At EuroPride in Amsterdam this weekend, 26-year-old transgender model Valentijn de Hingh modeled a dress made from the flags of 72 countries where homosexuality is illegal — in 12 of the countries, homosexuality is punishable by death. Even though the countries specifically target homosexuals, their anti-gay laws often apply to bisexuals and transgender people as well.
Photographer Pieter Henket shared an image of de Hingh in the dress on his Instagram, explaining that a Dutch LGBT organization (known as the COC) created the dress with the help of fashion designer Matthijs van Bergen and artist Oeri van Woezik; van Bergen is openly gay.
During the opening walk of euro pride in Amsterdam 2 weeks ago, 72 flags of 72 different countries where homosexuality is against the law were present, in 12 of these countries you still get the death penalty for being gay. the COC (Dutch organization for LGBT men and women) collected these flags and together with Fashion designer Matthijs van Bergen and artist Oeri van Woezik they decided to make these flags into a giant rainbow dress. That’s when the idea started. I then was asked to come on board to create a image. And where best to do that then in front of one of the most beautiful paintings in the world “the night watch” by Rembrandt in “Het Rijksmuseum” Roger and I decided Monday morning to fly out that same night to holland to do this project that in many ways is very close to our harts. Everyone spend a crazy 4 days of pre and post production but we did it and we delivered. I am more then proud to present the beautiful Valentijn de Hingh in the Rainbow dress in the Honor gallery of “Het Rijksmuseum” Thank you Arnoud van Krimpen, Jochem Kaan and everyone that made this all possible in such a short period of time. Thank you Happy pride everyone! Let there be Love! #rijksmuseum #nachtwacht #nightwatch #coc #valentijndehingh #pieterhenket
de Hingh is the first trans model ever to have been represented by the international modeling agency IMG Models (though she might be interested to know about Thailand’s trans-only modeling agency or Tracey Norman, one of the first trans models in America). She is also EuroPride’s first-ever transgender ambassador; EuroPride is a pan-European LGBT celebration held in a different European city each year.
On her Instagram, de Hingh said, “Every country that changes its [anti-LGBT] legislation will have its flag replaced by a rainbow flag. Let’s hope this dress will represent a patchwork of rainbows sooner rather than later.”