Equal Rights On Display

Reason #482 for why I like living here in the Netherlands: Window displays like this are both possible and acceptable.

While walking home from the Hoog Catharijne shopping center today, I passed by this window display for a menswear store. At first, I thought nothing of it really. I fully support gay rights and certainly don’t see why same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to marry. The fact that the Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage makes me happy to be here. What made me stop to take the picture was the fact that this kind of window display would be considered outrageous, political and daring just about anywhere in the United States. How sad. I look forward to the day when this kind of window display could show up anywhere and not turn heads or raise tempers. Same-sex marriages should be viewed as normal and as commonplace as heterosexual marriages.

Plus, the embroidered “Just Married” on the shirt collar is kind of cool.

World Press Photo Exhibit

The World Press Photo exhibit is an annual photojournalism event showcasing winning photos in different categories. The exhibit starts here in the Netherlands, where the organization was founded, and works its way around the world for a year. When we moved here last year, I saw the banner for the exhibit at Janskerk, but didn’t end up visiting the show in time. This year, I made sure to see it. It opened Friday, and today Giovanni and I headed over to view the show.

The exhibit has some truly beautiful photos, some curious photos, and some truly devastating photos. The before and after photos of some boxers and the showcase homes of some of the wealthy Roma were some of the memorable images for me. While some of these photos can leave a smile on your face, there are also some truly heartbreaking images. There were a number of people there today — myself included — surreptitiously dabbing at their eyes.

It’s definitely worth a visit if it’s going to be anywhere near you. There’s a list of the dates and locations around the world here. If you can’t make it, or it’s not coming near you, you can see all of the photos in the gallery on the website.