September 2006


Pride 2006

Rainbow PrideToday was, in many ways, a replay of a lovely Saturday afternoon I had two years ago shortly after arriving in Germany.

I caught the train to Erfurt because “Christopher Street Days” were in progress. Last time I got off the train and met up with Katya, and discovered that I couldn’t understand her handwriting which was why I wasn’t able to reach her on her phone.

This time there was no Katya. She’s back in the Ukraine—and I think of her and her family each night when I say “guten nacht” to the toy dog her father gave me—you squeeze it and it barks. However her lack of physical presence was made up with in spiritual presence as everywhere I went, Katya and I had once gone together.

I started out wandering around Anger. In Erfurt Anger is not an emotion, it’s a plaza. Anger was the headquarters for this year’s Thüringen Christopher Street Days—or as I have previously pointed out, Gay Pride. When I arrived at noon, the stage was still being set up, booths laid out, and the crowd was sparse, so instead I wandered around Anger 1 (the mall) looking at items in Saturn and Karstadt, before deciding to heed my stomach and find lunch.

HefeweißenLunch was an easy decision. I headed to Domplatz, where I found the Vamos Tapas Bar, one of the places Katya and I once ate. There I snagged a lovely table outside, ordered olives, a chicken dish, and a hefeweißen, all of which appeared in due order and made for a very pleasant hour in the sun. From my vantage point I was able to watch trams go by as well as watch people buying fresh vegetables at the market across the street.

It couldn’t have been more tranquil.

After awhile, and I really lost track of time, I tracked down the waitress and ordered my bill. Eventually I paid and left making my way back to Anger by way of a grocery store and then window shopping.

ohne SattelBack at the small fair I wandered through the booths and nearly died laughing when I saw the “ohne Sattel” poster—the barebacking, without blue jeans, man atop the horse reminded quite vividly of the first time I went barebacking—on a horse. Back when I took horseback riding at the University of Wyoming, the first two or three weeks of class we were not allowed to use saddles. This was back when “barebacking” was big in the (gay) news and it provided me several weeks of inside humor as I realized I was doing exactly what gay men were being told not to do. Except of course, I was riding a horse—and I still remember how nasty my blue jeans were after the first week of class. You could see where my butt had been on the horse.

After that I sat in the sunshine for awhile, enjoying—in a very passive way—everything that was going on. Unfortunately the stage acts consisted primarily of people talking about politics, and, believe it or not, a fashion show that appeared, to me, to be aimed squarely at the massive heterosexual crowd in attendance at the event. Either that or they were letting women parade around in poorly thought out drag queen costumes. There was one brief memorable dance number which I got a few photos of, viewable on Flickr.

I stayed until about 4:30 when I realized that last night’s insomnia was catching up and that I had a slight headache developing, so I came home, took Tylenol and a nap.

Now that I’m feeling better, I’ve uploaded my pictures and am baking oatmeal cookies with cranberries. Yum!

2 comments to Pride 2006

  • That is quite interesting. I always missed the main events of Gay Pride. Anyway, I wanted to try horsebackriding but it’s too late now. I should have done it during summer if I wasnt so busy with the school applications.

  • Oatmeal cookies with cranberries are one of my favourite things.

    When I was bartending the dock party last weekend I got up afterwards to thank Cait for her excellent “bar backing” (this being the industry term for a bartender’s assistant). The woman who had organized the event is something of a notorious party girl, and she was already through her first bottle of wine. She went “whoa, I thought you said something else!” Then all the queers in attendance laughed, and everyone else just looked around akwardly. It was a funny moment.