It might look like your typical summer carnival, but this one has an important political background. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected this weekend for the Christopher Street Day (CSD) celebrations in Berlin.
With an exuberant atmosphere of colourful costumes and loud music, homosexuals and transsexuals parade through the streets of Germany’s capital promoting equal rights for all, with a finale at Brandenburg Gate on Saturday afternoon. The purpose of the event is to increase awareness about all sexual minorities, sometimes referred to as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex). Among the revelers will be lesbian choirs, gay sports groups and representatives of political parties, foreign embassies and large corporations.
Similar marches take place in various cities around the world including Gay Pride, Rainbow Parade and Stonewall Day. They commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 28 June 1969, which took place after a police raid in the Stonewall Inn bar on New York’s Christopher Street. These riots are considered a cornerstone in the movement towards equal rights for the LGBTI community.
The first CSD parade in Berlin was on 30 June 1979. This year the organizers are expecting around 700,000 people to join them in celebrations under the rainbow flag.
ot/pw (dpa, Tagesspiegel)