Raf Van Puymbroeck, 22, from Belgium is the new Mr Gay Europe!
After a week-long competition in Sweden and Norway Raf Van Puymbroeck was declared the winner of the contest on Friday 5th August in Oppdal, Norway.
The announcement was broadcast live to 40 countries around the world with the level of engagement on social media being the highest it has ever been in the Mr Gay Europe history. Interactions came through from as far as Far East, Latin-America, the US and Jamaica.
Managing Director of Mr Gay Europe, Stuart Hatton Jr said, “This was the closest competition we have ever had and the standard of delegates this year was incredibly high. Each day the leader board changed and it came down to the final few votes making it the most exciting Mr Gay Europe competition to date. I am delighted Mr Raf Van Puymbroeck has won Mr Gay Europe 2016 and I am looking forward to working alongside him to further our European LGBTI fight for equality”
Co-founder and President of Mr Gay Europe, Tore Aasheim said, “This is the 10th time we have produced Mr Gay Europe and I feel that the competition has found its form and I am delighted that Raf Van Puymbroeck took home the victory.
Raf’s youth and excitement for the challenges ahead I am sure will resonate well with the younger members of the LGBTI community who in many countries lack the support of young role models.”
On accepting his title Raf Van Puymbroeck commented, “This is a huge honour, it means so much to me and all the people who have supported me. I can’t wait to start working with the Mr Gay Europe team, and look for to start working on different projects.”
The ten delegates all week faced a number of challenges which included a written test to find out their knowledge about LGBTI rights around the world, a job interview in front of the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Oppdal and leading LGBTI figures, a sports challenge where the delegates took part in an endurance test, social media skills, and an online public vote. The delegates were also asked to choose amongst themselves who they thought should be Mr Gay Europe 2016.
Later this year a documentary will be released showing the delegates personal and proud fight for the title; up close and personal.
Raf Van Puymbroeck will be traveling from Norway Saturday to take part in the Amsterdam Parade. This will be his first appearance as the new Mr Gay Europe.
Photo: Raf Van Puymbroeck with fellow delegates at the final night of Mr Gay Europe 2016 (Photo: Beate A Tecza)