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German man from New Zealand wins Mr Gay World 2012

Johannesburg — A New Zealand man won the title of Mr Gay World during a competition that ended late Sunday in Johannesburg.

Mr Gay World Andreas Derleth (left) :: mrgayeurope/mrgayworld
Mr Gay World Andreas Derleth (left) 
credit :: mrgayeurope/mrgayworld
Andreas Derleth, 32, a German man who lives in New Zealand won the competition which included 21 other delegates from all over the world including: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. 

The Mr Gay World competition was founded in 2008 to create a positive environment for gay men to share their stories. According to the contest's website, the winner would not only have the inner beauty of confidence, self-assurance, charisma and natural leadership abilities, but would also take care of his physical beauty.

Prizes included $25,000 in travel vouchers to enable the winner to spread his message around the world.

Participation in the competition had consequences for some. According to PinkNewsUK, when Mr Gay Ethiopia joined, his family cut off all communications. Mr Gay Zimbabwe withdrew, fearing the publicity would make life difficult for his mother, who works for the government. 

This was the first time that the contest included black African participants as the competition took place on a continent where gay rights activists have been threatened and killed. Dozens of African countries include laws banning homosexuality.

Representation from Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle-East - regions where gay rights are under attack - was reportedly weak.

The American Mr Gay World contestant was Kevin Scott Power, 22, an elementary school teacher from Westchester, New York. Power finished fourth in the competition.