Mr Gay World®


June 2008
Eric Butter and Dean Nelson embarked on a mission to create a global competition that would inspire and empower gay men to come together in a public performance that would show the world that being gay encompasses a broad spectrum. The mission to demonstrate that both inward beauty and physical appearance are equally important as is leadership and confidence. It was our hope that by bringing these men together they would share their experiences to open both each other’s’ as well as the public’s eyes that in many regions on our planet being gay is a challenge and a fight for basic human rights.

September 2008
Both Eric Butter and the then Vice Chair of Mr Gay Europe, Tore Aasheim, were invited to Vancouver to discuss how we could bring this global vision to the International Producers and ensure that the Mr Gay World® board had a united and global view.

October 2008
Mr Gay Europe initiated the Dublin Summit bringing Eric Butter (Australia), Dean Nelson (Canada), Tore Aasheim (Norway), Brian Merriman (Ireland) and Noemi Alberto (Philippines) together to discuss the structure, vision and mission of Mr Gay World® and to form the first international board of directors in Dublin, Ireland. The new board officially awarded the first host city to Whistler, Canada during their annual Winter PRIDE celebrations.

February 2009
The first Mr Gay World® Competition took place during the annual Winter PRIDE celebrations in the award-winning mountain resort of Whistler, Canada welcoming 24 delegates. Only twenty of those competed which resulted in Ireland’s Max Krzyanowski winning the title. Mark Tewksbury (Canadian Olympian) and Charlie David (US/Canadian Actor/Producer) emceed the Grand Finale at the Westin Whistler Resort Ballroom to a sold-out audience. Special guest performances was by Canadian Pop recording artists Destineak and Vancouver’s drag diva Ms. Willie Taylor.

February 2010
The second Mr Gay World® Competition took place in Oslo, Norway welcoming 23 delegates including Chinese National Xiaodai (Andrew) Muyi. The significance of having Andrew compete demonstrated to the people of China that they are not alone in their quest to be accepted. Andrew, who is Muslim, came from a dominant Muslim region of Xinjiang and explained in an interview with the Chinese Global Times, “Organizing gay events in Xinjiang is much harder than in Beijing, because it is against religion.” Hanne Krogh, winner of the Eurovision song contest 1985, presented the Eric Butter Philanthropy award to HRH Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway for her dedication in HIV/AIDS-related work as well as youth empowerment. Emcee Will Fennell (Australia TV personality) named Charl van der Berg (South Africa) the title winner of Mr Gay World® 2010.

March 2011
The third Mr Gay World® Competition took place in Manila, Philippines. This year the Mr Gay World® team brought the competition to the people of Manila where all the delegates volunteered their time to give back to a Manila slum restoration project – Gawad Kalinga to the Unilab GK Village Arkong Bato in Brgy Kapitolyo, Pasing City, Philippines. Each of the delegates brought books and toys to be donated to the village. The Mr Gay World® team then went to work to renovate a new learning centre for the children. This was an important task as it gave the care workers as well as community officials an opportunity to see another aspect of gay men helping to overcome stereotypes of what they may think how gay men look and act. Filipino TV celebrity Boy Abunda, at Club Mwah in Mandaluyong City, was presented with the Eric Butter Philanthropy Award for his work in promoting a strong and positive role model for the Philippines’ LGBT community. Celebrity judge and 1969 Miss Universe, Gloria Diaz, was among the judges that determined South Africa’s Francois Nel would bring home the Mr Gay World® title to African soil for the second consecutive year.

October 2011
Hosted by Mr Gay South Africa, Mr Gay World® announced new Board of Directors at the Johannesburg Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa welcoming two new board members including Coenie Kukkuk (South Africa) Director for Africa and the Middle East, and Alfredo Ferreyra (Argentina) Director for South America / Caribbean – Latin America. Returning members are Eric Butter (Australia) – President, Dean Nelson (Canada) – Vice President Operations + Director for North America and Oceania, Noemi Alberto (Philippines) – Vice President Outreach + Director for Asia, Tore Aasheim (Norway) – Director for Europe.

April 2012
The fourth Mr Gay World® Competition took place in Johannesburg, South Africa welcoming 24 registered participants to the Rainbow Nation. This was the first time that a major international gay event had been staged on African soil and caused much debate and public discussion within Africa and around the world – fulfilling one of the primary goals of the organization. For the first time, Mr Gay World® had a huge highway billboard sign on one of the busiest motorways in Africa promoting the annual competition and raising the profile of LGBTQIA+ Human Rights. It was also the first time the competition was able to host black Africans in the competition where these men literally put their lives on the line to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ Human Rights in their respective countries of Ethiopia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean delegate had extraordinary pressures, from both his family and President Robert Mugabe, and had to withdraw from the competition to avoid “embarrassing the country.” The Ethiopian also faced similar challenges but stayed to compete which forced him to become a refugee and distance himself from his family. If he were to return to Ethiopia, he would face impending death for being publicly gay. Emcees Cathy Specific and Soli Philander navigated a sold-out audience at the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City, South Africa, recounting the incredible journey these men have been on while in South Africa. This included an outreach program to a Nkosi’s Haven – a South African NGO offering holistic care and support for destitute HIV/AIDS infected mothers, their children, and resulting AIDS orphans (infected or not). Dean Nelson (Canada) presented Coenie Kukkuk with the Eric Butter Philanthropy Award for his tireless work in creating a safer more inclusive environment for Africa’s LGBTQIA+ community and raising the profile and disparity in LGBTQIA+ Human Rights.

The judges determined it would be Mr Gay New Zealand – Andreas (Andy) Derleth who would take home the title of Mr Gay World® to Oceania, with South Africa again scoring well with Lance Weyer from the Eastern Cape placing second.

July 2013
During the World Outgames 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium, the organisation geared up to host the fifth annual Mr Gay World® Competition in Antwerp, Belgium on July 31st – August 5th welcoming the largest delegation to date from around the world eager to be the next Mr Gay World®. Again, a New Zealander won – Christopher Olwage, walking away with five category wins. The Eric Butter Philanthropy Award was awarded to the well-known NoH8-campaign for their very visual and social media viral campaign of advocating against hate. It would be the first time a delegate from the Caribbean wins the Sports challenge, with Aruba making the grade. In another first, a black African, Ricardo Amunjera would make the Top 5 placing as 3rd runner-up. Ricardo returned in 2015 to be a judge at Mr Gay World® 2015.

August 2014
The next stop in the journey of Mr Gay World® around the world would take it to Rome, Italy with the producers this year being the Gay Village in Rome. This is also the first time the winner would be crowned outdoors – on the large stage at the open arena of Gay Village. The Gay Village is unique – creating a space for LGBT people every Thursday to Saturday during the summer in Rome. A strong contingent from Asia would participate, with delegates from Cambodia and Indonesia joining Mr Gay World® for the first time with their counterparts from India, Philippines, and Hong Kong. Italian politician and human rights activist, Imma Battaglia, took home the Eric Butter Philanthropy Award for her achievements in organizing the first Rome Pride march as well as her decades-long fight for LGBT rights in Italy. India won three categories, but it would be the United Kingdom’s Stuart Hatton Jr. taking the title for the UK for the first time. Stuart would later launch his “So What” campaign on social media, attracting worldwide attention.

May 2015
South Africa would become the only country to have hosted Mr Gay World® twice, with the competition returning to the African continent, this time taking place in two cities, Cape Town and Knysna, with the Grand Finale taking place in Knysna on the 2nd of May. It would also be the first time that delegates would join a street parade, namely the annual Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival parade on the day of the final, with the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival also the host of the event and producers John-Louis O’Neil and Karin Sephton. Mr Gay World® also welcomed new directors Ivan Denis and Bram Bierkens (Belgium) for Europe and Juan Martin Boll (Argentina) and Nano Garcia for Latin America, and Dieter Sapper from Austria as CEO with Noemi Alberto (Philippines) returning for Asia. Coenie Kukkuk (South Africa) would continue as Director for Africa and the Middle East as well as Managing Director for 2015. A host of countries would make their debut at Mr Gay World® in 2015, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Zambia, Uruguay, and Malta participating for the first time.

We had 21 delegates, with the Top Ten being Philippines, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, and Germany. Germany being crowned the winner as Mr Gay World® in front of a cheering crowd in a sold-out venue.

April 2016
The eighth edition of Mr Gay World® took place in Malta in April 2016. The 24 delegates stayed at the Westin Dragonara 5-star hotel and the Grand Finale was held outdoors in the Villa Rosa, a wonderful castle in the hills of St Julian. The Top Ten were South Africa, Spain, Austria, Philippines, St Maarten, Brazil, Venezuela, Belgium, Great Britain, and Germany. The top five were Spain, Austria, Philippines, St Maarten and Brazil. Spain took the title of Mr Gay World® 2016.

