• 2016.09.13
  • Christopher Street Day Parade
I would like to tell you about Christopher Street Day (CSD), which is usually held in June, however this year, due to the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, was postponed to the end of July.
The origins of CSD date back to events that took place on June 27, 1969 at the Stonewall Bar on Christopher Street in New York. On that day, there had been large-scale confrontation between members of the LGBT community and the police resulting from a series of raids on the premises.
The first CSD in Berlin was held on June 30th in 1979. 450 people participated in a demonstration under the slogan Gay Pride. Nowadays there is a CSD parade every year.
The demonstration always has a range of themes but what particularly stand out is the equalization of same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage.
This year 750.000 people, amongst them also heterosexuals , participated in the demonstration for the rights of homosexual, transsexual, and transgender people.
In recent times, however, CSD has become a mainstream large-scale event and is more a commercialized party than a demonstration. The current CSD parade began with a speech from the Mayor of Berlin and many tourists come to the city in order to see the colorful array of floats at the parade.
Every year there is a new motto that represents the predominant demands of CSD. This year’s motto was “Danke für Nix,” meaning “Thank you for nothing.”

A float of the CSD parade. It is equipped with large speakers, playing loud music.
An anti-transphobic banner, protesting against Russian policy is raised next to the Soviet War Memorial in the Straße des 17. Juni (17th of June Street).

This means that the LGBT community must naturally have equal rights and that there is no need to be grateful but also that people are still not equal.
There are a lot of LGBT events in July, such as a separate more political demonstration known as the Transgenialer CSD. The participation of commercial organizations or political parties is not permitted at this demonstration.
Although the equal rights that the LGBT community demands are gradually granted, it will take time to really meet those demands.
A new topic for this year is providing compensation to those who have suffered from discrimination due to Article 175 of the criminal code.
This article that prohibits sexual intercourse between people of the same sex and declaring them punishable by law, remained in the criminal code until 1994.
This law was originally enacted in 1871 and beside some changes continued to exist through the era of the Third Reich and beyond. There are even examples of people who were put in concentration camps by the Nazis and then got arrested and imprisoned again in West Germany after the war on the basis of this law.
The parade attracts many tourists and even companies participate in the parade with sponsored floats in order to enhance their liberal image. Although the CSD parade is more and more becoming a party event, there are still many things, that have to be changed.

In the CSD parade, many people wear beautiful eye-catching outfits.
The parade ends at the Victory Column with the famous statue of an angel.


  • Mara Groner
  • AgeRat( NEZUMI )
  • GenderFemale
  • JobResearcher, Tour guide

Although I was born and raised in south Germany, I’ve been living for about 10 years in Berlin where I also work as a tour guide. In this dynamic city there is always something to discover.

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