© 2019 Samet Durgun

When a city, such as Berlin, doesn’t live up to its reputation of diversity, openness, and acceptance; queer communities of color create their own safe spaces, the spaces for individuals who feel marginalized to come together. Two collectives, both founded both in 2018; “House of Living Colors” and “House of Oriental” are formed by people who identify themselves mostly as trans and non-binary (gender non-conforming) individuals.

“House of Living Colors” is an open drag collective formed in Berlin particularly for queer and trans, black and people of color artists (QTBPOC) to present performances that explore gender and political commentary through artistic media. The second collective, “House of Oriental”, brings individuals together from countries like Libya, Malaysia, Syria, and Serbia who fled their countries to Berlin because of their non-conforming gender identities.


Although each individual has a different story; they are connected through their desire to express and explore gender, in the safe spaces they build, without having to explain their lived experiences.