Flikker mee of Flikker op

‘Flikker’ means ‘faggot’, used as a badge of honour. The text literally means ‘Join us faggots or fuck off’.

1975 to 1980

The Rooie Flikkers (Red Faggots) was an action group that started in Nijmegen and ended in Amsterdam. They called themselves ‘Red’ because the left wing ought to deal with its homophobia; they were ‘Faggots’ to make clear they did the deed. The pink triangle was their symbol. That triangle was worn by homosexuals between 1933 and 1945 in the Nazi camps. The Dutch word ‘flikker’ was catchy, too.

The actions started in 1975 in Nijmegen and ended in 1980, with the group’s dissolution during a festival in Amsterdam. The actions and discussions about social disadvantage and denial repeatedly hit a nerve and encouraged thought about one’s personal role and desires in relationships. The Red Faggots used bad travesty as a means for action. They emphasised that men’s and women’s roles are mere social conventions that you can change yourself.

The action group mainly consisted of students. By setting up their own field of study, copied from women’s studies and black studies, they sought to change the negative attitude within science regarding homosexuality. In cooperation with activist lesbians, they set up lesbian and gay studies at the University of Amsterdam. This name later changed into Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Beside gay studies, from the Red Faggots also emerged a punk band (Tedje and the Red Faggots), a musical theatre group (The Softies) and several film festivals. Members of the group remained active after its dissolution.

Text: Martien Sleutjes