THE Mr Gay World competition is back in full swing for another year and as competition heats up, it’s time to get behind Australia’s delegate Chris Glebatsas.
Glebatsas’ main focus on entering the competition is to help drive a societal change and to promote equality for the LGBTI community.
He also hopes to become a role model for young gay men, who like him may have had a challenging upbringing, growing up as a victim of bullying and forced to stay “in the closet”.
Star Observer spoke one-on-one with Glebatsas about representing Australia in the Mr Gay World competition, where he told us that the competition is not all swimsuit modelling and photo sessions.
“It’s not what you would expect, after being nominated for the competition I looked it up thinking that it would be your typical beauty pageant, but it’s not,” he said.
“The most points for the competition are awarded in the interview process where you are interviewed by a panel, like a job interview, about your leadership qualities.”
While most people would recognise Glebatsas after his modelled appearances in mens magazines and for his own skin care product range, there is more to the man than meets the eye: he has a masters degree in applied finance and business banking, and believes his strength in the upcoming competition lies in his leadership skills.
The competition is in Rome this year, and Glebatsas and his partner of five years Anthony McDonough are preparing to head overseas on Friday, with the sole goal of becoming a positive gay role model, especially in terms of his business and leadership skills — something Glebatsas said he never really had while growing up.
“I have gone through struggles growing up, being the fat and gay kid at school,” he told the Star Observer.
“I always looked for a successful gay role model, someone successful and in a relationship.”
Reflecting on his youth, Glebatsas added: “My early coming out experience was not easy, it changed my life and now I am comfortable.”
Some of the challenges the delegates will face in Rome for the week are a written test, photo session, sports challenge, swim wear competition, online popular vote, art challenge, a speech and a strenuous “job interview” in front of seven judges from all over the world.
The Star Observer asked Glebatsas what he believed his strengths in the competition were.
“More the interview process, I am use to talking in the public environment,” he said.
Glebatsas was also very open about talking about his weaknesses.
“I can’t dance,” he laughed, “I have two left feet.”
You can vote for the Mr Gay World winner on its website, where Glebatsas is listed at the top of the page. The online voting closes August 30 at 6pm EST: http://mrgayworld.com/vote/
Watch the video for Mr Gay World 2014 below: