The pride movement in Leipzig is political!
11. The CSD Leipzig stands for queer-inclusive medicine.
Health care for queer people in Germany and especially in Saxony is patchy and rife with obstacles. Sexual orientations and gender identities are barely discussed during medical education and training or are merely presented as anomalies or as mental disorders. For example, some therapists still try to cure queer people with so-called conversion therapy. Queer people also have specific medical needs that are still woefully far from being met. For example, there is still no standardisation of or qualification for transgender surgery and medicine and no long-term studies have been conducted on the effects of hormone therapies.
12. The CSD Leipzig demands equal treatment with regard to blood donation!
For many years, blood donation centres have regularly reported that too little blood is donated in Germany. Rare blood groups in particular are in short supply. Nevertheless, the German Medical Association’s guideline on the collection of blood and blood components and the use of blood products (hemotherapy guideline) restricts certain population groups or temporarily defers their approval to donate blood.
While the policy was loosened in the autumn of 2021, it still contains discriminatory elements.
For many years, blood donation centres have regularly reported that too little blood is donated in Germany. Rare blood groups in particular are in short supply. Nevertheless, the German Medical Association’s guideline on the collection of blood and blood components and the use of blood products (hemotherapy guideline) restricts certain population groups or temporarily defers their approval to donate blood. While the policy was loosened in the autumn of 2021, it still contains discriminatory elements.
“Individuals with sexual behaviour that poses a significantly increased risk of transmission of serious blood-borne infectious diseases compared with the general population are temporarily deferred from donation for 4 months:
- Sexual intercourse between a woman and a man with frequently changing partners
- Sexual intercourse of a transgender person with frequently changing partners
- Sexual intercourse between men (MSM) with a new sexual partner or more than one sexual partner
- Sex work
- Sexual intercourse with a person with any of the above behaviours
- Sexual intercourse with a person infected with HBV, HCV, or HIV
This regulation means that men who have sex with men (MSM) are more restricted in their ability to donate blood than heterosexual people unless they abstain from new sexual contact with other men or with multiple men (also applies to polyamorous relationships) for 4 months. For heterosexual singles, on the other hand, this regulation only applies if they change partners frequently. However, “change frequently” is not defined more closely, unlike MSM.
Furthermore, this regulation also excludes people engaged in sex work from the opportunity to donate blood. This is a blanket exclusion regardless of the type of sex work or the individual risk.
Instead of assigning a blanket statement of riskier sexual behaviour to homosexual men, bisexual men and sex workers, the German Medical Association should make provisions for the possibility of donating blood solely on the basis of the donor’s individual risk behaviour, regardless of their sexual orientation or stigmatising imputations.
In addition, people who have sex with people with HIV are excluded from donating blood. No differentiation is made despite the fact that people with HIV who are treated with antiretroviral therapy and are below the limit of detection cannot pass on HIV.
It is hard to understand why trans people are listed separately in point 184.108.40.206.2.2 although the only regulation that applies to them is “frequently changing” sexual partners, a distinction that is also discriminatory.
13. The CSD Leipzig demands a complete ban on conversion “therapies”!
Conversion “therapies” are used to supposedly cure homosexuality and transgender or intersex identities. We reject the term “therapy” for this form of treatment as it implies that there is something present that requires therapy. However, homosexuality, transsexuality and intersexuality are not diseases that need to be cured. On the contrary, these treatments cause massive mental and physical suffering.
We therefore welcome the Act to Protect against Conversion Treatments (KonvBehSchG) of 12/06/2020 and in particular the ban on advertising for such treatments. However, the implementation ban contained does not go far enough for us.
Paragraph 2 of the KonvBehSchG prohibits conversion treatment of persons under the age of 18 and treatment of “persons who have reached the age of 18 but whose consent to conversion treatment is based on a lack of will” (para. 2 (2) of the KonvBehSchG).
This wording continues to facilitate the circumvention of the ban through small print, deception etc. Moreover, young adults between the ages of 18 and 27 also require special protection from such “therapies” in addition to adolescents and minors. This is because the legal age of majority does not necessarily coincide with full personal maturity and stability. This group of people is particularly susceptible to supposed promises of treatment.
Para. 5 of the KonvBehSchG stipulates a prison sentence of up to one year as a punishment for carrying out conversion treatments despite the ban. Parents can also be liable to prosecution. Paragraph 2 states that the criminal provision “shall not apply to any person acting as a caregiver or guardian unless by the act they grossly violate their duty of care or education”. In our eyes, any caregiver or guardian grossly violates their duty of care or education if they subject a person to “therapy” of this kind.
