I forced my reluctant husband to go to his first gay pride parade this past weekend. To be fair, he says that he thinks we saw the CSD parade in Cologne when we were there several years ago, but I think we showed up afterwards for the party. Potato-Tomato-Whatever!
The CSD parade is AMAZINGLY fun, and the first time I went, I felt like a prude. I used to be a sex educator people, and I am not by most measures a prude. I think it was the public nudity that made me blush, and I have a well-documented issue with public nudity. I digress.
The slogan of the festival this year was: Wissen Schafft Akzeptanz! (Knowledge Creates Acceptance)
What I particularly love about the CSD parade is the combination of party atmosphere and political pandering. All of the political parties have their own trucks in the parade and hand out various pamphlets and swag for attendees. BTW: German parades have trucks and not floats. These trucks always have people on the back on 1 or 2 levels, and are decorated but not hidden like American floats. I think the pictures make more sense…soo here are some pictures from the parade:
This was one of my favorite trucks. It says: Normalsein ist Heilbar. (Being normal is curable.)
The trucks are pulled by Euro-semis, and then look like this on the back.
Behind all of the trucks are supporters and then between the trucks are more people looking fabulous.
Cruella DeVille showed up with an entourage of Butch-buschkas like the Russian grandmas from the Eurovision Song Contest.
"Cool, my teacher is gay." Hanging off the side of the German teacher's union truck.
Several Embassies had trucks in the parade, including our own:
And of course the Dutch, who are the most tolerant of all countries...especially if you ask them.
Guy Fawkes was there, which kinda creeped Annika out. I was just confused as to why he wasn't with the Pirate Party truck.
Naturally, Annika made friends with Tante Luisa from Brazil!
Here is some of the swag we got for attending the parade.
Above swag from: the Green Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Christian Democratic Union--3 of the major parties in the German political system. We missed the swag from the Pirate Party and the Free Democratic Party (the Lefts).
Almost all of the swag was handed to Andy, probably because he was standing closer to the trucks, but maybe because...well...he's cute. We had a great time and even got to stay almost to the very end of the parade before anyone had a breakdown. Annika did have to leave twice to go pee, but we're profis at finding trees to water by now.
My BIGGEST question at the very end of the parade: How in the world did those queens walk the whole parade route in THOSE shoes?