Sexy chef Jordan Bruno is the first ever Australian winner of the Mr Gay World competition.
21 delegates from each country participated in the four-day competition, held last weekend (26-27 May) in Knysna, South Africa.
It was the 10th annual Mr Gay World competition.
‘I couldn’t believe I actually won,’ Jordan told Gay Star News. ‘I didn’t realize it meant so much to me either.’
He added: ‘I really wasn’t there for the title but to be acknowledged by incredible LGBTI role models really meant a lot.’
During the competition, each entry is judged on their previous LGBTI activism, the goals they want to achieve after the competition, leadership qualities, physical fitness, knowledge of LGBTI history and how well they perform when being photographed and interviewed.
Coming in second was Ricky Devine-White from New Zealand and third was Samarpan Maiti from India.
Jordan said: ‘[It] was so challenging and extremely competitive. They were long days and I found it extensively draining – emotionally and physically.’
The rise to the top
Jordan Bruno is from Perth in Australia and came out as gay at the age of 19.
But his family did not initially react well to the news.
Jordan explained: ‘Mama was crying saying “Everything I want for you is dead” and my dad distanced himself and became even more quiet.
‘It took about three months for them to really come to terms with things and in hindsight, I think it empowered our relationship and even made us closer,’ he said.
They became so close that they decided to enter the popular Australian reality television show, My Kitchen Rules.
Competing as a duo, they made it to the semi-finals. Jordan also became the first openly gay contestant on the show, but says the producers cut his sexuality out of the final edit.
Jordan explained: ‘Before I entered the show, I told my mom it was important for me to be openly gay and visible on the show so young kids could see that there are people like them.
‘Unfortunately, the producers cut my sexuality from the show, so I used social media and media platforms across Australia to voice my disappointment.
‘It was from here that I started becoming a voice for the LGBTI community,’ he said.
He now describes his sexuality as ‘extremely gay’ and is unapologetic living out and proud.
How Jordan Bruno ended up in Mr Gay World
After the show finished, he began a career as a TV chef and even started his own LGBTI cooking school.
Then along came the Mr Gay Australia competition. Jordan said his friend Freddy actually entered him into the competition because he thought he’d make a ‘good candidate’.
Jordan explains his thought process at the time: ‘We had just achieved marriage equality and I was heavily involved so I guess it was a natural progression to do something like this next.’
He won Mr Gay Australia and then flew off to South Africa for the Mr Gay World competition.
‘A lot of people had spent several months practicing and preparing for the challenges,’ Jordan revealed. ‘I’m extremely passionate about LGBTI issues and highly emotional so to discuss them for a week really made me feel vulnerable.’
He said he’s working with a production company to release a line of videos covering issues like femme-shaming, bottom-shaming, lesbian inclusion, transgender awareness and body-shaming.
He’s also going to release a line of LGBTI cook books. All of the profits will go to LGBTI charities in countries where it’s challenging to be out and proud.
And boys – he’s single.
He said: ‘I’m looking for someone who is passionate about LGBTI rights, has family values and someone looking for an emotional, spiritual and physical connection.
‘They also have to love carbs and dogs,’ he joked.