|Max Appenroth / Instagram|
Meet Max Appenroth, they/them/theirs, the first trans person to successfully reach the preliminary round of the Mr. Gay Germany Competition.
Max Appenroth is a trans activist and diversity consultant from Berlin. They are currently enrolled in a doctorate program at the Institute for Public Health of the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Last Sunday Max wrote on Facebook:
On Sunday, I want to share some good news with you: I made it the first trans person among the last 12 in the race to choose Mr Gay Germany! 🥳🏳️ ⚧️🌈👍🏽 It is a great honor for me to represent my community here at this contest. Mr Gay Germany is about way more than just looking good. All candidates need to start a community campaign and present it to a jury. The whole thing then falls down the biggest weight even when the decision at the end. With my #ProudToBeAlive campaign, I want to draw attention to the enormous high suicide rate among lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, inter & asexual (LSBTQIA+) youth and young adults. It makes me terribly sad to see how many LSBTQIA+ kids seem to see no other way out than death. I have concrete ideas on how to improve the situation here and support the next generations Queers. But please read more in my interview with queer.de 🥰
Max wrote on the Instgram below: "In the year we remember the victims of violence in my community. 375 trans people died violently worldwide in the past year. The number has never been higher and most of the murdered were trans women of color.
The actual number of murder cases is likely to be significantly higher, since many of the acts of violence are never discovered or adequately recorded. The violence against trans people must come to an end!
We are people who deserve love, respect and recognition and have a right to our life in freedom. To experience love and protection is unfortunately not a matter of course for us trans people. That's why I'm so incredibly grateful for the support I have from my family, friends, community and my husband Idàn. They give me the strength to keep fighting for equality in my community every day."
Max understands from personal experience that their competing for the title of Mr. Gay German would be received well by most of the LGBTQI community, but would be seen as an affront by others.
Trans people overwhelmingly welcome their advocacy. We understand that sexual orientation and gender expression are two different things entirely.
As a trans applicant, did you experience hostility?
As a trans person, I experience discrimination every day. In fact, unfortunately, again and again from the (cis) gay community. To some, my identity doesn't seem entirely tangible. That is completely ok, but no reason to isolate myself, to hostile me or to threaten me with violence. Even if someone doesn't understand my identity, that doesn't make my feelings about it any less real. I don't always understand everything either, but I generally accept it as long as no one else is harmed. I would like that from society too, because through my being and my identity I simply do not take anything away from anyone.
Which community project are you going into the Mr. Gay Germany preliminary round from November 26th to 28th?
With my campaign #ProudToBeAlive I want to draw attention to the enormously high suicide rates among lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, inter and asexual adolescents and young adults. It makes me terribly sad to see how many LGBTQIA + kids seem to see no other way out than death. As some studies have already shown, suicidality is extremely high, especially in LGBTQIA + 13-17 year olds, and trans people are even more affected by it. Since I'm currently doing a trans-empowering children's book anywaypublish, on the one hand I would like to achieve more visibility of queer ways of life in books for children and young people, so that queer children and young people can find themselves there and simply see that they are not alone. On the other hand, I would like to do active suicide prevention work by creating a professional and continuous crisis hotline for LGBTQIA + adolescents and young adults in order to give the coming generations of our community support, strength and hope for a better future.