The 2019 edition for The Mr Gay World contest will no longer take place in Hong Kong as previously disclosed by the event’s organising committee announced. The annual competition was scheduled to take place between April 28 and May 4 in Hong Kong, as announced in July. Promotions and Marketing for the event had already begun, with social media posts from the official Mr Gay World accounts.
Mr Gay World president and founder Eric Butter announced in a statement that plans have however had to change after the local hosting China company said they cannot organise the event in line with Chinese authorities’ clampdown on LGBT rights + events and campaigns. In a report by PinkNews, he says;
“It is with great disappointment that I’ve been informed that Mr Gay World will not be able to go ahead in Hong Kong due to the struggles that our Chinese colleagues and their families are facing in their homeland,” Butter said. “The safety of our delegates and their families is of utmost importance,” he added.
When Hong Kong was previously announced as the host city of the 2019 competition, the local organising committee president Charles Sun expressed excitement, but also mentioned the challenges ahead. In a statement last May, he said;
“We have many challenges in our country, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. But we are hoping that our government will see the financial benefits events like these have on our economy,” he was quoted as saying in the Mr Gay World statement issued at the time, adding: “We can’t wait to welcome gays and their supporters to Hong Kong next year. We are ready!”
Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and now the event will take place in Cape Town instead. South Africa is thus hosting the competition for the second year in a row and overall for the third time in Mr Gay World’s 10-year old history.
The reigning King; Jordan Bruno, the Australian chef who was crowned Mr Gay World 2018 in May in the city of Knysna, in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, expressed disappointment with the Chinese authorities’ anti-LGBT attitude.
“Their stance demonstrates why Mr Gay World is still such a relevant and important competition,” he said, quoted in the Mr Gay World statement on the issue.
Bruno is nonetheless looking forward to returning to South Africa. “The spirit and inclusion of the country is strongly reflected in the values of Mr Gay World, and I can’t help but feel it is the perfect country to once again host the competition,” he said.
Hong Kong is still due to host the 2022 Gay Games, an event in which China took part in for the first time this year. Stay connected to The Rustin Times to see the progression of this story and more information on China hosting the 2022 Gay Games.