Three Pride Marches in 24/hrs
This past Saturday, Berlin held three Christopher Street Day marches and one Dyke* March the night before. CSD has been held in Berlin since 1979. As well as the main parade, there is usually a smaller march in Kreuzberg in the late afternoon. This year there was also a more demonstration type march that went from the Ugandan Embassy to the Russian Embassy. I managed to get to all of them apart from the Kreuzberg march. Here is a little run down of how they went. (Photos are placed in the order the marches are listed below.)
Dyke* March- I turned up at Frankfurter Tor alone and soon made a little group of friends who were willing to share their sekt with me. Easily more than 700 Dykes and non-dyke identifying allies were there. It was a simple march for visibility, full of home made banners and people basically just being themselves. It was a wonderful evening march and I felt honored to march in solidarity with the local Dyke* communities.
CSD main parade- The music was thumping and the advertising was inescapable. Easyjet, Dildoking and … Israel? LGBT members of the police were in the parade, but for the most part it was sponsored floats.It was fun to dance along side for a bit, but to me it was more party less pride. As a cool young thing I was invited to dance on the dildoking float for the sum of €15. I declined,and went on to the next march.
CSD Aktionbündnis march- Here is where you would find local charities, support organisations, trade unions and political parties. This was much more my kind of thing than the main parade. It was more about each groups message than trying to sell you stuff, and the music was at a much more bearable level. There was also much less heavy drinking. When Pride becomes synonymous with drunkenness I feel like it glosses over the high rate of addiction in our communities.
Hearing that there were multiple marches at first made me think that Berlin must be a bit of a shambles. Upon reflection however, I realised that Berlin have done what Brighton and London always talk about but never do which is to create alternatives. Pride means different things to different people and although it would be great to have one accessible event that pleases everyone it just doesn’t work out that way.