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The past week in Berlin has been an especially gay one for me. I’m not one to hit up gay clubs or bars every week, but sometimes life just works out that way.
We’ll do this narrative style.
My very gay week in Berlin began with a friend’s going-away party at Club der Visionaire. It’s not a gay club but instead a hipster one. It’s on the side of the Landwehr canal and has some of Berlin’s best pizza (seriously). It’s open 24-hours on the weekend, only costs 2 euros to get in and has some of the most awesome DJs you can find for that price. Some of the people inside are going to be the type to party hard, usually with artificial supplements, but chilling on the floating barge attached to the bar is also a perfectly acceptable way to enjoy the club. Nothing extraordinarily gay here except a lot of cute hipsters…and druggies hanging out in the bathroom.
As my Friday evening at Club der Visionaire wound down, I made my way to the legendary Berghain club with a friend. He’d try to get inside several times before but had always been stopped at the door (as so many do). With a little luck, though, we’d make our way inside.
We waited in the Berghain line/queue a good two solid hours. Thankfully we had brought some beers and there was a friendly Irish couple in front of us. We spent the time talking about the party scene in Berlin, travel around Europe and other things I don’t remember. Sometime after 4:30am, we were in.
If you haven’t been inside Berghain, it might be hard to imagine. It’s a warehouse, yes, and it’s a massive club, yes. After I was patted down by the door (“do you have a camera?” “no, well just my phone but the battery’s already dead.” “ok – no photos.“), I checked my sweater at the coat check. Some people might check their pants or shirt, too, but I would stay mostly closed for most of the night out.
Without harping on more about how amazing and awesome Berghain is, I’ll just say it was (as always) a really fun night. Loud music, chilling out on a bench to rest my feet, watching other men have sex in dark corners. You know—the typical stuff. The night ended for me sometime after 9 a.m. on Sunday after my body was completely drained and exhausted from a very long weekend.
My gay week would take a short break on Monday and Tuesday while I recovered from a weekend of parties and clubs, but I was right back into it on Wednesday with a meetup for LGBT startup companies and employees. The Berlin local event, organized by @arsduo with some very minor help by yours truly, was quite a good success. I got to meet a lot of new people in Berlin—from other bloggers to some media types and those with their own companies. All together I guess there were about 15 of us which was pretty good for a first-time event.
Besides making some great connections, I got to learn a lot more about StartOut.org—an organization with specific goals to foster LGBT diversity in the business community as well as to encourage & support LGBT entrepreneurs.
With another week coming to an end, what better way to end with anther epic gay night out. This time, rather than shooting for the top, I opted for one of my favorite gay clubs in Berlin: Schwuz. Again, I don’t always go out to gay bars or clubs, but if I want to hear good music (ie, some Madonna mixed in with The Killers or The Gossip), then gay bars are where it’s at. And while my favorite Friday night at Schwuz is their monthly indie night, Search & Destroy was an acceptable replacement.
Schwuz often plays great music and this Friday night at the monthly “Search and Destroy” club night didn’t disappoint. As usual, I wasn’t planning on a big night out, but at some point I noticed it was after 5 a.m. Time flies when you’re dancing.
So that’s my little “life in the week of a gay guy in Berlin.” Two gay clubs in two weekends, with some intellectual queer networking sandwiched in between. My kind of week!