chapter  Chapter 7
15 Pages

The Netherlands: Depoliticization of Homosexuality and Homosexualization of Politics

WithGert Hekma, Jan Willem Duyvendak

In the realm of sexual politics, the Netherlands is deemed to be one of the most liberal countries in the world. A staunchly religious society with conservative sexual morals in the 1950s, two decades later the Dutch majority had embraced secular, liberal positions on divorce, pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, contraception, and teenage sexuality. After the Second World War, the Centrum voor Ontspaning en Cultuur (COC, Center for Recreation and Culture), followed in its steps and developed sub-cultural activities. The COC's aim of integration of the homosexual into heterosexual society did not go uncontested. The Federation of Student Working Groups on Homosexuality (FSWH) in the late 1960s as well as the Red Faggots and the lesbian groups Purple September and Lesbian Nation in the 1970s feared that integration would mean assimilation and were critical of integration being the movement's chief goal. In 1977, Lesbian Nation initiated the first gay parade in Amsterdam.