Mr Gay World
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|Motto||Human Rights - Equality - Respect - Opportunity|
|Founders||Eric Butter (Australia), Dean Nelson (Canada), Tore Aasheim (Norway)|
|Eric Butter (President and Director Oceania)|
|Dieter Sapper (CEO, Chairman of the Board); Wilbert Ting Tolentino (Director Philippines); Coenie Kukkuk (Director Africa & Middle East & Managing Director 2015); Juan Martin Boll & Nano Garcia (Directors Latin-America, Caribbean and the USA); Ivan Denis & Bram Bierkens (Directors Europe).|
Mr Gay World is an annual international competition for gay men. The current 2016 Mr Gay World titleholder is Roger Gosalbez, who represented Spain. Mr Gay World claims to be one of the most publicised gay contests in the world, something that can't be verified, and also claims to be featured prominently in news media across the globe. The 8th annual competition was in Malta from 19–25 April 2016 with the Grand Finale held in Palazzo Villa Rosa.
Mr. Gay World is defined as an annual contest for gay men, seeking to establish ambassadors for LGBT and human rights, with winners of national contests competing as delegates in a variety of categories. It is not a beauty contest and there is no age limit. This competition is one of the most publicised gay contests in the world and unashamedly uses the attention it garners to focus attention on the plight of LGBTI people worldwide. The primary purpose of Mr. Gay World is to identify leaders who will take responsibility of being a spokesperson not only in his own community but on a global stage speaking out for equal and human rights. Mr Gay World is a positive role model and will work on humanizing being gay and/or LGBTI in the media both LGBTI and mainstream.
The event explicitly seeks to highlight discrimination against LGBTI people and provide select positive role models. A number of contestants from a number of countries has faced sanctions for their selection or competition, including Nolan Lewis from India, Taurai Zhanje from Zimbabwe, Robel Hailu from Ethiopia, former Olympian Chavdar Arsov from Bulgaria, Wendelinus Hamutenya from Namibia and Xiao Dai from China.
The Mr. Gay World organization has been accused of bullying contestants, making threats and failing to provide support for human rights discussions on at least two documented occasions.
In 2014, contestants from Australia and New Zealand pulled out, along with a skincare sponsor, citing bullying, poor living conditions and inappropriate sexual suggestions.
The 2015 winner, Klaus Burkart, who had Mr. Gay World CEO Dieter Sapper as his sponsor, stepped down mysteriously to be replaced by Mr. Gay Hong Kong, citing "personal changes." Sapper said an internal investigation had taken place into accusations that the organization had faked and manipulated scores, but no reports were made to media.
Since wrapping up the 2016 run, the competition has seen more negative feedback. The controversy hit the media when Daily Xtra spoke to contestants. The news source verified messages that appeared to show president Eric Butter calling the Maltese people "scum," and Sapper promising one contestant a top 3 finish before the competition in Malta, but changing his tone when he received complaints about the lack of information coming from the organization in the days leading up to the events.
Despite Daily Xtra's assertion the documents were verified, Butter denied them and accused Xtra and the corroborating contestants of a smear campaign.
- "Mr Gay World shakes African perceptions". timeslive.co.za. 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Mr Gay World contest goes ahead in Johannesburg despite threats". The Independent. London: INM. 9 April 2012. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Staff. "Mr Gay World acknowledges 'hurdles' | Gay NZ". Gay NZ. Gay NZ.com New Zealand. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Bell, Niko. "Threats, lies and a gay beauty pageant | Daily Xtra". Daily Xtra. Pink Triangle Press. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
- Official event website
- SFGAM is officially covering Mr. Gay World 2011 - Photos and Videos