Dear Reader, is has been quite a while for me without a proper phone or social medias. Just before I got back for the Berlin Pride Week, my refurbished iPhone arrived and I was officially back into the bubble of selfies, someone-else-ies and dating apps. Not without something, which really scared me…

Follow The Rainbow | Image by Sara Rampazzo

Berlin is my chosen home and of course it was my highest responsibility to march down the Christoper Street Day parade and protest in a loving and partying way to show, that we’re still there in need for some critical voices. The annual CSD is probably the biggest party in town and besides the LGBTQ+ community we belong to, we still rather focus on the party aspect, than stand out for what we really think. Many of us enjoy the selfhood and the growth, which comes with self love and self care, but as I mentioned it’s again just a big party and not a riot anymore. At least that was my impression, this particular hot Saturday.

Feeling Kinda Purple | Image by Tiko Giorgadze

Not surprising were the huge gaps down the route along the embassies and political headquarters. There was a Die Partie party bus and other commercializing contributors, which have been out of place for the spirit of 50 years of the Stonewall riot. But living in a democracy this isn’t unusual and their right of walking with us side by side. Besides, that it became harder to radar who’s gay and who’s not, I was enjoying the march with my mostly straight friends from the South-West and voguing down the Tiergarten. Probably my biggest pleasure was taking pictures of the crowd, full of faith and pride for themselves or others who weren’t able to march themselves. I was simply living the moment and embraced everyone this day, while I talked to strangers and kissed my way trough, to the Brandenburger Tor. Straight or gay, the mobile network wasn’t working as usual and everyone had to talk to others, if they wanted some kind of intercourse. There was so much love around us, my friends couldn’t help but hope for a come back and another moment of liberation, in our city of small wonders. I felt, I was truly marching for my rights, which was enough for the day. But the real riot was aside, as it is usually the case.

Inserting The Film and Shoot | Image by Charles Deloye

Back in my social bubble, the responsibility for work was clearly on my mind and so I shortened this pride waltz, leaving the parade around eleven without further notice. Mostly satisfied with my hook-up of the day before, it was the perfect break of the dry spell. For most gay men, a one time hit isn’t really enough and I agree, but in my case, I’m rather into quality than quantity. Even thou, I had my experiences with sex parties and party sex. Simply growing older, I can’t stand this door to bed dates or random hook-up’s on parties anymore. Always the same old shit and being horny as I was on Sunday, I thought a second hook-up could really fulfill my deeper needs – and I used grindr again. And here it was again, the infamous other social bubble.

We always think, the internet and the average of (gay) people does it, may deliver everything we need in life. My truth is, I think and feel like a woman, while I’m proud of being a man. More importantly, I like to feel something. After chatting a while with a guy from Tel Aviv, the only thing I felt – he was telling me he had 60 guys in six days – was disgust and pity. The vanity of some gay guys and the pride in that risky behavior, really grosses me out. On this point I don’t judge and I don’t WANT to. But it scares the shit out of me. This probably might be the best prep for the next date with sex in the end, but not for a sex date. Are some of us so brutal to themselves, to let themselves get physically hurt, while celebrating the consequences of STI’s and praising this lonely, careless lifestyle?

The Art Of Conversation | Image by Simon Noh

I always saw sex as something of body and mind, a symbiosis with a connection of two people in a deep or sometimes a weak moment. Having this weak moments, I wanted to forget it or move on and change. Other times these hook-ups was so deeply intimate and almost addictive, that I fell hard. I also enjoyed sex, as something dangerous and dirty, but as my personal fear of HIV even on prep still remains, I was always paranoid afterwards.

Honestly, I get this phantasy of coming to Berlin, freaking out, having random sex or various, slightly questionable orgies. But what I fear the most, is not losing control over myself, but risking my health. This is a value, my chosen mom told me to watch after, since I survived two car crashes. Technically ignoring this kind of #selfcare for many years, the responsibility I found towards myself through others, led me to take actions and carry the weight, for what I put or get put, into my temple. 

Sexy Dancing | Image by Nihal Demirci

#HIVisntAJoke

Still thou, I haven’t really figured out, what I think about pills as treatment to avoid the general risk of the heat. Just like my dog, I find myself very often in situations of unprotected kissing, which could lead to even less protected actions. A reason, why I started using condoms again as my safest safer sex method. So many guys had told me, that they are on PreP and actually weren’t, as I discovered later. Guess I will remain the part, who looks after himself. One day my prince will come and with that, the right time to let it go and feel safe with someone I can trust. At least my heart is wide open, if not my butthole after this pride week. But there’s still a lot other things on my mind, thinking about what I felt during this covered up version of the Love Parade. But hey, every riot starts with a single voice. Even if it’s just about the risky behavior of my own community.  

Alexandre Renaldy
Posted by:Alexandre Renaldy

Editor in Chief, Work: The Corner Berlin, flair magazine, H.O.M.E.; Signature Places, Vestiaire Collective, EVE images, B'SPOQUE magazine etc.