Telling these people that they are not alone and there is nothing wrong with them is a big part of Container Love’s mission. But we are not for queer people only, Container Love is the gateway for parents, friends, even religious people, anyone who might feel confused yet willing to learn more, to be more open.
Listening equals education, education means less fear and no fear means freedom. It doesn’t matter if you are queer or not, freedom is what we all need. You can be whatever you want, you can do whatever you want, your gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality or religion doesn’t matter as long as you have a heart.
What has been the biggest change in the environment Container Love operates in since you started the platform?
Since a few years ago, the media has a new approach toward queerness and queer people. They’re closer to stereotypes than to role models, but we do have queer people on television and in ads, the two fields of the industry with real influence on society. The more globalized the world gets, the hungrier people become for new, unseen things and queer people can deliver this.
When it comes to visibility, a lot has changed already. We are in a process. Yet this doesn’t mean that the world is more free or that life suddenly got easier for queer people. It’s the very opposite, in fact: the rates of suicide, of hate crimes are in the skies with numbers higher than ever before, especially when it comes to trans people.
This year, #VisibleLove ran in six major cities in five countries across Europe. What is the story for you behind the birth of the exhibition series and the collaboration with Weekday and H&M Mitte Garten?
There is a reason why I moved to Berlin years ago. Once you experience the feeling of being the only boy in the town who is different, no matter where you go, this feeling stays with you. When I left my town, I moved to Hamburg. But I needed more. I already knew that Berlin is more liberated, more free and it offers two extremes: in this city you can be completely anonymous – which I really like –, but you can also go out and celebrate your identity every day. I think this duality is beautiful, it’s one of the reasons why I love living here. But Berlin is still a bubble, frankly, one of the very few bubbles worldwide and we should not forget this.
When the pandemic started, life stopped. Everyone was left in isolation, and this time it meant that you had to be literally alone. This had a double impact on queer people. Sitting at home, it’s not allowed to see your friends, it’s not allowed to go out. The thought that you can get ill by meeting your besties is always at the back of your head. As a queer person, your family, your chosen family, all your human connections are suddenly taken away from you. Society doesn’t see you, it feels like you don’t actually exist anymore.
Then one day, driving through the empty city and seeing all the closed stores and shops with their window displays, the idea was born: let’s take over Berlin Mitte.