Gay Berlin

Die Schwulen- und Lesben-Szene ist auch in der Deutschen Hauptstadt mit einem reichhaltigen Angebot an Shopping-Orten, Kinos, Museen und Beratungsstellen vertreten. Wir haben für Sie eine kleine Auswahl getroffen für wichtige oder interessante Adressen.

Aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie gelten in Berlin umfangreiche Beschränkungen sowie Abstands- und Hygieneregeln. Veranstaltungen im Freizeit- und Unterhaltungsbereich dürfen bis zum Ablauf des 09. Mai 2021 nicht stattfinden. Museen und Galerien dürfen unter strengen Auflagen öffnen. Besucher müssen einen aktuellen negativen Corona-Test vorweisen. Weitere Kultureinrichtungen bleiben derzeit geschlossen. Weitere Informationen »

Schwulenviertel Berlin: Schöneberg

Du sprichst kein Wort Deutsch? Mach Dir keine Sorgen um Sprachbarrieren! Die gibt es in Berlin nicht. Die Stadt ist ein schwules Paradies. Moralvorstellungen lässt man hier hinter sich und Du…

Du sprichst kein Wort Deutsch? Mach Dir keine Sorgen um Sprachbarrieren! Die gibt es in Berlin nicht. Die Stadt ist ein schwules Paradies. Moralvorstellungen lässt man hier hinter sich und Du kannst so frei sein, wie Du es möchtest.

Die erste schwul-lesbische Menschenrechtsorganisation wurde hier 1897 gegründet und ebnete den Weg, die Stadt seit den 1920er-Jahren zu einer schwulen Hauptstadt zu machen. Es gibt für jeden Geschmack etwas: traditionell bis trashig, ausgefallen, schick und extravagant.

Da es so LGBT-freundlich ist, gibt es in Berlin viele Schwulenviertel mit jeweils eigener Identität: Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg / Neukölln und zu guter Letzt Schöneberg. Letzteres ist das älteste und bekannteste. Das schwule Leben konzentriert sich hier auf die Motzstraße, den Nollendorfplatz und den Winterfeldtplatz.

Die Party ist rund um die Uhr in vollem Gange und es ist völlig normal, sich zu jeder Tageszeit neu zu formieren und auszuruhen. Einige Restaurants servieren Speisen bis spät in die Nacht hinein. Vor allem im Sommer solltest Du aber das Mittagessen im Café Berio (Maaßenstraße 7) ausprobieren. Seine große Terrasse eignet sich ideal zum Jungs Beobachten.

Einige ungewöhnliche Orte, die einen Besuch wert sind, sind das Jaxx, ein schwules Kino mit privaten Kabinen, einem Darkroom und einem umfangreichen Shop. Auch gibt es Brunos, eine Art schwuler Supermarkt, in dem Du vielleicht etwas Anregendes finden kannst. Wenn Du nach der Lederszene suchst, schau Dir Mister B. an.

Berlin kann auch als die Wiege der schwulen Kultur bezeichnet werden. Eisenherz ist eine der ältesten und renommiertesten schwulen Buchhandlungen der Welt. Ein weiterer einzigartiger Ort ist das Schwule Museum, das einzige Museum der Welt, das dem schwulen Leben in all seinen Formen gewidmet ist.

Eine der besten Schwulenbars in Berlin ist die beliebte Tom’s Bar, einer Institution, die einst für ihre Lederszene bekannt war und heute ein vielfältigeres Publikum anzieht. Unter Erfahreneren ist die New Action Bar eine der meistbesuchten Bars in Schöneberg. Hier gibt es jeden Nacht ein besonderes Motto. Der Connection Club ist der beliebteste Club in der Gegend mit einem legendären Darkroom. Er wurde vor kurzem renoviert und hat Duschen für die Go-Go-Boys.

Wenn Dir eher nach Entspannung ist, dann bietet Dir Der Boiler je nach Bedarf verschiedene Saunatypen wie die finnische Sauna oder die BioSauna. Die Sauna ist ganzjährig geöffnet, durchgehend von Freitag bis Sonntag.