It is our conviction that barbaric conversion therapies or treatments must be completely forbidden without exception.
Source: Bundesgesetzblatt 2020, p. 1285 et seq.
14. The CSD Leipzig demands free tests for sexually transmitted infections (STI) for everyone in Germany at least once a year!
In recent years, there has been a slight decline in the number of first-time HIV diagnoses in Germany. However, infections with other sexually transmitted infections are on the rise. In this context, low-threshold opportunities for testing and access to the health care system are essential to curb the spread of STIs.
The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) has been publishing poster campaigns on sexually transmitted infections (STI) for several years. They explicitly recommend the use of condoms to reduce the risk of contracting an STI and to consult a doctor if symptoms indicate an STI. (https://www.bzga.de/infomaterialien/hivsti-praevention/ love-life-campaign/love-life-poster/)
In case of symptoms, there is a clear indication for a test and the health insurance companies cover the costs. In enlightened doctors’ practices it is common to take a detailed sexual anamnesis. From the results, such as sexual practices and number of sex partners, the treating physician will carry out appropriate screening for certain STIs in order to be able to recognize and treat asymptomatic STIs. In these cases, too, the health insurance companies cover the costs incurred.
Many STI cause no or hardly any symptoms, so that there is no indication and the health insurers can refuse to cover the costs. The same applies to routine tests for people with several sex partners per year and no symptoms. If the health insurances do not cover these costs, the patient has to bear them himself/herself.
Anonymous HIV laboratory tests and screening for other STI are offered by the AIDS and STI counseling centers of the public health departments mainly for men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the weakness of this system here. Due to the commitment of all local health department staff to pandemic response, STI testing services were completely shut down for months without replacement.
Although many AIDS help centers or checkpoints in Germany (https://www.aidshilfe.de/adressen) also offer anonymous HIV tests or tests for other STIs, they are unable to meet the demand.
Thus, people who wanted to be tested for STI were left with only the option of a medical or laboratory test. These tests are not anonymous and are not covered by health insurance in the constellations described, so people may not get tested for fear of the cost.
We therefore demand that all people in Germany have access to at least one annual screening for sexually transmitted infections that is covered by the health insurance funds (both SHI and private health insurance), in addition to any existing services offered by the public health offices.
15. The CSD Leipzig demands the end of discrimination against and stigmatisation of people with HIV!
Today, people with HIV have a normal life expectancy and a good quality of life. They have access to highly effective antiretroviral therapy that prevents AIDS from developing so that no one has to die from the consequences of an untreated HIV infection. Effective HIV therapy also protects their sexual partners from HIV infection, meaning that people with HIV do not pass it on during sex without a condom. People with HIV can also conceive children naturally as healthy children can be mothered or fathered by people undergoing HIV therapy.
In addition to using condoms, you can protect yourself from HIV infection through therapy and by taking medication to prevent the risk of HIV (PrEP). These extraordinary medical developments have turned a deadly threat into a very treatable chronic infection.
In spite of this, the recent study Positive Stimmen 2.0 (positive voices 2.0) conducted by German AIDS Service Organization (DAH) showed that people with HIV are still discriminated against and excluded in this day and age. They are discriminated against by, for example, potential (sexual) partners, at work, when visiting doctors and in the personal sphere. The reasons for this are manifold and are often based on misinformation and prejudice.
One current example is the completely incomprehensible exclusion of people with HIV from the police service of Saxony. According to a minor inquiry put to the Saxon state parliament in April 2022 (official document no. 7/9350), applicants with HIV are not eligible to serve on the police force.
Stigmatisation due to HIV infection mainly affects men who have sex with men (MSM), but also drug users, people engaged in sex work and refugees. Stigmatisation also occurs within the queer scene. For instance, people with HIV are assumed to be careless or irresponsible. But we can only assume responsibility for ourselves. Everybody participating in sex has a responsibility, not only people with HIV.
Discrimination and stigmatisation lead to an above-average incidence of mental illness among people with HIV. In addition, fear of exclusion prevents people from getting tested for HIV.
The CSD Leipzig is therefore dedicated to providing comprehensive education concerning safer sex, realistic images of life with HIV and how it has changed over the last 20 years, and to engaging in anti-discrimination work on this issue.
16. The CSD Leipzig demands that asexuality is recognised as an equal sexual orientation alongside other queer and heterosexual orientations. We demand that it is given social visibility and political representation of interests!
Asexuality is a form of sexual orientation and describes people who have little or no sexual attraction to other people. In our highly sexualised society, people who feel little or no sexual desire and who are perfectly happy with this circumstance are quickly judged as being abnormal or are overlooked to the point of invisibility. The majority of society holds the view that every person must have sex and people who deviate from this are seen as being deficient or not to be taken seriously.
