Greetings Ambassadors 2022

This year we celebrate 30 years of CSD Leipzig and therefore we are supported by three ambassadors who are committed to the queer community in very different ways and represent the diversity of our community. Our ambassadors will also be present at our demonstration on 16.07.2022 on Augustusplatz.

(The greetings were translated from German)

Peter Thürer

Sex educator and family planning counselor

Many know me from the aidshilfe and know that I was committed to safer sex prevention close to the scene and as a tireless campaigner against exclusion and discrimination – also within the queer scene. Now I am retired. With increasing exclusion and discrimination of queer people in Europe, it becomes more and more important to preserve the achievements of the past years and to fight for further equality of sexual diversity. This also keeps me awake and restless in retirement.
Since the 1st CSD in Leipzig in 1992, I have been actively present in the organizing team. It therefore honors and pleases to have been nominated as an ambassador for the CSD 2022. Looking back, I would like to thank all the people who were involved in the CSD and made it such a great success, which has enriched Leipzig immensely. I wish us you all an interesting and eventful CSD week.

Foto: Carolyn Gammon

Katharina Oguntoye

Writer, entrepreneur and activist

At 14, I was a conscious feminist and environmental activist. Car-free Sundays and ‘Atomkraft Nein Danke’ stickers everywhere. When I came out in my early twenties, all my friends knew long before that I was a lesbian.

I was the last to understand. But my story begins much earlier in Leipzig. My grandma would come from Crimmitschau on weekends and take me and my brother to the city park. Kindergarten, starting school, my Nigerian-German family – I remember sunshine and love, lots of love in my life. I know that this is the only reason why I could look so positively into the world and become a strong fighter, because I felt accepted. In childhood and as a young adult.

This year’s motto of CSD Leipzig “Respect for all” means exactly that. We as a society, as movements and as circles of friends must accept our counterparts, our young people and our old companions, offer support and affirm positively. Transgender, migrant, lesbian, gay, women / men, boys and girls, intersexual, asexual, straight, and people with disabilities, to name just a few of the intersectional identities, deserve visibility and recognition. So we should ask ourselves, what can we do to help or promote each other? If we don’t have a concrete idea yet, we can start with a smile and friendly interaction. But once we have asked ourselves the question, the opportunities for concrete implementation will arise quite organically. And we are ready. Give Love – Stop hate!

Foto: Oguz Yilmaz

Fabian Grischkat

filmmaker, activist and moderator

Hello Leipzig! My name is Fabian Grischkat and I am very happy to be an ambassador for this year’s Christopher Street Day.

In recent years, the city of Leipzig has successfully managed to grow into a center for diversity. A place where queer people can develop and take care of each other. This is especially important for the young queer community and in retrospect, I was missing such a place in my own youth.

When I was 14, I noticed that I could develop feelings not only for women but also for men. In my small village, however, I felt like Daffyd Thomas from the series Little Britain: alone and misunderstood. Queer safe spaces, concerts or bars didn’t exist, so I took refuge in the internet.

On YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, I began to talk more and more about topics outside of heteronormative society. I quickly became aware that I was not alone at all. The diversity I wanted so much already existed and was becoming more and more established in large parts of the country. At the same time, all that shone was not gold. The decriminalization of homosexuality in 1994 and the introduction of marriage for everyone in 2017 were important cornerstones, but did these lead automatically to universal acceptance? I quickly realized: queer education and visibility can be expanded, even in a progressive country like Germany. And even beyond our own national borders, we cannot look the other way when people are discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

Therefore, I have tried for many years to use my reach for this very topic area and to give a stage to the voices that are too often not heard. CSD Leipzig also creates this stage and together we make it clear: tolerance, acceptance and our rights are not negotiable.

I wish all participants of the CSD Leipzig a wonderful, safe and unforgettable day!