Und da Berlin auch noch eine der billigsten Hauptstädte Europas ist, wird es Dir schwer fallen, sie zu verlassen!

Schwulenviertel Berlin: Schöneberg

Gay Guide Berlin: Insider tips & recommendations

The German capital has become one of the most popular queer hot spots ever. Here you will find world-class museums, famous sights and great food. Berlin offers a fascinating mixture of glamor and subculture, which is absolutely unique.

As a gay tourist, you quickly fall in love with the uncomplicated lifestyle of Germany’s most diverse city, which today also offers the world’s most exciting and wild nightlife. Quite rightly, visitors from all parts of the world are crazy about Germany’s amazing metropolis.

Gay Guide Berlin: Insider tips & recommendations

LGBT festivals & gay pride events in Berlin

Berlin is not only a basic party city. With countless top events and queer highlights the German capital attracts visitors and tourists all year long. International happenings and LGBT mega events take place here regularly. Here you will not only find top gay events, we also inform you about great concerts, festivals and get togethers. The most popular and free annual events in Berlin include:

the Pride Week with and CSD Berlin in July, the Festival of Lights in October and Carnival of Cultures in May

Easter Fetish Week and Folsom Europe belong to Berlin´s most notorious fetish events. Just come to Berlin and enjoy the city´s spirit and vibe!

LGBT festivals & gay pride events in Berlin

Queer durch Berlin

Aus slawischen Siedlungen hervorgegangen und vor �ber 780 Jahren erstmals urkundlich erw�hnt, wurde Berlin 1701 Hauptstadt des K�nigreichs Preu�en und 1871 deutsche Reichshauptstadt. Preu�en wurde zwar schon von 1740 bis 1786 von einem schwulen K�nig regiert (Friedrich II.), doch Berlins schwule Karriere begann erst hundert Jahre sp�ter. In den 1920er Jahren (den ›Goldenen Zwanzigern‹) galt Berlin als die Metropole in Europa mit der lebendigsten und vielseitigsten schwulen Subkultur. Dies fand 1933 mit der Macht�bergabe an Hitler ein j�hes Ende. (F�r die Tausenden schwulen Opfer des Nazi-Regimes wurde 2008 in Berlin ein Denkmal eingeweiht – lange �berf�llig nach �ber 60 Jahren und leider schon mehrfach Ziel von Anschl�gen. Map

Nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs 1945 wurde Berlin zu einer geteilten Stadt: West-Berlin wurde von den USA, Gro�britannien und Frankreich kontrolliert, Ost-Berlin von der Sowjetunion. West-Berlin wurde trotz seiner Insellage inmitten der kommunistisch regierten DDR wieder zur schwulen Metropole Deutschlands. Nicht nur wegen der Gr��e der Stadt mit etwa 3 Millionen Einwohnern, sondern zum Teil auch, weil sich viele junge M�nner der Wehrpflicht in der BRD durch Umzug nach West-Berlin entzogen. Nach der Legalisierung homosexueller Kontakte 1969 wuchs die Gay-Szene in West-Berlin rasch an und es entwickelte sich eine aktive Schwulenbewegung.

Ost-Berlin wiederum war Anziehungspunkt f�r viele Schwule in der DDR. Die juristische Situation der Schwulen in der DDR war die fortschrittlichste innerhalb des Ostblocks, ein Recht zur Organisierung von schwulen Interessenvertretungen aber gab es in dem autorit�ren Staat freilich nicht. Toleriert wurde nur eine kleine und meist verborgene Schwulen-Szene in einigen Bars, Kneipen und Parks. Ab Mitte der 1980er Jahre verbesserte sich die Situation deutlich und H�hepunkt dieser Entwicklung war der Film ›Coming Out‹ – dessen Premiere ironischerweise in der Nacht stattfand, als in Berlin die Mauer ge�ffnet wurde und die Wiedervereinigung Berlins ihren Anfang nahm.

2001 wurde mit Klaus Wowereit erstmals ein offen schwuler Politiker zum Oberb�rgermeister von Berlin gew�hlt. Um dem geplanten Outing durch seine konservativen Gegner im Wahlkampf zuvorzukommen, outete er sich selbst mit dem kultgewordenen Satz ›Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so‹.

Traditionelle Schwulenviertel in Berlin sind Sch�neberg (wo es schon in den 1920er Jahren Ballh�user f�r M�nner gab) und Kreuzberg, beide im Westen der Stadt, sowie der Prenzlauer Berg im Osten. Nach dem Mauerfall entstanden zudem auch in Mitte und Friedrichshain einige Bars und Clubs.

Zu den j�hrlichen H�hepunkten und queeren Events in Berlin geh�ren unter anderem das Berlinale-Filmfestival im Februar (inkl. Queer Film Award Teddy), das schwul-lesbische Stra�enfest in Berlin-Sch�neberg und der CSD Berlin im Juli sowie Folsom Europe im September.

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Queer durch Berlin

About Berlin and its gay life

Berlin’s origins go back more than 780 years. In 1701 Berlin became the capital of the kingdom of Prussia and in 1871 of the German Empire. Although Prussia was ruled by a gay king from 1740 till 1786 (Fredrick II), Berlin’s gay career started only hundred years later. In the 1920s (the ›Golden Twenties‹) Berlin was seen as the city with the most lively and advanced gay subculture in Europe. That, of course, ended after 1933 when Hitler and the Nazis were given power in Germany. (A memorial for gays persecuted by the Nazi regime was opened in Berlin in 2008, long overdue after more than 60 years. Map

After the end of World War II in 1945 and with the start of the cold war, Berlin had been divided into West Berlin (controlled by the Western Allies) and East Berlin (controlled by the Soviet Union).

West Berlin, although an island in communist ruled East Germany (G.D.R.), became the gay capital of Germany again. Not only due to its population of about 3 million people, but partially also because the compulsory military service of West Germany (F.R.G.) didn’t apply to men in West Berlin, which attracted many men from the younger generations to move to West Berlin. After homosexual contacts had been legalised in 1969, the gay scene and gay movement in West Berlin grew fast in the 1970s and 1980s.

The legal situation of gay men in East Germany was the best within the Eastern Bloc and even better than in some Western countries, but in an authoritarian state like this gays and lesbians had no rights to organize themselves in a civil rights movement and there were only a few possibilities to develop a gay scene and subculture. End of the 1980s the situation improved, and the peak of that process was the premiere of the legendary movie ›Coming Out‹ – ironically in the night of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

In 2001 Berlin got an openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit from the Social Democrats. To prevent his outing by opponents during the election campaign he outed himself on a party congress with the legendary words ›Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so‹ (I’m gay and that’s just fine).

Traditionally, there have been gay neighborhoods in the districts of Sch�neberg and Kreuzberg (both in the western part of Berlin) as well as in Prenzlauer Berg (eastern part). Most of the gay hotels, bars, cafes and shops in Berlin are located in the Sch�neberg district which had dance halls for men already back in the 1920s.

Annual highlights and queer events in Berlin are, among others, the Berlinale film festival in February (including the Queer Film Award Teddy), the LGBTI street festival and the Gay Pride parade in July and Folsom Europe in September.

You will notice in our guide that many gay bars and clubs don’t indicate closing hours. That’s mainly due to the fact that Berlin has no closing hour anymore. Moreover, Berlin’s public transport system, urban railway (S-Bahn), underground (U-Bahn), trams and busses, operates the whole night and at least half-hourly at weekends.

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Gay Neighbourhoods in Berlin

Berlin’s core of LGBTI* activity is Schöneberg in the south west just beside the city zoo. In the 1920s, it enjoys a well-deserved reputation for some of Berlin’s best nightlife, as well as restaurants, cafés and shops frequented by the LGBTI* community in particular. This identity continues to flourish today. Other rainbow neighbourhoods in Berlin not to be overlooked include its neighbour Kreuzberg, a quarter famous for Café Sundström and the SchwuZ nightclub just behind it. There are also shops along the Bergmannstraße as well as live music venues where LGBTI* citizens and visitors meet and have fun. The Mitte neighbourhood also has pockets of LGBTI* hotspots including Weinbergpark.

