Interview with Henk Krol (Gay Krant editor in chief)
By: Marthijn Uittenbogaard & Jeroen Maaskant
Marthijn Uittenbogaard (MU) and Jeroen Maaskant (JM) moved to Best to interview Mr. Henk Krol, Gay Krant (krant = paper) editor in chief, in the small Gay Krant office. The questions asked to him were, amongst others, related to the sexual condition concerning homosexuality, and of course pedosexuality, in the Netherlands. Henk Krol, who is regarded a bourgeois conventional homo by a number of homosexuals, frankly tells what he thinks about this and that. A lot of faultfinders really could use this frankness as a model.
MU: Recently, you reported that from an inquiry among Gay Krant readers it appeared that the tolerance towards homosexuals is decreasing again. What could be the cause of this in your opinion?
HK: Whether it is decreasing among homosexuals, I don't know, of course. Anyhow, it is decreasing among the Gay Krant readers. I really need to make this limitation. Well, it is very fascinating what could be the cause of it. After all, society is a bit on its way back as it comes to all kinds of immaterial matters. In the Seventies, the Eighties, there was an upward trend, and now we see a downward trend as it comes to emancipation issues. Partly, this is related to religion. In the early days, homosexuality and a number of other things were very taboo, thanks to the Catholic and Protestant churches in Holland. Now you have this certain Islamic movements growing stronger and stronger. And fortunately, not all of them, this is a very subtle matter. But there are people who find our Dutch views hard to take. Another reason is that many of our parents grew up in a period that homosexuality was totally taboo, and they lived to see that is was regarded more and more normal. And they themselves started to regard it more and more normal too. I think, that if you look at this in relation to your own parents, then you might need to establish that, when you were very small, that they did not talk so nicely about homosexuals at all, and that, gradually, they started to think about it in a more modern way after all. And they found this so obvious that the generation of our parents, and our own generation too, do not pass it so easily to their children. After all, tolerance is something which is not obvious and something you should teach your children too; which you should make debatable. So, far more attention should be paid in education to tolerance and to homosexuality and not only during sexual education. If there are mathematical examples during algebra, then it would be nice if Mary did not always go to the market with Nicolas, but if Mary would go to the market with Janet for once and maybe Peter with John for once. This sort of examples just does not occur during common lessons. The French lesson also starts with "Papa fume une pipe et maman est dans la cuisine". I think this example can be quite different these days.
JM: As far as that is concerned, the days of the booklets Vies is lekker (*1) are far behind us.
HK: Yes, as far as that is concerned, we need to take very good care that we are not on the way back and that we all need to be watchful. I also mean, but undoubtedly we will come back to this presently; the pulling up of all kinds of age limits is a bit contrary to how society is put together.
MU: Isn't it better to not consider homos a homogeneous group? Now it is so that in the case of criticism of a gay parade, even homos agree with this criticism, because the gay image might become too negative. If heteros receive criticism, all heteros are never being involved.
HK: Short answer: I agree.
JM: You are often invited as a spokesman of the homos in cases like inconvenience by a job. It is more or less expected then that you have some influence on that.
HK: When I am being invited, I always call out, "I am not a spokesman of", because I have not been assigned so by nobody. At the very most I can tell what reactions we receive at the Gay Krant. And then most of the time I try to do it so subtly that I say something like, well, there are people who think about it like this and people who think about it like this and people who think about it like this. And some editor takes out the sentence which he finds important and writes it down and then it looks like you should express the gay people's opinion. That is utter nonsense, of course.
MU: I've got a long quote and it's from ZIZO (1994; edition 7); it is a Belgian magazine for homosexual, lesbian and bisexual people. And the question is what you think about the quote. (The person of the quote did not want to be mentioned.)
|"Those who demand the right for a more free perception of sexuality (therefore, not responding to the family standards), should be split up into several groups, e.g. the pedos, the group of homos who want to experience promiscuous sex, the group of homos who want to imitate the family standard, all kinds of heterosexual groups who do not follow the strict family standard, like married people living together and single-parent families. After that, the weakest group can be assaulted, while the other groups are being appeased by promises, so that they won't declare their solidarity with the assaulted group. When the weakest group will have been eliminated, the assault against the next group can be started. We are not only talking about a possible scenario here. Now already, it can be demonstrated that these domino tactics are being applied."|
What do you think of this quote?
HK: I think it is a nice description what dangers are threatening us. I think it is a nice quote.
MU: And you think that he was right after all?
HK: Well, look, I mean; the question with a quote like that is, whom does it concern? For whom does it apply? It does not apply for everyone, of course. But the government rather quickly tends, and people too; they quickly tend to appoint scapegoats and you always need to be very careful with that.
MU: Is the attention for sexual variants at schools as it should be?
HK: No, as I said before, much too little attention is being paid to it. And it counts here too, that, under the influence of other cultures, teachers find it more and more difficult to talk about sex at schools. There are parents who keep their children at home then. We used to have this in Staphorst (a very conservative Dutch town. Transl.), but we have it in the center of Amsterdam too now. I find this very dangerous. I think that the government has a task here too. That when all of us will be proud of our society, which is not perfect by far and which is wrong in many, many ways, but if you compare it to a lot of other societies elsewhere in the world, then we must conclude that we are rather on the good side of the line. When we will be proud of this and want to keep it this way, then more attention will be needed, especially to education and to the teachers' responsibility.
MU: Do you think that the discrimination by society of people with a pedophile preference affects the discrimination of homos? Under the pretext of: if you are allowed to discriminate one group considerably, then why not the other one.
HK: Yes, but it is like that. I mean, the French word for "homo" is "pedo". And to a lot of people they're all birds of a feather. I do not say that I am happy with that, do I? But you ask me, "Do you think that it affects society?" Yes, it does, and I think it is quite a pity that it is so. I cannot deny that it is so.
MU: In the early days, the Zangeres Zonder Naam (= Singer Without A Name, a Dutch sentimental female singer, who died in 1998. Transl.) recorded the song "Luister Anita" (= "Listen Anita" (Bryant)) to combat gay discrimination. What would you think if the Zangeres Zonder Naam, were she still alive, would make a similar song, but now to stop the pedo intolerance?
HK: Well, I really don't have an opinion about that. Hello, the number of songs there are internationally, in which is being sung about the love between an older and a younger person; there are thousands of them. Then the song "Luister Anita" in which is being sung about this theme, is minimal. "You only were so young"...
JM: "You're too young", "Het werd zomer" (= "The Summer Came").
HK: "Het werd zomer". Very, very beautiful. But did you know that it is a homosexual song? Everybody thinks that it is about a hetero relationship, but it is about a gay relationship, therefore between an older person and a younger person. It was written by Joost Nuissl, now managing director of the Kleine Komedie (= Little Comedy, a theatre) in Amsterdam. Openly homosexual; wrote this song about two boys and Rob de Nijs recorded it too, knowing that it is about two boys and he was proud as a peacock that he sang a gay song; that nobody but the two of them understood that it was a gay song. But just listen; you can read through all of the lyrics and listen again and then you will notice that it says nowhere that it is about a girl. "You did not wear anything but your long blond hair", the oldest of the two. But he was a man. It says nowhere that it is about a woman, I like that so much. A very beautiful song.
MU: How do you define pedophilia and pedosexuality?
HK: That does not matter; how I define them.
MU: From what age can be spoken of pedophilia?
HK: Oh, no. From what age can we be spoken of pedophilia? I don't know. I really don't know.
MU: You don't find it so important, these definitions?
HK: No, because then you will have borderline cases and then you will need to discuss about them.
MU: Well, in the early days people said about pedophilia; it's men who fancy prepubescent children. So, it is relations between prepubescent children and adults. And now people talk of pedophilia in relation to everything under the age of sixteen or eighteen.
HK: A strict age limit like that I find; a legislator handles something in a way like that, but of course it is an absolutely fictitious limit, because one person of sixteen is very different from another person of sixteen. And I meet people every now and then who are in their early forties of whom I think like, they have the mental power of a twelve-year-old. Age is only such a relative concept.
JM: And I think that Gay Krant readers really could be efebophiles too, that therefore they might fancy adolescent boys as well.
HK: Yes, I think so too. Of course there is a complete pollution of ideas about the concept pedosexual, because take a man like Fons S., who was referred to as a pedosexual. And he absolutely is not. He does fancy young boys, young boys are always a bit more attractive to look at than old geezers anyway, of course. There are only very few people who fancy old geezers. Fons S. fancied adult boys and every now and then he met someone who evidently was just under the age limit then, but who certainly; because he fancied boys of Moroccan origin; well, they can look very grown-up at that age. So, I think it is perilous when in the press people like Fons S. (*2) are depicted as pedophiles, because he is not like that, according to me.
JM: No, but it does happen. Some pigeon-hole is being...
HK: Come on, fine, we've got a pigeon-hole, I am against that.
MU: A question I ask on behalf of Frits Bernard: Do you think that pedophilia is part of homosexuality or do you consider it a different category? Where do you draw the age limit?
