In engen Grenzen und über die Mauer
Selbstbilder und Selbstbehauptungsstrategien der Homosexuellen Interessengemeinschaft Berlin (HIB) 1973–1980
Schlagworte:entangled German-German history, gay rights movement, GDR, homosexuality, self-image
Abstract: In the GDR, homosexual encounters between adults over 18 years of age were legalized in 1968 – one year prior to a similar reform in the Federal Republic of Germany. The foundation of the first East German homosexual emancipation group was, however, closely connected to events in West Berlin, as networks with western gay activists made movement ideas accessible and influential in East Berlin. But in order to bring about changes and improve the situation for gays and lesbians in the GDR, the mostly male members of the Homosexuelle Interessengemeinschaft Berlin (HIB) created an image of themselves as socialists who were helping "to build communism” and resisted the “temptations” of the “capitalist” West by taking responsibility for ordinary homosexual citizens. The article therefore argues that the East German gay activism of the 1970s took place both within the framework of socialist discours e and through a dialogue across the Berlin Wall: its strategies were therefore shaped both by western influences and eastern imperatives.