Across the world, millions of people have marched with colors of the rainbow to show solidarity with love in all its forms.
Gay pride transcends international borders, as millions of people have taken their support to the streets or, in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to the city’s legendary canals.
Initially, I thought my trip to Amsterdam would be occupied by museums and generic sightseeing. However, when a savvy flight attendant informed me of the festival taking place, I decided Vincent Van Gogh’s collection could wait for another visit.
Stepping off the plane into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, I set my sights on capturing the essence of what Pride truly is. After catching a train to the city’s central station, the scale of the event became clear. Rainbow flags were everywhere, painted on people’s faces, dyed into their hair, draped around shoulders like a cape.
Even if the flight attendant hadn’t tipped me off, it would have been impossible to miss.
Jet-lagged, I dumped my luggage into storage and headed straight to the Prinsengracht Canal. It was easy to find, as Google Maps coated the waterway with a rainbow highlight.
Brick paths wound around the Dutch Baroque architecture, which was displayed in full glory under the clear sky and shining sun.
The 17th-century structures hosted thousands of people hailing from several different nations, all coming together to celebrate the universality of love.
The event was renamed by organizers as “Pride Amsterdam” to include bisexuals, transgender people and other identity groups. The nine-day festival took place from July 29 through Aug. 6, with over 80 boats setting sail for the parade on August 5.
Hours before the parade began, docked parade boats filled with celebrating people as crews loaded sound amps and bottles of wine for a long haul the party. Onlookers claimed…