Looks like there's a new Mr. Gay World in town.
Since 2009, Mr. Gay World has annually crowned a new titleholder. For the first time in the event's history, this year the event was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. As a result, in leiu of having the Mr. Gay World 2019 continue his reign, organizers decided to select an interim 2020 winner. Enter 30-year-old Francisco José Alvarado, who had coincidentally recently recovered from the virus.
“I’m really happy to announce I’m the new Mr. Gay World," Alvarado, who is a family doctor in Madrid, said in a video posted to Facebook. "I want to say thank you for giving me that opportunity."
Alvarado was previously the first runner up in the 2019 competition. When the organizers of the Mr. Gay World decided to postpone — the 2020 and 2021 event will happen simultaneously — Alvarado became the choice.
“It is unfortunate that we are postponing this year’s event to March 2021 but we will be back greater and stronger; in these unprecedented times we lead by example and by the ability to cope with change and adjust,” Eric Butter, president, owner, and founder of the event, said in a statement on the Mr. Gay World website. “In the meantime, the current Mr. Gay World™ 2019, Janjep Carlos from the Philippines, will step down from his duties after his reign concluded at the end of April 2020. His role will be taken up by Spain’s Francisco Alvarado, the 1st runner-up of Mr. Gay World™ 2019.”
Before he could assume the title, though, Alvarado had another battle to win first.
In March, the doctor developed a dry cough after a long shift at work caring for patients suffering from the current global pandemic. A few days later he felt tired and ached, but still thought little of it.
“I began to notice them while on duty at the hospital,” he told Redacción Médica. “It started with a dry cough, but we were in a moment of collective chaos, so I didn’t pay much attention to it.”
Two days after that he was suffering from headaches and diarrhea so he got tested. The results were positive.
“Coming out of a 24-hour shift, it is normal that you have the feeling that you have been beaten," he told the Spanish-language Redacción Médica according to a translation "It was hard to tell if that usual tiredness was from work or the symptoms.”
While his reign is interim, Alvarado nonetheless wants to use his time as Mr. Gay World to make a difference.
“I really want to carry on helping our community so I would like to invite all of you to cooperate with us together and fight for our LGBTQ+ rights.”