in the City
As a gay and queer committed man it was obvious that it would be a queer topic. It is important to me that the topic of acceptance of and tolerance for queer ways of life is and remains present in the public; especially in view of the increasing homophobia and discrimination in (especially Eastern) Europe and worldwide. The heated discussion about the group coming-out of artists in the magazine of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (02/21) and the article about homosexuality in soccer (“Elf Freunde” 02/21), homophobic lawmakers in Poland and Hungary and many others show that the topic of visibility of members of the LGBTIQ+ community is timeless and relevant.
The question of a “gay place” came up for me. Does it even exist? What constitutes it? Is it still relevant today? Is it different for young and old? Is it necessarily a so-called “safe space”, a safe place? Is it just a place where the LGBTIQ+ community meets?
Or a visible symbol for the slogan “We’re here, we’re queer!”? Or does every gay man have his own individual gay place, depending on his own socialization and biography, on his own search for identity?
I asked 50 gay men:
WHAT IS A DEFINING PLACE OF YOUR GAY BIOGRAPHY?
Men of different ages and origins, most of them now living in Hamburg, told me their stories. Stories of their coming out, their self-discovery as gay men, stories of fear and courage, of denial in a hetero-normative world, of oppression, repression and liberation. For them, participation in my photo project is also an expression of their self-expression as a gay man, is, as it were, a visual expression of Pride. And of their knowledge and firm conviction: We are not alone, we are quite safe: