Photo by Alex Giegold
My name is Max Appenroth and I’m a trans activist and researcher from Berlin/Germany. I am currently a doctoral student at the Institute of Public Health at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Since 2017, I am teaching a seminar on Gender and Queer Studies for students of Social Work at the Alice-Salomon-University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. Additionally, I’m a part time research assistant at the project „CILIA LGBTIQ+ – Comparing Intersectional Life Course Inequalities Amongst LGBTIQ Citizens in Four European Countries„.
Besides my academic focus on Trans & Gender Studies, I engage in local and global activism for our community since 2008. For example, I’m currently a member of the Grant Making Panel of the „International Trans Fund„.
In my doctorate, I am researching the question of how a trans identity affects the access to medical care in the US. I particularly focus on social aspects such as class, education and income. Looking at the current research situation, it becomes clear that trans people have, for example, an above-average degree of education. In spite of their good school and often academic education, they are, however, disproportionately often found amongst low income groups, or even living in poverty. Despite the introduction of the „Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act“ (Obama-Care), the financial disposition has nevertheless a large impact on the medical care of an individual in the US health care system. As we all know, this important step towards a health insurance for everybody is under attack by the current Trump/Pence administration. Apart from this point, it is also aggravating that some health insurances have exclusive clauses, which in principle exclude transition-related medical care (for example hormon therapy). This urges a lot of trans people into an expensive self-treatment with off-label hormones and this self-treatment poses additional health risks.
Through 20 expert interviews with people from the trans community, I asked how the factual experienced health care is described and which social factors influence the access to medical care. On the basis of the results of the study, further options and guidelines are to be developed to reduce barriers for trans people in the medical care system.
In my M.A. thesis, I have already worked on partial aspects of my doctoral thesis project and specifically examined the needs of the aging trans community. I was able to draw a picutre of the life circumstances of older trans adults through an independent research project in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley. This research project was based on expert interviews and an analysis of literature and research data. In the past, I have worked as a student research assistant and later as a research assistant in the IFAF-funded project „GLEPA – LGBTI* Aging and Care“ from September 2015 to July 2017. Through this project, I have gained already experiences with gathering and the evaluation of qualitative data.
The topic of my Bachelor’s thesis was on „Male Violence from a Trans Perspective“, which included a critical view on the social construction of masculinity. Through an online survey targeted on trans masculine identities, I looked into the different socialization of cis- and trans men and their percepeptions of violence. I was able to show that aggression and violence are not as strongly linked to natural attributes, such as i.e testosterone, as often believed.
Throughout the last years I gained a lot of experience in preparing and delivering workshops and lectures around the topics of sex, gender and sexual diversity. Additionally, I offer support and trainings for organizations and NGOs looking into funding options. Through my experience about, on the one hand, successfully applying for funding, as well as, on the other hand, evaluating international grant applications, I am able to provide advise in this process (for further information, please see the section about Consulting).