The organisers of a ‘gay only village’ have admitted their plan was a hoax after generating outrage in the Netherlands. The project to create a gated community for gay people only was widely denounced as ‘ghettoisation’, as well as discriminatory against heterosexuals.
The Independent reports that gay rights organisation Roze Maandag (Pink Monday) has now revealed that the plans were a “serious hoax”, however, designed to highlight homophobia. The group says it was inspired after a recent survey suggested a quarter of gay man did not feel safe in their own neighbourhoods, despite the Netherlands being widely regarded as one of the most socially liberal countries in Europe.
The plans for a gay-only village, complete with tennis court and cooking school, appeared to have the backing of local officials, estate agents and developers in Tilburg, in the south of the country.
The village was heavily criticised on social media, however, after people became concerned that it amounted to a “ghetto” for gay people, closing them off from the rest of society. Tanja Ineke, president of gay rights group COC Netherlands, said: “This is not the direction we want to go in to solve the security problems of the LGBT community. It is up to the police, local authorities and central government to solve them so that LGBTs in every city, every neighbourhood and every street feel safe, not only in a separate area with a fence around it.”
Roze Maandag has now issued a statement saying it was “delighted” with the negative reactions, saying that the idea “is indeed ridiculous”.
“We are happy with the thousands of negative, and the fewer positive, reactions. It is great to hear that the majority is against the idea. All we wanted was to create an awareness, and we are certain that we succeeded in this.”