June 25, 2012

Pride in Germany


Rainbow flags all over the country

Young LGBTQ people in Germany who want to go public share the privilege to choose between more than 30 pride parades that take place all over the country. There is no known case of a ban or any kind of trouble regarding the freedom of assembly in recent years. Yet many young queers voice criticism.

Across Germany, huge parades take place with representatives from the leading political parties, economy and the public life. They are quite undisturbed by haters and counter-demonstrators. It´s a scenario just like a dream that came true for a lot of young LGBTQ persons in Europe. Every summer queer people from all over the country come together at the various parades to express their right to be visible, to be out and proud.

Even though most LGBTQ people are aware of the fact that this is a great privilege, many queers, above all activists from the political left, express their concerns. The main argument is that most of the bigger prides are no longer political demonstrations but big, commercial parties which create a picture of “everything is fine, no need to fight anymore”. Moreover, supporters and members of the transgender and/or queers of colour community add for consideration that there are too few efforts made to make them visible parts of the queer community, that racism and transphobia are still widely spread within LGBTQ perspectives in Germany. Out of this criticism grew the idea of an alternative pride, which now takes place simultaneously to the big pride in Berlin.

Berlin’s alternative Pride celebrates all aspects of identity, focusing on sexual orientation and gender identity, but encompassing race, ethnicity, religion, belief, disability, even diversity of citizenship. In a country where Pride has become widespread, there is still the need for minority groups within the community to establish a safe space, reminding all of us of the point of Pride: we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere.

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