Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gay Pride in Berlin!

Berlin is considered one of the most gay-friendly cities in Europe, and there are multiple pride events in May and June.

Back in May, we happened to get caught up in a pride march in Mitte. This march was more political, with petitions being circulated for international equal rights issues, flags and banners advocating for peace and an end to homophobia.

In June, Christopher Street Day (CSD) is the big show - it's when the community comes out for a giant parade and street festival. CSD is historically a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York, like many gay pride celebrations around the world. We were excited to see the parade and get out there with all the proud Berliners!

Unfortunately, we spent a little too long drinking beer with a couple of new friends over in Friedrichshain, and by the time we got over to Schöneberg on Saturday, the parade had already ended. Luckily, the street party had just begun. We were just in time to see the amazing Seattle Men's Chorus sing Pharrell's Happy and a very inspirational song about liberating yourself and "coming out" in any way that saves you from the peril of shame.

We wandered down the street, passing by the food stands and having fun freely sampling different inspirational treats. We were immersed in a very joyful crowd of revelers and celebrators of love, many in expressive costumes. Everyone was so happy that even a sudden torrential downpour of freezing rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirit. That carefree attitude was infectious... for the first ten minutes of the rainstorm. After we were totally soaked and our hands starting shaking, it didn't seem as fun anymore. But then the clouds parted and we quickly warmed up again.

As we were making our way back home, a DJ switched from the pulsing dance music to the classic Que Sera Sera. We were enamored by the uplifting sight of couples all around us dancing on air, rejoicing in their unbound hearts. This was the perfect note to end on.

More pictures!
The colorful and the traditional

The march arriving on the platz

The march ended in a rally beneath the television tower at Alexanderplatz
At the Christopher Street Day celebration, the Seattle Men's Chorus captivated the crowd


Not a real cop. Performance art or accident?

Delicious handmade potato chips

The Victory Column at the other end of the street - it was the ending point of the parade


Hair soaked by the rain. Not a 'wet' look.
Again, not real cops. In case you weren't sure.

They were selling ridiculous hats and wigs here. Our friend was feeling the spirit.

Rahsan too entranced by his crepe to notice Shannon's shenanigans

Dancing to Que Sera Sera

Love, unbound.

Sunday, June 22, 2014