Sunderland first UK city to host Amsterdam Rainbow Dress at LGBTQ+ conference

The Amsterdam Rainbow dressed is being displayed in Sunderland. Credit: Arnout van Krimpen

A rainbow dress highlighting homophobic legislation will be displayed in the UK for the first time in Sunderland.

The Amsterdam Rainbow Dress will be on show as part of an international LGBTQIA+ conference at the University of Sunderland this week.

Made up of 68 nations where homosexuality is illegal, the dress has already been photographed across the globe in locations like San Francisco, Madrid and Seoul and is a visual representation of scale of homophobic legislation worldwide.

When a country adopts LGBTQ+ inclusive policies, the respective flag is replaced with a rainbow.

The dress, which has a 16 metre diameter, will be unveiled to support the launch of the first International LGBTQIA+ Community Conference on 22 June, addressing the rights of sexual and gender minorities.

The Safer To Be Me Symposium will take place at Sunderland University's City Campus in partnership with Human rights charity ReportOUT.

Visitors able to view the dress at a drinks reception at the National Glass Centre.

The Amsterdam Rainbow Dress has been pictured all over the world. Credit: Casandra Hannagan

Arnout van Krimpen, director of the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress Foundation, said: “During my travels with the Amsterdam Rainbow Dress over the past seven years, it has become clear that art is a very suitable medium to make people think and to talk about LGBTQ+ rights and emancipation.

“We attract attention with a beautiful object and thus lower the threshold to the less beautiful story behind the object.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...