HK: I'm not drawing age limits; that's impossible. You cannot say that. I wish you could say that. I think it is so nice that in some Asiatic countries you are allowed to have sex with someone as soon as the other one's got pubic hair. I think pubic hair (*3) is such a crazy word. Why schaamhaar, but alright. As soon as the genitals show hair, then they say you are allowed to have sex with it, provided that both parties agree with it. It is really a much funnier way to deal with it, of course, than saying: one day it was not permitted and the next day it is. That is peculiar. But the question was is it part of it. Well, we have got homosexual pedosexuals, of course, and heterosexual pedosexuals. But one thing does not say anything about another. One of the two is about a preference to someone who is younger. And how much younger, that just does not interest me. And the other thing does not have this.
JM: What I understand from Frits Bernard's question; pedophilia, it is always being classified under the paraphilies, while homosexuality is just a variant now. HK: Yes, but I only make one distinction: voluntary, not voluntary. That is the only distinction. And that goes for homosexuality, for pedosexuality, for heterosexuality. If something happens on a voluntary basis, then I won't have any problem. If one of the two has to do something under pressure, I am against compulsion. This is the only thing that counts for me. And I think the rest are all absolutely artificial limits.
MU: Do you think that homosexuality and pedosexuality are innate?
HK: I suspect they are. But I am not going to lose any sleep over that either. Why should I care if the feelings I have are innate or acquired? What does matter to me is whether I feel fine with it and can I live with it and don't I cause anyone harm by it. And for the rest, whether it is in my genes or it has been given to me by the Creator or it came naturally to me. It is a fact that I love oysters and I'm not gonna ask myself whether this is innate, I think this is all such nonsense. One person loves oysters and another does not, I suppose it is so. I am only going to lose sleep by seeing people in medical industries busy inventing all kinds of remedies for it.
MU: But this danger exists for homosexuality in the early days and may still exist now in some countries, but the danger does exist if the Western world sees pedos as a problem. That they especially want to know how do you become like that.
HK: "Because it is so nice to do something about it". Well, that's why I have something like, let's deal with this question as little as possible, because there is no need to do so.
JM: From what age, do you think, can a boy have an orgasm?
HK: Oh, I know that is quite different. It can happen at a very young age and to other people it happens at a much older age. I have been at a boarding school for boys and one boy had orgasms before he went to the boarding school and another boy, he discovered it only while he was already at the boarding school. It seems to me there is a considerable difference in that.
MU: Children have to go to school, have to do the dishes and have to do a lot of other things. If the theme is learning and obeying to become a good citizen in the capitalistic society, much pressure is permitted. Exactly the people who want to give more liberties to children, a.o. in the sexual sphere, are being blast by that. What do you think of this theory? Do you think there is something of a truth in it?
HK: Yes, I fall silent here for a moment.
MU: Well, schools; is very much based on work, income. You need to learn that. But you can say it is not particularly based on happiness in life. HK: Yes, schools are hardly based on that and unfortunately, a lot of parents too.
MU: If only it is in favor of society; finance, capitalism, then it's alright and people who are trying to keep children a bit away from this or say a bit like you can look at it this way too. This is a bit my theory, that the reason why people are so afraid of pedos is that they can give children quite a different point of view and many ways of thinking.
HK: I am not someone who thinks in a pigeon-hole way, so to me it is terribly difficult to agree with this train of thought. I am the favorite uncle of a lot of small children. I have it about me. To most children my voice works in a way that they want to sit on my lap immediately. There is no such thing as nice to me as taking children to Disneyland or to the Efteling. I've got nothing to do with Disneyland and I've got nothing to do with Goofy and Donald Duck. But to go there with children and see children enjoy it so intensely. I am not looking at these Disney characters for one moment. I look at these children's faces constantly and I find it marvelous!
JM: The satisfaction it gives to see the other enjoy himself.
HK: Ah, that is completely terrific and I have a fantastic day then. And at the end of the day I am so glad that I can give these "bloody kids" back to their parents *laughs*, that I've got rid of them. In the early days I always liked to have children myself very much and to raise children myself. And I am so glad that I don't do that, because I think that I; a good friend of us just had a baby and I am more nervous than Mom and Dad, when they are in our house. Because, if the child is creeping in some direction then; oh, be careful that he does not fall into the pond and watch it, there's a grid, he could hurt himself. But these parents they say, hey you, just be calm. I think I am not good with children, exactly because I am too careful and too considerate. But unfortunately, I cannot answer this question.
JM: As for this question of a minute ago; in the early days there was the free school and parents who sent children to it, in general they were somewhat more libertarian. And they thought that children should have the space to discover all kinds of things themselves.
HK: But is this also the group which has most difficulty with pedophilia? I come from such an environment, you see, and to us it was not really...
MU: I have the idea that now everyone has much difficulty with it. That in the early days there really were broad-minded families. Maybe they still exist, people who think somewhat more liberally (*4), but maybe they do not dare express it.
HK: Of course this has also got to do with the spirit of the times. Once again, I dare not draw an age limit.
