Hello, rainbow friends!
As part of my summer holidays/travel shenanigans this year I went to Christopher Street Day Hamburg (or Pride for short) and I have lived to tell the tale! And show you lots of pictures, of course.
Let’s start with some stats: Hamburg is a city in Northern Germany and is known for having a big-ass harbour (one of the 20 biggest world-wide). Tourists tend to forget about Hamburg, because Berlin exists, even though it is Germany’s second biggest city as well as the biggest city in the EU that is not a capital. So yes, it does have a respectable gay scene. 😉
Another fun fact: Hamburg had a gay mayor from 2001 until 2010, Ole von Beust. He was outed in 2003 accidentally by his father, but he didn’t mind. And apparently it also didn’t harm his political career, as he was re-elected twice afterwards. He also participated in Hamburg Pride 2009!
But let’s move on to this year’s Pride, shall we?
This was actually the first proper Pride March I had ever been to! I have been to CSD Münster last year, buuut it was rather small affair, so I was pretty excited to see what a “real”, big Pride looks like. And what can I say… It was absolutely amazing! The weather was really nice (eventually), there were fantastic costumes, the music was great and people were dancing in the streets. I really don’t have much else to say, other than that I had a fantastic time and was really happy to see so many diverse, proud and politically active people.
So without further ado, why don’t you have a look at the pictures below to get a better impression? You could just scroll through them, but I also wrote some extra info in the captions and translated all the German signs and banners, so just click on the first photo to start a slideshow and learn a bit more about the event. Enjoy!
At first, it seemed like it was going to literally rain on our parade… Hamburg weather can be a tad unpredictable like that. The building on the right is the main station, by the way.
But later on the sun came out and the parade could start with some delay.
And there it is! Lead by rainbow balloon arches…
…And this amazing dude in a kilt!
Seriously, look at him!
The official Hamburg Pride float
It reads “Majority for Diviersity: You have the choice/vote!” And: “Hamburg Pride demands full legal equality for Homo-, Bi- and Transsexuals”
Representatives from Copenhagen Pride and Lübeck Pride also had a float.
Then there were rainbow families! Awww. Purple shirt in the front reads: “Lesbian mum”
They didn’t have a float, but lots of strollers and balloons.
And this BADASS queer mum. What a babe.
Of course there were dykes on bikes (and a bonus dude in the middle).
Their banner mentions the 30 year anniversary of a queer community centre in Hamburg.
Their shirts and sign say “AIDS isn’t gay”.
“We serve more colourful” I guess it doesn’t translate very well… They represented an advocacy group for homosexuals in the German Federal Armed Forces.
More gay soldiers
The “Hamburg Students for more queer Diversity” float
“A Revolutionary Sexuality Is Neccessary” I agree!
Grumpy Cat also made an appearance!
Local businesses also showed their support with rainbow flags, like this hotel…
… Or the Alsterhaus, a big shopping centre.
Of course night clubs also took the chance to promote themselves. This is the float of “alphagirls”.
This float, which reads “Passionately Lesbian”, was probably the biggest of the whole parade and also had the best music. I felt very proud indeed. Go queer girls!
They were promoting the club 136° and wow, look at their costumes! Also, can I please get a fan that says “Fight” on it?
They represented “Startschuss”, an LGBT sports club. Their sign says “Football players, show yourself!”, but the club is for all kinds of sport.
This is a club of football fans fighting homophobia. Their sign reads “Kickoff against homophobia!”
This was a group for gay teachers. Their shirts say “Cool! My teacher is gay!”
The float of the “Northen Bears Hamburg”…
… Advertising a foam party in a gay sauna.
Can I please dress like that every day?
Cute flight attendants (?) representing the Prides of Northern Germany.
Another fantastic costume!
Of course, if you don’t want to go all out with wings and body paint, gold glitter shorts are always acceptable.
Or simply get lots of rainbow accessories. I just had to include this couple, they were so adorable.
Kinksters dancing in rope bondage
Leather Pride! This was SPIKE Hamburg, a local leather group. Their sign reads “To Russia with Love: Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and personal safety”
More Leather Pride
Mr. Leather Hamburg also marched in the Parade, of course.
SPIKE had a very political float. It read: “Marching for those who can’t. 2013: Time to wake up! Russia, Hungary, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Jamaica and 78 more”
And: “Stand up for your rights: Participate and celebrate: Grab a flag and come with us!”
Speaking of politics, this guy made a cool costume to protest the current situation in Russia. It roughly translates to “Colourful chaos around the Kreml”
Every German political party was in the Parade! Except the conservative CDU (Christian Democratic Union), what a surprise. This is the float of the social democrats, reading “You decide! 100% equality only with us!”
It reads: “Open marriage – now!” And: “100% equal, 100% happy, 100% lesbian, 100% trans, 100% normal, 100% diversity, 100% married, 100% us, 100% queer…”
The Pirate Party (yes, that’s a legit political party) was also present. Their sign reads “Love is more than a man and a woman.”
The Pirate Party float “We demand: – Legal equality of civil partnership and marriage – Expansion of civil partnership to civil life union – Recognition of prosecution due to sexual identity as a ground to seek asylum – Joint adoption also for same sex couples. The Pirate Party works towards equality for all people and all relationships”
The float of the liberals, reading “Feelings are free”. It’s an adaption of the old German song “The thoughts are free”, which has been used by several political movements in German history, especially resistance in Nazi Germany.
The Green Party float, reading “Favourite position: Equality”. It’s a pun in German, but unfortunately it doesn’t translate…
Banner: “Love is a human right – Queer Amnesty” Signs: “Human rights for intersex people” “Stop Putin’s Anti-Homo-Laws”
Signs left to right: “Human rights for intersex people” “No more death penality for homosexuality” “Transsexuality is not a disease!”
Putin looking fabulous
The sign of the person in the yellow tank top and frilly skirt reads: “Love is not propaganda”
But let’s end the political part on a happy note, with these two ladies who are marching for those who can’t!
What would pride be without lots and lots of drag queens? Not nearly as fun, that’s what! So here are a few of my favourites, starting with this adorable queen that was kind enough to pose for me.
Epic demon queen! I mean, look at that hair!
Disco ball queen
Some more incredible costumes
Is it just me, or does she look a little bit like Jade Jolie from RuPaul’s Drag Race? I mean the style is totally different, but the face? … No, just me?
Old timey queens
The queen with the biggest hat and the most dolls incorporated into her costume
And this flag marked the end of the parade.
But Pride didn’t end with the parade! There was also a big street fair/festival around the lake, the Binnenalster, right in the city centre. It went on all weekend and had info stalls from all the groups that had marched in the parade, lots of food and drink, and stages with speeches, DJs, dancing, contests and other forms of entertainment. These rainbow pillars marked the entrance to the street fair.
When you entered, this is what you saw looking down the right side…
… And the left side. So many stalls! So many people!
If you managed your way through the crowds to the end, you could sit on the steps next to lake and enjoy the scenery.
This photo is looking onto the street fair from the other end. You can see the Alsterhaus with its rainbow flags again!
At some point the parade also arrived at the fair. Remember the rainbow arches from the beginning?
Some people decided to go rainbow rowing!