A transgender man, Ben Melzer, will appear as the cover model for the April issue of Germany’s Men’s Health magazine, becoming the first trans person ever to cover a men’s fitness magazine in Europe.
28-year-old Melzer, an athlete and fitness model, finished runner-up in the magazine’s ‘Ultimate Guy Cover Contest’, but he’ll appear on the cover of a collector’s edition, due to be published in April.
He told Men’s Health Germany (Google translated) that becoming the first finalist “is obviously a huge thing. I am overwhelmed and a little nervous, but the joy outweighs clearly”.
Melzer has an intense training schedule include extreme sports, surfing, wake-boarding, cliff jumping and basketball. “When I see the body in top shape, fitness or fashion models. Now that I finally can shape my body according to my wishes, that is a tremendous incentive. Since I could start right away with a workout.”
Melzer has quickly become a prominent trans voice on social media, with over 32,000 Instagram followers.
“I think it’s important to be open to deal with the issue of transgender and not hiding. Many people come in to social media to me, even young people who are in your own body did not feel comfortable and questions to me….I take this role model, therefore, very seriously.”