Dr. Pattanachak Wipadakul, 30, was crowned Mr Gay World Thailand 2017 in a competition last week.
He will represent the country at the Mr Gay World 2017 competition to be held in Madrid, Spain next year.
Photos of Pattanachak Wipadakul sporting a traditional khon headdress alongside skimpy white underpants have gone viral, however, and drawn condemnation for performers in particular.
Performers of khon, a genre of traditional Thai performance art, consider their headdresses sacred and represent the art that has been passed on to them for generations.
“The first time I saw this photo, I was speechless. I'm disappointed and saddened. How could you do this to a khon headdress? You're not a performer, so you may not think it's offensive, but I am, and I can't accept it,” a viral post from Facebook user Aum Make Up Nartthaphong wrote.
“Honestly, I'm crying inside. I am saddened that a Thai person did this.”