Heidelberg Description of the city Heidelberg is a university town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In 2019, Heidelberg had 161.485 inhabitants (31/12/2019). Located about 78 km south of Frankfurt am Main, Heidelberg is the fifth-largest city in Baden-Württemberg. Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is Germany’s oldest and one of Europe’s most reputable universities. Heidelberg is a scientific hub in Germany and home to several internationally renowned research facilities adjacent to its university, including the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and four Max Planck Institutes. The city has also been a hub for the arts, especially literature, throughout the centuries, and it was designated a “City of Literature” by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Goal The lgbttiq* who live in Heidelberg and its surroundings should be recognized and accepted in their diversity. Lgbttiq* people are diverse and heterogeneous. Their participation and active contribution to living together in diversity are investments for a Heidelberg directed towards the future – for its democratic, social, economic and cultural life, for its attractiveness and connectivity. This potential can be used and promoted only if the existing specific processes of discrimination affecting lgbttiq* are understood and if joint steps of empowerment are developed and implemented on this basis. For this purpose, Heidelberg’s Runder Tisch für sexuelle und geschlechtliche Vielfalt (Roundtable for Sexual and Gender Diversity) aims to identify and discuss fundamental as well as current problems of lgbttiq* living in Heidelberg and to counteract the exclusion and discrimination of this population group by making appropriate recommendations. PLUS, the psychological lgbttiq* counselling service of the Rhine-Neckar region, is offering a broad range of lgbttiq* counselling and workshop services. In order to ensure comprehensive support in the lives of young lgbttiq* and to carry out specific awareness-raising work, PEP – Netzwerk Prävention und Empowerment für LSBTTIQ* Jugendliche (network prevention and empowerment for lgbttiq* youth)’s goal is to establish structures and networks for mainstreaming lgbttiq* issues in Heidelberg’s youth facilities. Policy In 2015, the city of Heidelberg adopted the action plan “Offen für Vielfalt und Chancengleichheit – Ansporn für alle” (“Open for Diversity and Equal Opportunity – Incentive for All”), thereby initiating a process to sustainably make a stand against homophobia and transphobia and to establish an urban culture that values diversity. The result of the action plan was the establishment of the Roundtable for Sexual and Gender Diversity in 2016. More than 15 associations, initiatives and groups of the Queer Network are represented at the Round Table. The Amt für Chancengleichheit (Office for Equal Opportunities) of the city of Heidelberg holds executive responsibility for the Roundtable. Within the last years, the city of Heidelberg and PLUS have been able to implement an integrative and diversity-aware counselling and prevention concept for the city of Heidelberg. Since May 2018, Queer Youth, a project funded by the city of Heidelberg, has been taking place at the municipally funded youth centre of Heidelberg Kirchheim (IB-Jugendtreff Kirchheim). Queer Youth is an exchange and meeting place, safe space and leisure activity for lgbttiq* youth up to the age of 18. Additionally, Queer Youth actively trains professionals and volunteers in gender and sexual diversity in the field of youth work and education. Recently, Queer Youth received the backing by the city of Heidelberg to further expand its project in the form of PEP. Through PEP, a network is to be created that will contribute to the improvement of education on lgbttiq* topics in schools in Heidelberg. The city’s current key focus areas for the improvement of lgbttiq* lives in Heidelberg are psychosocial counselling of lgbttiq* and school-based prevention work on sexual and gender diversity, a long-term support of the Queer Festival Heidelberg, the securing and continuation of lgbttiq* youth work, the continuous promotion and funding of projects increasing the visibility of the lgbttiq* community in all its diversity, strengthening the acceptance of lgbttiq* parents, the promotion of diversity in the municipal human resources, lgbttiq* refugees, lesbian visibility, the impact of the third gender option on municipal services and facilities, strengthening the visibility of lgbttiq* within the city’s public relations, and the visualization of lgbttiq* history in the city’s commemorative culture. Collaboration partners Mosaik Deutschland e.V. https://mosaik-deutschland.de PLUS. Psychologische Lesben- und Schwulenberatung Rhein-Neckar http://plus-rheinneckar.de Queer Festival Heidelberg https://queer-festival.de Queeres Netzwerk Heidelberg http://www.queeres-netzwerk-hd.de Queer Youth – IB-Jugendtreff Heidelberg Kirchheim https://www.jugendtreff-kirchheim.de/queer-youth and many more. Publications and other materials In November 2018, PLUS, together with the Office for Equal Opportunities of the city of Heidelberg and the Department of Democracy and Strategy (Fachbereich Demokratie und Strategie) of the city of Mannheim, carried out the survey “Sicher Out?”, in which over 400 people took part. The survey addressed safety issues of lgbttiq* in Heidelberg, Mannheim and the Rhein-Neckar region: https://www.heidelberg.de/site/Heidelberg_ROOT/get/documents_E-172696825/heidelberg/Objektdatenbank/16/PDF/Diskriminierung/SICHER-OUT_Dokumentation_Web.pdf Please visit our website for further publications.