Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Trans Species Rights' Protest In Germany -- People Barking Like Dogs Were At A Fetish Events Rally

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show 'Trans Species Rights' Protest In Germany -- People Barking Like Dogs Were At A Fetish Events Rally Fetish Event

Does a video show hundreds of people "who identify as dogs" at a "trans species rights" protest in Germany? No, that's not true: The group of people dressed as dogs and barking in the video attended a festival in Europe that celebrated "a week full of unique leather and fetish events." They were attending a street fair and parties and this had nothing to do with "trans species" rights or protests.

The claim appeared as a video (archived here) where it was published on Instagram on September 24, 2023. It opened:

Hundreds of people, who identify as DOGS, are currently protesting on the streets of Germany in support of "trans species rights"
Welcome to 2023.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

image - 2023-10-04T155237.649.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Oct 4 14:09:33 2023 UTC)

The people in the video were part of the Folsom Europe event, a street fair event that took place in Berlin, Germany on September 9, 2023, with the people dressed as puppies meeting for a dance the previous night, on Friday, September 8, 2023. The website promoted the event, noting the date and explaining that some attendees would be dressed as "bear puppies":

Our 20th edition will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2023, from 12 to 11 on the street.

We expect the street fair to be bigger and better than ever and will set up a week full of unique leather and fetish events.

A premiere will be the BEAR DANCE FOLSOM at SO36 on Friday night where our bears puppies and their admirers will meet.

Screen Shot 2023-10-04 at 11.33.06 AM.png

(Source: Folsom Europe website screenshot taken on Wed Oct 4 14:22:54 2023 UTC)

The Folsom Europe e.V. Facebook page posted a photograph (archived here) from the event on September 8, 2023, with the caption, "Our puppy walk today has been a huge success with around 400 puppies 🐢 ❀️," as this screenshot shows:

Screen Shot 2023-10-04 at 11.21.23 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Oct 4 19:44:16 2023 UTC)

The image on the Facebook page shows the same people from the video, with several matching details. There is a person holding a flag pole with three flags to the right, which can be seen in both the video and photo. The building they're in front of is seen in both the video and photo, the Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz, a train station in Berlin.

A Folsom Street Fair is held in San Francisco annually and the organization's website states their mission which does not include any mention of "trans species" (link archived here):

Folsom Street cultivates a safe, open, and inclusive environment for the kink, leather, and alternative sexuality communities while centering equity for BIPOC and LGBTQA2I+ people. We are rooted historically in the fight against gentrification and displacement here in San Francisco, on unceded Ohlone land, and worldwide. We unite, strengthen, and affirm the community through support, resources, education, advocacy, visibility, and celebration. We are dedicated to sexual liberation and the human right to pleasure as a crucial part of the liberation movement.

Lead Stories reached out to Folsom Europe for a comment and will update the story when one is received.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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