Max Appenroth


Mr Gay Europe 2022

Why do you want to take part in MGE22

As the current Mr Gay Germany 2022 and the first trans person to win this title, I wish to represent the German LGBTQIA+ community at this international contest. I want to show the European Gay Community (and beyond) that trans people are an integral part of our community. The beauty and the power that lays within diversity is something that we should celebrate more and shouldn’t take our individualities (or some may call them differences) as something divisive.

What is the biggest LGBT challenge in Europe today

The growing anti-LGBTQIA+ violence is one of the biggest issues our community is currently facing. The conservative, right wing backlash in politics, and specifically a growing anti-trans movement and anti-trans legislations that are passed around the globe are affecting our community negatively. The continuous political and violent attacks against our community have a direct negative impact, specifically, on our mental health. Research has already shown that LGBTQIA+ people are more prone to suffer from mental health related problems compared to the mainstream cis/straight society. Those issues arise not because we are sexually or gender diverse, but because how society is treating us. For that reason it is crucial to continuously fight for equality, safety, and well-being of our community and to offer education around sexual and gender diversity widely.

Your profession / study

I’m a trans activist, diversity consultant and currently in my final year of my PhD in Public Health. I additionally work as the Research & Community Sexual Health Officer for GATE (Global Action for Trans Equality), advocating for more transmasculine and non-binary inclusion in the global HIV response and for accessible sexual health services for trans people.

With my own company ‚diversity sparq‘ I offer education and diversity trainings to companies, institutions, and medical facilities to learn more about sexual & gender diversity, and to make services and workplaces more accessible to and inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’m also an author of many journal articles, commentaries, scientific and most importantly children’s books.

Your hobbies

My biggest passion is food. Basically everything from reading food blogs to get inspirations for new recipes, to cooking, and eating. Additionally, I’m a big CrossFit enthusiast and spend many hours at the gym each week. Both passions, are not only for keeping me in shape and nourished, but they are also two important selfcare measures in my daily life. Focusing on my physical and mental health play an important role to me.

In the best case, I do both – eating and CrossFit – in good company of my friends, family, or my wonderful husband Idán.

Why should you become MGE22

As a gay transmasculine person, who had 3 major coming outs (lesbian at the age of 13, trans at the age of 23, followed by gay at the age of 24) in their life, I represent the rainbow community like almost no else. It is important that stories like mine reach the younger (gay) trans folks to show that we as trans people also belong to other communities, even if they at times try to tell us that we don’t (yes, unfortunately I still experience discrimination & exclusion by cis gay men).

Additionally, I’ve been advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights since my first coming more than 20 years ago and devoted my life and professional career to improve the quality of life, rights, and survival of my LGBTQIA+ siblings and myself globally. Working for an international NGO (GATE – Global Action for Trans Equality) shows me, how important it is to advocate for our community around the globe. Coming from a global north country I have to use my privileged position to also support the ones being more oppressed than I am. Following the motto: none of us are free, until we all are free.

I’m a loud, trans, queer activist and as Mr Gay Europe I would continue the work that I do amplified by an international platform and to a wider audience. I would love to use my skills as a networker to connect multiple entities that I work with already with one another to build a stronger force to fight for LGBTQIA+ liberation, rights, and well-being. Specifically, focusing on younger LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. Since the mainstream society is not taking enough care of them, we as the ‚older‘ generations have to take measures to protect the following generations of our community. My current community campaign as Mr Gay Germany 2022 is called #ProudToBeAlive and focuses on reducing suicidality among LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. Through starting a crisis hotline for my target group (we don’t have such thing in Germany) and by raising queer visibility in children’s and youth’s literature, I’m taking active suicide prevention measures.

How would your friends describe you

I guess my friends would describe me as a very caring, open, careful, fun, and at times also stubborn person. I like to plan things out, which comes in handy a lot of times, but also limits me in being super spontaneous in other times. I know that my friends value a lot my cooking skills and me making them feel ‚at home‘ when coming over for a dinner or game night.

Your idea for your national costume

My idea of a national costume definitely involves something with a gender-bending, sporty, and maybe even a little bit of a kinky approach. It will unite the symbols of the gay and trans community, to show that these two ‚categories‘ often go hand in hand, combined with the German national colors.