Live from EuroPride! Zurich in 2009
Story by Nick Malgieri; Photos as credited in slideshow
On Saturday, June 6 at precisely 3p.m. Central European Summer Time, Zurich’s openly lesbian mayor, Corine Mauch, cut the ribbon to begin the EuroPride '09 parade. Composed of many Swiss and other European gay organizations as well as thousands of gay and gay friendly individuals, some in elaborate costumes, the parade was the culmination of over a month dedicated to gay related activities in Switzerland’s largest and most prosperous city.
An AIDS walk, sporting events, a gay and lesbian film festival, performance art pieces, lectures, and plenty of parties featuring the best DJ’s of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria took place throughout May, with most of the heavy partying scheduled for the parade weekend. In an impressive gesture of generosity toward the worldwide gay community, Zurich Tourism hosted a group of over 50 gay journalists from around the world for June 5 to 8.
After a month of excellent bright sunny weather, parade day dawned gray and drizzly, but the rain abated for most of the parade, the skies opening for a few minutes while the last of the marchers were nearing Muensterhof in Zurich’s old town, where speeches by the mayor and Moldavian human rights activist Mihaela Copot followed.
Swiss TV personality Patrick Rohr then presented t he annual Stonewall Award to Ernst Ostertag and Roebi Rapp in recognition of their tireless support of gay rights in Switzerland and their recently web-published gay history of the country available in German at www.schwulengeschichte.ch <. Partnered for over 50 years, they were among the first couples to register under Switzerland’s gay partnership laws. Live and recorded music continued at the Muensterhof stage until midnight, when many headed to closing night parties throughout the city.