Germany's LGBTQIA Community
Pride Parade in Berlin, © Teodora Bibu
Who we love and who we are, are integral aspects of our identities and should never lead to discrimination or abuse. Germany not only has the highest LBGT population in Europe but also made legal improvements to include people of all genders more fully into the society.
On Sunday, October 1st 2017, Germany put into effect its marriage equality law, allowing same-sex couples to finally say their “I Do’s” to the ones they love. This makes Germany one of the world’s 24 countries in which homosexual couples are allowed to get married. The first marriage took place in the Schoenberg area of Berlin, the city’s predominately gay neighborhood and an iconic location for the gay rights movement. This law also included the adoption right for couples of the same-sex and was a big step for the country to grant same-sex couples equal rights.
Since 2017 there has been another legal improvement: under certain conditions, it is possible to choose the option “diverse” or to leave the gender question unanswered in official documents. Associations like the Berlin-based TransInterQueer e.V. not only intervene in the legal and healthcare system but also create infrastructures of support and counselling as well as subcultural spaces for trans and intersex persons, where they at least temporarily are not exposed to the demands of a cis-heterosexist society. Many of these actors share the political agenda of dismantling the gender binary but while the queer movement in Germany was formed as early as the 1980s, one of their basic political demands, the full equality of all genders has yet to be met. The depathologization describes the process of gaining a full gender identity and bodily diversity in the health care system. In spite of the key advances in legal gender recognition in Germany, access to trans specific healthcare is still conditioned by pathologizing requirements.
As a matter of discourse, discrimination in employment and in the provision of goods and services are banned countrywide with the “Allgemeinen Gleichbehandlungsgesetz” (general equality act). Transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since 1980. Due to recent polls, Germany has frequently been seen as one of the most LGBTQIA friendly countries in the world.