Kreuzberg 36 for LGBTI*

Location Kottbusser Tor10999 Berlin Kottbusser Tor10999 Berlin

Kreuzberg 61 for LGBTI*

Location Mehringdamm10965 Berlin Mehringdamm10965 Berlin

Mitte for LGBTI*

For a long shopping tour the area around the Hackescher Markt to Rosenthaler Platz is perfect. You find numerous flagship stores of big labels and also berlin style fashion shops like Claudia Skoda, Herr von Eden or Firma. It’s especially worth it to take a look at the side streets if you are

Location Hackescher MarktHackescher Markt10178 Berlin Hackescher MarktHackescher Markt10178 Berlin

Prenzlauer Berg for LGBTI*

Location Kollwitzplatz 10405 Berlin Kollwitzplatz 10405 Berlin

Schöneberg for LGBTI*

Location Nollendorfplatz10777 Berlin Nollendorfplatz10777 Berlin

Gay Berlin

Every summer the Pride Weeks are celebrated with the lesbian/gay city festival, CSD on the Spree and many other events. The highlight is without a doubt the annual CSD Berlin, where the streets of Berlin play host to demonstrations for equal rights but also to celebrations. This year the CSD takes place digitally.

Tips for gay Berlin

How the gay and lesbian scene in Berlin emerged

Back in the 1920s, Berlin had already become a haven and refuge for gays and lesbians from all over the world. There are 170 clubs, bars and pubs for gays and lesbians, and well as riotous nightlife and a gay neighbourhood. But parties aren’t the only thing being organised – several political associations are founded in Berlin to fight for equal rights. However, the Nazis‘ rise to power spells the death knell for this diversity, and it would take several decades for Berlin to return to its status as a global centre for the LGBTQ scene. Learn about how Berlin became a hotspot for gays and lesbians over the course of the 20th century, and how its scene attracted people from all over the world – and continues to do so today.

Meine Unterkunft inserieren

Entdecke mit misterb&b eine einladendere Welt. Von privaten Zimmern und Apartments bis hin zu LGBTQ-freundlichen Hotels bietet sich dir die Möglichkeit, entweder im Herzen der Schwulenviertel oder in anderen Stadtteilen der von dir besuchten Städte zu übernachten. Ein Loft in Soho, ein Mehrbettzimmer in Barcelona oder im Castro, ein schwulenfreundliches Hotel im Marais oder in Chelsea – erlebe misterb&b in allen schwulen Reisezielen! Aktiviere die Verbindungsoption in deinem Profil und verbinde dich mit anderen misterb&b-Reisenden an deinem Reiseziel oder in deinem Hotel! misterb&b is not affiliated, endorsed, or otherwise associated with Airbnb.

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Berlin’s largest gay village, with many bars, shops and gay hotels

Berlin’s city centre; home to major landmarks and tourist attractions

trendy districts with many gay-popular bars and nightclubs

gay-popular district with many friendly bars and unique culture

Respect Gaymes

Bei dem Sport- und Kulturevent wird unter dem Motto „Zeig Respekt für Schwule und Lesben!“ für ein vorurteils- und diskriminierungsfreies Miteinander geworben. mehr

Christopher Street Day Parade

Bei der CSD Parade in Berlin gehen Menschen für die Rechte von Schwulen, Lesben, Transsexuellen und Transgendern, Inter- und Bisexuellen auf die Straße. mehr

Zsa Zsa Burger

Entdecke mit misterb&b eine einladendere Welt. Von privaten Zimmern und Apartments bis hin zu LGBTQ-freundlichen Hotels bietet sich dir die Möglichkeit, entweder im Herzen der Schwulenviertel oder in anderen Stadtteilen der von dir besuchten Städte zu übernachten. Ein Loft in Soho, ein Mehrbettzimmer in Barcelona oder im Castro, ein schwulenfreundliches Hotel im Marais oder in Chelsea – erlebe misterb&b in allen schwulen Reisezielen! Aktiviere die Verbindungsoption in deinem Profil und verbinde dich mit anderen misterb&b-Reisenden an deinem Reiseziel oder in deinem Hotel! misterb&b is not affiliated, endorsed, or otherwise associated with Airbnb.

