Berlin was a liberal hotbed of homosexuality and a mecca for cross dressers and transsexuals

The city’s liberal years - before the rise of Hitler - are detailed in a new book, Gay Berlin.

  • An uninhibited urban gay sexual scene flourished in Berlin, Germany in the wake of World War One
  • The science of ‘transsexuality’ was founded at the Institute of Sexual Science where the first male-to-female surgery was performed
  • German scientists concluded that same-sex love was a natural, inborn characteristic and not merely the perversion of a ‘normal’ sexual tendency
  • There were 30 separate homosexual periodicals
  • Cross-dressers found dressmakers who tailored for large sizes and singles searching for gay love could place ads

In the photos:

Top: Hansi Sturm was the winner of the Miss Eldorado transvestite pageant in 1926.

Middle: Transvestites having drinks in the Eldorado club that was not hidden away but celebrated in the golden age of the gay bar and club scene in Weimar Berlin. It was a hot spot for high society and partying until dawn was the norm.

Bottom: Transvestite prostitutes sitting on the laps of gay men in the popular Berlin gay bar Marienkasin.

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