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Berlin is known as a laidback and open-minded city – and is popular for its diverse LGBT scene.
Particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, the city was known for its underground but flourishing gay scene – which was immortalised in the writings of Anne-Marie Schwarzenbach, W.H Auden and Christopher Isherwood.
Formerly focussed around Schöneberg, Berlin’s queer scene has grown to include new hotspots in Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. Besides the annual pride celebration, and key landmarks in the cultural calendar, Berlin is home to LGBT events all year-round.
If you want a slice of Berlin queer history, you can head to the Schwules Museum or the Gay Holocaust Memorial in Tiergarten. Brendan Nash leads a particularly interesting tour called Isherwood’s Berlin. Likewise, Brendan’s blog, Cabaret Berlin, is the out-of-towner’s perfect guide for Weimar entertainment.
The great events in the city include Fetish Week in late March (which also sees the annual German Mr Leather crowned), Lesbisch-Schwules Stadtfest (Lesbian-Gay Cityfest) around Motzstraße in June, the Christopher Street Day Parade on the 27 June (part of Berlin Pride, named for the location of the Stonewall Riots in New York), the alternative Transgeniale CSD in Kreuzber (also on 27 June), Gay Night at the Zoo in August, Falsom in September and the Teddy Awards at the Berlinale and Kino International’s regular Mongay film screenings.
Listings are kept in local mag Siegessäule (in German – so use Google Translate!).
For more information, check out Visit Berlin’s website.