LGBTQIA+ members concerned about acceptance in the Netherlands, survey says

The majority of LGBTQIA+ members in the Netherlands feel increasingly unsafe. In this regard, most notice that assaultive and negatively conspicuous behavior towards them has increased over the years. This includes attacks and hate comments on social media or people demonstrating against children’s readings featuring drag queens, as was the case in Rotterdam this spring. This negative behavior is not necessarily focused against individuals, but rather against the community as a whole and its representatives, the tv program EenVandaag reports.

According to a Pride survey by EenVandaag, in which more than 2,800 members of the LGBTQIA+ participated, it appears that the acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Netherlands is rather poor. That’s because only 23 percent of respondents said they see the Netherlands as a leader in acceptance. Four years earlier, this opinion was held by around 51 percent, more than twice as many as in 2023.

Respondents to the survey indicated that many policies intended to ensure equality for those affected in the Netherlands are now almost utopian. For example, legalizing same-sex marriage in the Netherlands is still an obstacle. “Legalize same-sex marriage in the age of gay marriage? Absolutely. Now? We’re not even close. We’re not dangling at the bottom either, but our days as pioneers are long gone,” a community panelist responded.

In addition, the LGBTQIA+ community and its representatives have also been subjected to massive hate on social media. For example, Rikkie Kollé, who was the first trans woman to be chosen as Miss Netherlands, was bombarded with hate comments and death threats on social media shortly afterward. Drag queen Envy Peru was also assaulted that same week.

“I read harsh and hurtful statements that sometimes make my stomach turn because then I realize that they are also talking about me,” one respondent said.

For many respondents, the pessimistic feeling of acceptance is not only evident in the attacks on social media, but also has an impact on the way members of the LGBTQIA+ community behave in everyday life. For example, about 68 percent of those affected in the Netherlands no longer feel free to walk hand in hand with their loved ones on the street. This is a stark contrast to a survey with heterosexuals, where only about 28 percent said they felt uncomfortable doing so.

To defy the negative climate, Pride events have become increasingly important said about 73 percent of respondents. “Something like the threat and attack on a well-known drag queen in Amsterdam shows that Pride is and remains important!” But some in the LGBTQIA+ community don’t see Pride events as a solution to sending a message of acceptance and want other measures that can achieve that, according to EenVaandag.

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