It all started as a crazy party idea in late 2004.

Actor Morten Ruda wanted to “retire” his drag queen character ‘Tootsie Knutsen” with one hell of a party; after this party, ‘she’ was off to a life in sun, strawberry daiquiris and hot muscular pool boys in Miami.

In 2005 Oslo hosted EuroPride and Morten and his friend Tore Aasheim believed that a decadent ‘Mr Gay Europe competition’ was a farewell party worthy of ‘Ms. Knutsen’. With Morten’s background from producing numerous shows all over the world, and his knowledge from working with Miss Universe, and Tore’s knowledge with press, marketing and internet web design – the two set off to produce the competition.

Morten started to browse the web after Mr Gay competitions and it didn’t take long for the first delegates to start signing on. And funny enough – even before the first MGE final had taken place, producers from three different European capitals “applied” to host Mr Gay Europe the coming year!

As the preparation for the event proceeded, it became clear that Morten’s “give back to the community” philosophy, Tore’s political engagement and the convincing application from Amsterdam, that Mr Gay Europe was not going to be a “one time” event.

There have been times where Mr Gay Europe has been protected by riot police, one year the competition got a letter from an Embassy that their country would not accept the sovereignty of a new state in Europe, another year one delegate did not want to take part because Mr Gay Europe let Israel participate; Mr Gay Europe defied the nationalist bullies, Mr Gay Europe told the Embassy that it is an including competition, and Mr Gay Europe told the reluctant delegate to stay at home…

It is important to remember, everyone working with MGE is voluntary, and to produce a pan-continental event is not done ‘just like that’ – it is hours of blood, sweat and tears. And of course Mr Gay Europe does have its share of drama – it is after all, a gay competition.

“We wanted to wrap an important message about gay pride, human rights and unity thru diversity, into a package of fun, festival and a fabulous show,” Mr Gay Europe co-founder and previous President Morten Ruda remembers.

“MGE is an open and including rivalry amongst friends and fellow citizens of Europe. We are the original Mr Gay competition and we truly hope that we make a small contribution in the fight for gay rights in Europe, current Mr Gay Europe President Tore Aasheim says.

 

2005 – OSLO, NORWAY
Executive Producer: Morten Ruda
Media & PR: Tore Aasheim
Winner: Alexander van Kempen, The Netherlands

2006 – AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
President & Executive Producer: Morten Ruda
Media & PR: Tore Aasheim
Winner: Nandi Gyöngyösi, Hungary

2007 – BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
President: Morten Ruda
Executive Producer: Tore Aasheim
Winner: Jackson Netto, Germany

2008 – BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
President: Morten Ruda
Executive Producer: Tore Aasheim
Winner: Antonio Almijez, Spain

2009 – OSLO, NORWAY
President: Morten Ruda
Executive Producer: Tore Aasheim
Winner: Sergio Lara, Spain

2011 – BUCHAREST & POIANA BRASOV, ROMANIA
President (2010): Eric Butter
Executive Producer (2010): Tore Aasheim
President & Executive Producer (2011): Tore Aasheim
Winner: Giulio Spatola, Italy

2012 – ROME, ITALY
President: Tore Aasheim
Executive Producer: Mauro Basso/Gay Village
Winner: Miguel Ortiz, Spain

2013 – PRAGUE, THE CZECH REPUBLIC
President: Tore Aasheim
Executive Producer: Tomas Fryda
Winner: Robbie Obara, Ireland

2014 – AUSTRIA
President: Tore Aasheim
Executive Producer: Dieter Sapper & Emanuel Wiehl
Winner: Jack Johansson, Sweden