She’s the face of Amsterdam’s Superball, the star and host of the Drag Queen Olympics, and the owner of both Sauna NZ and the infamous Club Church. Jennifer cleared her agenda to speak to us and offer some tips on how to celebrate Pride this year.

Jennifer Hopelezz in a yellow taxi

How can people get into the spirit of Pride at home?

With everything cancelled, the agenda is pretty empty in comparison to usual. Canal Parade and the Drag Queen Olympics are just a couple of popular events not taking place this year, and sadly some people will be missing out on their first Pride. But I say wave your rainbow flag out the window, be outside (safely, of course) and be visible on the streets, especially if the weather is great.

What online events would you recommend joining?

Take a tour through Amsterdam Museum’s collection! Shakespeare Club’s series of virtual tours is where you can learn all about Amsterdam’s fascinating gay history with hosts Xiarella Lewis, Luna Lunettes and me! These online tours are informative and fun.

How will you be celebrating Pride this year?

Dolly Bellefleur photographed by Piek

I’ll definitely be going to Dolly Bellefleur’s LGBTEA Party at The Grand. Dolly’s sharp sense of humour and fabulousness is always a winning combination. And I’ll probably drop into Prik and wander along Reguliersdwarsstraat.

Amsterdam has a vibrant drag scene. Who should we be keeping on eye on?

The future of drag is not so binary. It’s all about gender diversity. I love House of Løstbois, a terrific bunch of cis women and non-binary kings who are all about breaking gender rules, which is what drag is all about. I’m loving that there’s more diversity and that more and more women are getting into drag. It’s exciting.

Do you have any tips for how people can support their local bars and clubs now?

Jennifer Hopelezz in stripes

At risk of sounding like a grandma, my advice is to stick to the rules: disinfect your hands, keep your distance. Stay safe and be respectful.

Do you have a favourite gay venue in Amsterdam?

Of course I have to say my own, Club Church and Sauna NZ. But if I can’t choose them, I’d say De Spijker on Kerkstraat. It’s one of Amsterdam’s traditional bars, attracts a quirky crowd and is a lot of fun.

What's on the rise in Amsterdam's gay community?

Pre COVID-19 Amsterdam’s party scene was exploding. From intimate events to massive parties such as Rapido, Amsterdam’s club life thrives. Milkshake Festival hasn’t been going that long but it already has an incredible reputation. It’s definitely something to be experienced. I’m sure it’ll be back wilder than ever.

Milkshake posters

What can we expect when the much-loved Club Church reopens?

Loud music and crowded spaces will be slow to return so we’ll be opening Club Church cautiously. At first we’ll be open as a bar, playing quiet music. We’ll be as diverse as possible. We’re also reopening Sauna NZ on 1 August. We’re excited about that.

What’s your favourite part of Amsterdam

Noorderpark Cycle Path Koen Smilde

Do you know, I’m really enjoying Amsterdam North. It’s a whole other vibe over there and going from city to countryside is a breeze. Ransdorp is one of my favourite spots. And city-side, Muiderslot is a gem and just an hour bike ride from the centre.

Whats your favourite thing to do in Amsterdam during summer?

Amsterdam’s long summer nights are perfect for sitting back on the city’s terraces. I’d recommend Prik’s terrace. It’s a great spot for a tipple, has a great vibe and is a fun place to hang out.

Whats your favourite day trip outside of Amsterdam? 

I’d have to say Rotterdam. It’s all about the city’s vibe and edge. It’s a bit rougher, a bit more like Berlin. It’s totally different to Amsterdam. I love its gritty energy and boldness.

Do you have any other suggestions, tips or thoughts to add?

Jennifer Hopelezz by Martijn Gijsbertsen

Holdout, hold on? Things will get back to normal and we’ll all be back to usual. Life will be back to its old vibrant self soon. I guess we just have to be patient in the meantime.

Find out how to celebrate Pride this year.