September 2008


Gay Thüringen Guide

This was last updated 14 September 2008

This page is no longer updated.
The author is no longer living in Thüringen.

It’s suddenly come to my attention that the Gay Thüringen website closed down.

And in the spirit of speedy discovery and announcements, it “died” August 27, 2007; I noticed February 3, 2008.

I think that pretty well summarizes gay life in Thüringen: it’s so dead that nobody notices until after it’s already decomposed.

One of the side effects of the website’s departure is that, prior to this blog entry, the best, most up-to-date information about gay life (as far as I know) in Thüringen was my “Gay Weimar: Cruising Spots” entry from April 2007—seriously. It’s a bit… lacking and sad, to be honest.

So in order to provide a service to the GLBT Community in Thüringen, here is my take on gay life. I might even update it occasionally, so to find out how current it is, look right at the top of the page

Before I start my city-by-city listing of gay life in Thüringen, I do recognize that this is going to be written in English—to Germans who object I have a suggestion: go make your own Gay Thüringen website. I’ll even post a link to it so that the German (only) speakers can find out what’s going on in Thüringen.

Finally: I am a deeply cynical (zynisch) person—so take my advice about gay life in light of that fact.

Gay Online

Gay.com is irrelevant in Germany. Try GayRomeo or Gaychat.de. The British Gaydar.co.uk has a pretty decent presence, although I’m not on it. Gaychat.de requires fluent German—and quick typing skills in German.

Gay Weimar

Ok, so gay life in Weimar isn’t. Despite the presence of Bauhaus University and a music school, visible gay life in this town is invisible. The horny trumpeters must only toot their horns only in the practice rooms, or not at all.

The options are otherwise quite sparse:

Kunst Turm: This is a relative newcomer to the scene. I think the owners of the Kunst Turm must be gay because they’re putting on gay parties. The first one was, conveniently, while I was partying New Year’s Eve in Guadalajara. Check out Another Level for information about forthcoming parties—the next one (that I know of) is 1 November 08: Downtown in Weimar City. (Oh the irony…)

Warm Up: Weimar’s first and only gay bar. Small, friendly, but without too many customers.

Bauhaus U’s Gay Group: They used to have a website, and they probably still do, but the name doesn’t include “gay” nor “schwul” (as far as I can remember, which means successfully finding it is escaping me right now. The group gets together about once a month and watches movies; I’ve been only once but since then have either have schedule conflicts or not wanted to see the movies. I got the email notices, but they’re emailing an address I can’t access any more, so I’m out of luck.

Felix-Party at JC Nordlicht—Hey, as I observed last April, this dance night’s website was nonfunctional for me then. Guess what! 10 months later, it is still nonfunctional. Probably describes the monthly dance party as well.

Cruising: Honestly my ability to detect cruising is awful—either it must be mapped or so blatant that nuns notice before I notice, so Spartacus suggestions of the Park an der Ilm (between Burgplatz and Platz der Demokratie) and the Wittumspalais may indeed be correct. I’ve only noticed being cruised once in Weimar, at the Rez Café toilet. For those of you into this scene, have fun.

Meine Wohnung: Hey, it’s gay whenever I’m home. I have a selection of English language films and television programs, plus I like to bake, and I’m single.

Gay Erfurt

I’m not a big fan of attending Pride (in German/Germany: Christopher Street Day(s)/CSD) in the United States. My experience is limited to ones in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Indianapolis.

CSD-Thüringen 2007That said, I was still a bit taken aback at Erfurt’s Christopher Street Days in August 2007. It felt to me more like a political demonstration than a party. The group marched from the main train station around town. Samee and I got bored. I’d been to previous CSD events in Erfurt—which were more “event” like, but still had a demonstration aspect to them.

Although Germany, as a whole, is a forward thinking progressive country, it’s clear there are areas that are pretty far behind. Thüringen is probably Germany’s rough equivalent to Utah. It wasn’t that long ago that the Thüringen police had a database of GLBT individuals and their fetishes:

… police can call up all data files on cases in which gays have been involved. The database also reportedly allows for subcategories to be entered – such as groups, meeting places, or types of sex such as S&M.

Without further ado here are the gay options in Erfurt:

OX’s Clubkeller: Leather Club in Erfurt. Open on Saturday, check their website for details.

Test It Party: Last time I went to this club the DJ couldn’t mix music—something remarkably consistent across my multiple visits to this club. It’s open on Friday nights at 10pm, but only on Fridays.

Gay Jena

Ok, I work in Jena but I live in Weimar, and quite frankly, at the end of the day, when its time to go home, I go home and I do not return to party.

I don’t actually think I am missing much. As far as I can tell despite the fact that Jena is a serious university town, gay life is even less existent in Jena than it is in Weimar—which is a pretty neat trick.

JMC – Jenaer Mens Club: I was informed of this groups existence, and it appears to be open daily from 10pm. However they still have a flyer posted on the main homepage for events from last June. That’s not a good sign, and since I go home at the end of the day, I’m unlikely to check it out and see if it’s still open–but if a reader lets me know, I will confirm its existence!

Café Central: This bar, overlooking the Marktplatz is supposedly pretty gay at night. I’ve only been there once and the gayest thing in the bar was me—but it was early in the evening and we were there because it was open. It might actually be gay later in the day.

Gay Where?!

So if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably come to the realization that gay life in Thüringen sucks—and in a bad way.

So what’s a gay boy to do? Where do Lesbians head for a good time?

The simple answer is that you must leave Thüringen to have a grand gay time, and depending upon the scale of what you want to do, it might be far.

The Gay Capital of Germany is Berlin, which can be reached in about two hours with IC/ICE trains from Weimar (similar from Jena; add 15 minutes for Erfurt). Going to Berlin will probably necessitate an overnight trip. I’ll suggest finding a place to stay with Enjoy Bed and Breakfast (auf Deutsch hier). Beyond that, Berlin has so much to see and do, I will not even try.

If you’re looking for a quick overnight trip, without the need to buy a hotel room, I’ll suggest going to Leipzig. Leipzig had a decent dance club (G-Garage– appears to be closed forever) within walking distance of the main train station, as well as several gay bars. There’s even Cocks Cruising Bar, if you’re into that scene, as well as the Stargayte Sauna. It’s perfectly reasonable on a Friday night to arrive at 11 or 12 and then catch the first train home at 5, and be home shortly after 6 (Weimar described here).

Gay Comments, Corrections and Clarifications

You can either post comments, corrections, or clarifications to my Gay Thüringen guide below, or please feel free to email me. I can be reached at “elmadaeu” on the “gmail.com” service.

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