Photos: World’s First Lesbian Cemetery Opens

Dozens of elderly women gathered have gathered at a
graveyard in Berlin, were they celebrated an historic event: the opening of the
world’s first lesbian-only cemetery.
A 4,300-square-foot area was made available in one of the
German capital’s oldest burial grounds, the Lutheran Georgen Parochial
cemetery, and will serve as the final resting place for up to 80 gay women.

The women cheering and applauding among the tombstones that
day were members of SAFIA, a German association of older lesbians who came up
with the initiative as a way for their community to stay together in the
“We are the first real generation of emancipated, feminist,
open lesbians, and we need somewhere to be buried,” explains Astrid Osterland,
a 69-year-old SAFIA member. “Lots of us don’t have families to be buried with.
Instead, we want to lie with those we’ve fought alongside, loved and lived with”,
she said.
For Berlin’s lesbians, the cemetery is more than just a
final resting place. It holds political significance for them as the generation
of women who fought for the right to love openly and who now want their cause
to be visible for posterity.

 “Families want to be
together after death, and we want it too”, Osterland concluded.

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