German actors en masse out of the closet: ‘we want to deal with stereotypes’

Swap up the debate on the visibility of LHBTs and non-binary people. That is what the 185 German actors who have signed a manifesto in which they come out of the closet under the motto Wir sind schon da.

The manifesto is needed, says Tatort actress and initiator Karin Hanczewski to DeccEit. โ€œStill, agents and producers advise actors to be discreet about their sexual orientation. It would be bad for your career. The public wouldnt be able to deal with it, that sort of thing is said. So theres fear. Many actors keep it to themselves.โ€

The vast majority of 185 signatories of the manifesto never came out of the closet before. The rest joined out of solidarity.

The size of the group shows the diversity of the lhbt- and non-binary community, mentioning the manifesto: young, old; city, countryside; newcomers and old-timers. โ€œWe want to show that there are no stereotypes,โ€ says Hanczewski.

A lot of variety

However, the only surprise is that the manifesto gives the impression that the gay emancipation of Germany has passed away. But that is not the case, says correspondent Wouter Zwart: โ€œAlso in Germany a lot has changed in recent decades.โ€

However, according to Zwart, it matters a lot whether you look at cities like Berlin, which are more progressive than Amsterdam, or the Thuringian countryside, where conservative values are often adhered to.

โ€œ Germany is a large country, with a lot of diversity. And more than with us, traditional-conservative institutions such as the church still play a significant role in peoples lives. That all plays alongโ€, says Zwart.

Pleased surprise

Actress Hanczewski (who, according to her own words, lives in โ€œthe Berlin bubbleโ€ Kreuzberg) also looks with argus eyes at the rise of populist parties. It fears that these politicians will want to restore conservative legislation, which will reverse equal values for IHBT people.

Hanczewski is delighted by the public reaction to the manifesto: โ€œI only saw positive comments on Instagram.โ€ She knows that there is a fierce discussion between supporters and opponents on Twitter and Facebook. โ€œBut Im not on that, so I dont see that.โ€

According to Hanczewski, the public reaction shows the nonsense of the warning of some agents that people cannot deal with it. โ€œThirty years ago, some actors still got into trouble. But we really live in a different time now.โ€