Dr. Kyle Frackman has published an article, “Persistent Ambivalence: Theorizing Queer East German Studies,” in the Journal of Homosexuality.
The German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) had an ambivalent relationship with homosexuality. Under the principles of socialism, everyone was welcome to contribute to the greater good. The situation for queer people, here lesbians and gay men, was different: one of illegality and invisibility. A difficulty in analyzing these experiences is the theory and methodology necessary to find them and draw them together in an historical narrative. This essay offers a mode of analysis in which theories of affect illustrate long-term trends in East German conceptualizations of same-sex sexuality. By discussing a 1950 court ruling and a 1989 film, the essay demonstrates the persistence of homophobic prejudice and fear of homosexual seduction of young people and the links to historical and legal developments.