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Pride Guide: Berlin’s Queer culture highlights

Our guide to the art, culture, parties and protests making up Berlin's 2023 Pride calendar.

This year’s official FLINTA* Pride Party, GIRLS TOWN is not to be missed! Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

In the mood for art exhibitions and readings focusing on Queer icons? Sober-friendly dance parties? Demos and post-demo raves? Pride season in Berlin has something for every guy, gal, non-binary pal, ally, and anyone else who just wants to celebrate Queer life in Berlin. Here’s our guide to the city’s Queer culture highlights this Pride season.

Chloe Sherman: Renegades, San Francisco: Queer Life in the 1990s

Inside my Chevy Nova, Ace Driving, 1997 © Chloe Sherman

This expansive exhibition at f3 – freiraum für fotografie takes a look at three decades of work from American photographer Chloe Sherman. Exhibited for the first time outside the United States, RENEGADES celebrates Queer life in 1990s San Francisco, bringing together a collection of archival images for a candid and intimate portrait life outside the mainstream.

  • f³ – freiraum für fotografie, Waldemarstr. 17, Kreuzberg, June 30 – September 3, details.

QUEERDOS: The Sultry Bitch Theory

An evening of spoken word performances with QUEERDOS Kollektiv. The night will focus on performances that trouble the norms and boundaries of expressing queer intimacy.

  • Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Linienstr. 227, Mitte, July 9, 20:00 – 23:45, details.

Lemonade Queers: Sober Party

Living sober isn’t easy – especially in a city like Berlin. That’s where where Lemonade Queers comes in. Schwuz invites all the sober Queers and allies to a spectacular variety show featuring drag queens Toylette Paypr, Miss Steak, comedian Phillip Leinenbach and DJ Mira Sonnenberg to finish the night off with some stunning tech-house beats. You’ll be well taken care of, with the SchwuZ bar team serving up creative non-alcoholic cocktails and drinks all night long.

  • Schwuz, Rollbergstr. 26, Neukölln, July 12, starting 19:00, details.

Lesbian and Gay City Festival

Photo: IMAGO / Pond5

Europe’s largest Lesbian and Gay festival lights up Nollendorfplatz again this year with food trucks, six stages of music and a wide range of LGBTQ* group projects on display. Their slogan this year is “Equal Rights for the Unequal” – another stellar event in the Berlin Pride Month calendar.

  • Nollendorfplatz , Schöneberg, July 15 – 16, starting 11:00, details.

Hervé Guibert: Queer reading night

Hervé Guibert at home, Paris, September 1987. Photo: Martine Franck/Magnum Photos

KW is dedicating an evening to the written work of Hervé Guibert, the French writer and photographer who played an important role in changing the public attitude towards HIV and AIDs in France in the 1990s. Taking place in the gallery’s leafy hinterhof, contemporary writers Andrew Durbin, Nat Marcus and Bassem Saad will be reading and discussing Guibert’s work, relating it to their own practice and interpretations. Visit the KW website to make your reservation.

  • KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Auguststr. 69, Mitte, July 19, starting 20:00, details.

Canal Pride

Photo: IMAGO / aal.photo

Set sail in one of fourteen party boats across Berlin with Canal Pride. Each boat is sponsored by a different association and organised by people from across the Berlin queer nightlife scene. Top DJs and performers will keep you entertained both on board and at the after party at Osthafen. All hands on deck!

  • Boarding at various locations, July 20, starting 17:30, details.

Dyke March 

Photo: IMAGO / Avalon.red

Celebrating their 10th birthday this year, the Dyke March hits the streets of Kreuzberg and Neukölln to promote the visibility and safety of the Lesbian community in Berlin. Join in for the demo and the Dykes* Do It Better after party at Festsaal Kreuzberg.

  • Festsaal Kreuzberg, Am Flutgraben 2, Kreuzberg, July 21, starting 18:00, details.

Christopher Street Day Parade

Our guide to the art, culture, parties and protests of Berlin's Pride calendar.
Photo: IMAGO / Olaf Schuelke

Around one million people take part in the Christopher Street Day (CSD) parade, the biggest event in the Berlin Pride Month calendar. This year we’re marching under the bilingual slogan “Be their voice – and ours! …für mehr Empathie und Solidarität”. Join in for the march around Mitte ending at the Brandenburg Gate for Berlin’s loudest and proudest event of the summer.

  • Leipziger Str., Mitte, July 22, starting 12:00, details.

Stonewall was a riot: CSD afterparty

Head to SO36 for the ultimate CSD after party for Berlin’s queers, punks, hippies, diso-dancers and radicals. Ticket prices are staggered between 8 and 15 Euros, and the organisers encourage visitors to pay only what they can. Get ready for only the finest pop hits, house bangers and disco dance tracks from DJs including Elvira Westwärts, Paula Sau and Parole Ponyhof.

  • SO36 , Oranienstr. 190, Kreuzberg, July 22, starting 21:00, details.

GIRLS TOWN: The official FLINTA* Pride Party

Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

For the first time, GIRLS TOWN will be the official FLINTA* after party for CSD! After the big demo, head over to the sunny terrace at Spindler & Klatt for an open-air dance party overlooking the Spree. As a FLINTA* party, GIRLS TOWN sees itself as a safe space for women, lesbians, inter-, trans- and bisexual women, and non-binary folks. Queer and gay friends are also welcome!

  • Spindler & Klatt Berlin, Köpenicker Str. 16-17, Kreuzberg, July 22, starting 18:00, details.

WHOLE Festival 

Photo: IMAGO / Emmanuele Contini⁠

About an hour south-west of Berlin by train, WHOLE Festival unites queer collectives from all over the world. Four days of workshops, art installations, skinny dipping and of course, great music. Come for techno, house, disco and much more. 

  • Ferropolis, Ferropolisstr. 1, Gräfenhainichen, July 28 – 31, details.

love. battle. dance: 50 years of Sonntags-Club

Sonntags-Club members Uschi Sillge and Karim Schlosser at Panke-Fest, September 1989. Photo: Sonntags-Club

Opening just in time for Pride Weekend, this new exhibition celebrates the iconic Sonntags-Club as one of Berlin’s most important integrative Queer institutions. Taking place at both the Schwules Museum and the Sonntags-Club centre itself, the showcase celebrates 50 years of the Sonntags-Club’s militant and eventful history. 

  • Schwules Museum, Lützowstr. 73, Tiergarten and Sonntags-Club, Greifenhagener Str. 28, Prenzlauer Berg, July 20 – December 31, details.