Since unification, Germany has made great strides to properly recognize LGBT citizens as equals among its populace. Berlin is an incredibly LGBT-friendly city, containing several districts such as Schoneberg and Kreutzberg with vibrant queer communities. The lesbian scene while smaller than the louder gay male scene, is still a highly connected and supported part of the LGBT and Berlin communities. As a whole Berlin is a progressive city when it comes to queer issues, creating an open and comfortable atmosphere for the LGBT student.
- Since 2001, same-sex couples in Germany can register for life partnerships, a pact similar to civil unions. In 2004 this law was extended to allow same-sex couples the ability to adopt.
- Germany possesses strict anti-discrimination laws for the public sector and was the first country to include a clause protecting people from discrimination due to their gender identity.
- Berlin’s mayor, Klaus Wowereit is an openly gay male, and has made efforts to further the acceptance and proper treatment of the LGBT community.
Is Germany ready for an LGBT chancellor? Check out this article to read more on this topic: http://www.spiegel.de/international/1,1518,437943,00.html
Getting Involved and Informed
Some popular magazines are Siegessaule and Sergej. These German-language resources provide current lists of clubs, cafes, restaurants, and events that cater to the LGBT community.
Bruno – http://brunos.de/shop/
Tel: +49 030 6150030
During your first travels in Berlin, make sure to check out this gay media supermarket, which provides a multitude of resources: clothing, guides, books, posters, and safe sex materials.
Mann O’ Meter – http://www.mann-o-meter.de/
Tel: +49 030 2168008
Berlin’s main LGBT community center, provides information on community events, safer sex resources, and is a powerful organization for LGBT education.
Out in Berlin – http://www.out-in-berlin.com/archiv/index.html
A guide written in English, aimed at tourists looking to break into the LGBT scene. If you are unable to purchase the guide, check out their website in both German and English.
Sonntags Club – http://www.sonntags-club.de
Greifenhagener Str. 28
Tel: +49 30 4482184
Both a bar and café, this venue serves as the meeting grounds for many of the active LGBT groups and organizations in the Berlin area. A great place to relax and get involved with the community.
Begine: Meeting Place and Culture for Women – http://www.begine.de
Potsdamer Str. 139
Tel: +49 30 2151414
Café/bar that provides a welcoming atmosphere for women of all orientations to enjoy each other’s company. In addition, numerous dances, parties, and cultural events are held here.
Schwules Museum – http://www.schwulesmuseum.de
Tel: +49 30 6931172
The world’s only LGBT museum, sponsoring three rooms of various exhibitions that show the art and work of deceased LGBT icons, as well as the artwork of new LGBT artists within Berlin and the rest of Germany.
Munich – Capital city of the German state of Bavaria. Home to a mass LGBT Pride Parade and haven for many Germans that are part of the LGBT community. (http://www.gaymunich.de/)
Hamburg – Not only one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. but home to a very vibrant LGBT community centered in the St. Georg district. Also, Hamburg hosts an International Gay & Lesbian film festival every year. (http://www.filmfestivalworld.com/festival/Hamburg_Lesbian_Gay_Film_Festival/)
Bonn – While not the largest of German cities, Bonn is a bustling university town, a hub for international organizations and businesses, and has an active and accepted LGBT population. (http://www.bonn.gay-web.de)