Do you share the observation that queers of colour sometimes find it easier to enter into alliances with non-trans heterosexuals of colour rather than white queer/trans organizations?
I definitely share this observation (laughs). From a perspective critical of racism it would be interesting to ask: Why is this so? What is it about racism that is still so specific? It seems that experiencing racism in today’s context in Germany unites people much more than commonalities based on sexual identity. I can’t give you a conclusive analysis of the reasons for this. Maybe it’s also to do with picking up threads from a historical tradition of anti-racist movements, which by the way have always been more diverse than white feminism, gay organizing and most recently the queer movement. But of course I am really happy to see that straight/queer/trans people of colour ally themselves to do anti-racist work together.
Do you see any parallels between the majority white queer scene and the white mainstream gay scene?
There are parallels but also differences. One tends to produce openly racist exclusions, while the other (which calls itself explicitly antifascist and antiracist) tends to do this in a hypocritical and coded form, often even as part of a so-called antiracist politics. This has become very clear with anti-Muslim racism, which in Berlin manifests itself in indirect and even direct connection with processes of gentrification. These days I would rather live in Charlottenburg or Dahlem (white middle-class suburbs) where power is out in the open. Where I know where I stand in relation to bourgeois whites as a man of colour. Without any pretense. Sometimes those people can handle this better than the ‘supercool‘ queers who come here, appropriate our neighbourhoods and then go to Prinzenbad (a popular outdoors swimming pool in Kreuzberg) and make fun of the teenagers there or get scared of them. Another factor is class (laughs). Most of them are probably middle class. Finally there’s another thing that’s struck me: Most queers are young and the mainstream gays are often older. This is my question: Why are queers – and this also goes for many antifascist activists – mostly young? Where do they go when they’re older? It’s strange, they disappear when they’re older (laughs).