Last Saturday around 1 Million people came to the streets in Berlin to participate in the 40th Berlin Pride Parade. It was a big anniversary for Berlin and possibly also the biggest turnout in terms of people who came to walk or watch. But it was also a meaningful anniversary for the entire Pride movement worldwide. Exactly 50 years ago the Stonewall Riots took place in New York which started the entire LGBTQI movements and all the Pride Parades in the rest of the world in the years and decades that followed.
Even though the parade might seem like a big colorful and joyful street party that celebrated sexual liberty and hedonism there are still important messages sent out into the world with such events. We don’t even have to look very far: Hate crimes against LGBTQI people have gone up in Berlin in recent years. In many countries in the world, Pride Parades are suppressed by governments, such as in Russia, Turkey, and Poland. And most dramatically, many countries still criminalize homosexuality – in the worst cases even punish it by death.
So when we go to the streets in Berlin, we don’t just march for our own accomplishments in terms of LGBTQI rights, but also in solidarity for all those queer people in the world who are still fighting for acceptance and equality.