Mr Gay World

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Mister Gay World
MottoHuman Rights - Equality - Respect - Opportunity
FoundersEric Butter (Australia), Dean Nelson (Canada), Tore Aasheim (Norway)
TypeBeauty Pageant
Official language
Eric Butter
Key people
Igor Scheurkogel (Chairman of the Board of Mr Gay World Directors); Simone Heradien (Director of MGW Central and North Africa); Pablo Salvador Sepúlveda (Directors of MGW South America ); Johann van Niekerk (Director of Mr Gay World Southern Africa), Tim Klingenberg (Director of Mr Gay World Europe) Sushant Divgikar (Director of Asia) and Ron Kuijpers (Director of MGW North and Central America), Tony Richens and Matthew Fistonich (Directors of Mr. Gay World Oceania)

Mr Gay World is an annual international competition for gay men. For the first time in the history of Mr. Gay World the event could no take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was stated by Mister Gay World Organisation that Mister Gay World 2020, and Mister Gay World 2021 will both happen simultaneously. Therefore the selected delegates are still elegible to compete for the title of Mister Gay World 2020. In the meantime, with the reign of Janjep Carlos[1] concluded, and while the election of a new winner is not possible, Francisco José Alvarado who was First Runner Up in 2019 steps on to the title[2] .

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.[3] 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.[4]


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.

Mission statement[edit]

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.[5]

Media Coverage[edit]

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,[6][7] Taurai Zhanje from Zimbabwe, Robel Hailu from Ethiopia, former Olympian Chavdar Arsov from Bulgaria, Wendelinus Hamutenya from Namibia and Xiao Dai from China.[8][9]


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.[10]

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.[11]

In 2018, Mr Gay World announced that the 2019 competition will move to South Africa from Hong Kong due to prohibition from local authorities.


Year Country/Territory Mr Gay World Location
2019  Spain Francisco José Alvarado[12] Steps on until 2020 Mr Gay World can be crowned
2019  Philippines Janjep Carlos[13] Cape Town, South Africa
2018  Australia Jordan Paul Bruno Knysna, South Africa
2017  Philippines John Fernandez Raspado[3][4] Madrid & Maspalomas, Spain
2016  Spain Roger Gosalbez St. Julian's, Malta
2015  Hong Kong Mass Luciano (First Runner Up) Took over the title after Burkart's resignation[14]
2015  Germany Klaus Burkart (Resigned after 7 months)[15] Knysna, South Africa
2014  United Kingdom Stuart Hatton Rome, Italy
2013  New Zealand Christopher Michael Olwage Antwerp, Belgium
2012  New Zealand Andreas Derleth Johannesburg, South Africa
2011  South Africa Francois Nel Manila, Philippines
2010  South Africa Charl Van Den Berg Oslo, Norway
2009  Ireland Max Krzyzanowski Whistler, Canada


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Philippines' Janjep Carlos is Mr Gay World 2019". Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b "John Raspado wins 1st Mr. Gay World title for Phl – Outrage Magazine". Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  4. ^ a b "PH bet wins Mr. Gay World 2017". Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  5. ^ "Mr Gay World Home Page". Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  6. ^ "Could India get its own gay pageant? | Vogue India | Culture & Living | Culture". 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2013-09-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Mr Gay World shakes African perceptions". 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. Xiao Dai,
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ Staff. "Mr Gay World acknowledges 'hurdles' | Gay NZ". Gay NZ. Gay New Zealand. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  11. ^ Bell, Niko. "Threats, lies and a gay beauty pageant | Daily Xtra". Daily Xtra. Pink Triangle Press. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  12. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Philippines' Janjep Carlos is Mr Gay World 2019". Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  14. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Former Title Holders - Mr Gay World". Mr Gay World. Retrieved 2017-04-26.


External links[edit]