Research Group Health-, welfare and history of science

The German Invention of Homosexuality

22 October: Robert Beachy

In this talk Robert Beachy presents the broad argument from his book Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern identity, which was published a year ago and in German translation last June. Beachy argues that German medical practitioners and legal reform activists developed the first “essentialist” same-sex identity, which was embraced in Berlin by a recognizable community of sexual minorities who were able to define themselves through a network of bars, organizations, journals, and other publications.


Robert Beachy (b. 1965) is associate professor of history at Underwood International College at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea and specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of Germany and Europe.

His book Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity was awarded the Randy Shilts prize by the New York Publishing Triangle.  It was also named a Stonewall Honor Book in Non-Fiction by the American Library Association