A Personal Report


with Eva Fels 

Published in
The WayOut Tranny Guide, 12th Edition, 2004




jo und gloria


One of the curious things concerning transgenders is that they seem to have no history. Once Trans-women were just recognized as queerly dressed gays. Transvestites have been discovered for the first time at the beginning of the last century by the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who recognised that many of them are not interested in having sex with men at all. And transsexuals have obviously been invented 50 years later in operating theatres.

Well in fact European transgenders have a long history too. But - apart of some periods - is mainly a history of pursuance, of mental houses, jails and concentration camps.

Remembering our personal histories implies the memorization of insulting, irreverence and serious troubles in the labour market. By now, here in Austria, we have not to fear getting beaten up at the next corner or even getting killed. But not far from here - in Serbia - the well known transvestite Merlinka was murdered in March 2003.

"Austria has it's history of lynching transgenders too."

The first documented murder of a transgender person in Vienna goes back to the year 1863. On 14th July the Turk Army started to besiege Vienna. Some houses stood in fire and people became psyched. A 17 years old Cross-Dresser, who just passed by, immediately was blamed to be the reason for all the misery. It is well documented, that the riffraff beat him, undressed and lynched. The blood covered corps was dragged to the St. Peters church where a butcher tore off his skin encouraged by the enthusiastic cheers of the crowd.

As our transgender-organisation TransX learned to know these facts, we felt that it would be good to mourn once for that young person and all for all the persecutes that took place since then. Exactly 320 years after the cruel event we planed a funeral procession following just along the way the dead corps was hauled.

It would become the first Austrian transgender-demonstration, but we were not sure, if we were strong enough to organise an impressing event. So we looked for the solidarity of other groups: Gay groups declared their support, although - as we know now - they didn't help very much in fact. But the Green-party, several left-wing groups and two Sado-Masochist organisations showed really much solidarity and helped a lot by informing the publicness. The week around the 320-years memorial became an action week where transgender-events took place on almost each day: free transgender-movies, lectures, discussions and parties took place.

For the first time there was a broad alliance against prejudice against TransGender-persons and we got the feeling that times really will change now.

The memorial march took palace on 14th July - exactly 320 years after the cruel event. About 200 persons participated - probably the largest transgender demonstration that took place in Europe this year, and it was an impressing street-theater performance as well. Many participants dressed in black like people at an entombment.

At the place where the murder happened we held an orate. Gloria G., a well known transgender author, recapitulated the historical events and remembered that discrimination of transgenders still exists as a form of sexism, that forces everybody to life rather as a 'real man' or 'real woman' than to express one's emotions freely.

Then we marched to the centre where the poor guy was skinned. With loudspeakers we read the 280 names and short histories of murdered transvestites and transsexuals published by an American transgender organisation at www.gender.org/remember. It became a quite dramatic and creepy march through the centre of Vienna. Although some people passing by still laughed at us, it became a very honorific demonstration for the persecution and suffering of all people that are too 'different'.

At the final ceremony I gave a talk about that useless horror. We laid down an annulus and kept silent for a minute. Sad music was played. Then I started talking again. But this time I spoke about our political demands and about the fact that the chains of gender loose their power by now. Reclusively the fact that this demonstration could take place, proves this. I mentioned that this 320 years cruel history is passing by and a new age is starting. To demonstrate that we can leave all the fear of persecution behind, I invited all transgender folks to drop their old skins of shame and shyness. I took a sharp knife, held it up upon my chest and pulled it down along my body such that my black memorial dress was cut in parts and fell down to earth. Loudspeakers yelled Tommy's "I'm free" as a declaration of the end of a cruel blind period.

Has the world changed since that time? The legal situation is still the same: In Austria trans-women are still forced by law to undergo surgery before they are accepted to go officially by a female first name and get female identity cards. Coming out still implies the risk of long phases of unemployment, but in the last years we observed more and more cases, where transsexuals could change their gender without loosing their jobs.

Maybe it was only the transgender-community, that has changed a bit since then. Recollecting our history of pursuance, remembering centuries of suffering and maltreatment, appeals us to resist against all forms of sexism, that discriminate people due to their gender performance: Everybody has the right to express his/her gender freely!  

  impressum out and about


Central TG web site: www.transgender.at


TransX - TransGender - Union
Meetings each first Monday and third Wednesday of the month at 20:00, Rosa-Lila-Villa, 1060 Vienna, Linke Viennazeile 102 (next U4-station Pilgramgasse), Club on the 1st Floor. http://www.transx.transgender.at.

