Frequently asked
questions

Youth, education

I want to interview someone for my study/work paper.

We unfortunately have limited capacity to help scholars and students. Scholars and college students email [email protected] and college/university students email [email protected]. Remember to include your phone number.

I would like to come out of the closet at my school. Do you guys have any advice?

Through COC Switchboard we are happy to help you, there you can get in touch with volunteers who will think with you. For other tips you can always take a look here: https://www.gsanetwerk.nl/

I am a Diversity & Inclusion officer at an educational institution. How can you help me?

There are several ways to do that! Contact us at [email protected] and we'll think with you.

I am a school leader/director at an elementary school. How can we participate in PV?

How nice of you to join us! You can order a kit at www.paarsevrijdag.nl.

I am an elementary school teacher and would like to know what I can do.

What good. Please contact [email protected] and we'll be happy to help.

I am a parent/guardian and my child attends an elementary school. Can our school also participate in Purple Friday?

Contact [email protected] and we'll help you out!

I am an elementary school teacher and I get questions from parents about Purple Friday. Can you help me?

Of course! Please contact us at [email protected]

50-plussers

Do I have to be 50+ to become an ambassador?

No, nor do you have to be an lhbti+ person. Of course, it is important if you have an affinity for the subject.

I would like to organize an information session at my healthcare facility. How can I do that?

Pink50+ ambassadors are experienced educators and would be happy to provide education or training at your healthcare facility to employees or clients. Please contact [email protected] for an appointment.

I would like to organize a class for care and welfare students about lhbti+ older people, can you help with this?

Our Pink 50+ ambassadors are happy to provide a guest lesson to students about lhbti+ elderly and lhbti friendly working in care and welfare. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

I am looking for lhbti+ elders for my research as a student, can you help me get contacts?

We can post a call for you on social media, contact [email protected] to do so.

What exactly does it entail to be a Pink 50+ ambassador?

The Roze 50+ ambassador network is a diverse network of about 80-100 volunteers. This network is facilitated by the Pink 50+ Foundation and is the core of our work and commitment to lhbti+ seniors. The ambassadors are the "eyes and ears" of Roze 50+ and they represent the constituency of lhbti+ seniors in the Netherlands. They work on a local, regeional and national level and have a signal function when it comes to lhbti+ seniors. They represent the interests of lhbti+ 50+ with policy makers and institutions, organize activities and offer a listening ear. Would you like to be part of this network, request an information package via [email protected]

How do I apply for a Pink Carpet certificate?

Read the information at www.rozezorg.nl and sign up on the website. We will then contact you.

I would like to organize something for Pink 50+ people. Can I get your help with that?

Yes, we would love to hear about your initiative at [email protected] and support where possible. For example, by putting you in touch with the ambassador in your region.

I have come out of the closet as a person over 50. How do I talk about it with those around me?

Coming out of the closet later in life can be a profound event for yourself and those around you. Talking about it with people who have been through the same thing can help. Volunteers from Switchboard offer a listening ear and you can meet like-minded people in the Roze 50+ groups we organize: www.roze50plus.nl.

You can also meet people who identify with your situation at https://orpheusnederland.nl/

International

I know of a foreign organization that could really use your support. How can I reach you?

COC depends on funding through programs to support human rights activists and organizations. Funders often have specific requirements regarding the subject matter of the programs, the types of organizations and the countries in which they operate. For security reasons, we cannot share which countries we can or cannot support. In short: we provide customized support. Please feel free to contact [email protected], and we can answer your question further.

How exactly do you cooperate with the Dutch government?

The Dutch government is an important ally of COC International to improve the situation of lhbti+ persons worldwide. The Dutch government raises the human rights of lhbti+ in international and bilateral contacts. COC receives financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement international programs. In specific cases, we also work closely with Dutch embassies in the countries where we work.

I know someone who is considering applying for asylum in the Netherlands, because they can no longer live safely in the country where they are now staying. How can COC support this?

A recognizable situation we see among many activists. Unfortunately, COC cannot play a role in the asylum process of individual lhbti+ persons. You could take a look at cocktailonline.co.uk, or with COC Switchboard to share your story.

I would like to work for you internationally. How can I do that?

By supporting financially with a donation! Our donation page can be found here.

Culture & Faith

I don't know any other lhbti+ persons with the same cultural and/or religious background as me, can you put me in touch with them?

Due to privacy reasons, we cannot put you in direct contact with other lhbti+ persons of the same cultural and/or religious background. However, we can recommend a number of working-meeting groups! They regularly organize activities where you can get in touch with lhbti+ persons who have similar experiences. You can contact the following projects or organizations for this purpose:

  • Caribbean Queer Salon
  • Cocktail
  • Colored Qollective
  • LGBT Asylum Support
  • Man.ish Cave
  • Maruf Foundation
  • Papaya Kuir
  • Sehaq
  • Mikal Haman Foundation (formerly Survibes)
  • The Hang-Out 070
  • World Cafe

For outside the Amsterdam and Randstad region, we recommend contacting your local COC associations. 

Are there people I can talk to about my situation or to whom COC can refer me?

Yes! To do so, contact Switchboard at www.switchboard.coc.nl. The right place if you are looking for a listening ear. We can also help with referrals to any of the above organizations.

I want to start an initiative for our target group, can COC advise or help me?

We are happy to refer you, for example, to the organizations under the frequently asked question "I don't know any other lhbti+ persons with the same cultural and/or religious background as me, can you put me in touch with them?", or a local COC. These organizations can think along with you in a more focused way and support you.

What exactly is the Respect2Love Empowerment program?

The Respect2Love Empowerment Program is an initiative of COC Netherlands and an important activity of the organization. Finding, coaching and supporting bicultural frontliners is essential to empower and mobilize individuals from the bicultural lhbtqi+ (queer bipoc*) community. With the empowerment program, we hope to make more role models more positively visible and strengthen their influence on the Dutch lhbtqi+ movement.

Where do you organize events and meetings?

Keep an eye on our Instagram and website for any updates.

I am not accepted by my (religious) family members. What can I do?

For questions related to religion, please refer to the following organizations:

Safety

I am a victim of physical violence because of my sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sex characteristics. Can you help me?

First of all, we encourage you to file a tax return! Above you'll find a list of where to go. Should you feel the need to share your experience, we are happy to refer you to Switchboard at www.switchboard.nl.

Workfloor

I would like to donate to the COC, is that possible?

You can. Our donation page can be found here, or contact us with any questions.

I set up a Pride campaign among colleagues and would like to donate the proceeds to COC

How good that you did and want to donate the proceeds. You can contact us, and we will be happy to help you.

What are my company's opportunities for collaboration with COC?

There are many different possibilities. Therefore, in our collaborations, we always provide customized solutions. Contact us, and we will look further together.

Can you help / look into our HR policies?

Good that you are working on this! We are happy to give advice, please feel free to contact us.

We donated to COC, can we mention that in our external/internal communications?

Yes you may, but please let us know in advance at [email protected]. That way we can coordinate any communication.

We are looking for a speaker for an event, can you help?

Good that you are paying attention to topics related to the lhbti+ community. Please contact us at [email protected] and we will help you out.

I feel discriminated against at work

That's not the point. Here find more information on what you can do in such a case, or contact us at [email protected] and we will help you further.

My company operates internationally, is COC still a suitable partner?

Yes! We also work internationally. Please contact us at [email protected] to look at the possibilities.

We are mapping how we are doing in terms of inclusion and diversity, can you help us?

How good! Please contact us at [email protected], and we can help you further.

I am afraid that my company does not have everything in place enough before I can sit down with you.

We help you take any first steps toward a more inclusive policy. We are there to clear up the initial uncertainties.

General

Is your question not listed?

We are happy to help you! Contact us here.

Will you share my post/call on social media?

We use our Facebook page primarily to inform our followers about news from the COC, our collaborative partners and for current issues. As such, we do not share other messages.

I want to share something fun with you. Is that possible?

You can! We do get a lot of messages through [email protected] and will only respond if your message calls for it. Otherwise, we take your message for notice. Thank you!

I need personal advice or help.

We refer for help to COC's Switchboard, our help and information service for the lhbti+ community. To do so, visit www.switchboard.nl for chat or phone opening hours or email to [email protected]

Do you also raise the Progress flag and why?

We see the Progress flag as an enhancement of the flags that represent the multicolored nature of our community. Rightly, the Progress flag calls extra attention to, for example, black LGBT and queer persons, LGBT persons of color and transgender persons. Because due to a combination of forms of discrimination, they in particular often face disadvantage, even more so than others in our community. Moreover, they make an important contribution to our shared struggle for emancipation. It is beautiful how the Progress flag, with its five new colors in the form of a forward-pointing head of an arrow, puts the focus on progress, inclusion and intersectionality. The world is in constant change, this flag represents that change and the progress we must continue to strive for together.

We also raise the Progress flag. It hangs on our facade almost daily, along with, for example, the intersex flag, the transgender flag, the non-binary, the lesbian and bi+ flag, and the many other flags that represent our multicolored community. We feel it is important to raise the Progress flag because it highlights progress, inclusivity and intersectionality.

Inside-out is an important principle for the COC: communities, activists and individuals themselves determine what is needed for their own emancipation process and which images and symbols go with it. As far as we are concerned, this also applies to the use of flags. We are convinced that flags can and should co-exist. Especially since flags also inspire each other and then in turn lead to new versions in which multiple communities recognize themselves. In line with this, we also see, for example, a further development of the Progress flag to which the symbols of the intersex flag have been added. We think this is a great development and see the task of the COC primarily as making visible the diversity in flags that are important to our community.

You can read more about the use and meaning of the various flags here: https://www.oneworld.nl/lezen/seks-gender/lhbti/wie-bepaalt-welke-pride-vlag-wordt-gehesen/. COC also responded to this and explained our choices in it.

How do you use gender-neutral pronouns in Dutch?

Transgender Network Netherlands has here created a handy overview here.

Where can I order a flag?

This can be done through DVC: part of the proceeds will then go to COC!

COC Membership

I would like to do more than just be a member. What can I do?

How nice! When you join your regional COC, you can also indicate that you want to become a volunteer. If you are already a member and would also like to volunteer, please fill out this form in! Your regional COC will then contact you further. Would you like to donate more? Gladly! You can here.

I would like to contact membership administration.

You can! Just fill in the contact form and we will contact you as soon as possible. Of or call 020-6234596.

I did not receive an email and/or membership card.

Oy, check your spam mail to be sure. Still haven't received anything? Please contact us via the contact form.

Can I also be a member without dues?

Unfortunately, no. We desperately need your contributions, in part to make change still possible. Read especially on the about us page more about who we are and what we do:

What exactly happens to my dues?

COC is committed to serving everyone in the lhbti+ community. With your contribution, you make COC's work possible, regionally, nationally and internationally. Of the regular and reduced rate, COC Netherlands receives 40% and the regional COC association receives 60%.

I would like to cancel my membership.

What a shame! But of course that's always possible. Via the contact form you can pass on your cancellation. If you have any suggestions to improve our work, please mention them in your mail!

How do I download my digital membership card?

Donate

I want to make a monthly fixed donation, how can I do that?

You can do that through the donation module on this website. But for somewhat larger donations, we advise you to enter into a periodic donation agreement, as this will give you a tax advantage. All information about this can be found on this page.

I want to deduct my donation from taxes. Is that possible?

The COC is an organization with ANBI status. This means that we are committed to society as a Public Benefit Institution. Donations to ANBIs are - above a certain threshold - deductible from your income tax. It is also possible to sign a periodic donation agreement with the COC and then no threshold amount applies. You can read here how you can make an advantageous donation to COC.

