Germany: Esslingen am Neckar hosts first Christopher Street Day

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Esslingen am Neckar on November 25, 2021.
Image: Jorge Franganillo.

On June 17, the town of Esslingen am Neckar, Baden-Württemberg, Germany held its first Christopher Street Day (CSD) in celebration of LGBT pride. Wikinews reporter Ash Thawley interviewed a local who helped organise the event, Mo Koalick.

Police estimated between 1,200 to 1,500 people took part in the march, holding banners with messages such as "queer struggle is class struggle" ((de))German language: ‍queerer Kampf ist Klassenkampf: in 2017, the German Institute for Economic Research reported that gay and bisexual men earn on average 12% less per hour (about €2) than their heterosexual colleagues.

Pride parades are called CSDs in Germany and Switzerland. According to Koalick, this is "to remember the Stonewall riots", because the Stonewall Inn is located on Christopher Street in New York City.

Koalick added that they would like to see more publicity around future events and "a bigger route for the parade": "[I] would have wanted to decorate the town more." However, they said: "all in all I'm really happy with how the first pride of Esslingen came to be a thing"; "I am very positively surprised".

On the social attitudes towards LGBT people in Germany, Koalick said "there are more inclusive spaces and less inclusive spaces. Baden-Württemberg is one of the more conservative spaces", where "old people around here are actual sweethearts that cheer us on" but some "[t]eenagers and young adults go out of their way to show us that we aren't accepted". Nevertheless, they said there is "the teeniest [tiniest] improvement": "old people starting to listen", but teenagers "and [young adults] aren't really open to learn yet".


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.