New film with Ed van Betuw

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As an anthropology student at Leiden University, Lotte van den Hanenberg researched the experiences of LGBTI persons in sport. She also made a short documentary about this, Proud to sport, with Ed van Betuw as one of the two main characters. Ed talks about his involvement in Gay Games Amsterdam 1998 and Smashing Pink in the documentary.


Earlier, Ed shared his memories of our event with Tom Bijlmer in the story telling series on

‘That so many people came together. You think, I don’t exist alone. Not as an individual, not as a tennis group, but people came from all over the world. It was so big.

‘Outreach has always been an issue for me, solidarity with others ‘sticks’ to me. Now I have that with Tunisia, where LGBTI persons can still be criminally prosecuted under Article 230. After the Arab Spring in 2011, Tunisia got a new, good constitution for which they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but paradoxically, this discriminatory article is still in it.

‘Working together fraternises enormously. You share something in common. I thought the policy side of the Gay Games was important. Trying to include participants from countries where gay emancipation is not even in its infancy. I started making contacts with organisations in Amsterdam such as Amnesty International and HIVOS. They had lists of people in those countries who were being persecuted and supported them.’

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‘At my house in 1998, there were still two boys from Zimbabwe who were persecuted by that creep – former prime minister Robert Mugabe – there. Because we did that with the Gay Games too; we caught those people and were able to stay at people’s houses.

‘So I made all those contacts, but later when it became a professional organisation, we volunteers were kindly thanked and professional, paid staff came and took over. That was not fun.

‘Also at Smashing Pink, we created an Outreach project, asking people for extra money for projects supporting LGBT athletes abroad.’

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Proud to sport

Last summer, Lotte van den Hanenberg graduated and you can now watch her film Proud to sport on YouTube. Due to the high costs that Beeld & Geluid (Sound & Vision Institute) imposes on archive footage, she was unable to add footage about the Gay Games to the documentary. However, the documentary does contain many photographs by Marian Bakker.

Photos: Marian Bakker (1998) and MacSiers Imaging (2021)

Watch Proud to sport on YouTube (35 min):

until 1 August 2023, exactly 25 years after the start of the Gay Games Amsterdam 1998

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