'Happiness is for the brave': Knysna man is SA's Mr Gay World contestant
A fitness buff who champions the need for wider acceptance of the LGBT community has won the public vote to represent SA at this year's Mr Gay World contest.
Chris Emmanuel, 42, of Knysna, says winning the SA title is a great responsibility that he does not take lightly.
He intends to stand for people who face the pressure of "coming out" to parents at the risk of rejection, and to stand up for their rights in places where doing so could condemn them to death.
"It is with great joy and surprise that I accept the title. I am overflowing with ideas and powerful topics that I will use my title to explore in the coming year ...
"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. 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."
The international contest will in Cape Town from April 28, with events leading up to the grand finale at City Hall on May 4.