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Thirty years of gay pride at the city's pink house

Vienna's "Rosa-Lila Villa" is celebrating its thirtieth birthday.

Also known as the Lesben- aund Schwulenhaus (Gay and Lesbian House), the colourful property on the Linke Wienzeile came into being 30 years ago.

It now consists of an accommodation project, an advice and information centre and a pub/restaurant.

It has long been one of the established institutions in Vienna but it's beginning was far from idyllic.

In 1982 the property that was owned by the city of Vienna was occupied, and there was then a lengthy series of negotiations about the squatters vacating the property.

In the end the building was given over to be managed by the Association Rosa Lila Tip for a 30-year period. That was more recently renewed.

The yearly rental works out at around 17,000 euros.

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary the house management are thinking of adding a colour to the pink by putting turquoise in places. This would be to signify that it also represents transgender people and those who do not fit into either one or the other gender easily.

The situation for people in this position has not changed significantly over the years and indeed the situation for many gay people is also not changed in certain circumstances say activists.

Young men for example are put under a lot of pressure by their families or in the school not to simply accept that they feel themselves to be homosexual, as if it was something that could be corrected.

The same problem is faced by gay or lesbian asylum seekers who do not fit into a regular asylum home and have difficulties there. As a result there are currently 11 people that have residence at the house.

As part of the future plans activists are considering whether they can make it barrier free by removing interior walls, which although desirable, they have been warned may not be possible because of the age of the property.

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