(Blogmensgo, gay blog of July 5, 2016) On Sunday, July 3, 2016, almost one million people participated in the Gay Pride parade in Cologne, Germany. This year’s edition was marked by two very special events: The commemoration of the 49 victims of the shootings in the Pulse Club in Orlando on June 12 and the 25th anniversary of Cologne Gay Pride, since 2002 officially called ColognePride. As a small reminder: Gay Pride is usually called CSD (= Christopher Street Day) in Germany, in remembrance of the gay demonstrations in Christopher Street in New York in 1969.
Approximately 950,000 people (about as many as last year) and a total of hundred floats participated in the parade in Cologne making ColognePride the biggest Pride festival in Europe. In remembrance of the victims of the Orlando shooting, many banners said “We are Orlando.” Just like in Paris the day before, many people were wearing black bracelets, headbands or ribbons. The city was paved with rainbow flags – many of which were flown at half-mast to honor the victims of Orlando.
Nevertheless, it was a great party with many floats, multi-colored balconies and load music. Even before the parade began, the official anthem “Go Pink” by Coopération Fantastique feat. Jona Davis resounded through the city. Here is the video clip:
The official slogan “anders.Leben!” (which translates to something like “Live.different!”) conveyed the central message of ColognePride 2016 in a very compressed yet comprehensive manner.
Despite a lot of freedom and many rights, there is no same-sex marriage in Germany yet, unlike several neighboring countries like France, Belgium or the Netherlands. This discriminating and demeaning situation has to be changed soon. Same rights for all people!
Besides equal marriage rights, the parade participants were claiming more efforts in the fight against homophobia and racism. This dual discrimination particularly hits refugees who have left their home countries hoping for a better life in Germany. Cologne is known for its very open life but that is not the same in many other German cities or regions.
If you have missed the parade in Cologne on July 3, you can watch a very nice summary in the following video.
Frank-S / MensGo