Mr Gay Namibia is calling for gay men in the country to enter its 2018 pageant.
The event’s organiser, Wendelinus Hamutenya, is encouraging all gay Namibian men to be brave and take part in the event to increase the visibility of the LGBTIQ community.
Hamutenya, who is also the first winner of the pageant in 2011, described the would-be titleholder of Mr Gay Namibia as a spokesperson who is dedicated to celebrating the beauty and diversity of manhood in the country.
“Recognising that there’s more than one way to be man, Mr Gay Namibia was launched officially in August 2011 as a clarion call to unite the country’s gay men in presenting a fun, festive and friendly image of the gay community in Namibia,” he said, speaking to Mambaonline.
Hamutenya explained that the pageant aims to fearlessly build interaction between mainstream culture and the contemporary gay scene. “Mr Gay Namibia aims to promote equality, tolerance, understanding, and an authentic enjoyment of the cultural diversity that creates a truly vibrant Namibia,” he said.
The winner of the pageant will also represent the country at the next Mr Gay World in Hong Kong, China in 2019. Hamutenya urged Namibian LGBTIQ men and the MSM community in and outside of the country to take part in the competition without fear.
While same-sex relations between women is legal in Namibia, sexual acts between men still remains illegal according the country’s Roman Dutch Common Law, although there are no recorded cases of the law being enforced in many years. Discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, however, is not illegal in the country.
A 2016 UN Human Rights Committee report urged Namibia to adopt legislation explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, including in the Labour Act, and to adopt hate crime legislation punishing homophobic and transphobic violence.
The Mr Gay Namibia pageant will take place on August 25 and entries close on June 30. The event will be hosted by the Right for ALL Movement. Application forms are available at the Out Right Namibia organisation headquarters in Windhoek. For more information you can contact Wendelinus Hamutenya on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 081 580 0099.