US teacher becomes Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013

Michael Morrill says his dream is to establish an NGO for Asia’s marginalized LGBT community

US teacher becomes Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013
20 October 2013 Print This Article

A 35-year-old American school teacher, who had seemed the odd man out among professional dancers and models, was chosen Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013 by a panel of judges as well as voters with his pledge to found a non-profit organization for Asia’s marginalized LGBT community.

Morrill, who has been living in Asia for over a decade, was described by the organizers of the five-year-old event as being on a “powerful mission to shed light on the realities of people living with HIV”.

He has volunteered with several non-profit organizations, the work ranging from green rooftop gardening to poverty reduction campaigns.

Morrill pipped four other finalists, including the favorite, 23-year-old Tommy Leung, a professional dancer who draws his inspiration from Lady Gaga, at a gala in Armani Privé in Hong Kong Saturday and will now represent Hong Kong at the Mr Gay World in Rome in 2014.

‘This may be the end of my reign, but for me this is just the beginning of my journey to inspire more youth and to fight for equality and gay rights,’ said Benjie Caraig, Mr Gay Hong Kong 2012, relinquishing his title.

Caraig had been the first runner-up at the Mr Gay World 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium in August.

‘Thank you to everyone who voted, came out to support and helped put together Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013,’ Morrill said after being declared the winner.

‘All I can say is thank you, and watch out, because boy, have I got some stories to tell! Thank you and good night.’

Last month, the finalists and others had braved a super typhoon, Usagi, to turn up for the penultimate round of the contest with the theme ‘There’s more than one way to be a man’.

Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013 will be the ambassador of an LGBT cause or charity as well as the Red Ribbon Ambassador working with AIDS Concern of Hong Kong to raise awareness about HIV prevention and promote safer sex in the LGBT community.

He will be also featured in Hong Kong’s LGBT magazine Dim Sum and take stewardship of Tongzhi Tsai, the Mr Gay Hong Kong Organization’s campaign against homophobic bullying in schools.

The Mr Gay Hong Kong event is remarkable for the participation of non-Chinese expatriates with the title sometimes going to them.

Caraig is from the Philippines. In 2009, when the event started, Rick Twombley, a fitness professional from Atlanta, became the first Mr Gay Hong Kong.

Leung, the first runner-up, was also voted Mr Popularity and best in the swimwear and formal wear rounds.

Anthony Pura, the second runner-up, is a 29-year-old model.



No thumbnail available

Ian McKellen shows his solidarity with Russia’s gay people

Established actor joins celebrities like Lady Gaga making a stand against the actions of the Russian government and the new anti-gay laws
No thumbnail available

Michael Sam admits that as NFL draft went on, he started to second guess himself

'I was like, "Maybe I shouldn't have done what I did"' and come out
No thumbnail available

JLS, Paloma Faith and 100,000 attendees make 'most successful' Birmingham Pride ever

An estimated 125,000 people attended the weekend festivities at the 17th annual Birmingham Pride
No thumbnail available

Will Russell Tovey ever go full frontal?

Looking star says while he may have shown his back a few multiple times, he's not quite ready to show his front yet
No thumbnail available

Argentina celebrates two years of gay marriage

Since 2010, the first country to legalize same-sex marriage has married over 6,000 gay couples and has approved the marriage of binational and foreign gay couples
No thumbnail available

Philippines archbishop: 'Being a homosexual is not a sin'

Pope Francis is to visit the Catholic-majority country on Sunday
No thumbnail available

New Zealand wins Mr Gay World title

German born Andreas Derleth wins the global gay male beauty and intellect pageant in South Africa
No thumbnail available

Ryan Phillippe glad audiences will see his kiss with Breckin Meyer in restored cut of 54

'We did something that was relatively bold for two young male actors, and we took pride in the places that the original story went'
No thumbnail available

Learn a little Dutch with our big gay language guide

Gay Star Travel editor Jean Paul Zapata is an Amsterdam virgin. May these translations be his guide
No thumbnail available

Take Me Out UK host Paddy McGuinness wants a gay version

Other countries have done a gay spin of the dating format