AMSTERDAM: The city’s main gay club De Schakel, the club operated until now by COC, the Dutch Society for the Integration of Homosexuality, has closed its doors to gays from other European countries who don’t join COC because COC found that reciprocal membership does not work.
There are now so many homosexual equality groups in Europe that do not have membership cards that it’s now impossible for the De Schakel, which has been transferred to Ingritas Ltd, to check that everyone coming in is a member of a gay organisation.
And even though De Schakel won’t be directly controlled by COC now, Ingritas Ltd gives free entrance to COC members and the Dutch organisation is offering temporary membership of COC to visitors to Amsterdam – for any time between 14 days and a year.
Ingritas Ltd hopes that De Schakel will develop into an integrated, alternative recreation possibility instead of the present stereotype-reinforcing nightclubs.
So, from the beginning of this year, members of foreign organisations and groups will not get free entrance to De Schakel. At the same time COC members are being told that they can’t expect to get in free to gay clubs in other countries.