What’s up with CSD this ye­ar? The schism has cau­sed a com­mu­nal face­palm. He­re’s an at­tempt at ma­king sen­se of the th­ree pa­ra­des

Gay Friendly Germany - - Berlin CSD-Streit | Pride Controversy - Jo­ey Han­som up-to-da­te in­for­ma­ti­on: www.sie­gessa­eu­le.de

If this is not your first Ju­ne in Ber­lin, then you al­re­a­dy know about CSD. That’s short for Chris­to­pher Street Day, the LGBT ce­le­bra­ti­on and de­mons­tra­ti­on na­med af­ter the street whe­re the Sto­ne­wall Ri­ots took place in Ju­ne of 1969. Stran­ge­ly, “CSD“is a term ad­op­ted by Eu­ro­pean ci­ties but not used back in the US whe­re that mo­men­tous event took place. The­re, it’s usual­ly cal­led a “pri­de pa­ra­de.“The first CSD in Ber­lin took place in 1979 and has be­en con­ti­nuing an­nu­al­ly, or­ga­nis­ed sin­ce the la­te 90s by a group cal­led CSD e. V. (“ein­ge­tra­ge­ner Ver­ein,“mea­ning they’re an of­fi­ci­al­ly re­gis­te­red as­so­cia­ti­on). Around that time is al­so when ma­ny po­li­ti­cal­ly-min­ded queers got sick of the com­mer­cia­li­sa­ti­on and de­po­li­ti­ci­sa­ti­on of the event, lea­ding to the al­ter­na­ti­ve tCSD (the “t“stands for “trans-ge­ni­al,“a ma­de-up Ger­man word mea­ning “trans ge­ni­us”), mar­ching th­rough Kreuz­berg, ra­ther than from Schö­ne­berg to Mit­te. You’d think two events for the sa­me ci­ty would be en­ough. Nope. This ye­ar, the­re are th­ree. Why? It’s com­pli­ca­ted. And un­be­liev­a­b­ly, it’s mo­re than just a third event pop­ping up. All th­ree CSDs are eit­her new­ly foun­ded or re­vam­ped, and all eit­her the sour­ce of, or the re­s­pon­se to the con­flict that’s ari­sen in Ber­lin’s LGBT com­mu­ni­ty. In Ja­nu­a­ry, the main CSD e. V. an­noun­ced that this ye­ar’s fes­ti­val would be cal­led the Sto­ne­wall Pa­ra­de, de­cla­ring that the event would be­co­me mo­re po­li­ti­cal­ly mi­li­tant whi­le si­mul­ta­neous­ly un­vei­ling their plan for mar­ke­ting and bran­ding the new na­me. This top-down de­ci­si­on, ma­de wi­thout the in­vol­ve­ment of the pu­b­lic, ti­cked off queer Ber­li­ners for a va­rie­ty of re­a­sons. How are in­crea­sed po­li­ti­ci­sa­ti­on and in­crea­sed com­mer­cia­li­sa­ti­on re­con­cil­able? Any­way, how is Sto­ne­wall, the na­me of the his­to­ri­cal New York gay bar, in­her­ent­ly mo­re po­li­ti­cal than the street it was lo­ca­ted on? (Whi­le we’re at it, doe­sn’t the word “wall” al­re­a­dy ha­ve en­ough con­no­ta­ti­ons in this ci­ty?) Asi­de from all the­se qu­es­ti­ons, the­re's be­en an over­all lack of trans­pa­ren­cy in the e.V.'s in­ter­nal struc­tu­ring and mo­ti­va­tions. De­s­pi­te the upro­ar from all di­rec­tions, the CSD e.V. re­fu­sed to back down from their plan­ned make­over. As a re­s­pon­se, se­veral in­di­vi­du­als for­med an alliance, Ak­ti­ons­bünd­nis CSD Ber­lin, de­cla­ring that the original e.V. is in­ca­pa­ble of re­form, step­ping in to crea­te a new al­ter­na­ti­ve (but of cour­se not too al­ter­na­ti­ve li­ke the lef­tist, ra­di­cal tCSD): CSD Ber­lin 2014, with the of­fi­ci­al mot­to, “Re­spect for di­ver­si­ty!

Prevent roll­back! Gua­ran­tee hu­man rights in Ger­ma­ny, Eu­ro­pe and around the world!” In­ten­ded as a di­rect op­po­si­ti­on to the Sto­ne­wall Pa­ra­de, it al­so pro­ceeds th­rough the ci­ty cent­re and the West on the sa­me day, Ju­ne 21, Me­anw­hi­le, the original e.V. con­ti­nues to dis­play its iden­ti­ty cri­sis, first chan­ging its na­me to Sto­ne­wall CSD Pa­ra­de and now (fi­nal­ly?) to CSD Pa­ra­de 2014. Their mot­to is “LGBTI* Rights = Hu­man Rights.” How to tell the­se two pa­ra­des apart if you am­ble th­rough the ci­ty cent­re? Don’t ask me. And what about tCSD? It’s not hap­pe­ning this ye­ar. That’s sad, be­cau­se it seems li­ke it’s mo­re im­portant than ever to ha­ve a de­mons­tra­ti­on with an un­com­pro­mi­sing po­li­ti­cal agen­da. But the team of or­ga­nisers im­plo­ded af­ter last ye­ar’s edi­ti­on. They mes­sed up by al­lo­wing a per­for­mer at a be­ne­fit par­ty to sing an old tu­ne with a word that de­fi­ni­te­ly doe­sn’t be­long at an event meant to ce­le­bra­te in­clu­si­on and in­ter­sec­tio­na­li­ty. A hu­ge mis­ta­ke, for su­re, but one that got blown out of pro­por­ti­on, and af­ter vo­la­ti­le at­tacks and in-fight­ing from wi­t­hin the queer sce­ne, the team is not back this ye­ar. Howe­ver! Step­ping up to fill the vo­id are the cr­ews be­hind queer­fri­end­ly clubs SchwuZ, SO36 and Süd­block, for­ming a street pa­ra­de of their own, cal­led Ein CSD in Kreuz­berg, with the mot­to, “Ora­ni­en­stra­ße is not a one-way street, and neit­her is so­li­da­ri­ty!” Fa­c­ing no com­pe­ti­ti­on whatsoever is the Dy­ke* March 2014, ta­king place the eve­ning be­fo­re, Ju­ne 20. This in­ter­na­tio­nal tra­di­ti­on is hap­pe­ning for the se­cond ye­ar in Ber­lin, with no cor­po­ra­te spon­sor­ship or po­li­ti­cal par­ties, just a simp­le but im­portant aim: “mo­re les­bi­an vi­si­bi­li­ty and qua­li­ty of li­fe.” Of cour­se, all sup­por­ti­ve non-dy­kes are en­cou­ra­ged to march along in so­li­da­ri­ty. A litt­le me­ta­phor to sum up the who­le thing: If you vi­sit the e.V.'s site, the first thing you will no­ti­ce is a mas­si­ve lo­go of an air­line. Su­re, it’s im­pos­si­ble to igno­re that CSD attracts ma­ny for­eign vi­si­tors, but how about ma­king lo­cal re­si­dents feel li­ke they ha­ve a place at the fes­ti­val too? Or is this a sub­con­scious sug­ges­ti­on for Ber­li­ners to ta­ke a va­ca­ti­on and avo­id the dra­ma? Well, if you do de­ci­de to ta­ke part, you can check www.sie­gessa­eu­le.de for the start ti­mes and rou­tes.

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