Berlin cabaret poster, 1920s.
“The idyllic gay portrait of dapper German officers in capes and peaked caps transfixed by demure Line-Boys (teenage male prostitutes that worked Berlin’s fancy hotel lobbies, gay clubs, and bars in the Tiergarten in gangs of 4 or 5) on Tiergarten benches disappeared from view in 1919. It was beggars who retained the combat dress of the defeated army. Berlin’s gay community at the beginning of Weimar adopted a different wardrobe, the sailor’s blouse and cap (alongside the tailored morning-coat of the perfumed dandy). In homosexual Dielen, middle-aged Sugar-Lickers (nighttime gay patrons), Coolies (older Gymnasium or university students who hired Line-Boys and frequently claimed to be straight), Doll-Boys (youngest and penniless gay hustlers that worked solely for food, lodging and cigarettes), even crotchety waiters wore the crisp blue-and-white insignia of jaunty marines on shore leave. The change of uniform had various meanings. Partly, it was a matter of identification - straights didn’t wear them - and they were a Wilhelmian echo of adolescent androgyny. More significantly, Berlin’s core homosexual community had expanded beyond the units of the Potsdam garrison.”
-Mel Gordon, Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin.