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TALK AT THE MUSEUM: What does it mean to be young and LGBT*I* today?

15. April 2016 19:00

Young, queer, and happy? This is what the new and tolerant world of LGBTI adolescents seems like: coming outs are not a problem anymore, social and family acceptance neither. On top of that, many young people do not wish to be labelled “homosexual” anymore, instead insisting on being accepted as “humans,” without labels. As a result, they often distance themselves from older “professional gays and lesbians” who have fought hard and visibly for legal and societal acceptance of their sexual orientation. For many adolescents, such public battling is alien. Which mostly changes when they themselves realize that tolerance and acceptance in Germany 2016 is not as well, as they thought it was.

Berlin author Julian Mars has captured this sometimes paradox situation well, from a gay perspective, in his success novel “Jetzt sind wir jung” (Now We Are Young). He describes the life of his hero Felix before and after finishing high school: the everyday life of a young man in a large German city, between school, family, having to choose a job, first love affairs, sex in darkrooms, and relationships via dating apps. Mars discusses the new way young gay men deal with safer sex, drugs and the older LGBTI generation.

We will talk with Julian Mars, as well as with 24 year old student Joe G. about their personal experiences and observations as queer adolescents, and we want to know, in the historical context of a museum: how has the situation for young LGBT*I* changed? How would they describe the current situation? And what do the new realities mean for a student and person starting out on a professional career?

Also on the podium: young adult novelist Karen Susan-Fessel and Detlef Mücke, one of the founders of the Gay Teachers Organization. They will compare the stories of Julian and Joe with the developments in schools over the past 30 years.

An editor from the “education” segment of the newspaper “Der Tagesspiegel” will join the discussion.

Both Karen-Susan Fessel and Julian Mars will read short passages from their books.

Tickets: 4 €