#trivagotales in depth: Meet Martin
“My parents are from the war generation, and of an age where there was an ingrained intolerance of homosexuals. I was born in 1960 and at that time, § 175 was still around, which made sexual activity between same-sex people illegal. § 175 was only repealed from the German Penal Code in 1994.
Having grown up in a very Christian family, my parents were treated harshly by the church because of my sexual orientation, but this did not stop them from always standing by me. It was especially difficult though for my mother to accept that she would not have grandchildren.
My peer group had more problems accepting it, so I was somewhat marginalised among my circle of friends. I knew I was gay even as a very young person and I never tried to hide it very much. I began my professional life in gastronomy with a cooking apprenticeship and had no difficulties here as I was not the only gay person in the company at that point. In the following years, I worked all around the Federal Republic of Germany in various companies and positions and never experienced any kind of exclusion. I have been in steady relationships since the age of 25 and after 9 years my boyfriend and I became civil partners in 2011. After marriage became open to all in October 2017, we got married in June 2018.
The very first Christopher Street Day demonstration was in New York in 1969. In Germany, the first CSDs took place in Berlin, Bremen and Cologne in 1979. I went to my first one in Berlin in 1990. CSD started off as a predominantly political event, but over the years it has evolved more and more into a commercialised party event. The Cologne CSD sometimes had even more participants than established events like the “Rosenmontagszug” Shrove Monday carnival parade. When you take a closer look at other countries which have challenging political and religious circumstances for the LGBT community, the current focus in Germany has become more political again. Ford was one of the first companies to actively support employees’ participation in CSD. Over the years, more and more companies have come on board, generating a much greater groundswell of support for the demonstrations. Thanks to trivago, this is the first time I am participating in CSD with an employer’s backing – this is an important signal that trivago is sending out to the world.
I started to work at trivago about 5 years ago and it was very quickly apparent that nobody is excluded because of their origin or sexual orientation or anything like that, but instead everyone is warmly welcomed into the fold.
It really is a melting pot of many different nationalities and cultures here, broadening horizons every day. I really appreciate that. I feel comfortable at trivago, I have new and enriching experiences each and every day.”
– Martin, Housekeeping Team Lead