Bonn Transsexual actor Brix Schaumburg led a demo from Bonn to Cologne on Sunday as part of his cycling tour through Germany. The winner of the TV dating show ‘Prince Charming’ also took part.
Actor Brix Schaumburg plans to cover around 2,500 kilometres across Germany on his bicycle made of bamboo wood. In stages, of course - one of which was added on Sunday. The shortest route of 35 kilometres led from Bonn along the banks of the river Rhine via Wesseling to Friesenplatz in Cologne. The first German actor to come out as transsexual wants to draw attention to the concerns of gays, lesbians and bi- and transsexual people, i.e. the queer community.
Schaumburg was not alone on this section of the route: He was accompanied by almost 30 young people from the queer youth centre Anyway in Cologne. And celebrity support was provided by Anastasia Biefang, the first openly transgender lieutenant colonel in the German armed forces, and Lars Tönsfeuerborn, winner of the TV dating show ‘Prince Charming’. The participants met at Münsterplatz for the start of the bike demo, where there was a short introductory rally. Queer youth centre GAP from Bonn was also represented, and pedagogical director Mirjam Müllen presented Schaumberg with a GAP t-shirt before departure.
“Visibility for the community”
Why is the actor doing this? “I want to create more visibility for the community. And remind people that we should be nice to each other,” he explained. For Müllen, this visibility is “one of the biggest tasks that could help the queer community”. She said that this was the only way to reduce discrimination.
In terms of numbers, Bonn’s queer community may not be as big as the one in Cologne, but it is comparable in percentage terms. “We have just as many queer people among the youth here as everywhere else.” Unlike young adults, adolescents cannot easily get to Cologne. The GAP offers them a point of contact with a meeting place, counselling and orientation. She is optimistic that the community will receive more attention now with the Green mayor Katja Dörner. She had already stated, “the will is there.”
Calling attention to people’s rights
Biefang didn't think twice when asked if she would like to join one of the stages. Above all because it was once again a sign of life from the community. "When I look at the Pride Season, it hasn't taken place for a year." This refers to events like Christopher Street Day, which had to be cancelled like the carnival. "It's also an opportunity to create a link between the cities and to be visible."
Most of the participants came on the train from Cologne in order to cycle back there. Marcel had a slightly longer journey: He travelled from Wipperfürth in Bergisches Land and had to arrive early due to the severely limited public transport connections on Sundays. “I think it's important to draw attention to the rights of people who are different,” said the 26-year-old. Ideally, at some point they should no longer have to feel any different. "You should accept everyone as they are.” He also goes to the Anyway centre in Cologne. “There is no queer scene in Wipperfürth,” he explains.
(Original text: Stefan Knopp, Translation: Caroline Kusch)