Denmark has made history after a Danish trans man was crowned Mr Gay Denmark 2018.
The Scandinavian country, which has been criticised in the past for “lagging behind” in LGBTI rights, changed the tide of history by voting a transgender male as its new Mr Gay icon.
The title was awarded to 44-year-old trans-rights activist Niels Jansen at G*A*Y Copenhagen Nightclub in the Danish capital on Saturday evening (26 May)
Previously a transgender man won Mr. Gay Philadelphia and another man had competed in Mr. Gay Ireland.
Danish man first in world to win Mr Gay at national level
But Jansen is the first transgender male to win a nationwide Mr Gay competition.
As a part of the judging process, Mr Niels was asked to present and explain a poster to the judges.
The poster he chose showed a daring full nude picture of himself.
When the poster was shortly shown to the audience on Saturday night they applauded him for his choice.
‘This process has been long and draining for me. I have mental health issues, I have tendencies towards anxiety and depression.
‘I have chosen to make myself vulnerable and have received nothing but support from my fellow contestants and from the organizers.
Niels Jansen: ‘There are lots of ways to be a gay man’
‘I felt seen and heard and validated, and that is a wonderful feeling. I want to especially thank first runner up Bjorn Dotzauer, who helped me a lot.
‘He had a very strong case and I honestly thought he would win.’
Jansen spoke further of his win: ‘There are lots of ways to be a man and there are lots of ways to be a gay man.
‘And we are all valid and worthy of respect and love.’
Continuing, Jansen explained more about the meaning of the title:
‘This title means a lot to me.
‘That I, a transgender man, was chosen to represent my country in this contest that celebrates men, is a great honor.’
‘I will do my best to make everyone.’
According to the organisers, when the winner was announced the audience gave a him standing ovation.
Denmark has been ranked number 4 in the latest list of the fastest growing countries for LGBT acceptance.