The powerful reason why men in the Netherlands are holding hands

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Sometimes even little gestures can make a big statement. After a gay couple was reportedly attacked in the Dutch city of Arnhem on Sunday, men around the country, gay and straight, vowed to show solidarity by holding hands in public.

Jasper Vernes-Sewratan, 35, and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes, 31, a couple, were reportedly attacked by a group of young people, who came at them with bolt cutters, CNN reported on Wednesday. In the wake of the attack on Sunday, Dutch journalist Barbara Barend sent out a tweet urging men of all sexualities to show support by holding hands in public.

The trend took off, and soon, Dutch politicians, athletes and ordinary citizens were sharing photos of themselves holding hands with other men with the hashtag #AlleMannenhandinhand.

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same sex marriage, CNN reported, in 2001, and in 2012 the Dutch government made sexuality and sexual diversity a mandatory part of school curricula throughout the Netherlands.