MU: Many, many people regard sexuality as something for grown-ups. And grown-ups have all kinds of worries which children do not have. And they have something like, let children be children and if they have sex it is not a piece of cake. And there is a case for this, because we really make a lot of fuss about sexuality.
HK: Yes, I really don't know how you should arrange this properly. As it comes to this, I also take a look at certain customs in Eastern countries and what I found very funny is that in certain areas in Thailand, sex is already permitted at a very young age, provided that it happens with someone of the same age. And they reason there that as a child grows older, this limit may broaden. So, a child of. How old is a child when it has its first sexual needs? Five, six? At a very young age already, at nursery school. So, a child of five who has sex with a child of six: fantastic. And a child of six who has sex with a seven or eight-year-old: fine. A child of seven who has sex with a child of eight, nine, ten: good. You understand? This limit will be broadened everytime that the child grows older. I do not say that this is an ideal solution, but I think it has been invented creatively. It has not been thought of that Western-like as what we think.
MU: Lately, I read on the internet like, I am more afraid of a child with someone of twenty years old than with someone of fifty years old. Because with someone aged fifty it will never go that far, it is more platonic and a bit of caressing. At least, that was the thought behind it. And someone aged twenty, he may think I've gotta fuck at any price.
HK: Yes, I don't know that. I think it's also like putting in some pigeon-hole. One person of twenty may be much sweeter than this other one of fifty and vice versa. I dare not say so. Maybe it will occur a little sooner with one person than with the other. I don't know the first thing about it. But what counts to me is that it happens on a voluntary basis. That is the only thing that counts to me and I have no further restrictions.
MU: Personally, I think that, on average, women are sexually more in the closet than men. You can agree with me or disagree with me on that. According to me, this is a result of the fact that they have been (sexually) suppressed for years. Thanks to feminism, they are very well represented now in the media, politics and the gay movement. The result of this is a decline in certain sexual liberties. This will only change when women become sexually more free and won't avoid all discussions about pedophilia with unscientific slogans like harmfulness. How do you see this? *Silence*. So, my argument is that, on average, women are more in the closet, especially the somewhat older ones. Because as for the younger ones I have the idea that this difference is gone.
HK: Yes, it is quite better than was expected. My friend has a hairdresser's where he cuts 80 percent women and when I hear these stories which he brings home what women are talking about in the chair, then I think most men don't talk that openly about sex. Women talk a lot easier about sex than men. Certainly when you are talking about heterosexual women and heterosexual men. Women, certainly to their hairdressers, tell stories of which I think like, well, I would have difficulty with this even as a homo to; and, after all, homos in general are somewhat easier in what they tell than heteros. Even I would have difficulty with that. But maybe my friend only cuts very modern young women. But older women, I think that they had got to do with this partly. According to me, it is changing quite a lot there. But, then again, not for women from different cultures. Fortunately, it really does for a number of them, but unfortunately, not for all of them. It will be somewhat harder there.
MU: Are people, in general, afraid of their own sexual fantasies?
HK: Yes. Many, many are.
MU: And is this a responsibility of education?
HK: I don't know if this is a responsibility of education. These are very personal matters, of course. So, I don't know if they belong in education.
MU: Yes, it's not that you're gonna discuss these fantasies there, but that you learn that it is normal to have fantasies.
HK: Yes, I really think that this is a responsibility of education, but it would be very good indeed, if people could talk somewhat more about their sexual fantasies, with anyone. But I think that he internet has a whole lot of possibilities for that. People dare much more there than just in the consulting room in the hospital, don't they, and than with each other at work in the canteen. Maybe that the internet could bring some solutions for that in future; people have very far-reaching sexual fantasies which they often do not even discuss with steady partners.
MU: Is it good that during the last few years the Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday, Dutch Gay Pride) has refused to let MARTIJN Association participate? HK: Everytime I am in a terrible dilemma then. I don't know. I must tell you honestly, suppose that the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Plattelandsvrouwen (Dutch Association For Rural Women) would like to join the Roze Zaterdag. Would you refuse them then? I don't think so. I think that you would say, ah well, if they want to stand there, let them do that. As it comes to that, if an association like MARTIJN says I would like to be there; as long as you do not do anything that is legally forbidden, then I see no reason to refuse you anywhere. I mean, why do I have this conversation with you guys.
MU: But personally, I was really surprised about your saying yes.
HK: Why would I say no. I mean, I would not want to cooperate with something that is illegal.
MU: Well, the result is, of course, that many, many people will blame you anyway, if you enter into a discussion with someone who belongs to us.
