My name is Niels, I am from Denmark and I am the first transgender man to ever compete in Mr Gay Europe.

I have a Ph.D in astrophysics from the University of Copenhagen (so, you know, technically it’s Dr. Gay…), and I did research in the field of Numerical Relativity for a couple of years until my mental health got in the way. I found my way into the IT-industry, and I work as a software developer for a small company in Copenhagen.

I have participated in two very successful campaigns for transgender rights here in Denmark, led by Amnesty International. The first one was about removing castration as a requirement for legal gender change, and that law was enacted in 2014. The second campaign was to remove the diagnosis “transsexualism” from the psychiatric diagnostic manuals, and we succeeded in that as well. As of January 1st 2017, transpeople are not considered to have a mental health problem, just for being transgender. For the second campaign, I and about 20+ other activists received a human rights award from the Institute of Human Rights here in Copenhagen.

After those campaigns, I wanted to lean back and enjoy the victories, take a break from activism and just start living my life. But there is a problem with that. I am a gay man. And my experiences trying to date and find love in the gay community left me feeling lonely and excluded.

This is the thing: I have a very small penis. I am super happy with it and it is a miracle of modern medicine and it has healed my body and mind, but in the gay community I am constantly bombarded with messages that tell me that my body is wrong. That my body in undesirable, that I am not a real man, that I do not belong. And that makes me feel lonely and unwanted and I want to talk about it. Because I see no reason why we do this to each other. I see no reason why we shame each others bodies. There are many ways to be a man, and there are many ways to have a male body, and all bodies are beautiful. We need to fight for our legal rights, and that is very important, but we also need to fight for the right to feel comfortable in our own skins. We need to fight for the right to feel beautiful and wanted and loved, no matter what our bodies look like. That is what I intend to do now.

I would like to win this contest, because representation matters. I would have loved for there to be a visible transgender gay man when I was coming out. And I want to have the chance to be that person for someone else. I believe I have a lot to offer as a role model, both as a man, as a gay man and as an out and proud transgender man.

DENMARK
Name: Niels Jansen
Age: 44
Hair colour: Blond
Eye colour: Green
Height: 179 cm

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