Zurich Pioneers

In Zurich, the first human rights movements had already been fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other spectrums of sexuality) people since the beginning of the 20th century. The most important of these organizations was based in Zurich:

“Der Kreis”

“Der Kreis” (The Circle), as the first ever organization for gays and lesbians, influenced and inspired the entire Western world between 1943 and 1967. From 1948 to 1960, its club venue, Eintracht, was located on the site of the present-day Theater am Neumarkt. After the organization was disbanded, some of the members founded Club 68, which later evolved into the Swiss Organization of Homophiles (SOH). In 2014, a movie was made about the emotionally-charged history of the Swiss gay organizations under the title of “Der Kreis” (The Circle). The two protagonists, Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, lived together in Zurich until Rapp’s death in 2018 and in 2007 were the first couple to officially register their partnership in the City of Zurich. Since 2007, homosexual couples have been able to officially register their partnership, and same-sex marriage was made legal in Switzerland in 2022.

Zurich Pride Festival

In 1978, together with two other interest groups, the SOH organized the first Christopher Street Day in Switzerland at Zurich’s Platzspitz. This event has been regularly celebrated in Zurich since 1994; in 2009, it was renamed the Zurich Pride Festival.

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