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Schwules Museum* (Gay Museum*)

In Berlin’s Gay Museum you will take a journey through the eventful history of the gay, lesbian and transgender scene. The Schwules Museum*

Good to know for LGBTI*

Berlin has a long and proud history of inclusion. Practical information for LGBTI * visitors is available from dedicated organisations here

1897

Founding of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee

The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee – the very first gay and lesbian organisation in the world – was founded in Berlin. Its founder is the Jewish doctor Magnus Hirschfeld. His guiding principle: “Justice through science”. His goals: freedom from persecution by the state and religious oppression, the fight for emancipation and social recognition. The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, remains the most politically influential association with its lobbying activities, its alliances and awareness campaigns, right up until the early 1930s.A column erected opposite Charlottenburg Town Hall serves as a memorial to its historical birthplace.

1900

One of the first gay venues in Berlin, notorious for frequent raids by the police, had already been open in Jägerstrasse since 1885. In 1900, Magnus Hirschfeld is aware of six pubs known to be venues for gays and lesbians. By 1910 there are twice as parks such as Tiergarten, public baths and a range of railway stations traditionally provided places for many homosexual men to meet. These also included public urinals, facetiously known as “Café Octagon” in Berlin due to their shape.

1905

Starting in 1901, the literary and artistic bohème gather in the Dalbelli trattoria on Schöneberger Ufer, where they hold evening lectures and cabarets. Among others, Peter Hille and Else Lasker-Schüler, Erich Mühsam and John Henri Mackay recite poetry there. This is also where Else Lasker-Schüler makes friends with Magnus Hirschfeld. Mühsam and Mackay start contributing to the “unique” from this point on.

The co-owner of the restaurant, Alma Dalbelli, continues running the business as the Como from 1905 on: it was Berlin’s very first gay wine bar.

1910

Lesbians generally became involved in bourgeois feminism as a way to assert their interests and to fight for the right to their own careers and independence, as well as the right to political activity and the right to vote. Their ranks include feminists and suffragettes famous across Germany, such as the Berlin-based Helene Lange and Gertrud Bäumer, who live together as a couple.A number of lesbian women, including Johanna Elberskirchen and Toni Schwabe, take a pro-active stance and fight to become actively involved in the gay movement, arguing in favour of having their say in Magnus Hirschfeld’s Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. Their persistence pays off when Toni Schwalbe is elected to the Chairmen’s College, the governing body of the committee, in 1910 and Johanna Elberskirchen in 1914.

1919

The Scorpion, the first lesbian novel, is penned by the Berlin author Elisabeth Weihrauch in 1919. Furthermore, the first gay film, entitled Different from the Others (directed by Richard Oswald), is shown in Institute for Sexology, headed by Magnus Hirschfeld, opens in Berlin’s Tiergarten. It is a doctors‘ clinic and, at the same time, a centre for the gay and lesbian emancipation movement. Congresses and campaigns focussed on sexual reform make it internationally renowned. It proves to be a crowd-puller with its functions to increase public awareness and its museum on the history of institute stood at the site where the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of the Cultures of the World) now stands in Tiergarten. There is a column not far away to commemorate it.

1921

The gay and lesbian movement rapidly gains pace with the Friendship Associations and their local branches all over Germany, which are founded from 1919 on. In 1923, the associations are united under the leadership of the publisher Friedrich Radszuweit in the Association for Human Rights. The same year, he opens the first bookshop for gays and Berlin, around 40 venues open as meeting places for men – and increasingly for women as well. In 1921, there is an International Travel Guide to promote them – the very first gay and lesbian guide. A number of barkeepers join forces to support the movement.Magazines for gays and lesbians are available at public kiosks and in the venues: they include Die Freundschaft (Friendship), the Blätter für Menschenrecht (Magazine for Human Rights), Die Freundin (The Girlfriends), Frauenliebe (Women’s Love), and Das dritte Geschlecht (The Third Sex) for transvestites and transsexuals.

1922

The competing gay and lesbian associations are united in their fight against Paragraph 175 (which criminalises homosexual acts). The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee had been filing petitions since 1897 calling on the Reichstag to abolish the special law against homosexual men. More than six thousand prominent personalities from the German Empire and, later, the Weimar Republic have signed the 1922, the gay and lesbian‘ associations briefly unite to form an action group to ensure their voices are heard during an upcoming criminal justice reform. The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee drafts an alternative concept that gained much attention, and in 1928, the criminal justice commission responsible decides to reform Paragraph 175. However, the hopes of newly-found freedom are soon dashed by a conservative government that is elected to means that the Berlin Police Headquarters at Alexanderplatz remains a credible threat of force despite its policy of tolerance towards the gay and lesbian scene. This site is now occupied by the Alexa shopping centre, with its size and colour serving as a reminder of the former red behemoth.

1925

There are now around 80 venues for gays and lesbians in Berlin: beer-soaked dives and distilleries, bourgeois restaurants, wine bars and clubhouses, dance halls and dance palaces, ballrooms and cosmopolitan night-time bars. From 1925 on, large-scale events are held in the ballrooms in Alte Jacobstrasse and Kommandantenstrasse, or in the Nationalhof in Bü the manager of the Violetta Ladies‘ Club, Lotte Halm, along with several hundred of her fellow female members, helps shape major sections of the lesbian movement and entertainment scene from 1926 on. She unites her association with the Monbijou Women’s Club in 1928, which also includes transvestites and transsexuals, cooperating with the Association for Human Rights and constantly finding new venues for events.Numerous hotels and guest houses, beauty and hairdressing salons, tailors and photo studios, doctors and lawyers in private practice, libraries, cigarette and shoe shops, and even a car rental company, a travel agency and a distributor for potency pills advertise in gay and lesbian magazines.

1928

A travel guide for lesbians is published in 1928: Berlin’s Lesbian Women. The author Ruth-Margarete Roellig describes 12 venues in it, all of which are located in the lesbian hotspot of Schöneberg. This includes the popular café and bar for dancing and entertainment, Dorian Dorian Gray opened at Bülowstrasse 57 in 1921. Every evening, there is a stage programme or live music to dance to, along with carnival costume balls and literary readings. The highlight of the weekend is the variety shows and performances by famous stars of the scene, including the dancer Ilonka Stoyka. Her portrait was even printed on the cover of the lesbian magazine Liebende Frauen (Loving Women) the end of the 1920s, the British author Christopher Isherwood arrives in Berlin to sample the pleasures of its liberal gay nightlife. His Berlin Stories were written during his time in Berlin, and would later provide the inspiration for the musical Cabaret. Another icon of queer life in Berlin in the 1920s is the singer Claire Waldoff, who also lived in Berlin with her female partner.

1933

Following the seizure of power by the National Socialists and conservatives, a campaign is launched against alleged “public immorality” under a new policy of “national moral renewal”. In May 1933, Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexology is closed and plundered. The new police director in Berlin had already had 14 of the most famous gay and lesbian venues closed in March. Local police departments pass further prohibitions in the city’s urban districts. The gay and lesbian associations also feel coerced into abandoning their efforts.

The owners of the all-night bar for lesbians, Mai & Igel, are also affected by the forced closures, while the carnival costume balls for gays and lesbians held at the In den Zelten amusement strip in Berlin’s Tiergarten, which were also hugely popular among heterosexuals, are banned with immediate effect. The artists‘ bar Chez Eugen, known as Moses, feels the full force of the ban: thugs from the SA raid the bar and drive its Jewish owner into exile.

