Here follows the full statement from the newly-crowned Mr Gay World South Africa, Chris Emmanuel, following the announcement of the winner earlier today.

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Sexuality should not define of confine you. True acceptance of your sexuality should liberate you in unimaginable ways.

If Kinsey and his scale of sexuality is accurate, as i believe it to be, then imagine the masses of people, that due to an inability to connect and relate to the extreme depiction of gay culture, sit in silence, and in isolation, never daring to question or adventure into the playground of their dynamic truth.

None of us get to choose our birthright, be it poverty or privilege or sexual preference. Feeling guilt or shame for this lottery and its outcome is a true waste of time. Each and every person has the power to totally alter their reality and to manifest their dreams, regardless of their starting point. i will hold this message high and keep it ever-present on my journey.

A platform like Mr Gay World South Africa, elevates the chosen winner, where suddenly, what was merely an opinion in the dark, becomes a guide for those questioning their direction. This is a great responsibility and one I do not take lightly.

It’s with great joy and surprise that I accept this title. I am overflowing with ideas and powerful topics that I will use my title to explore in the coming year. I am humbled by the support from family, friends and total strangers that has seen me through to take the title.

In closing I want you to all hear this and hear it clearly. Happiness is for the brave. It takes the bravest of people to come out to their conservative parents at the risk of rejection, it takes the bravest of people to stand up for their rights in places where they could be condemned to death, it takes the bravest of people to walk the township streets declaring their true self at the risk of corrective rape, it takes the bravest of people to cry in the dark, alone, only to wake up and fight another day for what is right. Happiness is for the brave!.You are my heroes and I can’t wait to spend this year trying to be as brave as the people you all are, hopefully sparking that fire of happiness within you that you all deserve.

To stay up to date please follow me on instagram @theminimalistchris

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