Gay Berlin Nightlife
With its reputation for socially permissive, non-stop nightlife and a perpetually burgeoning arts and culture scene (often compared with New York in the 1970s), gay Berlin remains one of the world’s top destinations for LGBTQ travellers. The city’s gay history includes a period from 1919 to 1933 when it was home to the pioneering Institute for the Science of Sexuality, whose works were destroyed during the Nazi book burnings.
Poignant reminders of the past surround Berlin, including the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, on the edge of the Tiergarten – a concrete cube where a video shows gay and lesbian couples in various embraces. In Nollendorfplatz, small memorials commemorate the neighbourhood’s many firsts in gay history, including the world’s first gay demonstration, which took place in 1922.
Expats, such as the influential English novelist Christopher Isherwood, immortalised the free-spirited culture of cabaret-era Berlin in books and music. Schoeneberg, where Isherwood and other gay icons lived, remains a hotspot for fetish clubs and famous events such as Folsom Europe.