1934-1945

A period of disguise and retreat into private groups of like-minded people begins for gays and lesbians. There are still a number of bars, camouflaged as artists‘ bars, to visit, and despite police surveillance, raids and bans, new bars still open up, allowing brief moments of freedom to be enjoyed.Homosexual men are particularly affected by persecution. Following raids by the Gestapo, the first prisoners are sent to concentration camps from 1934 on. With the tightening of the anti-homosexual laws in 1935, the number of convictions has tripled by 1939. They result in the loss of friends, freedom, wealth and profession, and lead to marginalisation and social ostracism, ultimately making intimate life a source of trauma. Only a small number of those persecuted survive the increasingly frequent deportations to concentration camps occurring during the war. So far, the names of around 400 Berlin men who fell victim to the terror against homosexuals have been identified.

1946

Rising from the ashes and defying the post-war austerity, gays and lesbians re-emerge, holding their first balls again in the midst of the rubble of the destroyed city from 1946 onwards. The organisers are flamboyant female impersonators with names like Mamita, Ramona and Cherie Hell. In 1949, there are more than 20 bars open again to cater to men and 15 for women. They offer a sanctuary and a place to socialise, and they encourage their customers to dream of a better life and fight for new freedoms. Many still have compelling memories of Berlin in the 1920s, yet are also traumatised by their experiences of persecution during the Nazi too is a legend reborn in 1947, with the transvestite bar Eldorado reopening and remaining open until the end of the 1960s.

1950

A Berlin-based group from the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee was founded in 1949 to resume the efforts made by the first gay and lesbian movement. In 1950, the association was registered under its new name as the Berlin Society for the Reform of Sexual Law. It is part of a homophile movement becoming established across Germany. In Berlin, an Association of Friends was founded in 1952, and a new Association for Human Rights was established in 1958, in which Lotte Hahm – the Berlin woman who fronted the lesbian emancipation movement during the Weimar Republic – was also an active women are involved in establishing homophile associations, they are also a minority. They meet privately and in women’s bars, such as Ida Fürstenau in Kreuzberg, or in Gerda Kelch’s Cabaret in Schöneberg, with a venue called Bei Kathi und Eva opening in a laundrette in Schöneberg in 1958.

1960

Venues for gays and lesbians are once again threatened by police raids from the mid-1950s on. Many men once again become the victim of state prosecution under the law against homosexuals, a Nazi law that remains on the books and has since been tightened. When the Berlin Wall is built in 1961, the divided city of Berlin loses its leading role, and its appeal, as the city of freedom for gays and lesbians for a decade to the gay and lesbian associations disband, the bar scene in West Berlin stands its ground. The number of bars increases, and by 1966 there are 28 different venues. Men continue to meet in Elli’s Bier-Bar, or go dancing in Kleist Casino or Trocadero. Chez Nous becomes an attraction in Berlin with its travesty shows. In 1963, Christel Rieseberg opens Club 10 together with her girlfriend in Schöneberg, which acquired prominence as Club de la femme and Dinelo. An intimate club and bar called Inconnu opens in Charlottenburg in 1966.

1970s

A new generation with a new urge for freedom loudly demands to be heard. As so-called Rosa Radikale (pink radicals), they reinvent homosexuality, understanding it as a political and anti-capitalistic promise of liberation. Rosa von Praunheim’s film, It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971) inspires the gay scene to establish new associations. This is the launching pad of the gay and lesbian movement.Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin is founded in Berlin in 1971, from which the feminist awakening emerges in 1975 with the founding of the Lesbian Aktionszentrum – along with the lesbian archive Spinnboden as an initiative for the discovery, and preservation, of female love. The gay bookshop Prinz Eisenherz opens in 1978. The first Gay Pride Parade/CSD is held in 1979.A new awakening is being ventured in East Berlin as well: the Homosexuals‘ Interest Group is founded in 1973. One year later, the transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf opens a venue for gays and lesbians that will later become legendary in her museum dedicated to artefacts from the late 19th century.

