Max Appenroth, a trans activist and diversity consultant has been named  Mr Gay Germany for 2021. Appenroth, 35, won the title Monday at Cologne’s Queer Christmas  market, Heavenue Cologne, and is the first trans man to win the title.  

Appenroth won over six other contestants who were vying for the title. 

“This is just such a big symbolic effect for the trans community. I as a trans  person, as the first Mr. Gay Germany – that is absolutely amazing,”  Appenroth said after his win.  

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Prior to his win, Appenroth posted on Instagram saying, “To be in the final  now means so much to me! The first time that a trans person is in the  preliminary round and now even in the final. I am proud of my performance  this weekend and look forward to the next chapter in this adventure.” 

 

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Mr Gay World Changes Rules

Apprenroth is a doctoral student at the Institute for Public Health at the  Charité Universeitätsmedizin Berlin.  

In June, Mr Gay World announced it had “amended its policy to  encompass the male identifying spectrum within the LGBTQ+ community.” 

The organisation said the competition was “open to anyone who identifies  as male, using him and his pronouns and who collectively identifies as  male.” 

 

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“The title winner would be crowned as Mr. Gay World and it is for this  reason that all entrants should identify in this way…its primary focus is that  of the gay and male-identifying demographic of society as a community  that has been globally recognized as a vulnerable minority with specific  needs and requirements to promote self-confidence, solidarity, and a  sense of community,” the organisation said in a statement. 

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 “I think the contest is great, because it’s not just about the pretty looks of  the candidates, but community engagement is at the fore,” Appenroth told  Queer.de

Not Just Cis Gay Men

 

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“With my participation I would like to show that the gay community does  not only consist of cis men. Masculinity is diverse, trans people have always been part of the gay community, and that should just get more  visibility.” 

“As a trans person, I experience discrimination every day. In fact,  unfortunately, again and again from the (cis) gay community,” Appenroth  told Queer.de. 

“At the end of the day, everyone benefits if we give more space to diversity  in our society and celebrate our differences together instead of using them  for exclusion. For me, more diversity simply means more freedom and less  restriction due to outdated social norms.” 

“My experiences over the last few years clearly show that as a trans  person I am not welcome everywhere in gay places. One might actually  think that gay cis men were exactly at this point once. That they had to  fight for space, visibility and the life and experience of their sexuality. That  is why these negative reactions that come from the gay community sit all  the more deeply,” Appenroth told Siegessäule

 

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“We, trans males, were and are part of the gay community,” Appenroth  said. 

“I don’t care that not everyone is into me. But when (mostly) complete  strangers tell me that I have no business in this community, I don’t  care. Whether the people like it or not: ‘your’ gay community is also ‘my’  gay community.”

 

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