Tagged: germany

Ronny, Freelancer, Berlin, Germany

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Ronny, in his own words: “I refer to myself as a queer guy. It’s a much more happy word to me than ‘gay.ʼ Most of my friends can identify with it, may they be lesbian, gay, trans*, bi, – whatever. To me, ‘queerʼ is a large and beautiful family; solidary, loving, and supportive.

I come from an East German working class family. Nobody of my family ever studied or even had a high-school diploma. So finishing high-school and having had studied was definitely a success but a challenge as well. It’s frequently forgotten that your class background has so much influence on the way you talk, the way you behave yourself, what friends you have, what you eat, which circles you’re in. It’s mostly been in university that I became aware of my background, visiting courses with all these middle-class and upper-class people who couldn’t understand many problems I had. They asked: “Why don’t you just buy the course book?” when I copied my texts for university. “Is that really your lunch?” when I could only afford the very basics in the canteen. “Are you coming to this party tonight?” when I couldn’t pay the entrance fee. The feeling to not fit in was very peculiar in the beginning but made me grow stronger after a while.

I was forced to come out at the age of 14. I had a penpal, Sascha from St. Petersburg. In one of our letters I came out to him; he was very supportive and it really helped me a lot. My dad opened one of these letters and read it. He was very angry and told me he was disappointed in me; that I can’t reproduce; that I’m a threat to the family line. Since then, we don’t talk to each other anymore. My other relatives were much more open, not to mention my friends. And today, I live a happy queer life with the family I chose and without my father.

You can probably rather talk about gay communities. Every district (in Berlin) has their own scene: Kreuzberg is rough and queer; Schöneberg is the ‘gay ghettoʼ; Friedrichshain in the East is still very different from the communities in the West of the city; in some districts ‘the gay communityʼ is still a very delicate little plant, like in Wedding, where I live. In one word, I’d say the community here is rather segregated. That’s the reason why we have had three different Christopher Street Days for the last years.

(Advice to my younger self) Spend more time with your loved ones. They could be gone faster than you think.”

Peter, Caretaker, Hamburg, Germany

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Peter, in his own words:“Was bedeutet es für dich, schwul zu sein? Für mich ist es eine Normalität einen Menschen zu mögen und zu lieben, wie zum Beispiel Heteros. Es ist für mich ein schönes Gefühl.

Welche Herausforderungen hattest du damit im Leben? In einem kleinen Dorf damit nicht akzeptiert zu werden, sogar verachtet zu werden. Im Job waren keine Probleme.

Mein Coming-out begann mit ca. 14 Jahren im Dorf, wo es nur heimlich gelebt werden konnte. Im Jahr 1985 habe ich das ComingOut in Hamburg erlebt und ausgelebt. Hamburg war als Großstadt damals toleranter.

Die Community, diese ist hier gut ausgeprägt, aber ich denke heutzutage ist die Toleranz für diese Community wieder auf einem absteigenden Ast. Schwul sein kann man nur in Großstädten wie Hamburg und auch da nur in bedingtem Rahmen ausleben. Es werden nach wie vor Grenzen aufgezeigt. Also eine vollkommene Toleranz gibt es nicht.

Tipp an mein jüngeres Ich, lebe so wie du fühlst und möchtest, aber sei nicht zu offen und halte gewisse Grenzen bei, dann lebst du da gut mit.”

In English:

“For me (being gay) is a normality to like and to love, such as is the case with straight people. It’s a great feeling for me.

(With regards to challenges) being in a small village and not being accepted, even despised. With regards to work I have had no problems.

My coming-out began about 14-years-old in the village, where I had to live in secret. In 1985, I experienced and lived out in Hamburg. Hamburg back then was a more tolerant big city.

The community is well developed here, but I think today the tolerance for the gay community is again starting to decrease. You can live openly gay only in big cities like Hamburg and even then only within a limited scope. There are still limits. So there is not a perfect tolerance.

Tip to my younger self, live like you feel and want, but do not be too open and keep certain limits, then you will live well.”

Marc, Photographer, Berlin, Germany

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Marc, in his own words: “Whilst being gay certainly had an influence on my personality during my formative years, at this stage, being gay simply means that I am attracted to men, full stop ! (I could not possibly tell who I would have become, if I had been straight)

(With regards to challenges and successes) Ask me at my deathbed; life is fraught with challenges, failures and successes and I like it that way. Which ones really stand out in the end, it is too early to tell, hopefully.

(My coming out story) Lots of panic, anxiety & self-questioning. In the end, it all went well with those people who matter in my life.

(The gay community in Berlin) is rather lively… with lots of subcultures within the gay scene itself. Admittedly, I am not much into any of them.

(Advice to my younger self) Do the same all over again.”