Berlin celebrates Christopher Street Day in style
27 June 2005, BERLIN - Berlin marked Christopher Street Day (CSD) on Saturday with about 300,000 turning out for the annual parade celebrating gay and lesbian life in the German capital.
27 June 2005
BERLIN - Berlin marked Christopher Street Day (CSD) on Saturday with about 300,000 turning out for the annual parade celebrating gay and lesbian life in the German capital.
With tanned and toned bodies and decked out in skimpy shorts, an array of coloured wigs and sometimes astonishing costumes, those joining the parade linked up with a large contingent of drag queens to dance and writhe along a six-kilometre route through Berlin's city centre.
'We shape our Europe' was the motto of this year's festival which was held against the backdrop of hot, sunny summer weather.
As a reminder that Germany faces elections in three months, one gay women's group in the parade had their own political message: 'Lesbianism - the right alternative.'
Helping to add to the party mood, bar and café owners set up stalls along the parade route.
Berlin's CSD parade, which is part of the build-up to a series of huge parties across the city, takes its name from a police raid on the New York gay scene in 1969.
About 60 floats and a large number of groups registered for this year's parade, including for the first time one from Germany's Foreign Office.
As sign of the power of the pink euro, many businesses also took part in the parade, including budget airline EasyJet.
Joining the celebrations were several prominent gay members of Germany's political establishment, included Berlin's Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit and a parliamentary leader of the Green Party, Volker Beck.
"Our Europe stands for tolerance and lives from its variety," declared Beck.
Walking alongside one of Berlin's prominent drag queens, Queen Biggy van Blond, another leading member of the Greens, Consumer Affairs Minister Renate Kuenast called for a central memorial to mark the homosexual victims of National Socialism.
Subject: German news