Cocktail Events organizes an activity every month in Amsterdam for LGBTI newcomers. This can be informative (such as a GGD talk about sex and drugs), or a fun event in the city where everyone can be themselves, often accompanied by a drink and a snack. Visitors not only come from Amsterdam, but from all parts of the country. The activities of Cocktail Events are the highlights of the month for many visitors. In particular, the social aspect, feeling yourself at home, being yourself, being seen and making friends is very important for visitors. “It is nice to see how we form a group together, in which everyone feels a bit freer and better at our activities,” thus team leader Anne Bakhuizen.
All of this is organized by a very international and diverse team of enthusiastic volunteers who commit themselves with great enthusiasm: Nathan (Brazil), Louis (Luxembourg), Vladimir (Russia), Omar (Egypt), Janneke and Anne (NL).
Our Legal Event was held in September. A Cocktail Event is visited on average by 60 to 70 visitors, but no fewer than 90 visitors were present this evening! Every year such an evening is organized, but this time the demand turned out to be even larger. There are long waiting times at the IND, it is no exception that you have to wait a year to start the procedure at all. There is a lot unknown and uncertain about the asylum procedure within the group. Two lawyers were present: Joanne Nijland (Prakken d’Oliveira) and Erik Hagenaars (Jans & Hagenaars advocaten), and activist of LGBT Asylum Support Sandro Kortekaas.
After a brief introduction of the guests, a joint brainstorming session was held in the group to find out what the questions were and then they were divided into smaller groups so that they could ask questions as easily as possible. There were many questions, so they were very happy that they could ask them. In short, it was a very useful and much needed evening.
In addition, the Cocktail Events team, accompanied by Maxim and Prossy (two loyal visitors to our activities), attended the Open Day of AZC-Amsterdam. Cocktail Amsterdam is happy that the rainbow flag is waving here every day!
October 22 we went to watch a movie about the Gay Games ’98 in the Amsterdam Museum and have a drink at Café Sarein.
What else is on the schedule?
In November it’s the Tropenmuseum’s turn, we are going to visit the exhibition What a World Genderful and grab a bite as well. Are you an LGBTI newcomer and would you like to participate in our activities? Go to www.cocktailevents.nl and become a member of the Facebook group!