HK: I find this narrow-minded and stupid. It's easy for me to talk though, because I don't know the feelings of you people. That's why I would like to talk with you not in an interview, but just in private, because then I could ask you questions too. I do not have pedosexual feelings. I don't have them. But there's a lot I don't have. But I am very, very interested how it is like that, and how you handle it. And what you will and do not allow yourself. I myself have different things which you undoubtedly will not have. It is very funny to learn something from each other there, but at the moment I'm having an interview. But to return to your question: therefore, I would not like to exclude people from something. Look, by making hoo-ha of it; by letting it be an issue; by making it appear every year on the ANP (Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau = Dutch Press Agency); then it will become a topic.
MU: But do you think it is dangerous too that pedophiles have no role models at all? A pedophile may easily slide into a child rapist, because he may think like it's just the way I am.
HK: He really has role models. Someone like Brongersma (Dr. Edward Brongersma, boylover and senator, who wrote some scientific books about pedosexuality and child sexuality. Transl.) clearly was a model.
MU: But he does not live anymore. A lot of younger pedophiles do not even know him. Boudewijn Büch (boylover, writer) does not live anymore. Actually, there are few to none role models.
HK: Yes, do something about it. That's why I say we are a bit on the way back. Some years ago, there really were people who stuck out their necks; who were visible. Who even came so far that they were in the Eerste Kamer (Dutch House of Lords, senate). Take care to have people within your own group again who can serve as role models; it seems very wise to me.
MU: And then preferably not someone like with Brongersma.
HK: Yes, but the problem is, how many pedophiles are there in the Netherlands?
MU: Yeah, nobody knows.
HK: You cannot fill an Ajax stadium with them, let alone an arena, can you?
MU: Well, I think that there are many, many of them in the Netherlands, but people who admit it to themselves, that there are much less of them.
HK: Okay, but; there's not so many of them. First you need to start admitting it to yourself, before you can grow into a model for others anyway. So, your choice to find a number of them really seems complicated to me anyway, but still I would take pains over it anyhow if I were in your little club. But, once again, it's easy for me to talk.
MU: Yes, but how do you mean take pains over it? There are people active on the internet and there is always someone to be found who dares appear on TV or something like that, but there is hardly any news item to be found which will allow someone who has a different opinion finish speaking. That's the problem of the past ten years.
HK: You can turn it around as well. If someone from a group has a social position as a result of which he gets up to speak in his capacity of this social position.
MU: But I fear that this social position will belong to the past at once then.
HK: No, that was not the case with Brongersma either.
MU: But if you would say nowadays like I am a pedo and I am in the senate; at the next elections you will have no chance of being elected. HK: That is; yeah, that is inconvenient. I mean, it would not count for me, I think. You should judge someone at work what he does and doesn't and not for his sexual inclination. If a pedosexual forces a child to do something it does not want, then this pedosexual is quite on the wrong track, as far as I am concerned. But as I don't want to be judged for my homosexuality, I don't want to judge another man for his pedosexual feelings. What counts to me is what you're doing and whether you are doing punishable things and whether you're doing things that are not permitted. Punishable is an elastic concept too, because maybe we all together made things punishable which we should look at very, very close one more time. So, this is a somewhat more subtle thing.
JM: In practice, it happens that people who are in the news because of a trial in connection to a pedophile relationship; then they are suspended from the training they do, for instance; they get problems with their jobs; they can be fired.
MU: But still they are the people who have broken the law. But if you did not break the law, you will often be in problems too.
HK: Yes, if you have broken the law, then you have broken the law. But if you did not break the law, you will often be in problems too. And if you think that this law is not good, then we all have to do something to change this law. But somebody who says about himself I have pedosexual feelings; I can blame nobody for that. I really don't want to blame anybody for that, because it is in you. It is a part of you, so be it.
MU: Now a question about the Gay Krant. Actually, the Gay Krant has avoided the topic of pedophilia for many years, and recently, some attention is being paid again to, for instance, Michael Jackson and Boudewijn Büch. While, well, Michael Jackson, does he fancy men? He is suspected of having a crush on boys. But isn't that a bit of a veiled way to pay attention to it anyway without calling a spade a spade?
HK: I am not a pigeon-hole man. It does not interest me whether Michael Jackson calls himself gay, pedosexual or asexual. As for Michael Jackson, I don't know at all how he calls himself.
MU: He really seems to be sexless.
HK: If he really were sexless, he would not have any problems; so, that is not true.
MU: No, but as if he wants to be asexual.
HK: Yes, he probably wants to be that. Of course he is not; that is clear. Today he is even big on our website, because next Monday he will appear in court in person, nobody had expected that. Is really fascinating in itself, of course. Then I consider the fact that somebody who is in such a suspect's nook and who decides not to hide himself and to come, news. Not that it is about a pedosexual, this whole thing does not interest me.
