This article analyzes the relationship between suicide and homosexual discourses in modern Germany. Considering literature, gay periodicals, mainstream newspapers, letters, plays, and poetry, it asks how authors came to correlate homosexuality so strongly with a propensity to commit suicide. In particular, the article makes out a dialectical relationship among three discursive tropes of gay suicide. Doctors and activists of the nineteenth century, including the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, employed gay suicide to call for the abolition of Germany’s ban on male sodomy. In opposition thereto, masculinist writers depicted gay suicide sympathetically. Weimar-era literature synthesized these diametric trends into a ubiquitous narrative of gay suicide, which would color mainstream representations of homosexuality and perpetuate the stereotype that gay people are destined to have tragic lives of misery and self-inflicted death. This article argues that the suicide stereotype played a significant role in the formation of modern gay discourses and that its influence remains strong even today.

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