Senate Reception – Transgender Exhibition

Senate Reception – A speech about Max is Marie

At a senate reception on the occasion of Pride Week and Christopher Street Day in Hamburg, I was allowed to give a speech at the opening of the ‘Max is Marie’ exhibition, following the words of the second mayor Katharina Fegebank.
I would like to share a small part of it:

What would it feel like if there weren’t any differences in our coexistence due to outward appearances? What if we humans no longer needed drawers in our heads to find our way in life?’

A quote from ‘Max is Marie’:

‘Who knows, if the environment would just accept me the way I am, if I’d ever even would have considered surgery?!’

When the issue of trans identity became part of our family about seven years ago, we didn’t know what that it would entail.
We didn’t know what would ensue for our daughter and what it would mean for us as a family. We had no idea of the sometimes difficult path ahead of her – and of her strength.


Hamburg, Ausstellung, trans, Rathaus Kathrin Stahl, trans, Foto, projekt Pride Week, Hamburg, Rathaus

Back then; when our child, whom we had thought of as our son, left the house as a woman for the first time, we learned what it means to live in a world of drawers.
Our daughter had to experience so many grievances, not only from people, but also from institutions such as her health insurance.
With a photo project I wanted to eliminate at least some of the drawers. And show my daughter that I am at her side.
‘May this “Max is Marie” exhibition in Hamburg’s Town Hall open hearts and remove drawers inside of the heads of people from all over the world.’

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who listened; thank you to all those who came up to me afterwards.
Thank you for this experience and being able to reach so many people with ‘Max is Marie’.

Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Johanna Schmidt-Räntsch, judge at the Federal Supreme Court, gave a moving speech on the legal difficulties that trans*people face. She pleaded for the adaptation of the article on equality as well as for the simplification of the recognition procedure for a change of the gender entry for trans*people.

Johanna Schmidt-Räntsch, trans, Rede, pride week

The Trans*Theatre, dance and singing ensemble ‘Transparence Theatre’ (#TPT), unique in the world, conjured up a magical atmosphere at the end. The ensemble consists exclusively of trans*people with professional stage training.

Thank you for this hope inspiring evening!

all photos copyright Claudia Höhne