This year’s winner of International Mister Spain has come out as gay, just days after he won the competition.
Freshly-crowned Daniel Rodriguez, an aspiring actor, didn’t just beat tough competition in the form of 47 other men vying for the title – he also made history as the first gay winner of the competition.
In an exclusive interview with ABC, the 23-year-old said he never spoke about his sexuality during the competition because he thought it unnecessary and ‘didn’t see it as a reason why I couldn’t claim the title’.
His family and friends never had a problem with his sexuality, Rodriguez said, and although there has been some criticism regarding his election, he had a clear message for those saying a gay man can’t win a Mister contest because women couldn’t conquer him.
‘I don’t understand why. A homosexual can be as masculine as a heterosexual,’ he said.
‘Regardless of my orientation I can seduce women, too.’
While there has been some criticism, Rodriguez said it didn’t affect him, because it was the jury’s choice – not to mention there have been plenty of supportive comments on social media.
He said he hoped being open about his homosexuality won’t affect his professional career or, indeed, any friendships he forged during the competition, as he became good friends with some of his colleagues.
But when asked whether he had been attracted to one of his colleagues, his answer was all charm.
‘I can assure you that has not happened to me,’ he said.
‘But I have not had a free minute.’