As Christopher Street Day is not the same this year, I wanted at least write about some of the awesome queer spots in the German capital. Berlin is always one of the best gay travelers’ destination, but it’s not always easy to find the queer pulse in the German capital. Luckily travel writer Adam Groffman from TravelsofAdam.com and me did publish a very effective and easy-to-use QueerBerlin map. And here I give you my Top 5 queer spots in Berlin.
In case you want to see more queer hidden gems in Berlin, you can get our QueerBerlin map here.
Memorial plaque Pink Triangle
This memorial plaque was one of the first memorials for gay victims of the Holocaust in a public space. Before the pink triangle became a worldwide symbol of gay pride, it was intended as a badge of shame. Homosexuality was technically made illegal in Germany in 1871, but it was rarely enforced until the Nazi Party took power in 1933. As part of their mission to “purify” Germany. In Nazi Germany, a downward-pointing pink triangle labeled gay men in concentration camps—to further dehumanize them. It wasn’t until the 1970s that activists would reclaim the symbol as one of liberation. Since 1989 the memorial plaque “Pink Triangle” reminds its observers of the persecution of homosexuals during the epoch of Nazism. Engraved you can read “TOTGESCHLAGEN, TOTGESCHWIEGEN” which means “beaten to death, silenced to death”. Homosexuals were tortured and beaten to death in order to be taught the “right way” to be sexual. Additionally, they were “silenced to death” as a reference to the conditions of these communities after the war. The German government thought everything would go back to the way it was prior to the war; everyone was “released” and homosexuals received blanket apologies from the state.
Memorial to Homosexuals at Nollendorfplatz, 10777 Berlin (Schöneberg), Station: U1, U2, U3, U4 Nollendorfplatz, pic by Kira Tschierschke
Self-described as a “feminist, queer-oriented, eco-friendly, vegan sex shop” Other Nature is a friendly and approachable sex shop with a variety of products. Stop in to browse their LGBT library (they also sell the QueerBerlin map) and take advantage of their free tea.
Mehringdamm 79, 10965 Berlin (Kreuzberg), +49 30 20 62 05 38, www.other-nature.de, Station: U6, U7 Mehringdamm, Mon, Wed–Fr 11:00–20:00, Tue 11:00–18:00, Sat 11:00–19:00, pic by Agostino M. Artese
Started by four men in 1978, this progressive institution ranks as one of Europe's oldest gay book shops. Originally this book shop was located on the Bülowstraße, currently it can be found on the Motzsraße in Schöneberg, the gay-central of Berlin. Most decidedly the emphasis here is on gay and lesbian fiction, gender studies and other academic subjects as well as poetry, travel literature, books for children, international magazines.
Motzstraße 23, 10777 Berlin (Schöneberg), www.prinz-eisenherz.com, Station: U4 Viktor-Luise-Platz, Mon–Sat 10:00—20:00, pic by Nadja Wohlleben
One of the world’s largest and most significant LGBT museums where you will find queer history archives as well as temporary exhibitions.
Lützowstraße 73, 10785 Berlin (Schöneberg), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.schwulesmuseum.de, Station: U1, U2, U3, U4 Nollendorfplatz, Sun, Mon, Wed, Fr 14:00–18:00, Sat 14:00–19:00, Thu 14:00–20:00
Berlin’s best queer club with mixed crowds and regular themed parties and events is SchwuZ. Check their online calendar for regularly scheduled weekend events, live music and more.
Rollbergstraße 26, 12053 Berlin (Neukölln), +49 30 57 70 22 70, www.schwuz.de, Station: U8 Boddinstr., U7 Rathaus Neukölln, pic by Guido Woller
If you want to find more hidden gems of Berlin, check out my folding maps BertaBerlin and QueerBerlin. They are available in well-chosen locations all over Charlottenburg, Neukölln, Kreuzberg, Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin and online. But for those of you, who want to stay up to date, feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK or register for my NEWSLETTER BertaNews.
source: German version of my article at mitvergnuegen.com