02.06.07 was in Zurich The Christopher Day Gay Pride. I wanted to write about it but after the event itself was not sure if it was worth mentioning it. And then I stumbled upon Mitzi's blog about the GayFest in Romania. And I had to step back a bit and watch the two events in comparison. Breath... I never have been to the GayFest in Bucharest. Was living already in CH plus my home town its quite far from Bucharest. So most the information that got to me was second hand, by-the-way conversations and most important blogs as: anonimul and indymedia .
My first impression of the CSD Pride in Zurich is: "That's it!?!". A couple of hundreds of people getting together in a small market, having some speeches about human rights in front of a tunned down crowd. One might try to blame the rain, but the parade that followed didn't really lived things up. No wonder as was only composed by maybe 5 improvised trucks, 3 with street parade music, one with church music representing FreiRaum (an organization that organizes and stands for the challenged gay Christians or "Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians") and some gay bar that had its own Miss and Mister contest going on. Some colourful drag queens came along and had the say was the only thing enjoyable. The rest walking and observing the underage dikes smoking pot. And sometimes ducking down say "shit, I know that guy, don't let him see me".
The parade follow the main route thru the town, reaching most of the Bahnhofstrasse, the river banks and near the old town with a final stop at the Railway. Some years ago there were quite a bunch of curios bystander. This time we were more of ignored in the sense of: " The shops are closing in half an hour, we don't have time for this!". You could surprise one or two elderly people confused and even an old lady watching a human parrot, bringing her hands to the mouth in pure wonder: "Wie schon!!!". Her reaction would have been touching if I could have ignored that probably she did the same when the tram passed, or at the smoke of the cigarette... or a non moving, still standing garbage bin.
The parade was far from provocative. I didn't see any police men (not even kinky fake ones) till the end of the parade and then there were only two. After the parade was over we all gather at the Turbineplatz were some food stands (naturally mainly with Asian food :D ), Anti-Aids stands and cocktail bars were nicely arranged. In the middle of everything, a stage for further political statements and some later concerts. As I had a ticket to a concert to another place I didn't linger much more around.
First time when I went to CSD Pride the whole event was bigger. Still not provocative as I thought something of this nature should be till I started to realized that it doesn't need to be anymore provocative. The "others" have acknowledged that we are everywhere, in the middle, under or on top (a stupid survey was aiming to show that its move likely to be a boss if your gay... Or was it the other way around... ?). There is no fight anymore here. And if there is one its to obtain more partnership rights and maybe a bit more openness in the villages. In Zurich, people saw it, done it and got over it.
And then there are some countries, my country, were the parade marshes between two rows of police, participants being at risk of getting bashed. Not only a public one of being "outed" but a physical one fearing that who knows who might be after that corner after the parade its over. Surely, we all like an adrenaline rush... But then we prefer to bungee jump or climb and not to be afraid to be in our own skin.
In Romania there is no fight on getting more rights recognized but being accepted all together. Fighting the for one of the first rights of being left alone, of simply caring for a person of the same sex and not risking your neck for it or suffering social repercussions. We still have long road to go of just being ourselves over there while here, in Switzerland the Gay Parade its just another old fashioned march that gives condoms for free. At least in Zürich...