Photos/CSD-2019 (10 images)
(Yes, some images are quite pixelated, I cut out some flags and banners because I do not want to post the surrounding people and I did not catch them from the near. It's just a random assortment, I have seen a huge variety of flags this time but cannot post all images here. My impression is there were more bi, trans, non binary, pan-sexual and ACE flags than ever. I did not catch my favourite banner: "Jesus had two fathers. Look what's become of him.")
Some call it pride march, over here it's called Christopher Street Day Rally. I think this distinction is quite interesting, especially as I have the impression that even in New York City it's today called Pride March.
Another interesting aspect is that over here almost everybody kind of knows the background to that name, CSD, but our local history is much more obscure.
Interestingly the post nazi turning point turning point for gay liberation can be pinned down to a movie, Rosa von Praunheims "It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives"
. The lesbian movement was mainly kick-started in 1973 as a reaction to vile and misogynist press regarding two women who killed their violent husbands in order to live together, the movie "Und wir nehmen uns unser Recht" (this
is one of the very few instances I could find right now about this movie, I cannot watch it online or buy it on DVD for some reason ...) and the band The Flying Lesbians
. That CD is in my collection waiting for a proper review.
To name a few milestone dates:
- § 175 StGB (Male) homosexuality had been a punishable act and § 175 goes back to 1794 and criminalized sexual contact between men. During the late 1920s / early 1930s [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_HirschfeldMagnus Hirschfeld[/url] fronted lobbying for it's removal and almost succeeded, but then the Nazis came and toughened it up. Within West-Germany it remained unchanged until 1969, often thus criminalized people were convicted by the same judges twice (had they survived the Nazi prisons and / or concentration camps): Once during the Nazi time and a second time after that. There are accounts when even those old nazi files were used to convict them a second time. It was again softened a bit in 1973 but removed only in 1994, ironically by Helmut Kohl when he had to unify East and West German law.
Within the GDR (male) homosexual contact was de facto decriminalized in 1957, since 1968 § 151 criminalized homosexual contact between adults and persons below 18, but kept it gender neutral, in 1989 it was removed completely.
- It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives" was shown on West-German TV on a late night slot but already it's premier on 3. July 1971 initiated discussions and was followed by the establishment of some Berlin gay liberation groups. This effect was enhanced by the TV broadcast and it's ensuing discussion.
- 1973 / 1974:
- 1974 Lesben-Frühlings-Treffen (LFT) / Lesbian Spring Meeting, the Lesbian movement separated from the male gay liberation movement, this yearly meeting lasts until today
- 1974: The female only band "The Flying Lesbians" is established, their only ST record (1975) is exclusively sold through women's book shops and is reported to have sold 17.000. They were 100% independent and played exclusively for women only audiences.
- 1994: The West-German § 175 StGB is removed
- 1997: rape within marriage becomes punishable
- 2001: gay and lesbian people were allowed to register their partnership
- 2017: equal marriage, though there still are loopholes such as a female married partner of a woman still needs to legally adopt a child, while a male married partner of another man is automatically the legal father
There still is a lot to do, these are just a extremely selective handful of milestones. There are more.
This year's Pride / CSD is significant as it commemorates 50 years Stonewall Riots. But - and that is much less known - it\s also 100 years ago that Magnus Hirschfeld established his Institute for Sexual Science
. This is an institution that I feel can be clearly called one of the most important sources for the Rainbow movement. He was the first one who scientifically argued that gender is a spectrum (though he still stuck within the gender stereotypes), he demanded to value sexual an gender orientation as just another variant of life and expression. He coined the term "Transvestism", which our today's Trans* has been derived from. He lobbied for the total decriminalization of deviant sexual behavior. He later fled the Nazis and when he was traveling the USA for talks he was celebrated by the press as the "Einstein of Sex". Therefore his influence cannot be overstated, despite his achievements are not as part of the narration as the Stonewall Riots.
But anyway. When I arrived at the market place yesterday and saw all those rainbow, trans*, non-binary, pan sexual, lesbian, bi, bear, ACE and other flags I teared up. It was definitely a feeling of homecoming in the sense that I knew that most people here would know
. I marched again wearing my non-binary and pan-sexual flags and enjoyed every moment. I was delighted that the official CSD float even had a photo of Magnus Hirschfeld attached, and a photo with adorned with flowers of Marsha P Johnson. While Magnus Hirschfeld's achievements played no role within the speeches, this was a nice sign of acknowledgement.
I am especially happy that for about one third of the way I was up front, carrying the main banner as it became too heavy for those who had previously volunteered. At one time I watched a rather business like dressed man watching us from the side of the road as we approached. He then saw that we could use a helping hand with the banner, so he came along and helped carrying the banner for the last few 100 meters.
I enjoyed the spirit of this year's rally very much. It was very clear in it's positioning, that we had achieved a lot but there still is a lot to do to end discrimination. And for LGBTIQ* refugees we still need a whole lot of change. Only recently someone was deported back and told he was safe if he lived his homosexuality in secret. Or people are not believed because they don't dress and behave homosexual. Whatever that may mean. A trans woman has been deported even though she is mentally ill and requires assistance which she will not be able to receive now. There are a lot of terrible cases. This was also named and we were asked to support the queer refugees network.
Therefore I felt that this year's CSD was (again) fun, political, a reminder to stay vigilant and a melting pot of diversity. This was also reflected by the floats. A drag queen agency had one, a queer choir, Leipzig Bears against racism were present, a queer sporting club, Leipzig's BMW and Leipzig's public utility company but also the EMA / emancipatory block.
And we have been about 12000 people this time. That's an all time high for Leipzig.