Bonn 450 participants in the city centre on Saturday afternoon demanded more acceptance and equality. At the end of the procession there was a rally at Münsterplatz.
With rainbow flags and colorful protest signs in hand - Around 450 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer people were out and about in downtown Bonn on Saturday afternoon. The demonstrators demanded more acceptance and equality in society. The protest march was composed of representatives of the Aids-Hilfe Bonn and Herzenslust Bonn, the youth center GAP in Bonn, the anti-discrimination project Schlau Bonn and the queer department of the AStA of the University of Bonn. The march started in the early noon on Rheinaustraße in Beuel and moved via Friedrich-Breuer-Straße, Kennedybrücke, Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz, Oxfordstraße, Kasernenstraße, Friedensplatz and Vivatsgasse to Münsterplatz where a final rally was held in the early afternoon. The police accompanied the event with several vehicles, but spoke of a quiet operation. There were no massive traffic disruptions and the participants kept their distance.
This year's Pride Demo put a special focus on the slogans "self-determination and cohesion", according to the organizers. Accordingly, queer people still face major hurdles in shaping their lives in a self-determined way, such as during adoption processes for same-sex couples or in adjusting the name and gender registration of transgender people.
Alex Münster, former speaker in the queer department of the AStA Bonn, therefore called for more cohesion: "The community experience and mutual support must form a foundation from which the life plans of the individuals can only develop. Because we want to resolutely counter the social tendency toward isolation, in which everyone thinks only of themselves and social inequality is ignored." Minorities are particularly affected by multiple discrimination - such as racism.
The pandemic has exacerbated the problem, the organizers said. For the elimination of contact points, in which one's own experiences could be seen in the mirror of others, have meant a strong cut, especially for young people. "It is precisely because not every home and every family that is a safe place for queer children and young people. The elimination of school and general meeting places been bad enough, but especially also the special importance of queer meeting and self-experience places like LGBTQ*+ youth centers and cafes was clearly not seen and heeded by the policy," outraged Finn Müller, youth worker at GAP in Bonn.
Fabian from "Schlau Bonn" elaborated: "The visibility and mentioning of queer life is, especially for young people, of high importance. They can thereby be confronted with this important topic, learn acceptance and are motivated to deal with their own identity." All the more motivated and vocal they were to take to the streets now, Fabian said. Clara and Isabel (both 21) wanted more visibility and normality for all. "I demonstrate for all sexualities to be seen and for everyone to be allowed to co-exist," Isabel said.
Daniel Krämer from the Aids-Hilfe Bonn and coordinator of Herzenslust Bonn, observed during the pandemic a partly interrupted and more difficult medical care structure for people with HIV. "Prevention events could not take place during the pandemic and free and anonymous testing services were absent for a long time." Especially because of the ongoing situation, the alliance wanted to create more visibility for its issues in public space with the protest march, the organizers explained.
Original text: Niklas Schröder
Translation: Mareike Graepel