Cologne CSD vs. Helsinki Pride — Pride Extravaganza vs. pepper spray

Came back yesterday from a three-night weekend in Cologne, Germany, where I attended the CSD weekend events. This was my first real pride event. And wow, what a parade it was! There were about 100 trucks in total, plus a lot of people walking. Audience was in the hundreds of thousands. I got the privilege of riding in the FetischU30 truck, for fetish guys under 30 years old. It was smokin’ hot!

The temperature in Cologne was unusually high for the whole weekend, maxing at about 34 C. I couldn’t but feel sorry for the guys wearing full rubber and hoods in the parade… it must’ve been bordered on lethal!

Even though I feel love towards my home country of Finland, this weekend once again proved the vast gap between Germany and my home country. In Finland, there was a pride parade last weekend as well, the Helsinki Pride, which was attacked by anti-gay activists with pepper spray. Even though the attack has been condemned by many, discussion boards still flow with wry messages mostly emphasizing how gays should keep it more low key. Attitudes like that once again make me ponder about the option of moving abroad to more receptive cultures.

I’ve been wondering with a few Finnish friends if we should do a rubber group in the next Helsinki Pride. At least we would have gas masks in case of another tear gas attack 😀