• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

The Local's guide to Berlin's Pride Week

The Local · 17 Jun 2011, 07:20

Published: 17 Jun 2011 07:20 GMT+02:00

A little history

First a primer on what this is all about. Germany’s gay pride celebrations are typically held around Christopher Street Day – named after New York City’s Christopher Street, home of the Stonewall Inn, where gay rights riots took place in 1969. The celebrations usually take place in late June, around the anniversary of the demonstrations.

But although Berlin has long had its own Christopher Street Day parade (usually just shortened to CSD) the city's vibrant gay scene demanded more, thus the creation of Stadtfest 19 years ago, a huge street festival which regularly attracts 400,000 visitors or more.

Germany is, of course, renowned for its tolerant atmosphere toward gays and lesbians, and in the 1920s and ‘30s Berlin was arguably Europe’s centre for gay life.

Stadtfest

Berlin’s annual street festival takes place around Nollendorfplatz, long a centre of the city’s gay community in the Schöneberg district, on June 18 and 19. With the theme “Equal Rights for the Unequal” this year, the celebration includes informational stands on sports, AIDS, politics and travel, among other topics.

There are five venues where visitors can hear music, dance and be seen and there’s the so-called “Wild Sofa” at the corner of Eisenacher Strasse and Fuggerstrasse where interviewers put tough questions to politicians and other prominent German figures.

Click here for Stadtfest's official website

Christopher Street Day

Only Cologne’s CSD rivals Berlin's gay pride parade, where 500,000 people turn up to celebrate in a massive party winding through city streets on June 25.

The procession begins at the historic Kurfürstendamm boulevard and ends at Brandenburg Gate where there’s partying, speeches and music. The Civil Courage Awards are given out there for human rights activism (incidentally one recipient last year rejected the prize after accusing CSD of being overly commercialized). This year’s honourees – two organizations as well as gay rights advocate Tanja Walther-Ahrens – have been fighting for equality in athletics.

Click here for CSD's official website

Pride week

Technically, the Pride Festival – a four-week-long cultural programme in the run up to CSD – has been going on since late May. But Pride Week sandwiched between Stadtfest and CSD, is the climax.

All through the week, Die Kurbel theatre (Giesebrechtstr. 4, die-kurbel.com) is screening gay-themed films.

There’s also the massive CSD opening party on June 24 at Tresor Club (Köpenicker Straße 70, tresorberlin.com), which attracts a mixed crowd from around the world.

Find out more on the CSD website.

Other highlights

If you’re into clubbing, Berlin offers what’s arguably the most diverse scene in the world. SchwuZ (Mehringdamm 61, schwuz.de) is good for the younger crowd, while the famous Berghain (Rüdersdorfer Straße 70, berghain.de) is mixed and somewhat hedonistic – there’s a separate sex club called Lab.Oratory (lab-oratory.de) accessible through a side entrance. For fetish-lovers, the area around Nollendorfplatz offers a wealth of interesting bars and clubs.

Stop by the monument outside the Nollendorfplatz subway to the gays and lesbians killed by Hitler during the Third Reich. There’s another monument in Tiergarten area (homo-denkmal.de). The city’s Gay Museum at SchwuZ (Mehringdamm 61, schwulesmuseum.de) is also worth a visit.

Story continues below…

If you’re looking to get plugged into the gay scene longer-term in Berlin, you should stop by the Mann-O-Meter resource centre (Bülowstr. 106, mann-o-meter.de). Mann-O-Meter also sells the Berlin Pride Card, which offers discounts at merchants and other benefits during Pride Week.

The Sonntags Club cafe (Greifenhagener Straße 28, sonntags-club.de) in Prenzlauer Berg has meet-ups for every type of person. Lambda Berlin-Brandenburg (Manteuffelstraße 19, lambda-bb.de) is a good spot for young people wanting to socialize.

Many recent arrivals find the weekly 10 pm Thursday meet-ups for gay expats at the Perle Bar to be fun times to socialize as well (Sredzkistrasse 64, Queer Beer Thursday Facebook group or Queer Beer Thursday on Toytown).

Moises Mendoza

moises.mendoza@thelocal.de

twitter.com/moisesdmendoza

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Gallery
15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,580
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd