Utrecht Canal Pride
Starting from 2022, Utrecht University participates in the Utrecht Canal Pride together with HU University for Applied Sciences Utrecht. In 2023 the Canal Pride will take place on 3 June 2023.
A double sense of freedom
Elias Abou Chaaya, event manager at EDI Office, participated in the Canal Pride of june 2022.
“I had always dreamt of being on board of a boat on a Canal Pride. Coming from Lebanon, I have long lived in the closet and felt, in various different ways, how little accepted being gay is in my country of origin. You can be persecuted for being gay in Lebanon, but what’s even worse is that society will look down on you if you are gay. You are not taken seriously in professional life. In the Netherlands you are accepted and valued as the person you are. During the Canal Pride, I felt a double sense of freedom. I was being accepted as a gay person and I was accepted in my job at the university. I was not expecting to get as much energy from the crowd as I did. At the same time, the university’s participation in the Canal Pride was the first event I helped organise, and it was exciting to see that the team valued my opinions. Now that I work at EDI Office, I would like to help others get the same feeling of acceptance and being valued as well.”