Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lesbschwules Parkfest Friedrichshain 2009

After a full day of shopping (bought some wear-all pants with zip off bottoms for the New Zealand trip) and running around, we thought we would trip on over to Friedrichshain Park in East Berlin to take part in a gay and lesbian tradition, the Lesbschwules Parkfest.

One day a year the open air concert/movie arena in Friedrichshain Park becomes the play place of several thousand gays and lesbians. There were about 25 booths from all walks of life, including of course the normal fare for such festivals... Wurst and Beer. But there were some coffee/tea vendors as well as political (Germans will go to the polls soon, the political signs are going up and the candidates are out in full force) and professional service people. Tons of organizations come out, from the Lesbian readers, to the Asexuals (we never thought to ask... does that mean that they aren't attracted to anyone?) and don't forget the Gay Yoga Group.

We haven't been to this celebration since my first year in Berlin, which puts us back to 2005. What can I say, we're always busy, or out of town, or it is pouring rain.

The last time I was there Klaus Wowereit, the Mayor of Berlin came up on stage and gave a rousing speech. Of course I had not one iota what the good man said, but the people seemed to be digging it. What I was excited about was that the guy up on the stage is a gay man and I now lived in his city. For a lesbian who had just left Wichita, Kansas I was possibly understandably jumping for joy. What a liberating experience. Of course this was LONG before I had the opportunity to party with the wild and crazy boy... ask me about that sometime!

As far as I know Klausi wasn't on the program for today, I just know that I didn't see him there. But we did get to hear a few bands and there were several speakers. Mostly what I did was sit and watch the people, it seems to be my favorite past time these days. And let's admit it, at such an event, there are really some interesting people to see.

It seemed like every third couple I saw was trailing a kid of some form. The older sisters had a young teenager in tow, the middle-agers had todlers, and the "oh my gawd are they really old enough to have children?" people had the teeny babies. There were a few gay male couples with kiddies, although I think it was certainly heavy toward the lesbians in this regard. It wasn't stroller heaven like some park fests I've been to... but it was close.

All in all it is good, clean fun... at least during the daylight hours, I've never been there at night. When I think about the fact that not too many decades ago a group of gays and lesbians congregating like this in a public park would be asking for police brutality, I get a smile on my face and remember that we've come a long way, baby.


cliff1976 said...

I had the opportunity to party with the wild and crazy boy... ask me about that sometime!

Gimme about 3 weeks!

Snooker said...

Oh my gosh! WEBMU is only three weeks away... where did the summer go?