Šerý, O., & Pitoňák, M. (2019). „Queer podniky“ v Brně. Sociální Studia, 16(1), 79–102. Retrieved from


Brno, Czech Republic is amongst the most liberal of cities and yet, but few know that in Brno as early as during the interwar period there were unique spaces dedicated to sexual diversity, various gay and lesbian initiatives came into existence, and that the first post-war semi-official / semilegal Czech gay business was opened here. Also, Brno hosted the first big Czech “queer march”, and the most significant Czech queer film festival was born there. This article aims to examine whether and, if so how, this diversity is mirrored in Brno’s “queer venues”, which we have contextualized within the broader perspective of geographies of sexualities, using semi-structured interviews. Our goal was to understand the locally-specific forms of socio-spatial organization and how they influence local non-heterosexual people, including their effects on sexual orientation and/or sexual identities in everyday negotiations. Our main findings include the identification of the characteristic features of Brno “queer enterprises”, the elucidation of their relative spatial concentration, and the physical and visual unobtrusiveness associated with the degree of use of “queer symbolism”. Our findings clarify the specific homonormative, and to a certain extent heteronormative, settings of local queer venues, which in the context of gay commodification significantly influence not only the form and degree of acceptance of non-heterosexual people in Brno, but also their mutual relationships, the possibilities of self-realization and new forms of exclusion. Even though we cannot find a “gay neighbourhood” in Brno, we can speak of a “queer-friendly city”.