MU: The MARTIJN Association has drawn up four guidelines which we think pedo relationships should comply to. The question now is what you think of these guidelines. I will name them one by one. "Approval by both the child and the adult".
HK: That is a condition. You could have left out the words "child" and "adult", as far as I am concerned. Two people who have sex with each other need to approve both with it. I don't think in terms like child, woman, man, old, young. Condition for having sex is that both of them approve.
MU: "Openness to the parents of the child". By the way, there really has been some discussion about this guideline within MARTIJN. HK: The first one is clear to me at once. That is as plain as the nose on your face. And then, as far as I am concerned, you may leave the word "child" out emphatically, because it goes for everyone. The second one, openness to the parents. I think that's a difficult one again, because I think then why does it count at a certain age and from what age doesn't it anymore? When does it and when doesn't it? I mean, openness to people is always nice, is always better. The more openness, the better. But is it a condition, is it absolutely necessary?
JM: I myself think that, if you talk about somewhat older children then, they have a right to privacy too. That, as soon as they visit secondary school, then they don't tell everything to their parents anymore, which they used to do. Their first kiss, their first little courting; they are not going to tell that all to their parents.
HK: No, they won't. So, at the moment you say, I demand this openness to the parents, then you are putting yourself already in a worse position. Then you say something like, what I do is actually wrong, because first I need to have discussed it with these parents. I don't know.
JM: Very short through this, for a sec. Do you know Gerard van Emmerik's book Micha's koorts (Micha's Fever)?
HK: No, I don't.
JM: There's the case that a boy gets a relationship with an older man. And his mother finds out. Reacts very frantically at first and goes to the police, but then changes one given moment. By the way, it is set in the Seventies. And approves of it and then she says, oh, you must invite your friend for dinner some time. And that happens, but then, one given moment, after dinner, this boys says something like, "it's broken, everything is broken", because by having come out in the open; by that, their relationship fell apart.
HK: In every relationship it counts that you have a relationship with the one you have a relationship with. I say that there are more heteros than you think who suddenly get peculiar in-laws in addition. What do you need them for? If it is a relationship on a completely voluntary basis, of mutual approval, then to my opinion another person does not necessarily have to do anything with it. If it suits fine and you can be open about it, then there is no reason to; everything you keep silent about, can also work against you; though, about some things you just need to keep silent. I think this is a very difficult point. The second point, that's not clear to me.
MU: "Freedom for the child to withdraw itself from the relation at any random moment".
HK: Yes, of course.
MU: "Harmony with the child's development".
HK: Well, I don't know what harmony with the child's development is.
MU: Well, that you do not do things which are not suitable, for instance you are not going to penetrate a very young child. HK: No, of course not. But, after all, you end up with rule number one again. It is not happening voluntarily after all then. That is clear as it can be. I find these rules really very artificial.
MU: Then we'll go to another subject. Do you see any connection between the unification of Europe, the individualization and the Big Brother society?
HK: I am terrified of this unification of Europe. In my opinion it is not good for anyone at all. Why still call ourselves Dutchmen, if we don't want to be Dutchmen any longer? Let us just become Europeans then. Then we'll need to abolish our Queen and the Lower Chamber too. Then we'll just go and vote all in Brussels, and so on, all of that is okay. I am not an advocate of that. On the contrary, I am glad that I am a Dutchman and that in Holland certain things can happen just a little bit different than in the rest of the world. We should not have handed in this guilder in the first place. I am not a fan of Europe at all. Absolutely not. And what were these two other parts?
MU: That people are going to check each other more and more, because everything is getting bigger and bigger and...
HK: I don't believe in that. As something is getting bigger and bigger, you can go into hiding a lot easier.
MU: But people don't know each other anymore and for that they demand more and more...
HK: In a small district or in a small village you've got more Big Brother than in a large Europe. I don't see the connection between one and the other. But Europe is a specific fear to me.
MU: You used to be an information official of the VVD (right wing political party. Transl.) parliamentary party. Recently, I read that there is no real liberal party in Holland. What is wrong with the VVD, in your opinion?
HK: *Laughs*. Well, there is nothing wrong with the VVD. But I am a liberal to the core. And I think that too many people are members of the VVD for capitalistic, quite different reasons than the ones which only have a little to do with liberalism. My big problem is that many, many people who vote for the VVD have got the foggiest idea of what liberalism means. It is a very fascinating movement. It is very interesting. Unfortunately, it is only granted to few people, because it demands a great deal of self-discipline. You don't leave everything to the government, but you think about something yourself. There are only a bloody few people who have got the power to think about something themselves and to come to a judgement themselves. So, liberalism is granted to few people, unfortunately. I have said once and I still say, how nice it would be if you had a liberal party in Holland, because then I would become a member of it immediately.
MU: Recently, I read in a Gay Krant edition the question if the mere possession of child porn (therefore not people who produce it or deal in it) really should be punished? What do you think?
HK: I'm quite at a loss about that too. I think that children cannot be abused for making child porn.
MU: You think that they always should be protected from the making of child porn till they are eighteen?
HK: No, I say exactly what I say. Don't put different words into my mouth than I speak. I think that children may never be abused. Full stop. I don't know if every shot that is made is abusing children. Alright, so, what are we talking about when we are talking about child porn?
MU: In the present time; do you approve that it is punishable in the present time, in view of people making a fuss about it and...
HK: Now, let me give an answer the way I want to give it myself. You can say it yourself too. Then I'll tell you if I agree, but I will try to say what I think very subtly. Child porn to me is a much too large concept. I don't know what child porn is. There may be shots of children for which absolutely no force has been used and which would be painted as child porn by someone else all the same. How many parents do not film their children when they are bathing and whatever? Well, one person finds them very sweet, cute shots and another will call them child porn. If any shots are being taken of children without any force, it is no problem to me at all. I've been thinking too every now and then; suppose it would be possible, after all we're very advanced with that these days, to make virtual child porn, in which no child will be involved.
MU: It happens more and more often, by the way.
HK: It already happens more often, isn't it? And these techniques, they become more and more refined. To my knowledge this is forbidden too.
MU: No, it isn't.
HK: Isn't it forbidden?
MU: Well, they have made virtual child porn punishable and thus it has come into the paper, but therefore it implies that you are not allowed to manipulate images. For instance, you are not allowed to cut Jantje Smit's (popular Dutch boy singer. Transl.) head (when he evidently had not yet reached the age of eighteen/MU) out of a photograph and stick it in a real porn photo. But when it has been drawn, it is not punishable.
HK: Actually, I think that's tremendous, because then you are not abusing a child and people with certain needs may enjoy this a lot after all.
MU: Opponents say it will provoke them to do it in reality.
HK: If this is really somebody's opinion, then we will have to ban every detective movie and war movie on TV, because they provoke just as well. I don't think so. As far as I know it has not been demonstrated that it is so.
MU: A question I ask on behalf of Frans Gieles: What do you think of the demands of six or eight years of detention under a hospital order with compulsory nursing for image work (possession of child porn) and sometimes indecency too?
HK: To every judgement that I read I often react somehow like, I don't understand anything of that. But I only dare have an opinion about a judgement if I have been present at the trial. If I have heard and seen everything, then I dare make a judgement about it. And I can do nothing with three lines in the paper or the outcome in a small ANP report. I followed the whole matter about S. from A to Z.
MU: Did you know Fons S. already before the case?
HK: No, I don't know him at all. That's why I find it very hard to have a judgement about it, let alone about a case I don't know at all. I think that I am too subtle for that to say something easy about this. There is nothing easy to say about this.
MU: Do you have political ambitions yourself?
HK: No, absolutely not. I worked too long in politics and I know that as an MP how just a little bit of tyre's width you have to do something. Because your topic is presented to you on your plate and that's what you'll have to be concerned with. And if you just say something that has not got anything to do with it, you'll be arguing with your fellow party-members and then you'll be put on the spot by your fellow party-members. I can't bear to think about that.
MU: To found a party yourself which will let your hands untied.
HK: No, I am very happy with my job.
MU: You honored Fortuyn after his death.
HK: He was a striking man. I have been invited just now for the program "The Greatest Dutchman" to give my opinion about Pim Fortuyn. Pim Fortuyn was a remarkable man. Pim Fortuyn might have been our first openly homosexual Prime Minister. That in itself is very special. Pim Fortuyn had a lot of ideas which I did not agree with, but I had a lot of fun with this man. We knew each other very well. He also called me very often. When a new Gay Krant had fallen into his letterbox, he was hanging on the telephone and said, Hey, Krol with your shitty little paper, what have I read just now from you?; I can't help laughing a lot about this man. I found him a very roguish, crazy man. He had a number of ideas of which I thought, boy, you're totally wrong with that, but, well, I knew him well, so when he had died; after all, someone drops from your circle of acquantances. But no, honored.
MU: Did he ask you for his list of candidates?
HK: Yes, he did. He asked everyone around him.
MU: The Minister of Sexuality?
HK: No, he did not ask that. Everyone he knew, he...
MU: But almost everyone said no?
HK: I don't know that. There were many, many who said yes. But I could not even manage. I've got a paper to run. I like to keep doing this very much. Suppose I would leave here, then we'll really have a big problem. I don't want that.
MU: The APA (American Psychological Association) announced the following about pedophile contacts on the internet, during their annual meeting in 2004. Most perpetrators did not seduce the victims. The victims were mainly from thirteen up to and including fifteen years old. Most of them had sexual contact with the adults more than once. Half of the victims were in love or very close with the perpetrators. The conclusion of the APA is that we should warn children against nice men and not against monsters. A correct conclusion?
HK: Well, I can inform you of an example from my own experience. I have been chatting once with someone on the internet. And it was a very funny chat, it was really, really nice. It went to and fro, went very, very funny. And I hope that, as I made my point clear in the preceding questions; ages are not my responsibility, they don't interest me. So, I won't ask it.
MU: When you're chatting, do you use a nickname then?
HK: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
MU: Because, I can imagine that if you are famous, it's not so nice then.
HK: No, exactly, it is very inconvenient. It is a disadvantage of being well-known.
MU: You only need one sexual fantasy; everything you say can be used against you.
HK: Well, exactly, that's why in the early days I used both my own name and a nickname every now and then. I don't do that anymore at all lately, but some time ago I thought it was funny quite a few times. And sometimes in my own name and sometimes in another name, but I won't reveal this name, because then I can't use it anymore. So, I was chatting with somebody who was very nice and I absolutely hate it to ask a first question like, what is your age and how long is your prick. I'd sooner not have the whole further discussion anymore. But alright, that's up to everyone themselves what to do. I was chatting very nicely with someone and he came from my neighborhood. And one given moment we were talking like, why won't we have a cup of coffee somewhere and make an appointment; have a coke. Well, that was okay. And I went there and arrived there and then he appeared to be a child of twelve years old or something. Well, I can't do anything with that. Really, I can't.
MU: Well, you can have a coke.
HK: Indeed, I had a coke with this boy and brought him home again and told him not to do stupid things after all. So, from experience I know that this can happen just like that. But I couldn't have cared less.
MU: But you feel something like, a father figure coming up in you and I'm gonna warn after all.
HK: Well, warn; he should know himself completely what he does. But I thought that he came really very easily with the proposal of I rather like to meet you and shall we make an appointment to meet somewhere. Then I thought like, well, if he does this with me, then he will do this with many, many other people and there are very nice pedosexual people after all, but all the same there are bastards among them as well. I mean, if speaking for my own target group; there are very nice homosexuals, but there are bastards among them too. I don't warn anybody about pedosexuals, I don't warn anybody about homosexuals, I don't warn anybody about women, but I do warn people about bastards. That we just make this distinction.
MU: A question on behalf of a MARTIJN member: Last year the report Seks in de groei (Sex In Development) by the Rutgers Nisso Groep (group of sexuologists which makes investigations. Transl.) was published. The authors, Dr J. Rademakers and M.A. H. de Graaf, plead for an investigation into sexual behavior of 4 to 18 year-old people. It should be brought up what children themselves think of their sexual development and which meaning they attach to sex. This amongst other things because helpers, teachers and child welfare know too little about the normal sexual development of children. Do you think, just like these investigators, that more investigation is desirable into the perception of sexuality of children?
HK: I think that there should be more investigation into the perception of sexuality anyway. Not only for this target group, not only for this age group, but in general: yes, I do.
JM: And not only abuse as a starting point?
HK: No, I think it is so evident that every human being ought to be against abuse, that you don't even need to investigate this, because it is no point of discussion. But the need for sexuality of everyone; of men, women, boys, girls, older and younger people, fine, the more we know about it the better it is.
MU: The final question: Are you afraid that you will receive much criticism of having cooperated to this interview? HK: If you write down properly what I have said and don't leave the subtleties out, then I am afraid of nothing. I don't tell anything what I would not want to tell.
MU: But what you tell now, you didn't tell before once?
HK: No, nobody ever asked me this. But generally, I am an open book. If people ask me things I am willing to answer them.
MU: I can imagine that some people within the gay movement think like, what did he do now?
HK: The people who say so are narrow-minded. If the Friesch Dagblad (Friesian Daily) should ask me if I want to have an interview with them, then this does not mean that I want to become a Friesian. If you ask me if I want to talk with you people, then from this moment on I won't be a pedosexual or something like that. I just ain't. I mean, you ask if I want to talk with you; well, I want to. And I would want a lot more. I would want to know much more about you people. I find that much more interesting. I must make an appointment about that some time.
1) Vies is lekker = very progressive sex education booklets for children, edited in the Seventies;
2) Fons S.: PSV football trainer, HIV infected; condemned, because he had paid for sexual contacts with minor boys.
3) schaamhaar in Dutch means something like: "hair of shame";
4) liberal in Dutch = broad-minded;
source: 'Interview with Henk Krol (Gay Krant editor in chief)' by Marthijn Uittenbogaard & Jeroen Maaskant; Translated from Dutch; OK Magazine, no. 90; November 2004