All posts filed under: Pride 2018

Perspectives on Pride: The longtime activist who says the gay community lacks “solidarity”

Interview by Austin Chandler Davis Illustration by Annelisa Leinbach Thomas B., 53, is a freelance photographer in Berlin. He hails from Saarbrücken, where the convergence of his coming out and the beginning of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s led him into a life of political engagement. Newly single after a 25 year relationship, Thomas now finds it difficult to establish worthwhile relationships in a queer community radically different from the one he experienced in Saarbrücken. Can you tell me a bit about your life in Saarbrücken? It’s where I had my coming out, when I was 19 in 1984. I founded a coming out group through the Saarbrücken AIDS Help Center and everything sort of started there…Between ’87 and ’89, we lost a lot of people to the disease, and I just really felt a need to help. If you were already so active in the community at such a young age, is it safe to say that your parents accepted you being gay? My father had already passed away at that point, but it was …

Perspectives on Pride: The Berlin transplant who remembers when Pride was political

Interview by Austin Chandler Davis Illustration by Annelisa Leinbach Peter Cichorius, 64, grew up in Austria and Stuttgart, and eventually ended up in Munich after coming out to his parents at age 17. Arriving in the Bavarian capital in 1977, Peter encountered a city radically different from the conservative stronghold it’s known as today—although this atmosphere changed as the AIDS crisis took hold in the 1980s. Peter settled in Berlin at the turn of the millennium after two and a half decades in Munich, and discovered a gay community still geographically and ideologically divided between East and West—a dichotomy, he says, that was bridged as time passed by a growing apathy for political involvement among younger generations of gay men. When did you come out to your family and how did they react? I outed myself at 17 and they [my parents] had a classic reaction: I became the eyesore of the family. I was an only child, and my mother wanted to take her own life. My father ignored it all together and said that it was …

Perspectives on Pride: The club promoter who says gay activism still matters

Interview by Austin Chandler Davis Illustration by Annelisa Leinbach Bob Young, 56, grew up in the US but moved to Berlin at the end of the 80s—during the height of the AIDS crisis and just before the fall of the Berlin wall. It was here in Berlin that Bob came of age as a gay man and watched the “whole gambit of modern club development here since the 80s.” Today, Bob is a prominent event planner and founder of GMF Berlin, a popular Sunday night gay party near Alexanderplatz. We spoke to Bob as part of a three-part interview series of gay men who’ve watched Berlin’s queer community transform over time. As Berlin Pride—called Christopher Street Day in Germany—quickly approaches, Bob shared with us how the importance of the day has changed over time. Tell me a bit about those last couple years of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, when you had first moved back to Berlin. There was the Wall and it was a different world. [The gay spaces] were pretty developed…You …