‘It was a double life. During the week I went to school and did what I was supposed to do. In the weekends I would put on tight-fitting jeans, escape my parents’ house, and immerse myself in the Amsterdam gay scene. I was looking for love and intimacy, but I did not find it.
I had a secret fantasy about big, bearded men who would take me into their arms, hug me, and just love me for who I am. The type of guys who don’t give a shit about what others think of them. Men who march to the beat of their own drum.
A beard comes from the inside and unapologetically manifests itself on the outside. Having a beard and being with other bearded guys is like being naked together: you show yourself to each other in all honesty and vulnerability. For me, this is the ultimate intimacy.
‘I had a secret fantasy about big, bearded men who would take me into their arms, hug me, and just love me for who I am’
Many queer adolescents create fantasy worlds that function as an escape from reality. Music has always been my way to survive. At an early age, I started creating a universe of sounds and images. After high school I tried to work my way up as a DJ. Producers recognised my talent, but they told me time and again that my music was too diverse. I was composing all these different types of music to please the listener, instead of just showing myself.
Gradually I learned to give up the thing my father taught me over and over: that I had to be perfect. I started expressing what I felt. It worked, and I got asked to DJ in many beautiful places around the world.
A few years ago, I moved to Berlin to be with the man I love. Back in Amsterdam, I ended up being well known. Here in Berlin I have to start over. I like that. I don’t need anyone’s validation anymore. I’m just happy when someone tells me I touched his heart.’