Is it possible to pay your dues by agreement?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. If you have any questions, you can always email us!

How can I donate as a company?

You can donate here or take here contact us here. You can learn more about our corporate partnerships here.

Can I bequeath (part of) my assets to COC? How do I arrange that?

You can. At this page you will find more information about this, you can also contact us directly at [email protected].

I want to cancel my sponsorship

Of course we are very sorry if you cancel, but you can stop your support of the COC at any time. Just fill out the contact form. If you have any suggestions to make our work better, please mention them!

I want to do a fundraiser because of a special event

Are you celebrating your birthday, getting married or celebrating so many years with your partner and would you like your friends and/or guests to make a donation to the COC on the occasion? Then please contact us. For special occasions, we are happy to create a Tikkie link and QR code for you to use for this purpose. When your fundraiser is over, we'll link you back to what it raised and you can thank the generous donors again.

Become a volunteer

I would like to volunteer for the national COC. Is that even possible?

There are a number of initiatives you can become a volunteer member of at the national level. You can find those below! For the rest, please refer to your local COC, where we can help you further.

Approximately how many hours do I spend volunteering per month?

It depends entirely on you, and how available you can be! A board position quickly requires, say, 4 hours a week. An information officer a few hours per month. A Jong&Out coordinator 4 hours per month. Bar volunteers are often on tap 2 days a week.

Can I apply to volunteer as an organization?

We would like to get in touch with companies that would like to make knowledge and/or time of their employees or facilities available to the lhbti+ community. To do so, please contact [email protected] or your local COC.

Bob Angelo

Can I also get financing for larger projects?

Unfortunately, from the COC and the Bob Angelo Fund, we only support small-scale events, and there is really no room for larger projects. We get a lot of requests, so we ask anyone with larger projects not to message the Bob Angelo Fund. This way we have more attention for the small initiatives! Fortunately, there are many other funds that do support larger lhbti+ initiatives. For example, there is the Trut Fund, PANN Fund and the Blue Fund. But also general funds like the Oranje Fonds, Fonds21 and the VSBfonds are parties that might be interesting for your initiative!

I am not from an organization or foundation, can I also apply for a Bob Angelo Fund?

Yes! You can also apply as an individual without a foundation, association or company. If we approve your application, we can also transfer our contribution to a private account.

Can I make multiple applications per year to the Bob Angelo Fund?

We prefer to support activities once a year per applicant. Our resources are limited, so we don't really give more than one commitment per year. But we sometimes make exceptions. Send us an email, and we can look into it together.

What exactly is the link between the Bob Angelo Fund and COC Netherlands?

The Bob Angelo Fund is a fund managed entirely by COC Netherlands. COC Nederland also makes sure the fund is filled and judges the applications. Everyone is welcome to apply, including non-COC organizations and you do not have to be a member of the COC (but you can!).

I am not getting funding, and would like to know why.

First of all: annoyed that your application was rejected! Unfortunately, we have limited capacity and cannot provide extensive responses to rejections. Usually you will receive a brief explanation of your rejection, and that is all. We do encourage everyone to apply again! The fact that we reject your application does not automatically mean that we think it is a bad idea, but that it may not (yet) fit in well with our fund. Therefore, we advise you to submit your application elsewhere first, or to see how it can fit in more. For example, there is the Trut Fund and the PANN Foundation. But also funds like the Oranje Fonds, Fonds21 and the VSBfonds are parties that might be interesting for your initiative!

I didn't receive funding at first, but modified the initiative. May I resubmit the application?

Yes, you may. However, we would advise you to take a good look at the terms and conditions of our fund before sending in a modified version.

How do I sign someone up for a Bob Angelo Medal?

The board of COC Netherlands chooses the winners of the Bob Angelo Penning. Suggestions are of course always welcome, you can email this to [email protected].