There’s a good reason why straight men in the Netherlands are holding hands

Last Sunday, a gay couple was assaulted by a group of men who allegedly took issue with the fact that they were holding hands. As a way to signal solidarity with the Dutch LGBTQ community, journalist @barbarabarend suggested men of the Netherlands walk hand-in-hand (#allemannenhandinhand), and the movement even reached high political office.

High-ranking Dutch politicians were photographed holding hands earlier this week as they arrived at The Hague for negotiations on the formation of a new cabinet.

Alexander Pechtold, leader of liberal-democratic party D66, and party member Wouter Koolmees were taking part in show of solidarity following a brutal assault on a gay couple that took place in Arnhem over the weekend.

Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Verne had been holding hands when they were set on by a group of youths in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mr Vernes-Sewratan told NOS: “‘We don’t usually do that, holding hands in public, for the very reason that we don’t want to provoke people. But we’d had a nice evening, it was late and we thought we were alone.

“And then suddenly there was a group of six to eight Moroccan youths. Before I knew it I was on the ground fighting with three men on top of me.”

The attack has prompted outrage across the Netherlands, and numerous men have taken up a suggestion by journalist Barbara Berend for men to hold hands to demonstrate solidarity with the victims of homophobic violence.

Images of men holding hands have been appearing on social media with the hashtag #allemannenhandinhand

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