Gender and sexuality

Authored by: Clare Bielby , Frauke Matthes

The Routledge Handbook of German Politics & Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415686860
eBook ISBN: 9781315747040
Adobe ISBN: 9781317600152


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On 22 November 2005 Angela Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor, dubbed ‘Miss Germany’ by a national tabloid (Bild, 11 October 2005). Ten months previously, Asli Bayram had become the first woman of non-German descent to win the beauty contest of that title. In the run-up to the Berlin mayoral elections of June 2001, when he would be voted into office, Klaus Wowereit had declared, ‘I’m gay and that’s just fine’ 1 (‘Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so’). The Berlin Republic of the 21st century seems a progressive nation as far as gender and sexuality are concerned: women can be voted into the highest political office, women and men with non-German backgrounds can achieve public acclaim, and being openly gay seems to do no harm to your political career.

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