May 2017
Mr Gay World® 2017 was held in May 2017. Firstly the 21 delegates were hosted in Madrid in conjunction with World Pride Madrid 2017 and then the whole Mr Gay World® crew flew Iberia Airlines three hours southwest to the amazing Canary Islands where the Grand Finale was held in Maspalomas. It was truly an unforgettable experience. The Top ten included Ecuador, Australia, India, Chile, Austria, South Africa, Belgium, Spain and the Philippines. The Philippines was crowned the winner in front of thousands of spectators cheering as Mr Spain came in second place.

May 2018
To celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of Mr Gay World®, the event was held in the beautiful city of Knysna, South Africa in conjunction with the Pink Loerie Festival in May 2018. The week-long event culminated with the Mr Gay World® President’s Ball and Fundraising auction on Friday 25th of May, followed by the grand finale on Saturday 26th of May 2018 at Villa Castollini. The delegates again joined the annual Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival Street Parade (also known as Knysna Pride) on the day of the final to display universal solidarity for LGBTQIA+ causes.

The Top Ten were Mexico, Costa Rica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Belgium, India, Taiwan, and Germany. The crowd’s favorite and very charming Mr. Australia was named the winner. New Zealand came second with India third and Taiwan placing fourth.

April 2019
Mr Gay World® was the 11th edition of the competition. It was a week-long event that took place in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. One of the many highlights of the competition in 2019 was the visit to Cape Town Khayelitsha Township Tour which is the only township tour that will make you connect with locals through, arts, music, food and storytelling and unforgettable memories are created to create sustainable tourism which included Stop at Spinach King and Sikis Koffee Kafe, walk and meet local entrepreneurs and visit the first Story Room Creatives. The delegates were also hosted for lunch by the MasterChef winner, Chef Abigail Mbalo-Mokoena and did a team building experience hosted by Chef Jenny Morris as well as a sports challenge. The delegates were kept busy doing a series of rounds of interviews on TV and radio.

To a sold-out crowd, on the penultimate night of the competition, the fundraiser event was held, where delegates auctioned unique items, they brought from home.

The spunky Ewan Strydom hosted the grand finale that took place at Cape Town City Hall with performances by international boyband 5WEST and Tamara Day.

The top ten were Australia, Japan, Ireland, India, Brazil, Belgium, Thailand, Hungary, Spain and the Philippines. Thailand coming fourth, Hungary 3rd, Spain’s second and the Philippines’ John Jeffrey (Janjep) Carlos, taking the title. Considered as a pre-arrival favourite, Carlos progressed his way throughout the weeklong competition, cementing his presence with a repeat victory after John Raspado’s win in 2016.

The Mr Gay World® was the 12th edition of the competition. For the first part of 2020, the title of Mr Gay World® title was passed on to Spain’s Francisco José Alvarado. Alvarado became the second delegate from Spain to hold the title of Mr Gay World, after Roger Gosálbez’ victory in 2016. Amid his duties as a medical doctor in Spain, Alvarado continued to focus to raise awareness to health issues within the LGBTQIA+ community.

After relinquishing the Mr Gay World® title in a virtual edition, Alvarado crowned Leonard Kodie Macayan as the winner of the 12th edition of the Mr Gay World® title. Throughout an intense and grueling week of competition, Macayan philosophy of courage, acceptance, equality and love, gave the Philippines its third victory, with additional sub-category wins in National Costume, Social Media Presence, Public Voting and Formal Wear. After his Mr Gay World 2020 win, Macayan continues to hold a strong social media presence and philanthropy footprint. Macayan’s court consisted of Marek Piekarczyk from Poland, who was named as the 1st Runner-up and Vicente Miron from Mexico who was crowned the 2nd Runner-up.

The Mr Gay World® 2021 was the 13th edition of the Mr Gay World® contest. This was the first time in the Mr Gay World® history that two Mr Gay World winners reigned at the same time. The 2021 contest saw the crowning of South African communication specialist and coach, Louw Breytenbach. Two months into his reign, Breytenbach relinquished his title. The initial runner-up Joel Rey Carcasona assumed the title, providing not only a three-peat for the Philippines but also making the Philippines the first country to hold three international titles in succession, internationally. Aside from his acting roles, Carcasona has done several collaborative events with NPOs internationally, whilst making concerted efforts in continuing to advocate for universal health care and welfare across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.   

October 2022
The Mr Gay World® was the 14th edition of the competition and hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. The winner was José López Duvont from Puerto Rico, with Antonio Ardolino and Max Appenroth completing his court. López became the first Latin American winner in the history of the contest. During this edition, Appenroth, a diversity consultant and inspirational ambassador made history as the first gay transmasculine delegate to ever made the finals of any international contest.

During this edition, López scooped various sub-category wins, including Best Social Media Presence, Best in National Costume, Best in Sports Challenge and Best in Swimwear. Throughout his reign López continues to inspire international communities with his social impact projects to address bullying and body dysmorphia (which he suffered from as a child), and to promote healthy lifestyles within the LGBTQIA+ communities.


By signing up for the Mr Gay World® competition all delegates and their producers fully acknowledge the following rules and agree to behave accordingly to this code of ethics:

Mr Gay World® (established 2008) is an independent, and non-political competition and organisation. The name, logo and trademark are owned by 

Gay World Events (PTY) Ltd, Mr Gay World Holdings (PTY) Ltd, Mr Gay World (PTY) Ltd and Wurddmarkk (PTY) Ltd with Mr. Eric Butter as the President and Founder of the organisation.

The Mr Gay World® competition strives to be a mentor in grooming gay leaders that will advance gay human rights both locally and throughout the world. Mr Gay World® is a pageant and awareness promoting competition for the upliftment and empowerment of gay men as a minority group. As a contestant to Mr Gay World® the delegate signifies his intent to be honour-bound by the following code of ethics, namely to:

  • treat delegates, staff, judges and associates with respect and dignity.
    conduct himself with honesty, integrity and fairness and respect to the people around him.
  • not discriminate based on race, colour, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and/or sexual expression.
  • always be responsible for the truthful and non-deceptive promotion regarding Mr Gay World®’s visions.
  • support the goals of Mr Gay World® as well as support the LGBTQIA+ community in general, in a constructive and positive manner.
  • conduct business with strict adherence to the laws of their respective legal jurisdictions, the business or professional codes existent in such jurisdiction and the business or profession, and in accordance with generally accepted business practices.

The competition is open to anyone who identifies as male, using him and his pronouns and who collectively identifies as male. The title winner would be crowned as Mr Gay World® and it is for this reason that all entrants should identify in this way. Mr Gay World® is passionate about the empowerment and upliftment of all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and regularly contributes to fundraising events and awareness activities for causes within this vast and diverse community, but 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® is a network of equals, delegates, and producers. It is a competition that draws contestants from all over the world and reinforces the cultural bonds of the gay communities into a positive global network for raising awareness, promoting visibility, offering support to the wider LGBTQIA+ community for human rights and acknowledging the active citizenship of gay people worldwide.

The contestants, as national winners, possess many qualities. The winner will have a unique combination of looks, charm, intellect, confidence, awareness, and self-esteem.

During the stages of the competition, and particularly in the personal interviews, the judges will focus on a man who:

  • shows an understanding of the world and people around him.
    of how he can help contribute to a more equal and respectful society for all.
  • has respect for a range of views, but has confidence in expressing his own, when pursuing justice and well-being for gay people in all societies.
  • embraces cultural, linguistic, ability, gender, age, faith, and sexual orientation diversity as norms to be promoted in a respectful world.
  • can learn, articulate his thoughts, and conduct an intelligent conversation with people both gay and straight and even with people who do not share his views or values.
  • could be the man any group or company would like to have as their representative.
  • is at ease in any social setting, being formal or informal.
  • can articulate his opinions and knowledge and without effort convey it to an audience, media outlet or interviewer.
  • is involved or show in his local LGBTQIA+ community (considering legal constraints in certain countries).
  • can be an ambassador of goodwill between all communities, by being visible, inspiring confidence and reinforcing understanding of the richness of cultural difference globally; – is confident in his own values, attributes, and opinion.
    is intelligent.
  • with a reasonable general knowledge and a good knowledge of LGBTQIA+ rights history and issues and recent LGBTQIA+ events worldwide,
  • is respectful and careful of his appearance and wellbeing.

Each year The Mr Gay World® competition (Mr Gay World®) will look for a destination that wants to host with the intension to visit all regions of the world.

The MGW organisation strides to work and connect with official Mr Gay competitions and producers in each country.

Delegates: Only delegates elected in national competitions named “Mr Gay” and which hold the rights to legally use the name “Mr Gay” in the respective countries will be titled “Mr Gay”. Other delegates will be titled “The delegate representing”.

Producers: If a country does not have an official Mr Gay competition and/or producer, any organisation or person can come to an agreement with the Mr Gay World® organisation to arrange a national final with the aim to find a national representative to Mr Gay World®, subject to Mr Gay World® Regional Directors approval.

