La Fraîcheur’s Guide to Berlin’s Queer Scene

We had the pleasure of getting La Fraîcheur’s scoop on Berlin’s queer and vibrant scene. Being a key figure of this city’s queer nightlife plus a very politically engaged feminist- who’s active voice has led her to participate in Female: Pressure Network, a network of artists that aim to strengthen the place of women in electronic music – it is without a doubt she’s beyond qualified to educate us on where to dance and drink, rainbow style in the Grey City.

Here go her notes. Also, find her debut album titled, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, out now on Infiné Music!

“Berlin offers such a plethora of queer events and spaces, it’s hard to pick a favorite… and actually, that’s the whole point, there is so much, you don’t need a favorite, but instead exist from one to the other, belonging to the scene in itself as a whole rather than to crews or immutable institutions. If you’re queer in Berlin, the entire scene is your comfort zone, hopefully the entire city.” – La Fraîcheur

Bars

Barbie Deinhoff’s – (Schlesische Str. 16, Kreuzberg) 2 for 1 Tuesdays
If you’re looking for a classic, low key, heavy on the red and pink, cosy neighborhood gay bar, then Barbie is your place. 90’s riot girls rock in the speakers, exhibits of queer art regularly changing on the walls, sofas and disco balls, and two drinks for the price of one. If you didn’t know what to do on a Tuesday in Berlin, now you know.

Möbel Olfe – (Reichenberger Str. 177, Kreuzberg)
Tiny therefore constantly overcrowded, insanely smokey. Möbel Olfe remains a staple of the Berlin queer scene, the casual bar you know you’ll walk into friends on any given day and where from time to time high profile Berghain DJs like Roi Perez come to play in an intimate environment.

Parties

Gegen – (Köpenicker Str. 76, Mitte)
An institution at the legendary KitKat Club and one of the earliest and biggest queer fetish parties to happen outside of Berghain. Gegen celebrated its 7th birthday a couple of months ago and remains a place I call home through out the years. A warm light hearted generous crowd that works their look with absolute fierceness, it’s not (just) about sex here. Though openly, obviously and flamboyantly sex-positive, Gegen is a place for family, for community building and bonding, a place where a diverse crowd can belong in respect, a place for experimentations and personal awakenings, a moment, a space and a crew that supports its scene, the people on both sides of the DJ booth belonging to the same family. As a regular DJ there, invited by a crew who welcomed me with open arms and kind empowering words and gestures of support, Gegen will always be an important and endearing space and moment to me.

QUER – (Alt-Stralau 70, Friedrichshain)
Though my party series event in Wilde Renate is no more, too much to carry on my own when I’m away touring all the time, QUER remains obviously one of my favorite proposition in queer Berlin for its different take on what it actually means. A play on the german word for “transversal” and the english word “queer”, it was about building bridges between queer and straight communities and bridging the gap between female and male. The line up always composed of 50% women 50% men, 50% queer 50% straight, it was all about collaboration and working side by side towards a progress in the scene and in society. It was important for me not to offer “yet another queer party in a queer space” which Berlin has a never ending list of, but rather to reclaim space in a “straight” identified club in order to expand my community’s comfort zone and stage for self expression.

Room 4 Resistance – (Markgrafendamm 24c, Friedrichshain)
As queer parties go, this one is probably the cutest one Berlin has to offer. Focusing on women, female identified and POC, both in the line up and in the crowd, it aims to create more safe spaces for this intersection of the community, in a hella cute environment. With some of the best musicians and DJs the city has to offer as resident rRoxymore and Doc Sleep but also welcoming new faces all the time, hello Deena Abdelwahed. Also collaborating with queer collectives from around the world like Traición from Mexico City, and Brutaz from Warsaw. R4R is one of the most forward thinking event series and radioshows carried by Luz, a true activist of the scene. They always put a lot of effort in decorating what is already the great club of About Blank and their crowd is honestly the most darling there is. R4R feels like a silly teenage pajama party where your dancing your ass-off with your besties.

Weeeirdos Rave – (Gottlieb-Dunkel-Straße 43/44, Tempelhof)
If you want the music and the stylish crowd of Berghain without any of the fuss, then Weeeirdos Rave on the 8th floor of Greenhouse Berlin is where you want to be. No line (it’s a little out of the way) no bouncer (but a self policing, respectful crowd) no coatcheck (but a shared rack for everyone) a funktion one system, a cheap bar and a wall to wall panoramic view of Berlin, there’s everything you need for a techno party. It’s small, it’s chill and unpretentious, unaffected, with always a perfect line up of great discoveries, as if your tasteful roommates had thrown a rave in your living room. You better be in the mood for Techno though, cause that’s all you’ll be served.

Whole Festival – (TBA)
Witnessing the infancy of this festival only happening for the second time this year with a killer line up, on August 24-27th, is a great heartwarming pleasure. A collaboration between Berlin’s different queer party crews (Cocktail d’Amore, Buttons, Pornceptual, G Day, Members, Trashera etc…) and now joined by international collectives Discwoman and Horse Meat Disco, this United Queer Festival brings queer Berlin’s love for electronic music and freeform partying out of the city and into a summery outdoors environment of woods and lakes. Or how K, G and X met BBQ 😉

Pansy’s House of Presents – (Warschauer Str. 34, Friedrichshain)
Pansy has had a lasting impact on Berlin’s drag scene from his female Hip Hop and R&B parties “Sissy” to his RPDR screenings at the unavoidable Südblock to his ambitious and glorious international queer music festival “Yo Sissy”. Never not working his ass off, he now presents every Tuesday the sweetest drag show in town with “House of Presents” at another Berlin classic: Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke.

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