Mr Gay World
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|Motto||Human Rights - Equality - Respect - Opportunity|
|Founders||Eric Butter (Australia), Dean Nelson (Canada), Tore Aasheim (Norway)|
|Dieter Sapper (CEO, Chairman of the Board); Igor Scheurkogel (Director of MGW Asia, Africa and Oceania); Juan Martin Boll & Nano Garcia (Directors of MGW Latin-America and Caribbean); Ivan Denis & Bram Bierkens (Directors of Mr Gay World Europe) and Ron Kuijpers (Director of MGW North and Central America)|
Mr Gay World is an annual international competition for gay men. The current 2018 Mr Gay World titleholder is Jordan Paul Bruno, who represented Australia was crowned by 2017 titleholder John Raspado of Philippines.
Coinciding with Madrid WorldPride 2017, 9th Edition of the International Mr. Gay World 2017, took place in Spain from 5 May 2017 to 10 May 2017. The cities featured were Madrid and Maspalomas (Gran Canaria Island) respectively, incorporating the variety of events. On May 5th – 7th, representatives of the five continents visited Madrid and continued onward to Gran Canaria in Maspalomas from the 8th – 10th May, where the Grand Finale Gala was held. The Grand Finale Gala was part of Maspaloma’s Gay Pride, and in collaboration with Freedom, the organizer of the event, was held on the main stage of the legendary Yumbo Centrum.
Before there was Mr Gay World, there was something called International Mr Gay International. Brian Merriman (owner of Mr Gay Ireland) and Tore Aasheim (co-owner of Mr Gay Europe) attended the competition with the European delegation, and were horrified over how the competition was run. Having seen how not to do a contest on that scale, Merriman and Aasheim went home to Europe with ideas to create their own international competition.
Brian Merriman invited Tore Aasheim, Morten Ruda (owner of Mr Gay Norway and co-owner of Mr Gay Europe) and Dean Nelson (owner of Mr Gay Canada) to Dublin, Ireland to plan a brand new international competition. Realizing this would be a huge task and that they could not do this on their own, they invited Eric Butter (who is the current owner of Mr Gay World) and Noemi Alberto (owner of Mr Gay Philippines) to what was to become Mr Gay World.
When it was time to create the company that would run the competition, Merriman and Ruda bowed out due to other commitments, and the ownership was divided equally between Aasheim, Nelson and Butter. Both Merriman and Ruda stayed involved in the competition as Directors responsible for finding delegates in Europe and Africa to attend the competitions.
After a while Nelson left the competition and left his shares of Mr Gay World to Eric Butter, and later Eric Butter and Tore Aasheim exchanged their shares in Mr Gay Europe and Mr Gay World respectively, making Eric Butter the sole owner of Mr Gay World and Tore Aasheim the sole owner of Mr Gay Europe.
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.
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- Cancelled by the order from China
- Official event website
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