Thank You

Mr Gay South Africa.
There are many hero’s within the gay community.
Mr Gay South Africa and Mr Gay World provides the opportunity to learn about these great hero’s, and sometimes to meet them as well. I will forever be infinitely thankful and continuously inspired by the hero’s I have met and worked with this year.
Leaders that not only showcased the talent the community embody, but have come together in cultural celebration and portrayed the great qualities superheros are known for.
There has been human rights conferences, sport participation, performing artists and political statements made by a community all striving for one goal, the same rights and opportunities as our heterosexual counterparts.
Pride is most certainly something that has been reiterated for me this year. There is a lot of heartache in the struggles that humankind is still faced with, and there have been tears amongst hero’s at the loss of lives due to segregation.
But there has been pride evident in our people all around the World and at every event.
Every individual has the potential and talent unique to them, potential and talents that should not face hindrance or discrimination. Talents that should be cultivated to be the best you can be, the superhero of your own world.
Mr Gay World.

Mr Gay World has been an experience, first and foremost it has been alive with varying life lessons and events.

There is a driving force that is installed deep within the mind of many gay activists, a dream that is true to heart, one that envisions life with celebration and without hindrance, with equal opportunities and chances to cultivate a life rich in experience, education, love, mutual respect and self worth. This dream transcends into a cause that believes all are equal, and all may pursue their avenues of love, enliven their talents and be true to themselves. The dream and ideology applies to those of all ages, and through continuous reflection we see that there is an end goal, we are reminded of this goal every time a milestone is reached.  Milestones are tangible treasures of this dream, treasures such as marriage equality, freedom for our people and equal recognition.

My sincere gratitude goes out to those who have made a wonderful and enriching journey possible, one that highlights this dream and cause. The Mr Gay World journey is filled with vibrant cultural experiences, inspiring speeches from activists, mesmerising performances by artists and enlightening social interaction within our community. One of the most important and fundamental parts of this journey is learning on the acquisition and advancement of LGTBI rights internationally. Irrespective of the pace of this acquisition and advancement, we have seen wonderful moments and milestones in the last year, from eventful Pride Parades to marriage equality and inspiring speeches by World leaders at the UN.

There is still a walk of freedom evident around the world for the LGBTI community before this dream may be realised, but through celebrating our pride, living our dreams and highlighting our story, we reach a milestone every day.

I would like to express my most sincere gratitude and appreciation to those who have shown their support in the last two years, your messages and kind words fuels inspiration and for your time and support I will be infinitely grateful.

My special thoughts and hopes go to the new delegates, there is much needed work on the African continent and your presence and participation here speaks of the deep seated values and ideals you share for the dream. The stage is set to find amongst you the next Mr Gay World, but between you, you are all winners. Every man brings his story and dedication to the cause and dream, I wish you all, only the very best!

The redefinition of a man is one where he learns of the struggles faced by his brother.

The ideals of the dream will be alive in me forevermore.

With My special thanks to Cell C South Africa.

Francois Nel

Cell C

 

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