Should a country or a local Mr Gay decline an invitation to enter the Mr Gay World® competition, the invitation will be extended to other possible partners wishing to enter a delegate who will represent their country in the competition. They will be referred to as official delegates for a given country, but not titleholders.

If a country participates in the event one year, it does not confer automatic entry into the event the following year. Likewise, if you are not included one year, it does not prevent you from being selected another year. MGW will prioritize diversity in race, age, faith, region, ability, language, appearance and if a country has a well-functioning Mr Gay competition/production in selecting the finalists. A country who wins the final has the right to compete the following year, this also goes for the host country.

MGW is about organising international competitions and events. It has no role in selecting or interfering in national contests or their organisation. It does not promote rival or competitive national competitions, where a national transparent event exists. It seeks to co-operate with these well run, value driven, national contests where possible.

If a country has its own registered or established Mr Gay contest and should a country or a local Mr Gay decline an invitation to enter the Mr Gay World® competition, the invitation can be extended to other possible national partners wishing to enter a delegate who will represent that country in the competition, subject to the Mr Gay World® Regional Director’s approval.

In exceptional circumstances, if a country does not have an official Mr Gay competition and an organisation and no other national partners or organisers want to appoint, select, or nominate a delegate, any gay man with a family address in and passport from a given country can register as a delegate through our Wild Card Program (WCP). The final decision as to whether to accept an independent application or the number of these allowed rests with the Mr Gay World® executive committee.

Every effort will be made to ensure participation by the legitimate national winner, provided that the national contest is established and has been held at least once in the previous two years.

In the event of no national event having been held in the previous two years, then Mr Gay World® may accept a nomination from a new contest in that country.

All the delegates will take part fully in the Mr Gay World® event and following the Grand Finale, will act as “ambassadors” for Mr Gay World® in their region for the year. The Grand finale is a show of winners and national role models. Each delegate will receive two complimentary venue tickets for his local hosts, arrangers, family, and friends. Additional tickets for friends or relatives can be bought at a later stage.

Delegates will be invited to take part in all segments of the finale and segments will be tailored if necessary to respect differences in ability, language, or culture where possible. Mr Gay World® commits itself to ensuring that all elements of the competition will be appropriate, will not promote negative stereotypes, and will be appealing and comfortable for all delegates.

The executive committee and the host producer of Mr Gay World® will decide the number of contestants in each year’s competition. One delegate will be crowned Mr Gay World® and two will be named 1st and 2nd runner-up. In the event of the winner, not fulfilling his duties satisfactorily or resigning, the runner-up(s) will be invited by the president to succeed to the title in the order that they were placed.


The main purpose of Gay World Foundation NPC is to assist the greater Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Ally (LGBTQIA+) community, in supporting causes and charitable events, providing education and awareness programs including tourism, and creating an ethos of care within the community and beyond and raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, all forms of violence and hate crimes including corrective rape. 


To achieve its objectives, the organisations will mainly rely on sponsorship and donation income from the public and corporate sector.


The organisation value the use of sport, workshops, spectacle, pageantry, theatre, creativity, recreation, music, design, multi-media, and other forms of artistic expression, to create LGBTQIA+ awareness/celebration, eliminate stigma and promote pride-consciousness as a philosophy for living and being well. To be an innovative and effective agent of social and economic change, focused on improving lives and creating opportunities in the communities we serve.


Financial contributions can also be made to Gay World Foundation NPC (a registered NPC with SARS PBO Number 9179400248) for the Winter Drive.


The foundation will use these funds to purchase food and other items for the beneficiaries. A Section 18A certificate can be issued on request for any cash contributions by the corporate sector.

Financial donations can be made via EFT to:



Bank: FNB 

Account Number: 62881806172
Branch Name: MENLYN MAINE 

Branch Code: 252445 / Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ



The use of a block style that overlays each letter to form the logo icon is aimed to convey a visually striking representation of the word “pride.” This approach adds an extra layer of symbolism to the concept. By overlapping the letters, the aim is to create a cohesive unity, emphasizing the idea of strength in togetherness and suggest the intertwining and interconnected nature of diverse identities and experiences within the broader concept of pride. The aim of the logo is evoking a sense of solidity, stability, and unwavering resolve and represent the resilience and enduring spirit of individuals and communities who have faced adversity, discrimination, or social challenges, yet have emerged with pride in their hearts and a determination to celebrate and assert their identity.

LEGAL NOTICE! All entities listed below are registered entities with CIPC and the logo © is owned by VNON (PTY) Ltd and the unauthorized use of the names and or logos are strictly forbidden.


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