Congratulations Enrique Doleschy. The Mr Gay Germany winner has gone one step further and taken home the Mr Gay Europe crown.
The 30 year-old campaigned on a platform of being an international LGBT+ ambassador, working to unify countries to stop disrespect for the gay community. “We need competitions like this to bring out the best in people and to force them, to drive them, to be better for each other,” Doleschy said.
His words certainly rang true in Poznan, where protestors came out in force against the local gay Pride parade held the same day as the competition. In Poland, same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children, with polls suggesting up to 70 percent of people believe that gay relationships are unacceptable. One of the protestors said “It’s not right to give them privileges or elevate them to the level of families. Giving them the right to adopt is absurd and shouldn’t happen.”
First runner up went to Niels Jansen from Denmark, the competition’s first ever trans contestant. Jansen said he had wanted to enter because “representation matters. I would have loved for there to be a visible transgender gay man when I was coming out. And I want to have the chance to be that person for someone else.”
Jansen had scored highest in the interview and the written test categories but was eventually beaten by Doleschy who won the online vote and social media categories.
Ireland was represented by Guilherme Souza. Originally from Brazil, Souza moved to Ireland four years ago. He said: “I’ve always dreamed of entering a competition like Mr Gay Europe. I chose Ireland to be my home and now Ireland has chosen me to represent them. I want to be a role model to anyone who takes a chance and follows their dreams.”
The Project section of the competition was won by Phillip Antony Dzwonkiewicz, the Mr England contestant. Openly HIV positive, Dzwonkiewicz said: “Having an openly HIV positive Mr Gay Europe will only help break down stigma that is attached to having HIV.”
Celebrating the diversity of the contestants and the platforms they campaigned under, the President of Mr Gay Europe, Tore Aasheim said: “It is not a beauty contest. We are looking for genuine and real-life role-models for our LGBT communities across Europe.”
Next year’s competition will take place in Cologne, Germany. Who’ll be our next competitor looking to take home the title?
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