagues you’re LGBTI. Unfortunately this country is not unicorn country, there is still a possibility that someone will not accept you or that someone will say something offensive about you and your partner walking hand-in-hand. LGBTI’s in the Netherlands do face homophobia and transphobia.


History of the Dutch LGBTI movement

In 1927, probably the first gay bar in the world was opened in Amsterdam: Café ‘t Mandje. It still exist, you can find it on the Zeedijk in Amsterdam. After the Second World War, the LGBTI organization the Shakespeare Club was established, that in 1949 became COC. In the 1950s and 1960s, COC became bigger. They organized parties in their own club and organized the first demonstration against article 248bis. This article dates from 1911 and made it illegal for people to sexually interact with people from the same sex. In 1971, the article was removed from Dutch law.

In the 1970s, homosexuality became more and more accepted. The first gay pride in the Netherlands was held in 1978, called ‘Roze Zaterdag’ (pink Saturday). This pride was each year held in a different city. In 1987 the ‘Homomonument’ was opened in the center of Amsterdam. This monument is to remember people who are prosecuted because they are LGBTI. Every year, a remembrance takes place at this monument.

Since 2001, the Netherlands became the first country that legalized marriage between couples of the same gender. The last milestone dates from 2014. Since then, it is relatively easy to change the sex in your passport.