Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia: Giveaway & The Netherlands & A M/M Recommendation

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and to celebrate this day hundreds of writers, readers, bloggers and reviewers are participating in a Hop Against Homophobia, which is organized by authors Erica Pike, K-lee Klein and Norma Nielsen. The purpose of this hop is to spread the message of homophobic discrimination. We all do that in our own way and we all have a little giveaway for those who leave a comment on our posts (check out the site for the links to all the other blogs).

As many of you might know, I’m from the Netherlands. I’m not sure how well known it is how progressive Dutch politics and Dutch legislation are when it comes to fighting homophobia. So, I'd like to share a few facts regarding Equal Treatment and gay marriage in the Netherlands. Don't worry, I'll keep it short. ;)



In 1994 the Equal Treatment Act passed, which prohibited discrimination, including those due to sexual orientation. The acceptance of homosexuality increased further late twentieth century. Since 1996, a procession of boats goes through the canals during Canal Pride every year. The boats are not only populated by interest groups of GLBTQ organizations. Even government agencies, companies and political parties have a boat with an appropriate theme.
Gaykrant, a magazine that appears since 1980, has vigorously lobbied for gay marriage, because many saw the opening of civil marriage to two men or two women as the crown on the emancipation of homosexuals. And under considerable international interest the first gay marriage became a fact on April 1, 2001 in the Amsterdam City Hall. It was the first marriage in the world between people of the same sex.

Does all of this mean there's no homophobia in the Netherlands? Unfortunately not! :(
Although the legal equality for homosexuals is completed, the public acceptance is not quite there yet in the Netherlands. Especially in strict religious circles - both Christian and Islamic - homosexuality is still cause for great tension.
For example in January 2012 the Dutch media reported that according to the Christian organization named Different, gay men ‘could be cured’. At the same time a chief rabbi ventilates that gay people 'need to go into therapy’. And although both examples got plenty disapproving reactions from various circles, including political, the fight for gay rights is certainly not quite over here.


Personally, I truly believe that reading (and talking about) gay themed books might contribute to spreading the awareness of homophobia. Even more so when these books deal with the topic of homophobia, like the fabulous book I just finished a few days ago: Out in the Field by Kate McMurray. It’s about being gay in the world of sports and it's only one of the many examples of wonderful books out there but I wanted to give you at least one recommendation in case you don’t have a clue which book you have to choose if you are the winner of my prize today. ;)

About that: my giveaway prize consists of one m/m book of your choice, for at least one lucky commenter on this post. I’ll buy the book at All Romance eBooks for you, so you’ll have to be willing to create an account there, in case you don’t already have one (otherwise I can't buy the gift for you).
What do you have to do to be entered? Just leave a comment on this post in which you say you want to be entered and preferably with a way for me to contact you by email. It’s not mandatory but I would love it if you’d share in your comment a little fact about the fight against homophobia in your country.
I’ll announce the randomly picked winner(s) in a blog post on Sunday the 20th, so be sure to leave your comment before then. If you don't leave an email address in your comment, make sure to check back for the announcement on Sunday. A winner has 3 days to claim their prize after the announcement. If the winner fails to do that, I'll draw another winner instead.
The giveaway is open internationally.

Good luck to you all!
~

64 comments:

  1. Kudos, Janna - this is a fabulous post!! I love watching the Gay Pride in Amsterdam, all those flamboyant people, the joy of being who you are - fantastic!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks hon! Maybe we can go to Amsterdam together this year! The Canal Pride takes place on August 4 this time. What do you say? :)

      Delete
    2. YES!!!! Oh it's a date!!!!

      Delete
    3. Woohoot! I look forward to it! :)

      Delete
  2. Wow, the first marriage ever. That's a landmark to be proud of. Yes, even though countries like Canada and the Netherlands with very good laws protecting GLBT rights are doing well, I think homophobia will always exist to some point. Just as there are still KKK groups and individuals who believe black people are inferior. They get smaller, they become more fringe, but they never go away ... unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually a little bit proud of our landmark, although I know it's not something I had any influence on, lol. But I'm happy there are countries like Canada and the Netherlands that are progressive on these issues. Even though I know you're right that there will always be bigots and racists. Sadly.

