Chistopher Street Day Berlin is on again – a riotous splash of colour and permissibility on the streets of the city. Called Berlin Pride – as opposed to Kreuzberg Pride – the festival is a celebration of LGBT rights as well as a glorious party and celebration of being out and proud. Theoretically there are some speeches and theoretically there are some sponsored floats, but this is simply probably the best yearly party in Berlin going.
It’s unfortunate of course that it’s not possible for LGBT people simply to be able to celebrate how far we’ve all come in being groovy with everyone doing sexually whatever they want and being whoever they feel. But there can’t help but be a serious side to it too, what with the attack in Orlando which killed nearly fifty LGBT people simply for being who they were.
Anti-LGBT violence on the rise
And of course there’s not just that single attack – while in certain parts of the world gay rights have still not been properly recognised, in other parts of the world the tide is rolling back again, with rights being repealed and anti-LGBT violence on the rise, together with shifting to the right of a number of countries that one would think would have known better.
The CSD was of course started in New York and Los Angeles to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in NY, the first time that LGBT people stood up en masse against the attacks of the police, which on this occasion kicked off in Stonewall Inn on, you guessed it, Christopher Street. That was in 1969, and now the yearly festival is celebrated in NY and LA but also in various cities across Europe.
Joy is important and should not be done without
But let’s concentrate on the party at hand. Because in the end that’s the best way to get all the bastards that blow their religion-riddled raspberries in our faces. Joy is important and should not be done without.
And I mean Berlin is probably, of course, the coolest of all those – although I suppose I’m biased – and long may it reign.
The party kicks off at Ku’Damm at 12 and wends its way slowly to its end at Brandenburger Tor. The party is expected to continue, generally and everywhere.
Photo is of Olivia Jones, credited to Martina Nolte and used under a Creative Commons 3.0 Licence
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.