Nicolas Maeterlinck

Joren Houtevels is Mister Gay Belgium 2020

Joren, a 20-year-old student from Leuven (Flemish Brabant), beat off all rivals at the Elckerlyc Theatre in Antwerp.  Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp, had the honour of announcing the winner of this year’s competition last night. 

PM De Croo was supposed to do the honours, but he wasn’t able to make it due to the corona crisis. In a video message the prime minister praised the initiative and added that he hoped to attend next year.

Runners up are director Roland Javornik of Hasselt (Limburg) and Glen Mandos, a carpenter from Pelt (Limburg).  It’s the eighth time in a row that a competition to select an ambassador of and for Belgium’s Gay community is staged.

Joren is studying to become a primary school teacher.  He believes that a lot can be done in the education sector to enhance acceptance of members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  He hopes to make a difference in campaigning against child rejection.

“My coming out in 2017 wasn’t easy.  Being gay was a bit of a problem at home, so I decided to go and live by myself.  Today I feel stronger and I wish to be a role model for youngsters who have a hard time.”

Organising this event amid the pandemic wasn’t easy, but the organisers were determined to go ahead: “Choosing a new ambassador for our country in these difficult times is an important signal” said Bram Bierkens, CEO of Mister Gay Belgium.

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