Lovers of the body beautiful will not have missed news of this year’s Mr Gay World competition finale in Whistler, Canada, where Mr Gay Ireland, hunky Dubliner Max Krzyzanowski, won the Mr Gay World title. (If you weren’t paying this any attention then, check it up later on their site, mrgayworld.org.)
Dubliner Max Krzyzanowski won the Mr Gay World 2009 title.
Since the competition’s start in 2008, 24 countries have sent contestants to the international finale, and now Hong Kong will have the chance to be represented in the next, which is scheduled to be in Oslo, Norway’s capital, in 2010, where it is supported by no less than the Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang and André Oktay Dahl, an openly gay member of Parliament, both of whom appear in the promotional Youtube video featured at the end of this article.
This Gay World now includes a number of Asia-Pacific countries: the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and India, and is spreading fast. Mr Gay World’s international board of directors has appointed two Hong Kong residents, James Gannaban and Noel Furrer, who will be well known those Hong Kongers amongst us who have chilled out in FINDS or partied in JJ’s over the last few years, to represent them and to organise Hong Kong’s first Mr Gay Hong Kong pageant on 28 November 2009.
Mr Gay World has as its aim the identification of gay men who are prepared to speak out publicly both in their own community and on the world stage in support of human rights. So, they are not just looking for a pretty face.
The Hong Kong pageant will have about twenty contestants who can match their brains to their brawn, and the winner will win the chance to go forward to the world final in Norway next year. Apart from this chance to travel to the frozen north, as well as to have money to spend there and a wardrobe of clothes to wear, there will be other prizes to attract the contestants.
If you fancy your chances, here’s the Hong Kong website where you’ll find all the rules of the competition and which will tell you if you’re eligible to take part: manasiaproductions.com. What they’re looking for, basically, are young men (you’ve got to be between 21 and 40), over 170 cm tall who hold a valid Hong Kong ID card. English isn’t essential, but it’ll help. You can sign up at the site; don’t hang about. They’ve already got a dozen applications.
Applicants lucky enough to be chosen for the pageant will be interviewed in a variety of nightspots around town to give them the chance to be seen and heard in public. The final night will see rounds in sports wear, swim wear and formal wear, the last including interviews when the candidates can talk about themselves. Five finalists will go forward into the last stage, and voting for this will be split between the public, which will get to vote online as well as in the venue, and the panel of judges made up of some well-known Hong Kong figures.
James Gannaban, organiser of Mr Gay Hong Kong pageant which will be held Nov 28, 2009.
At FINDS, the restaurant in Central which is unique in providing Hong Kong’s only Scandinavian menu, I talked to James Gannaban about the pageant. James works here as their PR and Marketing Manager. “I’m very much excited by this project,” he told me. “It is going to have very much a local form, nothing like anything that’s happening at the moment but something that will be a showcase for Hong Kong gay life.”
It’s also something James relishes as it’s taking him back to showbiz, where he started in Hong Kong. James is from the Cagayan valley in the north of Luzon, where his mother, who had fled from the Cultural Revolution in Fujian, met and married his Filipino father. He majored in theatre at the Jesuit Ateneo de Manila University, which he scandalised not so much for being out and gay, which he was from the age of 18, but more from his attempt to stage a production of The Vagina Monologues on campus. In the ensuing ruckus, the Vice Chancellor locked herself in her office to avoid the press and James ended up staging the show in a restaurant over the road. He then took it on tour to a series of small venues deep in the provinces, pretty much as a one man theatrical band, an experience which taught him skills of stage management, producing, directing and every aspect of the touring theatre.
Disney was then about to open its Hong Kong theme park and James was selected at an audition in Manila, coming almost immediately to Hong Kong to become the principal vocalist of Disney’s ‘The Golden Mickeys’. Over two years later he took a job in FINDS and so moved to Hong Kong’s hospitality industry, doing a small stretch also with JJs, working there under Noel Furrer. When Mr Gay World approached him to be its local rep, James asked Noel to join him. He’s very glad to be back to something with a public stage.
James has many strings to his bow. He’s a prolific and fluent blogger (his blog’s at http://astronsnotebook.livejournal.com). He’s been joined there recently by his alter ego, Fabiola, who has also begun to appear on the Hong Kong scene, performing at places like Volume. She was quite a shock to his boyfriend when she made her first appearance a year ago, but for James, Fabiola’s six inch heels and wicked, waspish tongue are great ways to let the light in on a different part of his personality. He loves to shock, excite and surprise, and usually succeeds!
Drag will not, though, be a criterion of the Mr Gay Hong Kong competition; the qualities on display that night will be much more traditionally masculine. But still gay, of course, and no one’s ruled out the camp. Combine all or any of these things? It could be your face and more I shall be writing about next. May the best gay man win!
wish a tiny guy can enter..hehehe
No, but all being equal... you can bet what they will choose... Not #5, though I would probably choose you ;-)
Not trying to be a bitch here....
Lets hope that someone that embodies all that being gay means wins, no just someone that looks nice on the outside but is not so inside.
Love and hugs to all from an Australian who takes pride in his country but also identifies with being a resident of the Asia-Pacific region.
Just because Asian people didn't colonise, or are indigeonous to Australia does'nt physically change its geographical location.
But I guess thats that not part of the subject here.. just a sideline....
My question is, why wasn't the Asia, and the Asian- pacific region countries included before in this type of competition before ? LOL
Were we not part of the international community before ?
Amusing ! Maybe we should have an Asia-pacific Mr.Gay ?
I hope this beauty pageon is the final solution for global warming crisis.
hope to see you soon
lots and lots of succes with the contest....may the best hunk win!
How nice! Why we have to re-enforce the stereo style image of gay ourselves again and again?
Those anti-gay people will surely suppose such event! There you have it! That's how gay look like!
and amazing event too~~