ENTERTAINMENT
28/05/2018 10:41 SAST | Updated 28/05/2018 10:47 SAST

Mr Gay World 2018 Crowned In Knysna

Australian reality TV chef and cookbook author Jordan Bruno was crowned on Saturday night at the climax of Knysna's Pink Loerie Festival.

Instagram/@jordanbruno.mkr

A reality TV chef and mental health advocate from Australia was crowned Mr Gay World 2018 in Knysna on Saturday night.

Jordan Bruno (25), from Perth, was a popular participant in "My Kitchen Rules" in Australia and has since built up a large following on Instagram and written a cookbook, "The Gay Chef". He also teaches young people how to cook and is passionate about mental health issues among young LGBT+ people.

He beat off 20 participants from across the world, including Nepal, the U.S., Thailand, Sweden, Portugal, and Spain, to become the new ambassador / spokesperson for Mr Gay World globally.

"You form a network, you educate each other, and you form bonds [to fight for gay rights]; that is how you reach equality, that is what Mr Gay World is about," said Bruno in response to a question from the judges about the relevance of the Mr Gay World competition.

After being crowned, he said there is no such thing as gay rights, only human rights.

The South African delegate Karabo Morake (27), originally from Mahikeng but now living in Cape Town, won the best outfit segment. Morake is a legal executive manager.

Second and third places were taken by Ricky Devine-White (36), a lifestyle coach from Marlborough in New Zealand, and Samarpan Maiti (29), a scientist who researches brain cancers, from Siddha in India.

Igor Scheurkogel, chairperson of the board of Mr Gay World, said the competition is about doing something meaningful, and not about "being someone" with a title.

"The winner should aim to be a voice and a role model for the youth who are struggling to be accepted for who they are."

This was the tenth year of Mr Gay World, and the third time it has been held in South Africa, forming part of this year's Pink Loerie festival in Knysna. The final night was opened by the mayor of Knysna, Eleanore Bouw-Spies.

Proceeds from a charity auction held on Friday as part of the event will benefit victims of the fire disaster in Knysna. Delegates auctioned off items that they brought from their home country.

Bruno brought his cookbook, which sold for R5,000.

Next year's event will be held in Hong Kong.