Amsterdam park unveils signs pointing to gay cruisers
The De Oeverlanden park in Slotervaart will have information signs pointing out spots where gay men are known to have sex.THE HAGUE – A park near Amsterdam unveiled Tuesday information signs pointing out spots where officials say gay men are known to have sex -- so no visitors are taken by surprise.
The signs "clearly indicate what is happening in each zone; also those where gay men are known to practice 'cruising'," municipal spokeswoman Manon Koffijberg told AFP.
Cruising is a slang word used to describe the act of trawling for casual sex.
"If you don't want to be confronted by a vision of that sort, the signs allow you to avoid specific areas," said Koffijberg.
The De Oeverlanden park in Slotervaart, southwest of Amsterdam, is known as a place where homosexuals from all over the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe go in search of sex partners.
Koffijberg said that while having sex in public was against the law, the park has been used for this purpose for so long that it has become "gedoog", a Dutch word for tolerating unwanted behaviour.
The sexual activities of cruisers, she said, kept mostly to the bushes in the park, and the new signs sought to ensure that they stayed there.
"There are various groups of users of the park; people with small children who bathe on the beaches, those who walk their dogs, gays cruising and nature lovers," said Koffijberg.
"Things are arranged so that each group can relax in their own area without intruding on each other."
There had been recent complaints of gay bashing in the Slotervaart area, populated by a large group of immigrants of Muslim origin, with reports of robberies and violence against gay men in De Oeverlanden park.
AFP / Expatica