1980er

The Schwule Museum (Gay Museum) opens in 1985, followed by Begine, a women’s bar and alternative project. Both remain self-administered venues today. While autonomous and free spaces are coming into being, other initiatives are promoting integration. They are active in trade unions, political parties and churches. Choirs, sports associations and hiking groups add diversity and vibrancy to the scene in Aids-Hilfe is formed in 1985, and benefits from widespread support and becomes a new actor in the gay movement. In 1993, an opera gala at the Deutsche Oper marks the beginning of one of the most successful fund-raising events for Aids-Hilfe.

In East Berlin, gays and lesbians are able to emancipate themselves from 1983 on with the protection of the Protestant Church. In 1986, away from the church, the Sonntagsclub (Sunday Club) opens as a cultural space. It still exists today. 

1990s

On the same evening as East Germany’s first gay-themed feature film Coming Out celebrates its première, the Berlin Wall falls: it’s 9 November CSD parades become more and more colourful and diverse, and much larger, in the reunited capital, and a high-spirited party accompanies the list of political demands being called for. The Transgeniale CSD is held from 1997 to 2016, an alternative event typical to Berlin at which a focus is directed at the political 1997, Berlin celebrates 100 years of the gay movement with an exhibition in the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts). Although the lesbian movement is largely neglected by this exhibition, no public protests occur (yet). A gay-lesbian reunification occurs in 1999: the gay and lesbian association is formed and tries out a new era of cooperation

2000

The controversial discussion around same-sex marriage, which first started in 1992, becomes the topic of public debate in 1999. In 2001, it results in a registered partnership, before the right to marry is finally extended to same-sex couples in 2017. A run on Berlin’s registry offices adopting the colours of the rainbow and the word queer, new homopolitical alliances are being formed. Queer becomes a political agenda, and a new label for the LGBTIQ+ movement. Rainbow flags are part of the urban landscape, fluttering in front of the community’s businesses and venues, and flying proudly from the town halls in Berlin on the occasion of the annual CSD initiative “Berlin supports self-determination and acceptance of sexual diversity” is launched in 2009, showing the Berlin state government’s support for diversity and equality of Germany’s largest LGBTIQ community.

2017

There are now 150 venues where events are held for the LGBTIQ community: cafés, restaurants, bars and a club scene that is unique in Germany. The range of services, shops, associations and entertainment fills a business directory of its own, which includes more than 1,000 30 June, Federal Parliament enacts a draft law by the Federal Council that allows same-sex couples to September 2017, a monument to the world’s first gay and lesbian emancipation movement, which was initiated by the gay and lesbian association, is unveiled on Magnus-Hirschfeld-Ufer, behind the Federal Chancellery. It is formed by six towering, colourful calla lilies – a plant that features both female and male flowers. It is a symbol of the diversity of sexuality and gender, and a metaphor for a confident, flourishing scene – a landscape that was first conceived of, put to the test, and made possible in the 1920s – when Berlin was a role model for an international gay and lesbian capital in which all queer people could find a haven and 1 October 2017 – a Sunday – the first gay and lesbian couples marry in Germany, including Volker Beck, a politician for the Green party, who marries his spouse in Berlin-Kreuzberg after a long fight to be able to say “I do”.

Gay Berlin – Travel Gay Guide

Berlin was hailed as the gayest city on earth in the 1920s. It has reclaimed its crown in recent years. Other major cities may have big gay scenes but nowhere can quite rival Berlin. It has the most hedonistic gay scene in the world. Berlin takes pride in its anything-goes culture and that is reflected in its gay cruise clubs, gay saunas, clubs and bars. Berlin’s nightlife makes London’s and New York’s seem tame.

Schöneberg is the main hub of Berlin’s gay scene. It’s packed with bars and clubs. You’ll also find a big gay scene in Kreuzberg / Friedrichshain – home to the legendary Berghain. Next to the Berghain you’ll find Laboratory, the most notorious gay cruise club in the world. Berlin’s gay scene is fun but it can be quite extreme. There are more low key gay bars in Berlin, such as Heile Welt if you’d like a more chilled experience. But if you’re looking for something more then Berlin is the place to be.

Revolver Party @ KitKatClub

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