Australia’s Jordan Bruno has beaten competitors from 18 other countries to take out Mr Gay World for 2018—the first time an Australian has won the title.

After winning Mr Gay Pride Australia earlier this year, Bruno represented the country in the international contest this week in South Africa, Gay Nation has reported.

He gave an emotional thankyou to the judges after the win.

“My first emotion is surreal because I can’t believe this has actually happened,” Bruno said.

“Am I emotional, I’m always emotional, I only cried for a minute which is pretty good for me. Normally I cry for half a day.

“I’m also feeling inspired, the panel of judges that elected me, they’re huge role models internationally and for their nations so to receive an award from them and get recognised means a lot.”

He said he had plans to work together with the other contestants to fight for LGBTI equality.

“The first thing I would like to do is consolidate with the other contestants about what they’re trying to do and see if I can contribute in any way and help with their missions,” he said.

“I also really want to release a line of videos tackling LGBTI issues within our own community. Femme shaming, body issues, lesbian discrimination at pride festivals, we’ve got so much to do.”

Bruno first became well known as a contestant on My Kitchen Rules, going on to become an advocate for mental health and the LGBTI community.

New Zealand’s Ricky Devine-White won second place in Mr Gay World.

He said the competitors had grown close over the course of the contest.

“The fact [is] that you are in a competition and you’re also like a family at the same time, which is quite interesting because you are competing against each other but also each other’s best friend as well,” said Devine-White.

“I’ll keep in touch with all of these guys, they are now part of the family when we travel to their countries.”

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