We have not yet all been assimilated … yet.
The local gay monthly “Siegessäule” did a nice stretch on the Kreuzberger CSD. The photographer, J.Jackie Baier used an artsy filter to mute the edges of the images which coupled with the somewhat cloudy weather made us look like a more dour lot than we really are. So here’s proof that we were more colorful than one might think for such a serious lot.
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Fatma Souad, a Kreuzberg Institution. Initiator of the popular, long-running Arabic-Turkish gay event “Gayhane” at the historic Kreuzberg Club SO36. Seen here at Oranienplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg as one of the mistresses of ceremonies ready to take her place on the loudspeaker truck leading the Kreuzberger CSD (Christopher Street Day – annual LGBTI demonstration) on 27 Jun 2015.
Tülin Duman (standing on the truck bed in pink, holding a microphone) has done a lot for Berlin’s LGBTI world in her capacities as chair of GLADT e.V., Co-Manager of Südblock, or as a strong voice for “Netzwerk Diskriminierungsfreie Szene für Alle!” In the above photo she is putting the demonstrators at the Kreuzberger CSD in the spirit for the march, and reading out the protest’s proclamation.
Sign at Kreuzberger CSD: “… bis dass der Tod euch scheidet” · Ehe Grenzen auf für alle. English translation: “… til death do you part” · Marriage Open borders for everyone. In keeping with the motto of the march, the protest sign above points to gains made by the LGBTI cause that benefit some whilst doing nothing to ameliorate or even exacerbating broader injustice that affect LGBTI people and others.
The motto Keine pinke Camouflage – Queer bleibt RADIKAL (Eng.: No pink camouflage – Queer stays RADICAL), alludes to the relatively rapid rise public acceptance for some high profile LGBT causes like the call for so-called “marriage” equality, and the apparent adoption/cooption of common prejudices and questionable social conventions by some members of the LGBT “community” as a sort of quid pro quo for an apparently changed, less violently pejorative perception of LGBT people among certain members of Western society for whom such an insouciant posture in the matter would have been unthinkable only 10 to 20 years ago. It is well within my adult life-time, that anything less than an utterly hostile attitude toward “that kind of people” (gays and lesbians) was enough to make a person suspicious of being (at least partially) “one of them” him or herself.
We Queers have been replaced in the post-nine-eleven, socio-political ejector seat by the obstinately destitute ragged-masses, those stubbornly uncontrite Muslims, and other un-sexy, politically opportune pariahs. Indeed a rag-tag lot when compared “that nice double-income/no-kids, squeaky clean couple of (now marriageable) fellows” who just moved in next door. The neighborhoods real estate value should be soaring in no time. And even a sworn bigot’s gag reflex at the sight of two blokes smoochin’ behind their white picket fence can be assuaged by thinking of the shear cash value of an up-graded neighborhood for his property.
“Our” inroads into bourgeois respectability in and of itself could even be seen as a welcome change if it weren’t for those nice (married) fellows often becoming just as parochial as the worst of their neighbors, if not more so just to prove a point. So in a nut shell, what the whole event is about is some of “us” climbing into the social life-boat, and then shoving of without the rest.
Kreuzberger CSD on Wassertor Platz in the back ground the buildings Skalitzer Straße 2-6 belonging to the troubled, former company for the public good, now stock exchange noted corporation owned by a consortium consisting of Cerberus Capital Management and Whitehall Funds, GSW Immobilien AG. GSW gained infamy in recent history due to accusations of illegal evictions of tenants (in various buildings in Kreuzberg) against a background of city-wide rises in rents, and gentrification in particular of neighborhoods in Berlin boroughs like Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The sign in the foreground reads “Alle Rechte für alle” (English: All rights for everyone). (Skalitzer Str. 2-6 on openstreetmap.org here) The Neighborhood Organization “Kotti & Co.” addresses the rent, gentrification, and privatization conflicts in the area.
Adalbertstraße underpass under the infamous Neues Zentrum Kreuzberg complex (erected 1969-1974, architects Wolfgang Jokisch and Johannes Uhl, planning by Werner Düttmann) at Kottbusser Tor. Above supporters to the Kreuzberger CSD with LGBT rainbow flag, Palestinian flag, and a banner reading “Berlin Against Pinkwasing”*. Just out of sight to the right of the people with the flags and banners is Café Kotti, a relaxed self-service place run by the socialworker Ercan Yasaroglu, a grassroots project addressing the daily concerns of the neighbors around Kottbusser Tor and beyond, and a meeting place for Turkish intellectual and others. (Location on opensourcemap.org)
*The same banner is to be seen at the commercial CSD in Berlin-Charlottenburg and Tiergarten in an image as part of a photo stretch by Brigitte Drummer. The German word for “available for a fee” is written right into the file-name of the image 03csd2015_Brigitte_Dummer_honorarpflichtig.jpg! Feel free to use mine – i am Creative Commons and so are my images and almost anything else i do.
When all was said and done we were all a bit nackered. (bulldog lady in front of a café on Oranienstraße in Berlin-Kreuzberg during the rally after the Kreuzberger CSD – and yes, the skate board in the background is hers. She carried it around in her mouth, and sometimes rode it with her front paws while pushing off with her hind legs.)
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