17. The Leipzig Pride demands more lesbian visibility!
Over the years, there should have been an increasing lesbian presence due to the fact that multiple generations can now openly express themselves in our more tolerant society. When homosexuals are discussed, lesbians are merely “included” because gay men often dominate images and topics. The queer community also reflects the trends of wider society. Like all other women, lesbian women continue to have to fight for separate consideration, linguistic significance and political relevance. CSD Leipzig aims to give the lesbian lifestyle a more public face.
18. The CSD Leipzig demands the equal recognition of bisexuality/pansexuality alongside other sexual and romantic orientations and advocates for the exposure of specific discrimination against bisexual/pansexual people!
“It’s just a phase”, “You’re too scared to REALLY come out”, “Never (sleep) with a bisexual” – Bisexual people are exposed to specific prejudices and discriminations exercised both by wider society and the queer community itself.
A further problem faced by bisexual people is their invisibility. The sexual orientation of bisexual individuals is always perceived depending on the gender of their current partner. This external judgement results in a constant pressure to justify oneself, among other things. Figures show that these manufactured exclusions lead to bisexuals/pansexuals having higher rates of depression and suicide than homosexuals.
We therefore call for public outreach and education programmes that aim to create visibility for real bisexual/pansexual lives and reflect on the prejudices faced by these individuals. In addition, we challenge the community itself to discuss and discard such exclusionary behaviour.
19. The CSD Leipzig supports the concerns of people with disabilities and therefore demands that the city should be accessible for all.
Many people with disabilities are restricted in their self-determination and lifestyle by various obstacles and a lack of social opportunities. This can affect people of any sexuality or gender identity, meaning those concerned can face multiple discriminations even within the queer community. Since these barriers are avoidable and can be changed, CSD Leipzig demands the improvement of accessibility for these people, especially by the city of Leipzig. We believe this can serve as a positive example, e.g. by designing accessible public transport stops and an extensive guide system for the visually impaired so that people with disabilities can reach us and participate in CSD.
20. The CSD Leipzig demands that people must be able to live their lives across the whole range of sexual identities free of discrimination even in old age. Gender identities and sexual orientations must be a topic of discussion in the care sector!
Older queer people belong to a particularly vulnerable group because they have lived through times when they were exposed to far more oppressive social conditions than we are used to today. This often had the effect that many never dared to come out or had to lead a double life for a long time, sometimes forever. For those who did dare to come out, rejection by their family of origin and friends and/or the loss of a job, criminalisation and resulting social isolation were not uncommon. The result was that many of the elderly queer community today live in seclusion. If they are ever in need of care, they have serious concerns and fears of being discriminated against by other residents of care facilities and by care workers (mobile or stationary). These concerns are quite justified, because it must be taken into account that sexuality and especially sexual orientations and/or gender identities are rarely if ever topics of discussion in geriatric care and are therefore completely overlooked.
21. The CSD Leipzig supports diverse ways of life and different kinds of families and demands their legal and social recognition as well as respectful treatment.
We must question and transcend black-and-white thinking. Our goal should be equality and equal rights for all ways of life and forms of family and gender. This objective will not be achieved just by making marriage available to all. Rather, it is about recognising other family situations and creating a legal status that is open to all people, such as multi-parent families for example. In addition, we stand for the abolition of tax splitting for married couples and the introduction of a family tax splitting scheme. This is because families are formed by people taking responsibility for children and for each other, rather than marital status, and this must be supported.
22. The CSD Leipzig demands scientifically based education in gender and sexuality subjects for all relevant professions at Saxon universities, colleges and vocational schools!
Ignorance and prejudice against queer people represent a major driving force for discrimination and even violent crime. This can only change through comprehensive awareness, education and anti-discrimination work. The range of topics regarding sexual identity receives barely any attention in the fields of research and education. Students at Saxon universities do not have access to modern, enlightened and socially-oriented sexual education but it is represented in the curricula of Saxon schools and in preschool education. This contradiction leads to a lack of sex education in the classroom. Gender diversity should be embedded in the training of all educational, teaching, socio-educational, therapeutic and medical professions.
23. The CSD Leipzig calls on the Saxon Ministry of Culture to update the orientation framework for family and sexual education in Saxon schools and to review its implementation!
Since August 2016, the orientation framework has prescribed, among other things, interdisciplinary teaching for family and sexuality education as a school task. The aim is to promote individual development and living together. In this context, teaching should not only discuss scientific issues, but also ensure that a wide range of ethical, social and cultural issues are addressed. This is to take place in the general education schools in various subjects across the board and in cooperation with extracurricular partners.
