Mr Gay Hong Kong, Emmanuel Mass Luciano, has become Mr Gay World after the original winner, German Klaus Burkart, stepped down seven months after being awarded the title.
21-year-old Burkart penned an open letter to his fans on November 17 citing personal changes for the decision which came with “great sadness.”
“Indeed it is very challenging and exciting winning the title, but what is more challenging is living up to the expectations, responsibilities and duties that come along with it,” Burkart wrote.
Burkart, who was described as a “milk technician,” won the title of Mr Gay World in South Africa in May. He had planned to visit schools and tackle homophobia. Hong Kong’s Luciano was runner-up at the time.
After announcing that he was stepping down, Burkart wrote on Facebook thanking fans for his support. He thanked the organisers and activists and asked them to extend the same support to Luciano.
Congratulations to our dearest Mass Luciano – the new Mr. Gay World. Congrats are also in order for Lusheen… https://t.co/ikXgXJvIZF
— Mr. Gay Hong Kong (@MrGayHK) November 18, 2015
Passing the baton on to Mr Gay Hong Kong, Burkart said that Luciano would carry the title well.
“I know he will be a great representative for our community, who will put all his heart and passion into his reign,” Burkart’s post read.
Luciano is the first to hold the title from Asia. He said he was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to take on the role.