      Delete
  3. I wish the USA were as progressive on this issue as the Netherlands. Unfortunately, here the voices of conservative religious groups are just way too loud.

    dephalqu@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm certain you will get there too. Don't forget, the Netherlands is just a small country and the USA also have states that are already as progressive. It will just take some time. :)

      Delete
  4. Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm learning lots today - how cool that the Netherlands had the first gay marriage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would've thought you already knew. I'm glad that I could learn you something. ;)

      Delete
  6. How cool is it that I actually knew the Netherlands had the first gay marriage?! Seriously, though, this is a wonderful post Janna and it outlines the fact that your country has been at the head of a very important cause by breaking down barriers -- an effort that everyone should look up to. Thanks for the informative post! xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very cool of you, Cole! :D
      You're making me feel actually quite proud when you phrase it like that. Thanks luv, xoxo

      Delete
  7. Thank you for sharing this with us today

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Janna,

    I live near the Dutch border, so I know a few things, in many ways you are more open-minded than the people here in Germany

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. forgot my e-mail addy

      dannyfiredragon@aol.com

      Delete
    2. I think maybe that depends on which parts of our countries you compare to each other. I believe there are some pretty open-minded people and regions in your country as well.
      And you had your gay TV couple sooner than we had, with Roman and Deniz from Alles Was Zählt, right? How great is that?! :)

      Delete
  9. I learned something new today. I always knew that the Netherlands was much more tolerant than the US but I had no idea that were that far ahead. We have such a long way to go...

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear it wasn't all old news I told today. :) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. Thanks for sharing - nice to see we Canadians aren't alone in our progressive attitudes towards gender and sexuality. We're by no means perfect, but at least we can marry who we choose . . . and, if things go well, we'll have protection from transphobia very soon!

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's wonderful to live in a country like ours, isn't it? Like Tam said, it's a good thing that we have laws that protect GLBT rights. Discrimination should be prohibited everywhere.

      Delete
  11. I didn't knew that Netherlands had the first gay marriage, so thank you for the post, it's always nice to learn something new.
    Hopefully things will improve but I also don't believe that homophobia will die out, racism still exists after all and people fought against it for a longer time.

    lyraDOTlucky7 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you, but the least we can do is fight homophobia, so that these groups get smaller. After all, racism is far from how widespread and accepted it was a few decades ago. :)

      Delete
  12. Thanks for sharing. Great post!

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Please enter me in the giveaway. Great post...

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the great post and for participating. it was really interesting. and on a whole different tangent I love the background of your blog.

    normanielsen@bigpond.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Norma! And thanks for organizing this hop! :)

      Delete
  15. Great post! I'm enjoying to find new things about other countries laws and history!

    moonsurfer123 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the post,information is so important to know.Please enter me.
    cvsimpkins@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a straight woman who loves to read m/m romance. I believe everyone has the right to be in love and marry who they want. I don't think the government has the right to deny equal rights to people.

    Thank you for the lovely giveaway.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree. That's why I'm proud of our Dutch government too. :D

      Delete
  18. Thank you for sharing. I love hearing how other countries have taken this on so beautifully. I hope the US follows suit.
    My little way of fighting homophobia is giving all the proceeds of my book Happy Hour to the It Gets Better Project. Its not much, but it helps me feel like I'm doing something since I can't scream and yell at the idiots all day. I do share when anyone asks me what I write or why I wear a rainbow bracelet. I'm not ashamed to be a straight girl in love with m/m fiction :)
    Thank you for participating in the hop!
    Bella
    bellaleone4 at gmail dot com
    www.bellaleonebooks.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a wonderful thing to do, Bella! The It Gets Better Project is a great cause. I think it's also a good attitude to be proud of your love for m/m fiction! I'm with you there. :)

      Delete
  19. I showed a bunch of these post to the teens in my family to show them how hurt some "innocent" remarks are to many others. I get so annoyed when my nephew says "you're so gay". ERRRR drove me crazy. I know he didn't mean anything by it but it is so wrong to use that as a saying. I think that these post have helped. Thank you all for sharing with us!
    forettarose@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Educate the young and show them how hurtful their words can be, is a good starting point in the fight against homophobia. Thanks for that, Foretta. :)

      Delete
  20. Wow! I'm reading lots of interesting facts! I had no idea that The Netherlands were the leaders of gay marriage. You learn something new everyday. I'm looking forward to a day that my cousin and his partner can legally marry here in Arkansas. I just wish it were sooner rather than later.

    morris.crissy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be great, Crissy. I hope with you that it will be sooner than later! :D

      Delete
  21. Being in the UK we get a lot more European news than the US does so I did know about the first same-sex marriage being in the Netherlands.

