Sydney man David Francis wants to become the first Australian to win the Mr Gay World competition.
The 29-year-old property developer, who runs a YouTube channel and has over 40,000 Instagram followers, said he entered the competition so he could use his voice to fight for LGBTIQA+ equality in Australia and around the world.
He explained: “The Mr Gay World competition is an internationally recognised platform that encourages all its representatives to have their own voice in the LGBTIQA+ community and fight for what they believe in on issues such as acceptance, equality and respect. I want to be that voice.
“Like most LGBTIQA+ youth, growing up wasn’t easy for me, being bullied about my sexuality when it wasn’t even something I had thought about let alone even understood at the time.
“As a consequence, my self-confidence took a battering where I found it hard to even believe in myself. But somehow, I was one of the lucky ones who were able to weather the storm.”
I am so proud to be announced as the Australian representative for this years Mr. Gay World competition! Its such an amazing opportunity to stand up and be a genuine voice for the LGBTI+ community here in Australia and more broadly around the world! 🇦🇺🏳️🌈 I have received some of the most lovely and positive messages of support today and I couldn’t be more thankful! ✌🏼 | 📸@lukeographyau
David gives his time to be an ambassador and mentor for StartOut Australia, a mental health non-profit that’s developing an online mentoring program to provide access to role models for queer youth.
“I feel I have a responsibility to set an example and share my experiences so that young LGBTIQA+ people know that others have been through similar situations and made it through adversity,” he said.
“Representing Australia and winning the Mr Gay World title in 2017 would be such an amazing opportunity to spread these messages of unity and support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
“It would prove to the teenage version of myself that you can become somebody you never in your wildest dreams thought you could become; the person you needed when you were growing up.
“But most importantly, it would be a platform from which to inspire, encourage and empower other young people who might be struggling, to take control of their lives and believe in themselves to achieve anything they set their mind to.”
The finals of Mr Gay World 2017 will be held in Spain from May 5–10.
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