The success of 37-year-old Steve Williams in the recent Mr Gay South Africa™ 2012/2013 competition has been hailed as a victory for mature gay men.
Williams is the oldest man ever to become a finalist in the competition, one which has traditionally been successfully entered into largely by younger men.
Williams was named the First Runner Up at the grand finale event in Pretoria on Saturday night and will serve as Deputy to the winner, 22-year-old Jason Lee Rogers.
In addition to coming in second in the overall competition, which was decided through a combination of public votes and scores from a judging panel, Williams was also the most popular contestant, winning the public vote.
Williams furthermore obtained the highest result in the written exam, with a score of 91%; the highest score ever achieved by any finalist in the history of the competition.
“I have proven that this competition is not reserved or left for the younger gay male,” said Williams in a statement.
“Despite competing against other finalists who are almost half my age I was able to come second by only 0,2% of the winner…,” he added.
Mr Gay South Africa’s Media and Legal Director Coenie Kukkuk confirmed that the scores between the top two were very close. “It was so close that we stopped the finale and double checked the scores to make sure they were correct,” he revealed.
Kukkuk added that “it was a neck and neck race. Steve did exceptionally well.”