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Christopher Street Day parades

Gays and lesbians call for equal rights on Christopher Street Day.

© picture-alliance/dpa-Christopher-Street-Day

Blue feathers, black and yellow suspender belts, golden wings and eccentric makeup – colourful and shrill costumes are worn for Christopher Street Day. From Berlin to Cologne, zany characters whirl through the streets. From the end of June until the end of September colourful processions of homosexuals parade through Germany’s towns and cities. Each location has its own Christopher Street Day.

These groups of revellers long ago ceased to consist only of gays and lesbians and they now include everyone who wants to raise a voice against discrimination. These processions are not just fun events, but are instead intended to promote greater equality in everyday life, in lifestyles and in same-sex relationships. They also commemorate the first major uprising of homosexuals against police brutality, which took place in Christopher Street, New York, on 28 June 1969.

The participants and the programme are particularly loud, colourful and diverse at Christopher Street Day in Cologne, for example. For three days the metropolis on the Rhine is transformed into a lively party location, culminating in proudly waved rainbow flags during the parade. The crossborder “CSD am See” event is unique. The gay and lesbian scene of the entire Lake Constance region makes the crossing from Kreuzlingen (Switzerland) to Konstanz (Germany).