Munich Pride 2023 gets bigger and more political than ever!
520,000 people attended Munich Pride on 24 June, 60,000 of whom took part in the Pride Parade alone. On the streets and stages of the city, it was all about the queer action plan.
Munich, 25 June 2023 - Even Ulrike Scharf came at the end. The Bavarian Minister of Social Affairs took her seat on a panel of state politicians on the Queer Action Plan Bavaria Saturday evening. The Bavarian government has announced that it will implement a catalogue of measures for equality and against discrimination against LGBTIQ* before the summer break. The community will want to have a say in this. But more on that in a moment.
Munich Pride entirely - together with 19 other Prides across Bavaria - dedicated itself to this one topic. "Queer Action Plan Bavaria Now!" was the motto for 2023, and this was noticeable everywhere on the streets and stages of the city. Stage talks, interviews, statements in the CSD live stream - wherever you looked, the queer crowd had an opinion on the action plan and its many aspects.
Enrico W., a young gay man, spoke on the main stage about how they beat him up in Dingolfing after visiting a queer club. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Kristina Wölfel, presenter on the CSD main stage at Marienplatz, stressed how important it is to show up at Pride. "It is our lives, our reality that is threatened, by all the hate and the increasing attacks." The discussion about a drag reading in Munich had certainly stirred up some emotions in the city since May.
The Pride is growing
No wonder, then, that around 60,000 people took part in the Pride Parade on Saturday. 181 formations had registered. And 460,000, according to the police, watched. That makes 520,000 people who attende the Pride, its stage programmes and the street festival with the party area, the rainbow family area and the 78 information stands throughout the day. Last year, the organisers counted around 400,000 visitors; 27,000 people had joined the Parade then.
Politics joined the demands of Munich Pride. On the two stages, politicians from all parties spoke out in favour of the contents of an action plan: Among other things, the state government should be made to finally record queer-specific violence and discrimination figures, to sensitise the police to the concerns of queer people, to expand the patchy counselling infrastructure, especially in the countryside, to revise curricula, to provide accommodation for queer refugees, and to make sure that queer people are not discriminated.
The city of Munich sets a good example. Mayor Katrin Habenschaden, representing patron Dieter Reiter, said: "Between 2010 and 2021, crimes against queer people have increased sevenfold, according to the state government's answer to a question in the state parliament. Sevenfold! This is unacceptable and therefore, on behalf of Munich's city leadership, I also strongly support the demand for a queer action plan in Bavaria."
No details from the minister
And then there was Ulrike Scharf, whose ministry has not always shone with expertise on queer realities in the past. As she announced on the community stage in Kaufingerstraße, her ministry is already working on an action plan. A round table is to take place as early as July. The measures would be financed with about 700,000 euros.
She did not get more specific. It also remained open to what extent the community would be involved with its knowledge in the development of such an action plan. For this purpose, a conference of all stakeholders of the Bavarian LGBTIQ* community will take place on 8/9 September, to which the LSVD Bayern invites. The community should not be left out of this under any circumstances, emphasises CSD spokesperson Julia Bomsdorf.
Many are also critical of the funding. Munich alone spends four times as much on its queer infrastructure. For such a huge state like Bavaria, 700,000 euros will be hardly enough.
Pride is a riot
"The fact that Munich Pride is growing so enormously," says managing director Alexander Kluge, "shows what an important political platform it is to make queer life visible. Especially among young people. Of course it's about celebrating diversity. But we also have to defend it every day. And this year we have brought this message across really well. We are far from finished with our fight for equal rights and acceptance."
LGBTIQ* have been demonstrating for equal rights and acceptance in Munich for more than 40 years. At the largest event of the community in southern Germany, which is supported by the lesbian-queer association LesCommunity, the gay communication and cultural centre Sub, the Munich Aids-Hilfe, the voters' initiative Rosa Liste and the youth organisation Diversity, more than 100 events (2023) take place during a 16-day PrideWeek. Highlights are the PolitParade with 520,000 participants and spectators (2023), the two-day street festival around Marienplatz and the party event RathausClubbing.