    I can't think of anything staggeringly new to say about the UK. This country allows civil partnerships, which is at least a step towards equality, but not marriages, so there is still a long way to go before things are truly equal.

    lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that information about the UK! I didn't know you had the civil partnerships but not the marriages. Let's hope the next step towards equality won't take too long for the British government to take. :)

      Delete
  22. I did not know the Netherlands had the first gay marriage - thanks for sharing :-)

    smaccall AT comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great giveaway and grea post. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Woops forgot my email

    Joyfullyjay at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you very much for sharing Janna. I though where I live (New Zealand) was quite liberated. In the wake of President Obama's comment our Prime Minister has stated that he is 'not opposed to gay marriage'. Which isn't the same as being for it. And when queried regarding changing the law (as currently same sex couple can only undergo a civil union, which is not the same as marriage) he said he would vote for it to pass through for 'discussion'.

    I've been reading the comments on one paper about a discussion topic on marriage equality and have stopped as I got so angry. But I'm going to look for volunteer opportunities. Because we have a law that says discrimination based on sexual orientation shouldn't happen. And I'm going to hold out politicians accountable.

    *hugs*

    Oh, and please include me in the giveaway if it's not too late.

    orannia (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a lot of 'maybes' coming from your PM... I think it's great that you're looking into volunteer opportunities and going to hold out politicians accountable. Every voice counts and every action can lead to a next step towards equality. Good luck, orannia!!
      And you're still on time for the giveaway, so you're included. :)

      Delete
  26. Congrats on living in a country where that was possible in 2001, here in the US it was not. Thanks for being part of this great hop!
    OceanAkers@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and let's hope that I can congratulate you soon with the same thing. :)

      Delete
  27. I knew things were very progressive in the Netherlands :) Things generally are in Western Europe. I live in Iceland and things are very progressive here, though (unfortunately) there is still some homophobia, but the homophobes are a minority group here.

    I agree that some GLBTQ people need therapy...because of the homophobic treatment they've gone through! That would be the only reason they'd need therapy because of their sexuality. It's a good thing that homoPHOBIA is curable - though in some cases it isn't :/

    Er, yeah, I'd like to be entered ^.^

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we're very fortunate to live in this part of the world, where the homophobes are a minority group.
      LOL, I agree with you that homophobia should be treated and cured. At least it should be tried, I'm willing to fund that kind of therapy myself. :)
      Thanks for organizing the hop, Erica. You'll be entered, of course. :D

      Delete
  28. Sometimes the balance between our progressive stance and the homophobia we still have boggles my mind.

    Even in our country, there will always be people who think they know better and for whom hate seems a standard setting.

    And yet, I'll never stop hoping for a world in which Diversity isn't even blinked at. :)

    Great post!

    blaine (at) blainedarden (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is mind boggling, isn't it? I never can wrap my mind around hate, in which form it presents itself, never.
      We can always keep hoping and sometimes take a little action as well. :)

      Delete
  29. I love learning about what things are like in other countries. thanks for sharing with us

    burchills AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  30. The contest is closed. I'm going to announce the winner in a new blog post any minute now. Good luck to you all! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks so much for sharing! I wish the US was as progressive as the Netherlands. I mean, we're supposed to be big on innovation and progression yet we're still stuck in the Dark Ages when it comes to homosexuality. Thanks for participating in this awesome hop!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for participating!!

    annawelch23456@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello Janna,

    I sure wish the US was as openminded as Netherlands, thank you for sharing such a Wonderful post with Us.

    One Positive Thing….In my opinion I feel eReaders have done wonders in helping to “open” the minds of many of those “close-minded” people. Authors have been such a Great Asset in reaching out & helping people experience & accept GLBTQ rights with your Wonderfully Romantic, Loving, Emotional Writing…& of course Erotic & Sensual ;) ...making it more likely for them to be accepting, understanding & comfortable with homosexuality in real life...We Could Hope, Right???

    I would very much appreciate the opportunity to be considered in your very generous giveaway of one m/m book of our choice from All Romance eBooks, which if by chance if I am lucky enough to win, I do have an account with them. Thank You.

    Thank You Again for participating in the Hop Against Homophobia.

    Take Care & Wishing you All the Best ,
    PaParanormalFan Renee
    paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...