My queer journey has been long and complex, some of it blogged, most of it not. My first and only Gay Pride was London in 1999, a very civilised affair, after the parade we shipped off to Stockwell Park in the outer wilderness – nothing was going to prepare me for Berlin!
My first impression on meeting the Parade was ‘OMG they’ve closed Potsdammer Platz – a main thorough fare, the arrival of Police – as escort for Parade – was fairly dramatic, after all this was a ‘gay affair’. It transpired that this was going to be highlight of the Police’s day – they arrival was met with enthusiasm, they loved the attention – if not exactly flirting, then playing along; then came the parade.
The parade past Potsdammer Platz lasted more than an hour, perhaps two, (i had no idea there were so many gay people in the world!) the crowd was eclectic as the floats, who could imagine a Church Group taking part in the Parade, or the Conservatives, or EasyJet – yes it was commercial, but it was fun. Freak after freak paraded past, in less and less, great and small, male and female and not quite sure – I was home, this is where I belong, these were my people.
If I wanted to talk drivel I could talk about reclaiming my identity as the people in wheelchairs came past (people with disabilities can be gay – OMG!) and the old Leather Queens in Stilettos, the Drama Queens, the Drag Queens, the Young exhibitionists of every shape and size – to the sitcom writers we really do come in a range of ages and sizes.
I could talk about reclaiming the streets as we marched past the Homosexual Monument proclaiming that we are not ill, past the de Bunker where Hitler met his end – not only did he torture and kill Jews, but he came for the Gay Men. Marching across Unter Den Linden we could talk about the repression of the Pussy Riot – a Punk Band that flashed mobbed Putin and are now imprisioned, and the the Homophobia rampant in East Europe. I could talk about reclaiming the streets from the politicians that have repressed the Gay Community – I think closing the Brandenburg Tor and main Avenues to the Reichstag is reclaiming enough for one day.
I could say a lot of things, but I just want to say:
‘Come to Berlin, we are holding a party for you, your invitation is always open, as a gay person I have no issues with your sexuality,age,sex,political party