The Third Sex Issue 1, article 7 (May 1930)

A few months ago I strolled through the streets of Berlin again and looked at the newspaper kiosks at the new publications that had come out in the field of magazines. Then I discovered a magazine called

“The Girlfriend.”1

I bought this paper for 20 Pfg. and to my astonishment, I found out that in its 6th year this paper appears every Wednesday and is available from every street dealer. The content of this magazine is extremely interesting. It deals with the homosexual challenge2 in popular scientific articles. In addition, good literary works and very rich poems. An advertisement section completes this sheet, so that you get the impression of having a well-edited weekly in front of you.

In the advertising section I found an ad in which it was announced that there would be

a Grand Trans-Ball3

on the first Thursday of the month in the house of the “Zauberflöte,” Kommandantenstr. 72, takes place, to which gentlemen and ladies have access as guests. So I decided to attend such a ball. When I entered the hall, a butch woman4 in a tuxedo met me. As I found out later, it was the director Lotte Hahm from the women’s club “Violetta.” I sat down in a place where I had a good view of the room and noticed a large number of ladies in society gowns5. Likewise men in tailcoats and tuxedos, as well as simply bourgeois women and men of all ranks in street suits. It was very cozy and you can say that there was a very harmonious atmosphere. I then got in touch with Lotte Hahm to inquire about individual people who were particularly interested in me. I learned that the vast majority of trans people are married, even have families and, as they say, feel completely normal in their sex life. Their predisposition is that they have to wear the clothes of the other gender if they are to keep their mental balance. I also learned that in the upper hall of the “Zauberflöte” which bears the name “Florida”, the homosexual men hold their social evenings organized by the Society for Human Rights6, which can be contacted at Berlin S 14, Neue Jakobstr. 9. I was given a magazine with the title

“Die Insel”7,

also very well equipped with pictures, which appears on the first of the month for the cheap price of 50 Pfg. per copy. It’s also available from every street dealer. While leafing through this magazine I noticed that it is already in its fifth year. The content consists only of good fiction works and really good artistic male nudes. When I asked why this magazine did not contain any articles on the struggle for the homosexual movement, I was given another magazine with the title

“Paper for Human Rights,”8

which in its 8th year appears regularly every month and sells in the street for 20 Pfg. per copy. I was certainly amazed and surprised at the content of this magazine. Homosexuality in men and women is dealt with in a clear, factual and relatable way. In addition, it contains articles of struggle that oppose Paragraph 1759 of the Reich Criminal Code and demand its elimination. The Paper for Human Rights can be described as a really enlightening political organ, which primarily serves the liberation struggle of homosexuals, which is embodied in the Society for Human Rights.

  1. And by the way, Die Freundin just happens to be published by the same publisher, Friedrich Radzuweit! 

  2. Ger. Problem 

  3. Ger. Transvestiten-Ball, but I’ve chosen to use the broader, short-hand term, “Trans-Ball” 

  4. The author calls Lotte Hahm a “female transvestite” but Lotte strongly identified as a lesbian woman and wore tuxedos simply to “emphasize a masculine touch.” This corresponds with one of the popular meanings behind “transvesite,” that is, “one who cross-dresses.” 

  5. Ger. Gesellschaftstoilette, I believe Toilette here means “dress,” as in, the daily toilette is the act of dressing up. 

  6. Ger. Bund für Menschenrecht, an LGBT rights organization in which Radzuweit and Hahm were both involved. It was the largest LGBT organization in Germany with 50,000 members attending meetings in many major cities. 

  7. And by the way, Die Insel just happens to be published by the same publisher, Friedrich Radzuweit! 

  8. And by the way, Blätter für Menschenrecht just happens to be published by the same publisher, Friedrich Radzuweit! 

  9. These were the infamous sodomy laws that outlawed same-gender sexual acts.