Mr Gay World 2019 will no longer take place in Hong Kong as previously announced, the event’s organising committee announced on Sunday.
The annual competition was scheduled to take place between April 28 and May 4 in Hong Kong, as announced in July. Marketing for the event had already begun, with social media posts from the official Mr Gay World account encouraging fans to plan their trips to China’s special administrative region.
The News About The Clampdown
Plans have however had to change after the local hosting company, located in mainland China, said they cannot organise the event in line with Chinese authorities’ clampdown on LGBT+ events and campaigns, Mr Gay World president and founder Eric Butter announced in a statement.
“I regret announcing that I’ve been informed that Mr Gay World will not go ahead in Hong Kong as planned. Due to the struggles that our Chinese colleagues and their families are facing in their homeland,” Butter said.
“The safety of our delegates and their families remains of utmost importance,” he added.
Hong Kong received the honour of being the host city of the 2019 competition.Then, the local organising committee president Charles Sun expressed excitement, but also mentioned the challenges ahead.
“We have many challenges in our country, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. But we are hoping that our government will see the financial benefits events like these have on our economy,” he was quoted as saying in the Mr Gay World statement issued at the time, adding: “We can’t wait to welcome gays and their supporters to Hong Kong next year. We are ready!”
The event will now take place in Cape Town instead. South Africa is thus hosting the competition for the second year in a row. Overall for the third time in Mr Gay World’s 10-year old history.
Jordan Bruno, an Australian chef won Mr Gay World 2018 in May. His coronation happened in the city of Knysna, in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. He expressed disappointment with the Chinese authorities’ anti-LGBT attitude.
“Their stance demonstrates why Mr Gay World remains such a relevant and important competition.” Bruno said.
Bruno is nonetheless looking forward to returning to South Africa. “The spirit and inclusion of the country strongly reflected in the values of Mr Gay World. I can’t help but feel it is the perfect country to once again host the competition,” he said.