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CHECK Bayern #1

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Die erste Ausgabe des Männer*Gesundheitsmagazins für Bayern

COMMUNITY ENGLISH A

COMMUNITY ENGLISH A SPECIALIST FOR LGBTIQ*: STRONG! „Violence can come in many forms and dimensions“ „Violence against LGBTIQ* is a very undiscussed topic in Bavaria“, says Michael Plaß (38), employee of STRONG!, a specialist office against discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ* people. Together with his colleague Bettina Glöggler (47), he is currently setting up a project in Munich that is unique in Bavaria and deals with violence specifically against queer people. STRONG! is located in the community center “Sub-Zentrum” and informs as well as advises those affected by violence against LGBTIQ*. It also aims to sensitize specialists or the media to this topic. Queer institutions in Munich are generally well-connected and short distances make for fast exchanges between the various groups. In addition, there is plenty of expertise, for example in the form of experienced psychologists, so those affected can be referred quickly. STRONG! is financed by the Bavarian Ministry of Family Affairs, however the city of Munich also subsidizes it through the youth welfare office. and self-esteem. Last but not least: Domestic violence also exists in queer relationships and is often not noticed or taken seriously. „IT IS INTERESTING THAT WITHIN THE COMMUNITY, TRANS*, INTER* AND NON-BINA- RY PEOPLE ARE MORE AFFECTED BY SUCH EXPERIENCES THAN CIS LESBIANS AND GAYS.“ MICRO-AGGRESSION CAN ALSO BE AN ENORMOUS BURDEN When one speaks of hostile violence against LGBTIQ* people, it is not just about high-profile cases of physical attacks that make it into the headlines of the local press or cause a wave of outrage on social media. „Violence can come in many forms and dimensions,“ says Bettina Glöggler. „We understand it to mean everything that makes LGBTIQ* insecure in their existence and gender identity.“ This includes, of course, open insults, but also apparently minor incidents such as a stupid joke or carelessness in behavior. These „micro-aggressions“ can put a huge strain on a person in the long run, affecting identity TRANS*, INTER* AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE ARE PARTICULARLY HIT HARD In addition, numerous cases are not reported because the community likes to have the famous “thick skin”: “Many forms of violence and discrimination are not even perceived as such,” says Bettina Glöggler. “Queer people in particular tend to see this as a ‚normal risk in life’”. This includes not only violence, but also the various types of discrimination: An apartment is not rented to a lesbian couple, the gay colleague won’t get the promotion or you deny the trans* person the correct gender entry in a certificate. Not to forget: Positive discrimination can also be a burden: 8 CHECK BAYERN #1

COMMUNITY „If, for example, gays always have to be hip, chic and educated in order to be recognized by the environment, that can exert a lot of pressure,“ says Michael Plaß. It is interesting that within the community, trans*, inter* and non-binary people are more affected by such experiences than cis lesbians and gays. „They become a target because they look different, because they disrupt a familiar gender image and society is often overwhelmed with such changes,“ says Michael Plaß. Last but not least, people know much less about trans* and inter* than about gay and lesbian people. They don‘t know how to talk to them, address them or deal with them — this often applies to the situation within the LGBTIQ* community too. “Trans*, inter* and non-binary groups are also the groups with the smallest lobby, they are an easy target, so to speak!” says Plaß. SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE DARKNESS OF STATISTICS The work that Michael Plaß and his colleague are doing is also a struggle for numbers and statistics which are used as a yardstick for incidence and success. „The official police statistics show under 20 cases of violence against LGBTIQ* in Bavaria for 2020,“ reports Michael Plaß. “But these statistics only show how bad the survey is.” STRONG alone! received 101 reports for the past year — in a period that probably has fewer cases than normal due to Corona and a reduced public life. Both STRONG! experts estimate the number of unreported cases to be extremely high, also because many LGBTIQ* people in Bavaria have little trust in the police. “It is really time to shed light on the darkness!” says Glöggler. Until then, they will concentrate on the other no less important aspects of their work, including, above all, advice and help for victims. It starts with listening and giving advice on how to deal with bad experiences and avoid such situations in the future. In addition, STRONG! connects clients to therapists, helps clarify the police processes, with the phrasing of reports or the way to a lawyer. VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION SHOULD ALWAYS BE REPORTED „The important thing is: Anyone who experiences violence or discrimination should always report it,“ says Michael Plaß. This is not only an act of solidarity with other victims, but also politically important, because this is the only way to take appropriate measures. He knows: „Some people can only then make their peace and finally come to rest.“ (bm) STRONG! LGBTI* department against discrimination and violence Sub-Zentrum, Müllerstraße 14 Tel. 089/854 64 34-27, strong@subonline.org stronglgbtiq www.subonline.org Photos: Mark Kamin Michael Plaß Bettina Glöggler CHECK BAYERN #1 9

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.