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Rob Tielman
(August 19, 1946 - living) Holland

Rob Tielman

Sociologist, writer


Born in Hilversum, Holland. His father, a socialist, had been imprisoned during WWII by the Nazis; his mother had gone into hiding.

At age 21, Tielman finally could become a member of the COC (the Culture and Recreation centre, a gay and lesbian movement). Between 1911 and 1971 the Dutch Penal code forbade sexual contacts between adults, male and female, and minors under the age of 21. The COC was thus afraid that the government would take mesures if the society allowed those under 21 to become members. For these young men and women, the only way out was to start their own groups, allied in the Federatie Studenten Wrkgroepen Homosexualiteit (Federation of Student Workgroup on Homosexuality, FSWH).

The students' slogan was "Integration through Confrontation", and in their eyes this stategy should be part of the larger sexual revolution that was taking place. They went to parliament, demonstrated against anti-homosexual laws and demanded the right of free-love and self-determination.

After graduation, he started to work as a sociologist at the Rijksuniversiteit of Utrecht for Homostudies (Gay studies). Apart his work as a scholar Tielman was active from 1987 to 1994 in the National Comission on the Fight against AIDS, which was set up by the Dutch government. He is still active in the COC committee on national politics.

In his private life, he and his partner of over 27 years, have been foster parents of homosexual teenagers for many years. He was knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands in 1987. In 1998, Tielman was awarded the Rob Angelo Medal - named after the founder of the COC, Nico Engelschman, who used "Bob Angelo" as a pen name for his work.


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001


  • Homoseksualiteit in Nederland (1982)
  • Voorontwerp Humanistisch Perspectief (1983)
  • Grondrechtenafweging en de Wet Gelijke Behandeling (1984)
  • Socialisatie en Emancipatie (1985)
  • Humanistische Sociologie: een Paradox als Paradigma (1987)
  • Building a World Community (1989)
  • Bisexuality and HIV/AIDS (1991)
  • Third Pink Book; Gay and Lesbian Rights Worldwide (1993)
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