“United in Love – Against Hate, War and Discrimination” – this is the motto of Christopher Street Day this Saturday (July 23) through the streets of Berlin. The CSD wants to build on the pre-pandemic size: 500,000 people are expected, after a smaller edition last year and an online CSD the year before.
Politics and party: The CSD is the big demonstration of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and inter people and is reminiscent of the legendary Stonewall protests of 1969 in New York, where queer people defended themselves against police raids in their clubs for the first time.
“Finally, the CSD can take place in Berlin again without major restrictions,” said Ulli Pridat, board member of Berlin’s Christopher Street Day, recently. The parade will be opened from 11.30 a.m. on Leipziger Straße in Mitte by Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer (left), who is representing Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD), who is suffering from Corona.
Dancing through the city center: This year, the CSD is leading a kind of circuit through Berlin. The start is on Leipziger Strasse, then it goes via Potsdamer Platz, Potsdamer Strasse and Bülowstrasse to Nollendorfplatz, the traditional rainbow neighborhood in Schöneberg. From there, the route turns to Lützowplatz and leads over the Großer Stern to the Brandenburg Gate.
Of course, the CSD will also pass the Victory Column, the monument with the golden Victoria is considered the queerest landmark in Berlin in the LGBTI community.
The welcoming speeches will start at 11.30 a.m. on Leipziger Strasse/Axel-Springer-Strasse, and the train will then leave at 12 p.m. The CSD association expects the first cars and trucks to arrive at the Brandenburg Gate at 4 p.m. Experience has shown that it can then take several hours until all the wagons have actually arrived.
A big stage show will be shown at the Brandenburg Gate, which will last until midnight.
According to the latest information from the CSD, 96 trucks and 80 foot groups have registered, a record number. At the front, five trucks from the CSD association lead the procession, which are intended to draw attention to the main topics.
This is followed by a colorful mix of companies, civil society groups, clubs, embassies, parties and ministries (a list of the starting numbers can be found here.)
No demo without demands: The Berlin CSD has been trying for a long time to appear explicitly political again. The catalog of demands is particularly long this year, covering a total of 14 subject areas, including hate crime and hate speech, education and awareness-raising, work and diversity, rainbow families, trans, inter and FLINTA, international solidarity and the football World Cup in Qatar.
In order to also show the content on the train, there should be speeches on trucks provided by the CSD itself.
Important: The CSD has also explicitly written health as a topic on the flags. It is also about the prevention of the MPX virus (“monkeypox”), the CSD also points this out on its social media channels.
After the long parade through the city, the celebration at the Brandenburg Gate is by no means over – the subsequent stage program is quite the opposite.
Among others, the singers Wilhelmine, Ray Dalton and Alvaro Soler will perform there, as well as the hip-hop artists Älice and That Fucking Sara and the US drag queen Lady Bunny. Representatives of the Berlin Aids Hilfe, the group Queens Against Borders and the live act “Ku’damm 54” are expected.
The beginning of the Berlin Pride weekend is the Dyke*March for more lesbian visibility on Friday evening, which is also a tradition. The Dyke*March is committed to the needs and rights of lesbian women – not least because they are usually underrepresented at the big CSD, even if the CSD is trying to change that this year.
It starts with the Dyke*March at 6 p.m. at Platz der Luftbrücke, the procession leads through Kreuzberg and Neukölln to Treptower Park – so perseverance is the order of the day. The official Dyke*March party is taking place in the “Else” at Treptower Park. Tickets are available in advance here.
The CSD continues in the Berlin clubs: numerous parties have been announced. Eight “official” CSD parties are listed on the CSD website alone, including the “CSD Main Party” at Ritter Butzke in Kreuzberg and the “Official Lesbian Pride Party” at the Metropol on Nollendorfplatz.
Berghain has its own CSD club night, as do many other clubs – including Schwuz, about:blank, SO36, KitKatClub, Watergate and Kulturbrauerei. Well then: Happy Pride!