All Are Welcome at November Project Amsterdam

By Dani Holmes-Kirk

The night before 30 June’s Pride workout for NP Amsterdam found me scurrying around my house trying on a number of rainbow combinations and constantly asking my wife for feedback.

“Babe… is this too much rainbow?”

“Do these neon rainbow pants clash with my rainbow cape?”

“This rainbow cape or the new rainbow flag that I can turn into a cape?”

Her response was simple: “These folks know you and they will expect you to be over the top… like usual.”

Well point taken… and not lost on me. It’s a HUGE compliment and accomplishment. It means I am truly surrounded by the right people.

Since moving to the Netherlands from the Boston-area in January 2018, I haven’t really found an LGBTQIA+ crew. Frankly almost everyone I know identifies as straight. While they might not be part of the LGBTQIA+ family, they are the absolute best allies a girl could have. And the NP Amsterdam family is at the core of it.

Amsterdam is a melting pot of customs & beliefs. We have that well defined within NP as well. In addition to our amazing local members, we also have expats from: Australia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Turkey, UK, US & more. This eclectic group has welcomed my full self since Day One and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.

While planning the 2021 Pride workout, this mish-mosh of identities and views on the LGBTQIA community weighed on my mind.

Since I am a Type A lesbian, I had written out my thoughts on what to say about being the out LGBTQIA+ representation in our group. I wanted to cover the racing thoughts that threw my mind. And also, as expected, I couldn’t remember it when looking at these amazing faces in our circle. I, as expected and needed, spoke from the heart. A member of the LGBTQIA+ community does not come out just one time in their life. No no. They must come out every time they meet a new person & they never know what the reaction will be. While trying to keep my rainbow covered cheeks dry, the tears welled up. I looked around at these people full of love and support and my little homo heart burst. Because in this circle, who you love doesn’t matter, it is about the person you are and the stairs you climb… or squats you squat. 😉 Kidding… sort of. 😉

I wanted to stress how not everyone is as lucky as I am. A majority of my interactions have been safe but there are so many places and countries my wife and I cannot visit for fear of persecution or even death.

My outstanding co-leader Heather allowed me to take the reins on the Bounce. I wanted to pay respect to my fellow queers and make sure this group understands what representation matters. The bounce was:

Love Is Love

Gay is Okay

Trans is Beautiful

She – Her

He – Him

They – Them

All Are Welcome

At NP Amsterdam

It felt amazing to shout this and hear a group of people with their hearts repeating it back.

We have so far to go in world-wide acceptance of the queer community but hear in the NP Amsterdam bubble, we are truly 100% accepting… ALL are welcome.

While Heather and I were outlining the workout, we wanted to incorporate an important date in LGBTQIA+ history in the Netherlands (thanks for the idea NP London). And there it was in all of its 20-year glory:

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage on 1 April 2001.

After the initial gut punch that it was only 20 years ago (still far surpassing the US where only 5 states had legalised same-sex marriage when I got married), it was smiles to know that I have decided to set up my home in the right place.

Despite the rain coming down on this workout and no rainbow appearing at the end of the workout (like I hoped it had – yes, I had a movie style ending in my mind), I left that workout with a full heart, a smile ear to ear and the hope that one day the world will accept all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

But for this moment I will celebrate and honour the members of NP Amsterdam for being a welcoming, accepting and embracing community.

I love you all… now get on the ground – it’s Halo time! 😉

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5 Replies to “All Are Welcome at November Project Amsterdam”

  1. I totally was waiting for a rainbow after workout too!! Nevertheless the workout was so amazing that rain felt like happiness tears – thank yoiu Dani for bringing so much love to this beautiful community! We adore your “over the top” personality and please give us more! 🥰🌈

  2. The pride I have is being able to call you a friend. Your post made me teary, and your big gay heart – and relentless commentary – makes me laugh. It was a beautiful read.

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