Dear TWIG Readers,
Here in the United States, the month of June is LGBTQ Pride Month – the month chosen to coincide with the Stonewall riots of 1969. During this month, many pride events are typically held throughout the country. Before the pandemic, Washington, D.C. hosted a large-scale annual Pride Parade, bringing thousands of people together in support of equality and human rights. This year, there are a number of different ways to participate, including an event called "Paint the Town Colorful". Here at the German Embassy in Washington, we are participating by displaying a large banner of our own at 4645 Reservoir Road. If you live in the area, come see it for yourself!
Although Pride parades have traditionally taken place in many cities around the world, Berlin is home to one of the most famous ones, known as "Christopher Street Day Berlin" or simply “Berlin Pride.” Berlin’s Pride Parade is one of the largest in all of Europe and also one of the oldest. The annual event was first held on June 30, 1979 in commemoration of the Stonewall riots in New York, which was an uprising of the LGBTQ community against police assaults in June 1969. These assaults took place on Christopher Street in New York, which is why many European pride events today are referred to as “Christopher Street Day”.
Although Germany’s first Christopher Street Day was held in Berlin, many other German cities followed in the city’s footsteps, creating their own CSD parades. Hamburg and Cologne are well known for their large pride parades, but Berlin still holds the record: in 2012, approximately 700,000 people attended Berlin’s Pride Parade, making it one of the largest pride events in the entire world. The parades were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the increase in vaccination rates, it appears that these outdoor events will be returning soon.
The US legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 and Germany legalized it in 2017. Pride parades on both sides of the Atlantic demonstrate the importance of inclusion in both the US and Germany.
Editor, The Week in Germany