Flag flies again at LGBTQ centre

The rainbow flag flies high Picture credit Studio040

On Saturday 8 April, a group struck at the premises of the LGBTQ centre COC Eindhoven. A volunteer was hit, young people were called unacceptable names and the rainbow flag was pulled down from the façade. The incident created shockwaves, but also gave rise to something beautiful. Exactly one week later, a diverse crowd came together to raise the multi-coloured flag. “What has happened to them is unacceptable.”

The incident made an impression, and not only in Eindhoven. Some 70 towns and villages flew the rainbow flag as a sign of solidarity on Saturday. Hundreds of people also came to Prins Hendrikstraat to show their support.

Solidarity came from far and wide. A mixed crowd gathered in support, from PSV’s managing director Marcel Brands and alderperson Samir Toub to soccer fans, gay, lesbian and transgender people from near and far  “I am from Rotterdam, but I also saw acquaintances from Maastricht and Roermond,” says one sympathiser.

From words to deeds

Unsurprisingly, the lgbtiq+ community came to Eindhoven from all over the country. Last Saturday’s attack touched members’ souls. Some came because they had attended meetings at the COC building but also because some members had been victims of homophobic violence themselves.

Consequently, emotions ran high. “Finally you dare to be who you are, finally you have found friends like you. And then a group of grown men find it necessary to scare the hell out of you. I am really furious about this, because how dare you! Keep your paws off our youngsters”.

Influencers, Twitter users and politicians were also warned. “People are hammering on our community with hateful words and absurd assumptions. By shouting that long enough, words turn into actions. And then you are partly responsible!”

Flooded with love

However, the community does not want to dwell on the incident too long. Nor do members want to react with hatred. “We counter these words of hatred with a wave. A wave of love and solidarity that washes over the whole of the Netherlands today. We stand around the young people who were harassed last week. Be yourself and live your life.”

Source: Studio040

Translator: Martijn

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