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Mr. Gay World: Bathing Suits and Death Threats

Mr. Gay World: Bathing Suits and Death Threats

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Competing in the Mr. Gay World contest, even in 2012, can still be seen as a politically radical choice for men from many of the participating countries. The contestant from Zimbabwe was forced to withdraw from the contest this year in Johannesburg after his family received death threats. Namibia's representative, 24-year-old Wendelinus Hamutenya, was hospitalized after being attacked in early December.

Events include an HIV outreach, a wildlife drill, a test on general knowledge of LGBT issues, and of course, a bathing suit contest. Mr. Gay World is a beauty pageant, but the South African organizers stress that the event is more about politics than pulchritude. The contest had no upper age limit, and the top prize was a fairly modest 50,000 Rand (PS4,000, $6,350).

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