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Home > DIVA Magazine > August 2016 > STEPPING THROUGH SAPPHIC TIME

STEPPING THROUGH SAPPHIC TIME

LESBIAN AND QUEER HISTORIAN CYD STURGESS RETRACES THE FOOTSTEPS OF BERLIN’S THRIVING SAPPHIC PAST

“Here it is possible for everyone to be happy in their own way and every taste is catered for […] particularly the priestesses of Sappho [...] follow me, if you like, to their glittering nooks…” RUTH MARGARETE ROELLIG, BERLIN’S LESBIAN WOMEN, 1928

During the Roaring Twenties Berlin was known as the “Capital of Pleasure”. Before the rise of Hitler, the city’s raucous cabarets, topless dancehalls and transvestite parties drew thousands of tourists to the capital to experience life on the wild side. Making their mark within the burgeoning sexual metropolis, German LBT women developed a subculture that was unparalleled anywhere else in Europe and Ruth Margarete Roellig wrote a guidebook documenting it. As an historian with a taste for all things queer, I visit Berlin to see whether any remnants of this celebrated sapphic scene remain.

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About DIVA Magazine

Our August issue cover star is former Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh. Also in this issue: Brexit: how could leaving the EU affect lesbian and bi women? After Orlando: why the world needs to change Iconic lesbian poet speaks to DIVA about being an outsider Wentworth is back – we speak to your favourite inmates Edinburgh Festival: we select this year's best LGBT shows Eleanor Margolis asks what makes lesbian music sound so, um, lesbian? Berlin: lesbian historian Cyd Sturgess steps through sapphic time in the German culture capital Chitra Ramaswamy on her compelling new book about pregnancy Forget “gaydar” have you got “bi-fi”? Do social attitudes surveys about LGBT people tell us all we need to know? Plus all the very best in life, scene, books, film, music and TV.
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