LGBTIQ People Who Experience Racism Within the LGBTIQ Community

Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex in Germany is not the same for everyone. LGBTIQ Black Germans, Roma and Sinti, People of Color, people who have a history of migration and other LGBTIQ people who experience racism are dealing with racism, both outside of and within the LGBTIQ community.

What do LGBTIQ who are affected by racism experience within LGBTIQ spaces in Germany?

For many people, racial discrimination is part of everyday life including within LGBTIQ spaces and organisations.

As a result, counselling services addressing topics relevant to the lives of LGBTIQ people who experience racism, and/or who don’t have a secure residence status, are often inadequate. LGBTIQ who experience racism also rarely hold leadership positions or are represented in the images of queer organisations. 

Simultaneously, homophobia and sexism are often talked about as problems of a particular “culture” or religion. LGBTIQ who are perceived as belonging to these particular cultures or religions based on their origin or appearance may be confronted with racism from other LGBTIQ people.

Additionally, coming out to your family, friends and colleagues is often seen as the silver bullet to being free of LGBTIQ oppression by white LGBTIQ communities. LGBTIQ people who experience multiple forms of discrimination often want or have to set other priorities, especially if neither the dominant society nor the LGBTIQ community are safe spaces for them.

How do LGBTIQ who are affected by racism respond to these challenges?

  • Some make conscious decisions about who they talk to about their sexuality or gender and who they won’t. Instead of a “coming-out”, some prefer to do an “inviting-in”.

  • Some build connections to other LGBTIQ Black Germans, Roma and Sinti, people who have a history of migration and other LGBTIQ people who experience racism to empower one another and catch a break from racial or homophobic discrimination. Some Black and of Color LGBTIQ organisations and groups are listed under “Anlaufstellen” on this website. Federal Anti-Discrimination Agencies can also help individuals to connect to regional organisations. 

  • Some seek out mental health services because everyday racism is draining and negatively affects a person’s health. Sometimes, an individual can’t carry the burden of racism on their own. Migrant organisations can help with the search for therapists who speak different languages and have experience working on issues related to racism. 

  • Some use services and read materials provided by LGBTIQ organisations that offer consultations in different languages, work on immigration-related topics and/or have received training on racism.

Some search for informational materials about LGBTIQ ways of life to give to their families and communities. There are some materials in Arabic, English, Russian and Turkish. Information is also available on the English, Turkish, Arabic and Spanish pages of this website.