MANILA, Philippines – Joel Rey Carcasona is the new Mr. Gay World 2021 after South Africa’s Louw Breytenbach relinquished his title due to a contract dispute with the Mr. Gay World Organization.
Pageant organizers announced on Thursday, December 29 that Carcasona, who initially finished as 1st runner-up during the virtual coronation night on October 31, will take over Breytenbach’s role.
According to South African newspaper The Citizen, Breytenbach, 31, refused to sign the pageant’s final contract and even called it “unconstitutional and opaque.”
“I am disappointed as I really thought the Mr. Gay World competition was a platform I could use to broaden my charity work. I also thought they had the interest of the LGBTQI+ community at heart. Sadly, I was wrong,” he was quoted as saying.
The Citizen also reported that the organization has refuted Breytenbach’s allegations and that they’re considering legal actions against the pageant winner.
Following Breytenbach’s resignation, Carcasona, 28, said he felt humbled and grateful to be appointed as the new titleholder.
“I look forward to using my new profile to push for my advocacy, which is universal health care and welfare of the people especially the LGBTQ+ community, since it’s very timely, especially now that we are still in the clutches of the pandemic,” he shared.
Carcasona’s appointment also means that it is the Philippines’ third consecutive year to be Mr. Gay World’s titleholder. Janjep Carlos won in 2019, and Kodie Macayan won the the 2020 edition. John Raspado was the first Filipino to bag the title in 2017.
The Mr. Gay World organization also added that Carcasona will work closely together with Macayan, who was only crowned on October 2021, and the Gay World Foundation to “help spread the word and raise valuable funds for LGBTQ+ organizations across the globe.” – Rappler.com