However, the implementation of this framework is patchy. For example, queer identities are practically absent from Saxon schools. In history lessons, the victims with the pink and black angles are left out of the discussion of National Socialism. In German lessons, the sexual orientation of the authors is not mentioned, even though it shaped the work. In addition, the implementation of projects for the education of sexual self-determination is not guaranteed everywhere.
The current version of the orientation framework does not adequately address issues of sexual and gender diversity. The promotion of marriage and family should take into account the reality of life and reflect or include both patchwork and rainbow families.
School is an important institution that has a decisive influence on the development of children and young people. Therefore, it is not only important that the implementation of offers for the education of sexual self-determination (e.g. through offers of sexual education) is given, but also that the visibility as well as perspectives of queer lifestyles are guaranteed and that the pupils:inside are adequately supported in their individual sexuality.
The CSD Leipzig therefore demands the updating of the orientation framework on the model of Berlin/Brandenburg as well as a consistent review of its implementation.
24. The CSD Leipzig demands that people must not discriminated against for their sexual behaviour (type, manner or frequency)!
The sexual behaviour of every single person as part of their social behaviour is different. So there is not a single type of sexual behaviour. People can make a conscious choice in the range between total sexual abstinence and continual sexual activity. People who have sex frequently or with many changing partners are often devalued. Likewise, people who live out fetish inclinations are called perverts and people who live in polyamorous relationships are assumed to be only interested in sex. The sexual practices of homosexual men are also assumed to be perverted while lesbians are not considered to actually have “real sex.”
Our demand is therefore clear and unambiguous: this has to stop. Every person should focus on themself and their own life and be at peace with themself. After all, only one thing counts: being content and happy.
We assume that the sexual behaviours mentioned here take place with the mutual consent of all sexual partners.
25. The CSD Leipzig demands more tolerance and respect within the queer community!
While the CSD focusses on demands that affect society as a whole, we should not forget that we are also part of this society. Exclusion and intolerance are everyday problems even within the queer community. Sexism, racism, class discrimination, transphobia, discrimination based on visual appearance, age and many other characteristics are unfortunately ubiquitous even in our community. The Stonewall Uprising in 1969 launched a movement in which queer people took to the streets as a cohesive group to stand up for their collective rights. In keeping with this spirit, we should remember the fact that our community is diverse and sensitise ourselves to the fact that cohesion within the community is equally as important as the acceptance we demand from the outside. Only together can we be strong! Therefore, the CSD will once again concentrate on prioritising these values and calls for more respect and acceptance when dealing with one another.
26. The CSD Leipzig demands the destigmatisation of sex work!
Sex workers are still stigmatised and discriminated against in our society due to their occupations. Every day they experience exclusion and unequal treatment and are exposed to hatred, violence and state repression. Queer sex workers in particular are affected by multiple forms of discrimination.
The Prostitutes Protection Act has failed to achieve its purpose since being introduced. It does not protect sex workers, but has instead only imposed new obligations on them. This is typical of a law that was not developed in collaboration with the target audience. In public debates, sex workers are also repeatedly denied autonomy over their own lives. They are not trusted to be able to handle their sexuality in a self-determined way, which is an inseparable part of their work. This paternalism must end. Discrimination by the state and society are the greatest obstacles preventing sex workers from living and working in dignity.
Sex work is a broad and varied field of work that cannot be generalised. For some, being accepted and desired with one’s own sexuality or identity is an expression of self-determination and autonomy. This experience is not yet taken for granted in our society. CSD Leipzig believes that sex work is real work and is unequivocally against a ban on selling sex. We also unreservedly condemn forced prostitution and human trafficking. We demand equal rights and social participation for sex workers to empower and protect them.
27. The CSD Leipzig demands that the problems named here are understood to be problems affecting the whole of society!
Exclusionary and discriminatory behaviour are not the problems of certain individuals or social subgroups. It is found in every social setting and occurs throughout society. Furthermore, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and interphobia cannot be understood and certainly cannot be changed if they are examined in isolation from other inequalities. We denounce outdated power structures such as those expressed by sexism, racism, class discrimination, discrimination based on appearance and hostility towards people with disabilities. We also examine ourselves critically and recognise the hostilities within our community. Even people who identify as queer and thus are members of the LGBTTIQA+ community are not protected against negative attitudes from within the community. Emancipation of one group cannot and must not take place at the expense of others. Diversity is an opportunity for all.
Fragen oder Anmerkungen? Dann schreib uns!