Being queer in Bratislava and in Slovakia
If you read this, that means you are interested and that you might also be queer or an ally. If so, I want to thank you for your support. So back to the topic, how safe is it to be queer in Slovakia? I would recommend any queer people to look it up before moving to any country. It is sadly very important to protect yourselves adequately. I am sure you already know that.
If you did look Slovakia up, you might find that there was a shooting in November 2022, which targeted persons that were in a gay bar in Bratislava. Two men died and a woman was badly hurt. This event shocked everyone. And it led to a lot of support, shown to the queer community. Sadly it was only after. Since then, one can find safer space more easily. When I looked Slovakia up, I found out that it was one of the most progressive countries in central Europe. Same gender marriage is not legal because it is against the constitution. And same gender couples also can’t adopt. But there are ways around it. In society, it is usually accepted and tolerated.
In Bratislava, there are a lot of queer-friendly places like Nová Cvernovka, A4, Pakt, Fuga, Ruido café, Apollon, Papagayo to list a few. Also to see if a place is queer friendly, you can see at the entrance if there is a sticker rainbow with "Bezpečné miesto" or “Sme Tepláreň” written on it. A rainbow is always a good sign!
Depending on where you are from, you might have a different experience with how it is in Bratislava compared to what you know. From my experience, being openly queer in open spaces is seen better between females than males. As a woman, I never had any problems holding a girl's hand for example, just some looks as usual. Compared to Paris, I felt safer in Bratislava and didn’t get any comments here.
To know about queer events, you can follow queer_slovakia on social media. They communicate mostly in Slovak but you can just translate. I hope all of this didn’t scare you off. Bratislava is worth the visit and to my experience, pretty safe.
Take care of yourself.
Text a foto: Frédérique Fairier
Frédérique je dobrovoľníčka programu Európsky zbor solidarity na projekte v organizácii Mládež ulice. Projekt bol podporený z projektu EÚ Európsky zbor solidarity.