Transgender - Fetish:

LeSwing Transvestites and Gay night on Tuesdays. Changing and Make-Up rooms are available. Hannovergasse 5, 1200 Vienna.
SMart-Cafe Viennese Sado-Maso - and Fetish-Café, Tuesday to Saturday evening. Köstlergasse 9, 1060 Vienna. Each 1st Saturday of the month: SMart Extreme Party with dress code. http://www.smartcafe.at
Pervs@Paradise A fetish event each 2nd Saturday 22:00, [lo:sch], Fünfhausgasse 1, 1150 Vienna, Dresscode: Fetish/SM/TV.
SM-Sunday-Brunch: each second Sunday from 12:00 at Café Benno, 1090 Vienna, Alserstrasse 67. http://www.bdsm.at/embm.

Going Out

Willendorf Excellent mixed-gay-lesbian restaurant, 18:00 - 2:00, Rosa-Lila-Villa, 1060 Vienna, Linke Viennazeile 102 (next U4-station Pilgramgasse),
Café Berg Cofeeshop and restaurant. 10:00 - 1:00. Berggasse 8, 1090 Vienna.
Café Savoy Traditional Viennese Cofeeshop. Monday to Saturday. Linke Viennazeile 36 , 1060 Vienna (next U4-station Kettenbrueckengasse).
Café X-Bar Queer Pub, daily from 16:00, Mariahilferstrasse 45, Raimundpassage, 1060 Vienna (next U4-station Kettenbrueckengasse).
Living Room Queer restaurant, 18:00 - 4:00, except Sunday. 1050 Vienna, Franzensgasse 18.
Frauencafé Women - lesbian pub. Tuesday - Saturday, 18:30 - 2:00. Lange Gasse 11, 1080 Vienna

Dance Venues

Nachtschicht TG-friendly discotheque, where you usually will meet some of us on Fridays. Wagramerstr.69, 1220 Wien, Monday to Saturday from 21:00
U4, Heaven Mixed-gay disco. Every Thursday night from 22:00, Schönbrunnerstrasse 22, 1120 Vienna, U4-Station Meidling
Why Not Mixed-gay disco. Friday and Saturday, best to visit on Saturday, http://www.why-not.at, Tiefer Graben 22, 1010 Vienna.
Rosas Tanzbar Classic dance for Lesbian, Gays and Transgenders. Each last Sunday of the month starting 19:00, "Cheek2Cheek", Langegasse 50, 1080 Vienna.


Self-help Group / Transgender-Meeting
Each 2nd Sunday of the month at 19:00 at the SBZ (Maiffredygasse 4) and each 4th Wednesday at 21:00 at the Traminer Weinstube at the corner Jakominiplatz - Klosterwiesgasse 2.
For more information and contacts visit http://graz.transgender.at/ or Michaela http://members.tripod.de/rouxii/michaela.html, michaela@trangender.at.

Going Out:

Traminer Weinstube a TG-friendly wine house (see above)
Discotheque Qwhere mainly Underground, Darkwave, HipHop, Electro, Industrial and Metal is played, after 24:00 on Friday and Saturday there are a lot of freaky people (punks, Gothic's, fetish, transgender). Tuesday to Saturday 23:00 - 06:00 at Luthergasse 4.
Black Fantasie a new club for fetish, bdsm and transgender. Griesgasse 38, Tuesday - Thursday 18:00 - 24:00, Friday and Saturday 20:00 - 01:00, www.blackfantasie.at.
Yamamoto a nice sushi-bar. Prokopgasse 4, Tuesday to Sunday.


Self-help Group / Transgender-Meeting:
Each 1st Monday and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 19:00, Coffee Corner, Bethlehemstr. 30, 4020 Linz, Contact Alexandra (sandyTS@gmx.at) or Nadja (nadja_tg@hotmail.com).

Going out:

Coffee Corner Bethlehemstr. 30, 4020 Linz, Monday to Saturday, opens at 19:00, Tel.: 0732/77 08 62
Stonewall, Rainerstr. 22, 4020 Linz, Bar each day from 20.00 h, Disco on Friday and Saturday at 23:00, beware of Turkish gay-bashing gangs hanging around the entrance area - especially on weekends! www.stonewall.at, tel. 0732/60 04 38
My Way, Goethestrasse 51, 4020 Linz, daily from 19.00; (www.myway.at, Tel. 0732/65 27 60)
Nachtschicht, TG-friendly discotheque, Im Bäckerfeld 1, 4060 Leonding, Wendsday to Sunday from 21:00


Self-help Group / Transgender-Meeting:
Each 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 20:00, HOSI-Salzburg, Office at Muellner Hauptstrasse 11, 5020 Salzburg. Contact Dani (dany@transgender.at).

top Published in

WayOut The WayOut Tranny Guide - Wayout World,
12th Edition, p. 150-151, WayOut- Publishing Co Ldt, Enfield, UK, 2004  

  © photos from the memorial march:  adk.at.   
 For pictures of our events look at the foto-gallery at  http://transgender.at.   
 For more information concerning the 320 - years ceremony look at  http://transx.transgender.at.   

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