Mr Gay World 2019 (Pic by Neil Coulson)
Update 16 06 2021. Mr Gay World has clarified the contest’s entry criteria in an updated statement: “Mr Gay World would like to clarify its recent decision to further embrace inclusivity in its entry criteria. While the competition is indeed now open to persons who identify as men and use ‘him’ and ‘his’ pronouns, the applicant MUST be a member of the LGBTIQ+ community. Therefore a heterosexual identifying cisgender man would not be eligible to take part. Mr Gay World apologises for any confusion.”
Below is the original article.
Mr Gay World says that it will allow all men to participate in the pageant, including transgender and allied cisgender men who do not identify as gay.
“In an all-inclusive move, Mr Gay World has amended its policy to encompass the male-identifying spectrum within the LGBTQ+ community,” said the organisation in a statement on Tuesday.
The competition is now open to anyone who identifies as male, uses “him” and “his” as their pronouns and “collectively identifies as male.”
The policy will be passed on to all licence holders around the globe and strict measures will be put in place to ensure compliance.
Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Mr Gay World, Dr Igor Scheurkogel, told MambaOnline that the move was made “to ensure that Mr Gay World is an inclusive ambassador-seeking competition.”
Mr Gay World describes itself as “a pageant and awareness-promoting competition for the upliftment and empowerment of gay men as a minority group.”
Scheurkogel confirmed that the new policy means that even allied heterosexual men will be able to compete in the event.
He noted, however, that “the title still says Mr Gay World, therefore he would have to carry the title ‘Mr Gay World’ through his term and represent the communities entailed with this title and fulfil his responsibilities as required.”
Mr Gay World said that while it is passionate about the empowerment and upliftment of all members of the LGBTQ+ community and regularly contributes to fundraising events and awareness activities for causes within this vast and diverse community, “its primary focus is that of the gay and male-identifying demographic of society as a community that has been globally recognised as a vulnerable minority with specific needs and requirements to promote self-confidence, solidarity and a sense of community.”
Mr Gay World was last held in 2019 and has since been repeatedly postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has seen major restrictions on gatherings and international travel.
Last month, the organisation announced that both the 2020 and 2021 pageants will take place online as two virtual events this coming September.
Louw Breytenbach, the recently crowned Mr Gay World South Africa, will represent South Africa in the 2021 contest and Charl-Jaquairdo van Helsdingen, who was selected as Mr Gay World South Africa in 2019, will compete for the Mr Gay World 2020 title.