Franka from A.S.V.Gay
On February 23, 2010, Fien de Vries, Merel van Kessel, Suzanne Roodenburg and Nora Neuteboom signed the statutes that form the basis of the Amsterdam student association A.S.V.Gay. This of course did not just happen by itself.
In 2009 Fien de Vries starts her degree at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She soon finds out that there is not much to do for gay students in Amsterdam. She thinks it's time for something new; a place where she can meet like-minded people from her own generation – a student association! She discusses the idea with her friends Nora and Merel, and like the three lesbian musketeers, they decide to go for it.
The three women speak with all kinds of different organisations and associations, and more and more they get the feeling that they will succeed. Of course you don't just set up a student association in one day, all sorts of official affairs have to be taken care of, but for that they really need an old lesbian, uh, hand to help them out.
After spending a couple of months mostly drinking a lot of beer and fantasising about setting up their very own student association, Suzanne suddenly shows up. Suzanne had heard of their idea about setting up a student association aimed at LGBTQ+ students from other people. She's very interested and she seems to get along well with Fien, Merel and Nora right off the bat. Additionally, Suzanne turns out to have an infinite network of older lesbian women who are but too happy to help these youngsters achieve their goal.
Chair Fien: We went through so much. We went from four nervous girls who didn't even know each other very well, to partners and very close friends. From laughing and being creative to crying, arguing and resolving conflicts: all emotions have passed!
Fien, Merel, Nora and Suzanne can start writing A.S.V.Gay's very first policy plan. On February 23, 2010, they arrive at the notary's office, bathed in sweat, with only a few minutes to spare. At the price of a single Hema cake, the deed is signed and A.S.V.Gay is a fact!
Later that year a borrel is organised at the COC which attracts around 80 people. Of course there is lots of chatter and beer, but there is also serious brainstorming about what A.S.V.Gay should be like. Which committees does the association need? How often should we have borrels? What kind of activities should there be? Everyone present believes in the dream of an LGBTQ+ student association and shows their support in various ways.
Member sign-ups officially start on 1 July 2010. Fien, Merel, Nora and Suzanne, now the founding board of A.S.V.Gay, still disagree about whether we got 22, 45 or 100 members at this first sign-up period. Whatever the case, engraved in our memories as an incredibly proud moment, is people being able to register as a member of the very first Amsterdam student association for LGBTQ+ students.
From left to right: Suzanne, Nora (top), Merel (bottom), Fien
The original statutes of A.S.V.Gay
The banana and rusk tradition during the Beer Olympics
Canal Parade 2012: A.S.V.GayAerobics
The second association year of A.S.V.Gay begins with a major setback: our website is hacked and the web server is emptied. Although some backups were made, it still means that we have to start all over again.
Fortunately, a lot of good things happen soon after! A big step is taken towards professionalism - we move from a free email provider to our own email service: @asvgay.nl. In addition, thanks to the hard work of the founding board, we get our own boardroom! If you ever find yourself at CREA and wonder how that pink wall in room 2.14 came to be: the second board of A.S.V.Gay.
In order to optimise the integration of new members into the association, the very first ontrozing weekend takes place in September of this year. During this very weekend our banana and rusk tradition is born.
In winter, A.S.V.Gay moves from its first official borrel location Prik to the Amstel Fifty Four. It all started with a single New Year's borrel, to get a feel of the bar first, but all members are so enthusiastic that the board has no other choice: we are moving to the Amstel!
All kinds of new activities are organised throughout the year: from a city trip to Cologne to a game of theater sport, a bunch of fantastic parties – Hard Candy, Rock Chic – a winter sports trip, and A.S.V.Gay meets Ichthus.
For the second year in a row, A.S.V.Gay gets to sail in the Canal Parade of Amsterdam Pride. However, while we still shared a boat with UvA Pride in the first year, this year the boat is all ours!
With nearly 175 members, it turns out to be a year full of growth and innovation, and above all there is the realisation that A.S.V.Gay is not going away anytime soon.
To make room for new members and to attract even more active members, the committees are expanded. As a result, there are more activities and trips than ever before. Additionally, the new influx of members is so enthusiastically present at the borrels that the decision is made to turn the bi-weekly borrel into a weekly one.
With the large influx of new members, the needs of the members also change. We transition from an oversized group of friends to a genuine student association where there is a place for everyone. The Ontrozing weekend is therefore exclusively for new members.
On the way home from the Ontrozing weekend, the A.S.V.Gay song is transformed by Thieu Driessen from a half-chorus into a full-fledged song. The song is not immediately adopted on a large scale; that will follow in the subsequent years.
