Diversity is an important and serious matter to us

9 April, 2023 | News


From the very beginning the slogan of Mr Gay Europe has been “Unity through diversity” and this is not something we take lightly.

One of the most important reasons why Mr Gay Europe was started back in 2005, was because the people behind the competition felt they did not really have any gay role models growing up. The only gays they knew of were the stereotypical flamboyant and over the top that were portrayed on stage, TV and in movies.

That being said, of course there are those of us who are indeed over the top and have a personality bigger than Mount Everest. And while these are also proud, if not a bit loud, members of our community, they are still family.

Diversity can be many things. The most obvious for many of us may be the colour of our skin. Age is also a diversity, as is body type. How feminine or masculine you are. Diversity in ability is another.

In Mr Gay Europe we have had delegates with different skin colours, religions and cultural backgrounds. Which isn’t all that surprising, Europe is after all a very diverse continent. We have had delegates who were deaf. We have welcomed HIV positive delegates and persons with a troubled past. We have had middle aged delegates and those very young. Mr Gay Europe welcomes trans people defining themselves as gay men and bisexual men.

We are of course not naive. The MGE team has gotten complaints because we let transmen take part in the competition. One person would not take part because one of the other delegates was Jewish. We asked the guy who did not “want to share the stage with a Jew” to stay home. We have had delegates from countries that had a high conflict level, and we asked them at least to talk to each other even if they could never be friends. Once we had a complaint that a person born in Sweden could not represent Norway, another time someone complained about the fact that someone born in Turkey was to represent Germany.

At one point we got sent a video clip of one of the delegates taking part in a porn movie. How could he be a good role model? If you are thrown out on the street by your family because you are gay, and you get exploited by the vultures who take advantage of the situation, should we really cast the first stone?

If you read this and feel that your participation in Mr Gay Europe could add to the diversity of the competition, please sign up.

If you are a member of an indigenous population, e.g., the Sami from the north of Europe, or your family just immigrated to Europe from another continent e.g. south, east or west of Europe, you are welcome to register. You are welcome to join the MGE family.

Tore Aasheim
MGE president

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