Student - June 18, 2009

GAY WAGENINGEN CAN PARTY AGAIN

Wageningen’s Homogroep (GayGroup) has come up with a new initiative for young gays in the Wageningen area. The new offshoot, to be called shOUT, will be organizing monthly parties.

Five years after the slow death of a similar initiative called Jip & Janneke, the new generation of gays and lesbians are starting afresh in high spirits. Their main target group is students. Previously, Homogroep parties were poorly attended by students. That has to change, says board member Roelof Heerdink: ‘There is certainly support for the idea,’ he says. ‘Apparently one in ten people have homosexual feelings. If we can reach a fraction of those five hundred students, our parties will be a success.’
The loss of the Unitas youth club could even be an opportunity. Unitas was known as open-minded and gay-friendly, so ‘that was where most gays went’, says Heerdink.
The name shOUT was selected from six suggestions, including Youpi, Pink Pepper and clubQ. Through shOUT, Homogroep aims to throw low-threshold, hetero-friendly parties. After the opening party, ‘First Date’, there will be an ‘I am Gay’ party during the AID (introduction week) for new students. To keep things lively, the parties will feature professional DJs or will be preceded by a film or cabaret.
Another aim is for shOUT to provide a space for international students who cannot express their homosexuality in their own countries. ‘But we focus mainly on the fun side and not on the problem side of things’, says Heerdink.

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