For the first time, A.S.V.Gay has Bylaws (HR), a multi-year plan, a protocol for voting during the GMMs, an Application Committee (SoCo), and an Advisory Council (RvA). This lays the foundation for the contemporary structure of the association.
Numerous new contacts are made and existing relationships are intensified. One of the fruits to be reaped from tis is the memorable, very first “Zusjesweekend” (Sister weekend).
Dies Gala 2013
Canal Parade 2014: athletes out of the closet
Flyer scientific conference
In the first three years of its existence, the association proved to be an enormous success. The number of members grew faster every year. The fourth board therefore decides to focus on mutual bonding between members and to make the integration of older and new members run more smoothly. One of the ways in which this is attempted is the introduction of the Kweekweek. A longer introduction period for all new members.
In this association year 13|14, committees will have more autonomy for the first time. Instead of board members taking presence in committees, it was decided to switch to a system whereby there are committee chairmen who are accountable to the commissaris Intern.
Moreover, this was the year in which the A.S.V.Gay song was written and introduced. Thieu Driessen is the founder of this. The song would not yet be used on a large scale, which will only follow in the years to come.
After a year of having borrels in Café Bordó, the decision was made to change the location of the weekly borrel with a lot of deliberation. A.S.V.Gay returned to the Amstel54.
After a suggestion by honorary member Henny Bos (mrs. prof. dr.) that A.S.V.Gay should one day organise a scientific congress, this was actually done this year. The first scientific congress was a fact. The theme of the congress was homosexuality and gender non-conformity. Researchers and students could send in papers for this. In the end, a diverse range of research was chosen from the submissions. It varied from persecution of homosexuality in the Middle Ages to transgender care among young people. It was an enormous success.
At the end of the academic year, at the beginning of the summer holidays, the first trip ever took place to a Gay Pride abroad. Cologne was the destination. A successful trip with a relaxed atmosphere was the result.
International students are increasingly finding their way to A.S.V.Gay, and to ensure they feel at home, an International Student Committee is established. Additionally, the Powerpoint presentations for the GMMs are now in English.
After having played their first official match in 2013, A.S.V.Gay’s hockey team becomes a full-fledged committee with a budget in 2014. The ‘Babygays’ add a fantastic alethic element to the association, enjoyed by many members over the years.
A.S.V.Gay turns five years old, and this calls for a celebration! Various activities are organized, including a delightful dinner, a lustrum weekend, and a grand lustrum party at club the Warehouse, which everyone enjoys with great pride. At the opening borrel, the founding board delivers an emotional speech in a packed Amstel54.
Het Parool publishes an article about the association that will be cited for years to come by various parties seeking to connect with us. A.S.V.Gay is, in fact, the fastest-growing association in Amsterdam that year!
A.S.V.Gay now counts three hundred members, making it the fastest-growing student association in Amsterdam. This influx indicates that gay students desire a club of their own, contrary to developments in Amsterdam’s hospitality scene: several gay bars have closed over the past years, particularly because younger gays and lesbians no longer wish to go out as a separate group. Woest, M. (March 3, 2015). Alcohol and a Listening Ear. Het Parool, p. 13. (quote translated to English)
The Activities Committee, in collaboration with the Travel Committee, organizes the association’s first car rally. Members drive in teams, without knowing the destination, along an exciting route from Amsterdam to Oostende. Numerous hilarious tasks are performed, and on top of that, there is an incredible trip to the Belgian coast.
Lustrum Committee - Lustrum I
True Colours 2016
The first trip of the year took members to the beautiful city of Bremen. After an exciting train rally on the way there, the first evening was spent making all the gay bars unsafe. Following a short night’s sleep, the Christmas market was visited, Glühwein was consumed, and Bratwurst was eaten, concluding the afternoon with a city walk through the center. A successful trip indeed!
It's fresh in the memories of many members: the first A.S.V.Gay-wide epidemic. Scabies mites spread rapidly to many student rooms, prompting the chair and, at that time, co-assistant Niels (van Kampen) to post a reassuring message on the members’ page.
On Saturday, May 21, A.S.V.Gay organized its now-annual symposium. This year’s theme was “minorities within the minority”, attracting an interesting array of speakers discussing topics ranging from bisexuality to bi-cultural LGBTQ+ Muslims, and from rainbow families to the asexuality spectrum. A trend was noticeable in the lectures and workshops: acceptance of specific smaller minorities still has a long way to go!
