Matthew Simmons

In another symbolic nail in the coffin for the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, a former marine in the American military has been crowned Mr Gay World USA.

Twenty-five-year-old Matthew Simmons from Las Vegas scooped the title at the contest’s Grand Finale in New York City on the weekend.

He beat out 25 other competitors after posing both in swimwear and in a US Marine Corps dress uniform on stage.

His win comes less than two years after the US military dropped its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gay personnel.

“I dream to inspire my peers to overcome the tough obstacles in their life and strive to be the best person they can, never giving up on their dreams and never losing sight of who they are,” said Simmons in his contestant profile.

“Traveling to and living in many foreign countries for the better part of my childhood has allowed me to gain a respect for people living in other parts of the world that may not be as fortunate as many Americans are. I believe this makes me relatable to a diverse range of men, giving them someone they can easily look up to.”

Simmons will compete against Mr Gay South Africa Steve Williams and a host of other national contestants at the Mr Gay World competition this August in Antwerp, Belgium.

Meanwhile, following the retirement of Michael Donley as head of the US Air Force, an openly gay man, Eric Fanning, has become the Acting Secretary of the Air Force, making him the highest ranking openly gay official in the US Defence Department.

It is not known if President Obama will officially appoint Fanning as Secretary.

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