75 Jaar Gay Home2020-02-05T12:12:48+00:00

Rotterdam is an International Port and had its first homo pub, already in the Thirties Gay Rotterdam have been counting and celebrating famous Artists in many different professions such as Writer Anna Blaman, Urban planner Riek Bakker, the eccentric entrepreneur Prins de Lignac with his Dutch Language Institute, Publisher Lekturama, Artists such as Andre van Duin, Paul de Leeuw and Richard Groenendijk. Also many famous politicians, such as Pim Fortuin and former alderman Herman Meijer who was known in his free time as homotravestite ‘Hermien Katendrecht’. They all contributed in many respects to the reconstruction of the City, not only in brick or architecture, but very important culturally.

The ’75 Year Gay Rotterdam’ project, has been produced by DIG IT UP. This Foundation developed as a ‘Heritage Lab’ with projects in the field of Metropolitan Heritage. This is done through exhibitions, window displays, documentaries and talk shows. This project works together, among others, Rotterdam Pride, Gay Rotterdam Foundation, The Hang-Out )010, Ferry Rotterdam, Open Rotterdam and Rotterdam City Archives. The project is made possible by the City of Rotterdam, in the context of Meedoen in Rotterdam, or to be Involved with Rotterdam and The Van Leeuwen Van Lignac Foundation.


A number of the portrayed people from the exhibition were interviewed in a TV show which was hosted by Oma Greet. Hugo Bongers spoke about the ‘g-factor of Rotterdam’, and Rob de Vries showed film fragments from his collection of films from gay Rotterdam of the eighties Former alderman Herman Meijer, told about his alter ego Hermien Katendrecht. We also spoke to Eddy Elsdijk about his late partner Misty, who like no other could interpreted the repertoire of Marleine Dietrich and Edit Piaf. The Oil Men did a spoken word and supported Oma Greet with the interviews. Ferhat Asian from House of Boys, suggested the new concept for their Parties and provided the music in the TV show.

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The exhibition consisted of more than fifty photographs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual or seekers. It was an exciting mix of old interesting eccentric people with a mix of young intriguing people, who have just experienced coming- out. Among the portraits, taken by Esther Erkelens ( Des Esther’s Photography ) only the profession of the person concerned has been stated below the photograph. The DIG IT UP foundation shows how the LGBT community is now a natural part of Rotterdam society. There are portraits of ( among others ) Urban planners, brigadiers, evolutionary biologists, teachers and ministers.

’75 years of gay Rotterdam’ is an ode to all the gays whom helped Rotterdam to be reconstructed again, through their work with cultural expertise and sexual diversity. ,through their work with cultural expertise and sexual diversity.