At the beginning of the summer vacation, the board organized the last trip of the year. It was just one night, but the accommodation was on an actual hotel boat! The murder mystery game led to many intriguing situations: one could only be ‘murdered’ if they were alone, making even a simple trip to the restroom a group activity. It was a short but extremely successful trip!
Pride Amsterdam was even bigger this year, as it was EuroPride. The event lasted for two weeks, and A.S.V.Gay did not lag behind. There was a barbecue, a game, a feature on Gay TV, and the pinnacle was, of course, the canal parade where everyone dressed as student – a highly appropriate theme.
In the seventh year of A.S.V.Gay, the first clubs were launched. Olijf, Drama Queens and The Bridge kicked off what has now become a highly successful initiative for vertical member bonding.
On January 6, A.S.V.Gay left with 42 members for Antwerp. Upon arrival, members were divided into five groups. Each group’s goal was to solve the mystery of the kidnapped “Pils Princesses”. By performing tasks throughout the weekend, the groups earned short audio messages with hints to solve the mystery. The revelation took place on the rooftop of the Museum aan de Stroom. Exhausted but satisfied, the A.S.V.Gay’ers returned to our beloved Amsterdam.
A.S.V.Gay’s Got Talent, an evening where all members showcase their best side. The jury had a tough time this year as well, with acts such as a drag show, a lip sync battle by the Activities Committee, beautiful singing, and, of course, chugging half a liter of beer.
The first long-distance trip of A.S.V.Gay was a fact: from April 21 to 25, a group of 25 A.S.V.Gay’ers took a bus to Prague! The committee had a packed schedule: a bike tour through the city, escalated fun during the pub crawl, escaping a hangover in an escape room, dining at the Hard Rock Café, and above all, tremendous camaraderie in a city where the beer was dangerously cheap!
The Pride Committee had long been preparing for the Canal Parade and came up with the fabulous theme “Thanks to your fight, we continue the Pride”, fitting beautifully into the general theme “This is our Pride!”. All A.S.V.Gay’ers received a shirt in one of the rainbow colors, making us a living, dancing, drinking, partying rainbow!
Canal Parade 2017: Thanks to your fight, we continue the Pride
De eerste vliegreis van A.S.V.Gay
In the eighth year of A.S.V.Gay's existence, the proposal to develop a dedicated A.S.V.Gay app was accepted. Although the app could not be implemented this year, it marked the beginning of the modernization of the association's internal communications.
Chairperson Andra and treasurer Kade had the honor of speaking on behalf of the association during the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Homomonument. It was a solemn ceremony, highlighted by the laying of wreaths by various LGBTQ+ organizations. Secretary Isabella and another member were able to lay a wreath on behalf of A.S.V.Gay.
For the first time in A.S.V.Gay's history, we traveled by plane, and it was a hit! The trip was so popular that extra tickets had to be booked. The Travel Committee had jokingly warned us about the weather, but upon arrival in Manchester, it was delightfully sunny. During the day, we raced around dressed as hippies during a game of live Monopoly; by night, we let loose in the numerous gay bars. Delicious food, cheap beer, a great city—it's no wonder everyone who went still fondly remembers this fantastic weekend!
A.S.V.Gay participated in the annual Pride Walk from the Homomonument to Vondelpark, where Pride Park took place, along with over 12,000 other people. En route, A.S.V.Gay members encountered Ellie Lust, and of course, a photo had to be taken. The association also participated in a panel by Salesforce, an international software company, where discussions about sexuality and gender identity in the workplace, sports, and student life made for an educational afternoon.
On the first Saturday of August, the time had finally come: 100 A.S.V.Gay members and their friends sailed under boat number 4 through the Amsterdam canals as hundreds of thousands cheered them on. It was a spectacle like no other—a day to never forget!
The ninth year of A.S.V.Gay kicked off with an incredibly large number of new registrations. In November of that year, the first-ever party in collaboration with EXIT was organized. Named INV!TED, the event aimed to raise money for LGBTQ+ refugees. In the end, A.S.V.Gay was able to donate around 500 euros to a project by the Regenboog Groep.
Accompanied by many updates to the website, the first version of an official A.S.V.Gay house style was created. This house style manual was documented in the Bylaws (HR), serving as a guideline for the association's internal and external communications in the subsequent years.
For the first time, the association launched official merchandise: with the first-ever A.S.V.Gay socks, our members stayed cozy during winter. As the year progressed, pins and sustainable travel mugs were added.
