Sweating bodies, a sticky floor and music pumping across six floors. In Capella, you can feel the ghosts of youngsters pouncing up and down the stairs, their bodies matching the beat. Owned by a gay man, it was a safe place for LGBTQI+ people to dance through the night. But not anymore.
The closing of Capella is just one example in a long line of policies and laws that make it harder for LGBTQI+ people in Budapest to exist safely and freely in their city. The most recent anti-gay law being the anti-gay propaganda law that was passed in June, 2021. And not without effect.
The social acceptance of LGBTQI+ people has never been higher in Hungary, but the number of hate crimes has also increased. Budapest is perceived as a liberal city where everybody can be themselves, compared to the conservative countryside. Discriminatory policies are starting to effect everybody.
In our mini-documentary Loud, Proud & Underground we dive into Budapest and meet a proud, gay man hurt by his government and look how anti-gay laws effect the society in Budapest.