Berlin is well on it’s way to becoming the queer capital of Europe. Planning a holiGay? Here’s what Germany’s capital has to offer.
Berlin is home to a vibrant queer community that doesn’t shy away from talking about sex. Berlin Pride, or Christopher Street Day as they call it in Germany, is a dream. There is something for everyone, and they mean everyone. The Berlin International Film Festival attracts queer cinema from around the globe and gives out the Gay Teddy for the best queer film of the year. The city is unabashedly proud of its gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities and its celebration of this history and culture makes it an incredible city to visit.
Historically Berlin has been a bastion of queer culture. Some of the earliest (and most progressive) science regarding gender and sexuality began in Berlin. It was the home of Magnus Hirschfield’s renowned “Institute for Sexual Science,” one of the first of its kind for almost 20 years at the turn of the 20th century. These institutional elements only showcase the prominence of queer culture in the city synonymous with Marlene Dietrich and a huge lesbian scene. Some of lesbian cinema’s first films were made there. 21st century Berlin lives up to the promise of this history and it is a must visit.
Schoneberg is the historic gay district. Christopher Isherwood, one of the first publicly gay authors, wrote his renowned Berlin Stories here and spent much of his life here. There are queer interest walking tours through the neighbourhood and they are always sure to point out his apartment. Be sure to check out the Prinz Eisenherz, the oldest surviving gay book shop, it dates back almost 40 years. Peruse the array of gay and lesbian fiction as well as select academic texts, or stop by in the evening and check out a poetry reading.
Berlin, on top of all this amazing history, is an amazing place to party for people of all walks of life: gay, straight, bi, trans, kinksters there is a scene for everyone. The city thinks of itself as “poor but sexy” and it is just this vibe that makes it such a fun place to go out. Looking for some fun in Schoneberg after your historical tour? Stop by Neues Ufer. Its one of the city’s most famous bars and was a favourite hangout for David Bowie in the 70s.
GoEuro , a start up based in Berlin, featured TrIQ in their introduction to the gay scene in Berlin. Near Gorlitzer Park, it is a hugely popular destination for the city’s trans and queer community. They offer everything from a comfortable spot for a cup of coffee to lectures, support groups and community events.
Kreuzberg offers a slightly grungier vibe; Barbie Deinhoff’s is a queer performance space that attracts a young and hot pansexual crowd. It was featured on a list of Berlin’s best gay bars and clubs in TimeOut magazine for its awesome futurism meets John Waters kitsch vibe. Last but not least, Neukolln also attracts a queer community: Silver Future describes itself as a bar for “Kings and Queens and Criminal Queers” and its live music makes it a very popular destination.
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