Scoot To Berlin, Whatever Your Fetish
Thanks to its unique history attracting residents who don’t necessarily conform to social standards elsewhere, especially concerning sexuality, Berlin has long figured among the most openminded cities in the world. The German capital is one of the world’s most popular destinations among LGBTIQ+ travellers, not least because it embraces their diversity rather than condemning it.
One of the most popular events on the Berlin gay social calendar is Folsom Europe, an annual gathering of leathermen, their admirers, and the merely curious. For those unfamiliar with the world of leather, devotees of this very social social group may be considered a bit too outlandish even by members of their own LGBTIQ+ community, but tourism officials in Berlin are very happy with their presence. Those leather jackets don’t come cheap; leather-oriented men and women (yes, there are women here, too) are recognised as some of the most cashed up of gay travellers, already a demographic market known for its higher than average disposable income. Most of the people attending
Folsom Europe are visitors from other countries, which means they generate millions of dollars in revenue for travel agencies, airlines, hotels, restaurants, and retailers in Berlin, just as they do in every other location around the world that hosts similar events. Those chaps’ chaps may leave little to the imagination, but the income they bring in is definitely not imaginary. By the way, not everyone who attends Folsom Europe (or any other leather event) is necessarily gay; from hardcore club denizens to curious housewives who have just reread Fifty Shades Of Grey for the hundredth time, everyone is welcome. That what makes it fun.
Not surprising for a city that has had its own Gay Museum for more than 30 years, Berlin Tourism’s comprehensive website has pages and pages of information specifically for LGBTIQ+ visitors, including information about social support groups not necessarily related to tourism but thoughtfully provided nevertheless. Especially for travellers who perhaps live in less openly accepting places than Berlin, Folsom Europe is the type of event that allows them to relax and be embraced by likeminded travellers from all over the world. Now that Scoot has introduced nonstop flights between Singapore and Berlin, access to one of the world’s most exuberant cities is easier than ever for travellers from the Asia-Pacific region.
Photos: John Douglas, johndouglasart.com