Earlier this week, 21 contestants from five continents vied for the title of Mr. Gay World 2017.
The 9th edition of Mr Gay World took place from May 5 to 10, 2017 in Madrid and Maspalomas, Spain. 21 contestants from all over the world competed for the title to become an ambassador for the LGBT community. The reigning titleholder was Spain’s Roger Gosalbez Pitaluga.
The contestants for Mr. Gay World 2017 were:
In the end, John Fernandez Raspado, Mr. Gay Philippines, was the winner of the night to get the title of Mr. Gay World 2017. He achieved the sashes of Swimsuit, Evening Dress, Interview, Online Vote and Social Media.
Mr. Gay España got the second position rising as the first finalist. The Spanish delegate, Cándido Arteaga, won two other awards, Mr. Fotogenia and Mr. Regional Costume. Juan Pedro Pavez, Mr. Gay Chile, achieved two bands: the Sport Challenge and Fashion Show.
Raspado is he Philippines’ first-ever Mr. Gay World.
“Thank you to the people behind MGWPO (Mr. Gay World Philippines), especially to Wilbert Tolentino, for always guiding me on my journey to success and to those who helped me backstage and my fellow candidates. Especially the delegates of Belgium and Venezuela, who were my roommates,” he wrote in Filipino, translated into English by Rappler.
“This is is not only for my family but also for the gay men like me who have principles and a purpose to fight for,” he added. “Thank you, Lord God!”
One of the cause important to Raspado is HIV awareness saying that he has counseled some people in the past, and would like to focus on health issues.
He also would like to breakdown stereotypes of gay men.
“Kailangan natin isulong yung (We need to uphold the) mission and vision ng Mr Gay World. So syempre (of course), we have to eradicate stereotyping and create an [more positive] image for gay men.”
Mr. Gay World so white?
One observation we couldn’t help but have is that out of the 21 contestants, not one man is black. Only one African country is represented, and that person is white.
While it’s great that the winner is Asian, a group that is often discriminated against within our gay male community. However, it’s a shame there isn’t more diversity amongst the contestants. If it is going to be a competition eradicating stereotypes in our community, than featuring gay men of all races is necessary. Hopefully next year, we see more black and brown people of color competing for the title of Mr. Gay World 2018.