LGBT+ is still a controversial topic, even if in the last decade the society developed. People are talking about it, but they still discriminate someone on their gender identity or sexual orientation. AEGEE-Amsterdam is organising an event in January with the topic of LGBT+. We asked one of the organisers, Romy Cartiere, some questions about the lovely event they are preparing.
The AEGEEan: Tell us a little bit about the event.
Romy Cartiere: Hi there! AEGEE-Amsterdam is organising and hosting the event “Whatever Floats Your Rainboat” from the 23rd to the 27th of January. The event takes place in different parts of the city, as the activities are scattered all over. Continuous factor is the boat we are sleeping on every night, with real, comfortable beds!
Our local has a special committee, the EventCie, consisting of six lovely people that organise a thematic event in the winter every single year. The topic of the event is often related to one of the Focus Areas. This year it will relate to the newly adopted Focus Area “Equal Rights”!
Why “Whatever Floats Your Rainboat”?
Well, it is like having to explain a bad joke, but alright, I will talk you through our creative process! We chose the topic LGBT+ and then we were looking for a title that would reflect the topic in a not too obvious way. As our participants will be staying on a boat we thought that “boat” should be incorporated as well. Then our board responsible said, “Isn’t whatever floats your boat a saying?”. We were immediately very fond of this expression, because we stand for a society in which someone’s gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation is no longer a ground for discrimination, but would instead be met with a friendly “whatever floats your boat!”. When our chairperson uttered “rainboat” – which sounds like rainbow – our title was born.
What is the topic of the event?
The topic is LGBT+, which is, as ever, still a pressing issue. Discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation still exists in an overwhelming amount within Europe, even in countries where it is not expected. That results in these topics not being discussed within our society, which leads to youth growing up without an idea of the issues that play a part within the LGBT+ community. Ignorance can lead to the dehumanisation of certain minorities, which is a dangerous development. Transgenders for instance have a much higher chance of being assaulted and even murdered for being who they are. A human rights issue we cannot look away from!
What are you looking for in a future participant?
We are looking for a varied crowd! We are very happy to welcome those who do not have the chance or are not stimulated in their home country to discuss LGBT+ rights. However, participants who are already involved in the topic are much appreciated too. During AEGEE events you can learn from each other as well! Our thematic activities are set up in such a way that they are interesting for both newbies and experts.
And last but not least, we want you to mingle, even if you are not single! We expect of course that our participants are open to befriend with each other during the event, and knowing AEGEEans, that should be no problem!
We already selected over 25 participants, which means that there are only a few more spots left!
What activities have you prepared for this event?
Apart from the thematic activities, which include among others a Genderbread workshop and a tour through the very valuable, rich and unique LGBT collection of IHLIA (International Homo/Lesbian Information center and Archive), we have prepared a bunch of activities that will leave you just a bit more Holland loving at the end of the event. We will show you our city the Dutch way. Prepare for tongue twisting, bitterbal eating, nail pooping madness! Do not worry, you will discover that these are descriptions of very fun activities [she smiles, ed].
What do you think that people should get after this event?
Over 30 new friends, a lot to talk about at home, newly learned means of transport, some knowledge in a not so useful language, fun ideas for games at home, a deeper understanding of the issues faced by the LGBT+ community, and of course a big boost of AEGEE SPIRIT.
How and where can people apply?
The main open call has ended, but we have a few places left for those who apply first (given that you write a decent application). We thus encourage everyone who is interested to apply as soon as possible!
For updates, visit our facebook event .
Do you have any future events planned regarding the topic of LGBT+?
Not at the moment, but our cultural committee, the CultCie, is soon organising a discussion evening about Gender Equality!
Written by Raluca Radu, AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca