In Fred van Leer’s podcast debut, he talks to extraordinary people from the queer community about courageous decisions, touching memories but most of all about what makes them happy

Mastercard launched the podcast ‘The Pride Side’ in the run-up to Pride Amsterdam. In his podcast debut, Fred van Leer talks to four people from the queer community about the ‘Pride Side’: the motives and obstacles in (queer) life and what makes them happy. Mastercard wants to give a platform to important stories from the queer community through these podcasts. Human, funny and moving stories that deserve a stage.

The four-part podcast series stars drag queen Ma’MaQueen, activist Deen Groothuizen, actress and dancer Marie-Léa and international top model Gia Bab: four role models from the community who each tell their own story, while Fred van Leer makes himself vulnerable in his role as interviewer.

“When I was asked to do this and heard who the guests would be, I became curious. All four are special people, with an equally special story. In any case, it touched me and made me think. By listening and asking questions, I hope to contribute to more understanding and especially love for the queer community.”

Fred van Leer

The podcast is a collection of stories that revolve around being yourself and being seen and appreciated for who you are. For people in the queer community, this is still not always obvious. For example, Marie-Léa talks about how, as a trans woman, she regularly faces stereotyping. 

“That we’re ‘pretending,’ that it’s something you choose. It doesn’t work that way. If it were a choice, you choose what’s easy, and being queer is incredibly hard.”


“Everyone deserves to be who they are. I am proud that we can share these inspiring stories that we can all learn a lot from. After all, there is still a long way to go in terms of acceptance. As a long-time ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, we have the opportunity to effect change. In part through this podcast, we want to contribute to acceptance of your true self by providing insight into the personal lives of people in the community.”

Jan-Willem van der Schoot, Country Manager at Mastercard Netherlands

Mastercard research shows that 5.3% of Gen Z identify as non-binary. For many people in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit or debit card does not reflect their true identity. That’s why Mastercard, together with partners, offers the option to put the chosen name on the card instead of the birth name. This alleviates a major pain point for transgender and non-binary individuals.

In the first episode, Ma’MaQueen discusses the origins and acceptance of drag. In episode two, Dane gives his views on masculinity and the importance of having a role model. The third episode revolves around Marie-Léa, who talks about stereotyping she faces. The final episode is with Gia Bab, in which she talks about her international modeling career as a trans woman and the obstacles and misperceptions she has experienced here. 

The four episodes are available for listening on all podcast apps (including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podimo). The podcasts last between 30 and 45 minutes and can also be viewed as a YouTube video.

Watch the trailer for The Pride Side here.