European Muslims, so often portrayed one-dimensionally as rioters, honor killers or terrorists, live diverse lives, most of them trying to get by and to have a good time. That is more difficult if one is both Muslim and gay.
âWhen youâre here, itâs as if youâre putting on a mask, leaving the everyday outside and just having fun,â said a 22-year-old Turkish man who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear that he would be ostracized or worse if his family found out about his sexual orientation.
Safety and secrecy come up regularly when talking to guests, who laugh and dance, but also frequently look over their shoulders. To be a gay man or lesbian with an immigrant background invites trouble here in two very different ways.
âDepending on which part of Berlin I go to, in one I get punched in the mouth because Iâm a foreigner and in the other because Iâm a queen,â said Fatma Souad, the eventâs organizer and master of ceremonies.