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Rowan's pride story

__What does pride mean to you? __ Pride for me is all about celebrating yourself and who you are. Not only for the LGBTQ+ community but it’s important for everyone to accept themselves and each other. For me, it’s all about celebrating freedom. I’m very proud of how far we’ve come in Amsterdam but we’ve got a long way to go. For instance, walking down the streets of Amsterdam and holding hands with my boyfriend is still something I don’t feel completely comfortable with. Because it sometimes feels more as a statement than something natural. Not that long ago, about two years, I was always thinking about what other people were thinking about me when I would step outside my comfort zone. This would really hold me back in what I wanted to do. For example, doubting the clothing I wanted to wear or when I was younger I would feel strange about the fact that I was a boy who wanted to be a dancer. One day I thought, you know what? People will judge no matter what you do, no matter what you look like, so I might as well do what I love to do. __Do you have special pride plans?__ My boyfriend Paul has a bachelorette party planned that day, so that’s a bummer that he can’t join me. But I’ll go with my friends and stroll around the city. I love looking around and see everyone enjoying themselves but I’m not really into big parties. Here at Vélo I’ll do a special pride ride which I’m very excited for. You can except some RuPaul tunes mixed with vibes from the famous gay club EXIT in the Reguliersdwarsstraat. __What was your favorite part/attribute of the photoshoot? __ That (my boyfriend) Paul joined us for the shoot! __Pride to us at Vélo means accepting who you are and being proud of all you stand for. No one should ever feel like being too much. How do you incorporate this feeling of freedom in your Vélo rides?__ I always share a personal story during the climb in my class. I feel that breaks down a barrier between the rider and the instructor. And I want people to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable in front of others. Furthermore, I try to get people to dance a little more on the bike than they normally would dare to do. So, if you come to my class never be afraid to be yourself, do you and live your best life!