As summer approaches, Amsterdam gears up to host one of the most vibrant events of the year: Pride Amsterdam! This year, UvA Pride is proud to once again participate in University Pride. From 31 July to 4 August, UvA Pride will join forces with the VU Amsterdam, UAUS, Inholland and ROC Amsterdam to bring all students and staff a week of thought-provoking lectures and other activities that fuse knowledge and celebration. Political scientist Michael Hunklinger gives a preview of this lecture on LGBTQIA+ rights and the importance of keeping Pride and politics intertwined.
‘Pride is an important event to create more queer visibility’, says Michael Hunklinger. ‘However, we must not forget how the LGBTQIA+ movement started: as a riot with clear political goals. Pride events in the 2020s sometimes miss these political dimensions. Pride for me means to always fight for political change.’
The War on Sex
Hunklinger’s lecture will expand on this essential aspect of Pride. He explains: ‘During my lecture “The War on Sex: fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights in Europe and Beyond”, I will talk about the current polarization of and the backlash on LGBTQIA+ politics. In addition, I’ll give a historical overview of the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights and talk about the political dimensions of activism, participation, and citizenship. Through an emancipatory approach, we’ll look at the story of how queer activism is changing, evolving and how to really make a difference.’
Going beyond the Pride flag
As a political scientist, Hunklinger thinks it’s great to see that more and more political parties and actors include LGBTQIA+ issues in their party programmes and election manifestos. Hunklinger: ‘We can definitely see progress. It is, however, important that political parties and actors are really supportive and inclusive of LGBTQIA+ citizens. Especially during pride season, we need to ensure that they push progressive legislation all year round and not only show up with a rainbow flag during Pride.’
How to contribute to advancing rights
The community has already achieved a lot when it comes to LGBTQIA+ rights, according to Michael. However, that doesn’t mean the battle is won. ‘We should not forget that even while the legal and real life situation for some members of the LGBTQIA+ community has improved, there are still people within the community that have to fight for their rights. It’s important to always remember that we can only achieve true equality if we show solidarity within the community’.
When asked how he thinks we can all work on advancing LGBTQIA+ rights, he states: ‘Listen to each other, talk to each other and get active together’.
Attend this and other lectures during University Pride
Are you interested in Michael's insight and research, and do you want to hear more? Reserve your spot for his lecture on 3 August.