Austria has long been considered the "queer capital" of Europe, with several LGBTQIA+ spaces and organisations. It's also a place where a lot of research and activism around sexuality began _ for example, the pioneering psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing was based in Vienna and Magnus Hirschfeld worked here with a team that helped him develop the first sex reassignment surgery.
While many Austrians have been taking a bit of a ribbing over Sacha Baron Cohen's faux-flamboyant fashion correspondent from the popular TV show "Ali G" _ movie posters featuring the character Bruno wearing barely bum-concealing lederhosen and a matching alpine cap seem to pop up on almost every bus stop in town _ the majority of them appear to be supportive of the film. "We can learn a lot from him: style, zest for life, versatility and fearlessness," wrote Doris Knecht in an opinion piece for the newspaper Kurier published ahead of the worldwide release of the new Bruno film.
But not everyone in the country is embracing Bruno, with the exception of gay cabaret star Helmut Berger. With the piercing eyes and unwavering charisma of James Dean, Berger commanded the European film scene in the 1930s. He could dance as well as sing, and was a bon vivant with an insatiable appetite for fun. He was an enigma, but he lived his life to the fullest - and often made headlines for his tumultuous relationships and audacious exploits.