It’s not a beauty pageant. The gay community is looking for a representative… and they found one after hosting the first Mr. Gay World (like Miss Universe, speaking of which I hope Miss transgender Canada wins)!
“This is not a beauty pageant,” he says. “It is a search for an LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex] representative and an ambassador. There’s no age limit; they have to do written tests and have knowledge — even in part of the sports challenge today, the clues were questions about LGBTI history and LGBTI rights.”
The competition was held in Africa this year, a continent in which 37 of 52 countries have laws against being homosexual. Only two black Africans competed (one of whom is pictured here):
Africa wasn’t the only region that had thin representation. Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe had a noticeable lack of competitors, all of them regions where gays are still stigmatized.
Still, there is hope for the LGBTI community in such intolerant areas of the world, as there is some legislative representation in certain countries. Plus, the United Nations supports the movement’s hope for equality. South Africa is pushing a resolution requiring all countries to provide people with equal rights regardless of gender or sexual orientation—this is great not only for gays but also for women, who lack equality in so many places (as we’ve studied in this class).
For the time being, we wish congratulations to Mr. Gay World from New Zealand. Hopefully he’ll be a great ambassador for the LGBTI community and a force for good. I think that this pageant/competition is a great first step towards worldwide equality of genders and sexualities!