Half of gay men scared to walk hand-in-hand in Netherlands

A gay couple holding hands (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Paumier). (A gay couple holding hands (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Paumier))

More than half of the gay men in the Netherlands do not feel free to walk hand-in-hand in the country. 

This is according to a study done by EenVandaag among 1,700 gay men.

Nearly one in five of the participants indicated that they have experienced negative behavior because of their sexual orientation over the past year. This most often involves verbal abuse. Discrimination and harassment at work were also mentioned often.

The majority - 41 percent - feel that the negative behavior increased over the past year. 39 percent feel that the situation has remained about the same and only 7 percent saw an improvement.

EenVandaag also studied the acceptance of homosexuality among young people. They have done this study every year since education about homosexuality became compulsory in high schools in 2011. This survey showed a positive trend, especially in high schools. Two years ago 31 percent of surveyed students indicated that the climate in their schools was gay-unfriendly, that is now 21 percent. Half of homosexual students indicate that it is difficult to "come out" at their school.

The Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade takes place on Saturday.