Queer to stay!

A city for everyone

Episode 36 I Januar 2022

What is this episode about?

Have you ever thought about how much the way a city is designed can affect our everyday life? How it can make us feel welcomed, relaxed, stressed or unsafe. At the same time the city can be experienced in a different way by different people. An area that can feel safe for me could make you feel unsafe. Often this feeling can be traced back to discrimination: classism, sexism, racism, trans and homophobia. So the questions we asked ourselves is: Who is the city designed and shaped by and for whom? We focused on a queer, intersectional perspective and talked to planners, activists, performers and inhabitants in order to find out how we can make Berlin, or city for that matter, queerer.


So as stated above, we approached the topic with an intersectional perspective. Intersectionality focuses on how different forms of oppression and discrimination interact and even create new forms of oppression. In other words: while for example a white woman might experience sexism at the workplace, a Black woman might experience sexism, but also racism. On the other hand, the experience of racism will be different for a Black man. The theory of intersectionality which was originally coined by Kimberly Crenshaw, is not limited to these two forms of oppression: classism, homophobia, ageism, ableism just to name a few. It is important to understand how the forms of oppression influence each other and to not just address them individually. Here is an example to help you understand why this theory is important for our topic: While a gay couple living in the same houshold has to face homophobia, two women that have a homosexual relationship and live together, do not just have to fight against homophobia, but also against sexism. If we focus on the economical point of view and consider the gender pay gap, the two men will more likely have a higher income than the two women, which for example leads to easier access to housing. Of course this example does not consider class or race, which
often play a major role in the housing issue, which shows again how complex discrimination works.


Now, keeping this in mind, we talked to two urban planners and researchers, Martha Wegewitz and Julia Köpper about how queer urban planning could affect the city and make it a more welcoming and safe place for queer people. Some measures include alternative ground plans or fair distribution of housing.


These would be major improvements, but in order to achieve a more diverse city, a shift in the planning practice cannot be the only solution. There must be a change also in education, political representation and society in general.

 

We also talked to the Darvish and Judy LaDivina, drag performers, artists and activists who are a part of the LGBTQAI+ community in Berlin, about the importance of empowering spaces, which are becoming rarer due to gentrification, and
representation as a vital measure to gain a right to the city.

 

If you are curious to discover more, put on your earphones and check out our episode.

 

This episode was created in the summer semester 2021.
The authors are responsible for the content and implementation/execution.

 

Idea and concept

Amadeus Holzer (Music)
Aylin Özüak (Concept, Recording, Cut)
Elena Pitscheider (Concept, Recording, Cut)
Lena Kubica (Concept, Recording, Cut)
Luisa Engelhaupt (Music)
Yair Haim Yemini (Concept, Recording, Cut)


Interviewees

Judy LaDivina is a drag queen, founder of Dragaholic, co producer and co-host of the Hafla show. Check out Judy LaDivina's instagram.

The Darvish is a performer, dancer, activist and the other half of the Hafla show and also a part of Queens Against Borders. Check out The Darvish's instagram.

Julia Köpper is an architect, urban planner and researcher. She is a research assistant at the CUD (Chair for urban design and urbanization) at the TU Berlin with Jörg Stollmann. And at the same time, she is part of the Octagon architecture collective in Leipzig.

Martha Wegewitz is an urban designer and urban researcher. She is part of a planning cooperative called coopdisco and otherwise deals a lot with participation and, above all, urban political initiatives.

More about this topic

Report by Arup: Queering Public Space. Exploring the relationship between queer communities and public spaces. Available here.

Trixiewiz e.V.: non-profit organization for intercultural knowledge transfer. Check out their website.

GLADT e.V.: self-organization of Black and of Color lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans*, inter* and queer people in Berlin. Check out their website.

 

Queer leben: Inter* Trans* Counseling of the Schwulenberatung Berlin. Check iz out here.

Fachstelle TIN: Consulting and networking office for trans*, inter* and non-binary persons of TrIQ (TransInterQueer e.V.), self-representation organization of and for trans*, inter* and non-binary persons.

QTI*BIPoC United: Collective of QTI*BIPoc (Queer, Trans, Inter/Non-Binary, Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Check out their instagram.

Sources

Betts, J. (n.d.). What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand For? Full Acronym Explained. Your Dictionary. Available here [Last accessed: 18.11.2021].

Catterall, P. & Azzouz, A. (2021). The queer city: how to design more inclusive public space. Available here [Last accessed: 18.11.2021].

de Jesus Pereira Lopes, R. (2017). Queer inclusive planning. Raumansprüche und queeres Selbstverständnis in einer heteronormativen Gesellschaft. In: sub\urban. Zeitschrift für Kritische Stadtforschung, 5(1/2), 243–256. https://doi.org/10.36900/suburban.v5i1/2.270


Doan, P. (2015). Planning and LGBTQ Communities: The Need for Inclusive Queer Spaces. Routledge, New York.


Kurt, Ş. (2021). Radikale Zärtlichkeit - Warum Liebe politisch ist. Harper Collins, Hamburg.


Nusser, S. (2010). What would a non-heterosexist city look like? : a theory on queer spaces and the role of planners in creating the inclusive city.


Reuschling, F. (2017). Eine feministische Perspektive für Berlin heute. Kommentar zu Dolores Haydens „Wie könnte eine nicht-sexistische Stadt aussehen?” (1981). In: sub\urban. Zeitschrift für Kritische Stadtforschung, 5(3), 115–124. https://doi.org/10.36900/suburban.v5i3.319

 

Sounds

Moses007_/Pixabay (n.d.). City ambience. Available here [Last accessed: 21.12.2021]. Pixabay-Lizenz: Freie private und kommerzielle Nutzung.