With distance and masks: Thousands celebrate CSD in Cologne despite the pandemic


Cologne – Only 2000 participants instead of a million like last time. The CSD in the Corona year was much smaller – but not quieter. Because, from the point of view of the makers of Europe’s largest “Pride” event, their message must be heard, especially in times of pandemics.

The fact that the demonstration was approved despite the alarming Cologne corona numbers (7-day incidence 59.7) is primarily due to the strict hygiene concept to protect the participants. The CSD parade was converted into a bicycle demo, as the participants inevitably have to keep their distance while cycling.

Bernd (55): “Right now we have to show that we are a community. We can’t just keep an eye on Corona. “

Photo: Uli Engers

Registered participants drove from four starting points (Aachener Weiher, Ebertplatz, Chlodwigplatz, Kalk) in defined groups to the joint rally in the direction of the Deutz shipyard.

There the trip for the demonstrators ended at one of four assigned stages. Masking was compulsory from start to finish. The previously registered groups were not allowed to mix.

But not only the number of participants was different than before. The Cologne Lesbian and Gay Day (KLuST) this time offered no space for commerce and parties, but plenty of space for serious tones.

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Roman (23): “We cannot skip a year!”

Photo: Uli Engers

This is why Roman (23) came up: “This is an important shelter here, especially for people who live in the country and feel alone with their sexuality.”

Marcel-Jana (23): “Right now, visibility is very important because LGBT youth centers had to close and young people with homophobic parents were isolated.”

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Marcel-Jana (23) is non-binary, i.e. neither male nor female, and felt safe with distance and masks

Photo: Uli Engers

Demonstrator Bernd (55) felt that he was in good hands thanks to the hygiene concept: “Compared to shopping in the city center, this is much safer here!”

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