The Mr Gay World 2021 competition just culminated in a virtual coronation held on YouTube. 31-year-old South African Louw Breytenbach took the crown and will share the title with 2020 winner, Leonard Kodie Macayan from the Philippines.
Louw Breytenbach, from Boksburg in South Africa, is a TV presenter, actor and theatre owner. However, he said he also added house cleaning to his resume during the pandemic.
“So many were shocked that a year ago I cleaned houses to make ends meet and keep my staff employed. A cancer scare, Covid and plenty of breakdowns later, we got here. Never stop trying, never stop fighting and never stop believing.”
Although South Africans have twice taken the Mr Gay World crown, Louw Breytenbach is the first African winner in a decade.
“I am so blessed and thankful to every person who made Mr Gay World possible. The crown is in Africa for the first time in a decade. Sixty-nine countries in the world still criminalise homosexuality and 29 of them are in Africa. I want to be a driving force to change this and challenge this along with my existing charities.”
In addition to winning Mr Gay World 2021, the winner also took out the Personal Interview, Mr Photogenic and Viewers’ Choice categories.
Mental health challenges
Louw Breytenbach spoke frankly about the challenges he faced on his way to the crown. After three suicide attempts as a young man, two years ago he suffered serious injury in a car accident and subsequently landed in a mental health facility. He also endured media attention for his weight struggles.
However, he said the important thing is to keep going.
“Your future self depends on you getting through today’s struggle. You are so worthy.”
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