Internally, the streamlining of communications was clarified. A dedicated mobile app was launched. Moreover, the board made it policy to publish monthly calendars, ensuring that no one would lose track amid all the borrels, numerous activities, and hangovers throughout the year.
On the societal front, A.S.V.Gay was active on various levels this academic year. Our members ran the entire bar during the opening of the Roze Hallen, participated in the Regenboog conference by the Amsterdam municipality, and were present at Work Place Pride. Contacts were initiated, strengthened, and renewed as needed.
Bestuur IX met de cheque voor de Regenboog Groep
We entered the tenth year of A.S.V.Gay, which meant it was time for the second Lustrum! The year kicked off with a Lustrum opening party at SoHo, where the first board was invited to give a speech. There was also a party in collaboration with the Trut organized for the first time during the induction period, with the theme: 80s!
During the professionalization of the association, the tenth board took several steps that year. For example, a "General Committee Handbook" was developed, an online membership calendar was set up in Google, and each active member was given a personal email address. Additionally, with sustainability in mind, a storage unit was commissioned, an inventory list was created and a sustainability week was organized. In addition, the use of pronouns on board and committee shirts was introduced, which was very successful.
In February, it was finally time for the Lustrum! Ten days (but actually twelve) of activities were organized. From a dinner to fishing plastic out of the canals, from dancing on Tuesday to a centurion on Thursday, there was something for everyone! Topped off with the Lustrum Gala (Titanic), where we spent a few hours singing, laughing and crying, sailing across 't IJ. The ten days ended broke and over a piece of cake at CREA, to celebrate the actual anniversary of A.S.V.Gay. An incredible week of celebration and joy, not to be forgotten!
Meanwhile, corona was getting closer and closer. Just before the first lockdown started, the lustrum weekend was still organized in Dwingeloo. Also a weekend not to forget, especially because for a long time it would be the last weekend where we could party without worries. A week later everything closed down, which changed the year in an instant. After the entry of the corona pandemic, we switched to online activities with the association. We continued to see each other online every Wednesday night, enjoying hiccups over drinks. To assist members this difficult time, so-called "quarantine packages" could be ordered, which included a drink, snack, game and puzzle book. As the summer approached, things slowly began to pick up. Because the urge for social contact was so strong, there was even boot camp in the park. In the end, the summer turned out to be a special one after all, where everything even remotely possible was organized. A party 1.5-meter away, seated boating with Pride, canoeing, and lots of walking through the city. We were happy to see each other again!
Year eleven started with high hopes: by summer, the first lockdown measures had subsided, the first borrels and parties had been held again, and a large group of members just started the Kweekweek! Unfortunately, the numbers of patients with Covid-19 grew rapidly, forcing the country back into lockdown on October 13. This lockdown continued into March, including a curfew and other far-reaching restrictions.
Despite these restrictions, the association did not stand still! Everything had to change, but the same sociability remained. We still had borrels every week: first through Zoom, then through Gather. We still organized an (online) gala, an online Ontrozinf, online pub crawls. Highlights was the online beer tasting, where everyone got a beer package with a real A.S.V.Gay beer at home, and our election debate, with prominent speakers from almost every party!
Starting in March, more and more could be done. First there were twenty of us at terrace drinks, later on we had biggest activities again (remember Dancing with Janssen?), such as parties, theme drinks and the production of the very first A.S.V.Gay nude calendar! Year eleven was not an easy year, but it was definitely a special year. We are extremely proud that we were able to experience this together: despite unique situations, still the same sociability.
In the twelfth year of A.S.V.Gay, Covid-19 seemed to fade into the background, and all the normal association activities were all suddenly possible again making the year happily marked by many firsts. This included a fantastic open period with full drinks, the classic opening party in the SoHo, and a physical ontrozing! We were also able to go on another trip with a whole group of A.S.V.Gay'ers. This time to Paris, where we made Disneyland unsafe and were immersed in the French gay nightlife scene.
On the social front, the twelfth board paid much attention to social safety within the association. For example, a Social Safety Policy was written, and several workshops were organised during the year on topics such as consent, transgressive behavior, and assisted intervention.
This was also the year of the special cock, or 2-for-1 cocktail deals during the weekly drinks. Cocktails were shared with besties, hook-ups, situation ships, or just enjoyed by themselves. We also had the opportunity to have our own boat through the beautiful canals of Amsterdam during the annual Amsterdam Pride again. With the theme Love All Flavours Of Gender, Taste The Rainbow, we celebrated all gender diversity within A.S.V.Gay!