by Angie Gallagher

The delegates arrived from across the globe, and the week preceding the crowning of a new Mr. Gay World on 26 May was kicked off with a meet-and-greet at Villa Castollini on Sunday, 20 May. After a brief introduction of the Mr. Gay World organising committee, media partners and other parties, the Mr. Gay World delegates were invited to elaborate on the interesting collection of gifts that they brought their peers from their countries.

In a candid exchange, each delegate introduced himself, before explaining why he brought along particular gifts from his home country. Gifts ranged from characteristic national confectionaries and food, to selfies in traditional attire to remember the event, and handmade personalised pins and bracelets.

South Africa’s Karabo Morake gifted his fellow delegates with a copy of Little Poof!. Morake said that he chose this particular book of humorous “homonologues”, written by Bruce J. Little, to break away from stereotypical South African gifts, and to give delegates from other countries an idea of the challenges that LGBTQI+ people face in South Africa.

The next few days would see delegates attending a number of events in and around Knysna, before the President’s Ball and Fundraising Auction, which took place on 25 May at Villa Castollini, and the Grand Finale of Mr. Gay World 2018, which also took place at Villa Castollini on Saturday, 26 May. The new Mr. Gay World would be chosen based on criteria that also included participation in the week’s different events.

The Mr. Gay World pageant formed a part of the Pink Loerie Festival in Knysna, South Africa, which was held from 25 to 27 May.