On Saturday during Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday) in Den Haag, the final of the Dutch Femme 2009 award– the search for the Dutch queer role model – took place. The event was organised by Femfusion, the organisation who has also been responsible for other great initiatives like Lesbian Flow that we told you about a few weeks ago.
The idea behind the Femme award it is to pick one woman each year to be the face and spokes person for queer Dutch women, in order to improve lesbian and bisexual visibility and emancipation.
After an initial online selection process by readers of the Femfusion website, followed by a semi final where lesbian and bisexual women had to compete for the title, including performing and giving a speech in front of an actual jury, three finalists were chosen.
For the last few weeks everyone was encouraged to vote for the winner, by sending a text message with the name of their favourite contestant. A little bit like the queer Idols, if you will.
To give more publicity to the event, the three finalists and organisers of the event could also be seen in several television programmes in the last few weeks. This was on top of several known faces being involved in the initiative, including minister Plastkerk who opened the event, author/singer Karin Giphart who was part of the jury and singer Michelle who wrote a song especially for the event, Boobs and Brains.
On Saturday night Karin Giphart announced the winner: 23-year-old Giullitta Anthony. She received the first prize from singer Ellen ten Damme, besides being “our” spokesperson for a year, she also gets to drive around in a Smart Forfem.
You can watch Karin Giphart interview Giullitta about being chosen as Femme 2009 here. For those of you who don’t speak Dutch, she is talking about how she came about taking part in the competition and how visibility of queer women is important. They also talk about the fact that she’s bisexual and how that shouldn’t be an issue, because the main thing is that both lesbians and bisexuals are into women.
Femfusion made a statement that they are really happy with Giullitta as their first spokesperson, saying she owes her victory to her charismatic presentation and her sense of humour.
The latter came through mainly in the semi finals where she performed a sketch entitled Zotte pot (Crazy dyke), about misconceptions of queer women in the media and everyday life. They are convinced she’ll do a great job improving lesbian visibility in the Netherlands.
What do you think of this initiative? Are you sceptical or do you think we should we have awards like this in other countries as well?
This article was first published on eurOut.