Germany not only celebrates Pride, but also its own European version known as Christopher Street Day (CSD).
Although most Pride Month celebrations happen in June, Germany (and Switzerland) celebrate another special day in July: CSD or Christopher Street Day. Christopher Street Day is a day to remember the Stonewall Riots. It was the first LGBTQ+ community uprising against police assaults that occurred at a bar in Manhattan in 1969. Since 1970 onward, parades and marches with various names evolved in the US to what we know today as Gay Pride. Germany stuck with Christopher Street Day and held its first celebration in 1970 in Berlin – natürlich!
Ok, but if CSD is basically synonymous with Pride, why not just celebrate them at the same time?
I found it difficult to find a concrete answer that didn’t vary from person to person. Hmm…sort of like with German bureaucracy. 😉 So, here are my hypotheses:
- Logistics: Germans do the same thing with Sommerferien (aka School Vacation). They spread them out between states so that not everyone is on vacation at exactly the same time. This means that transportation/tourism/local businesses aren’t suddenly overwhelmed with changes in demand. CSD celebrations in Germany started as early as April this year! Berlin has a particularly rich history with queer culture. So naturally, they celebrate in July, so as to not overshadow other celebrations.
- Can’t have too much of a good thing: Is the sun shining? Looks like a good day to acknowledge a group of people still struggling for their right to exist! Berlin has a huge international population. So people are going to celebrate what they’re passionate about and enjoy any additions as well.
Also, I find it notable that Berlin also has some sort of gay festival almost every month. We could write blog after blog about the history and significance, but we also need to do some translating…so…
Here are the basic dates to remember if you live in Berlin:
- June = Pride Month
- July 7th = German Pride Day
- July 23* 2022 = Berlin Pride.
*Berlin Pride dates vary, but typically a Saturday at the end of July.
Please enjoy this recent video about Berlin and its significant for trans* people, courtesy of DW’s Arts.21…
How can you participate in the CSD parade?
You don’t need to do anything to be able to join – just show up and bring a positive attitude! Feel free to dress up in full colorful costume or go casual…as with everything Pride related, “come as you are”, like Kurt Cobain sang all those years ago, is the main idea. You can also sign up to volunteer here. I am personally very excited to be decorating floats this year, so expect some live content from me on July 22nd (prep day) and 23rd (parade day)!
For more great photos from Kimberly Lauren Bryant visit her website.
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