Through this story in The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (obviously not one of my daily reads), about local police officer Mark Carter, who happens to be Mr Gay UK 2006, I learned that there is a Mr Gay Europe competition too, and it's to be held this year in Budapest from 1-5 August.
I've never been completely comfortable with beauty pageants, whether of the 'gay' or the more traditional female variety, but on the other hand I like looking at good-looking men just as much as any other [gay] man. The UK competition isn't shown on terrestrial television any more, although it was shown for a couple of years (about a decade ago) on Five - it was quite good, but always struck me as rather 'louche' rather than simply 'camp', mostly because of how (and by whom) it was organised. However, I do think there is a case for holding this kind of competition and the entrants from some of the eastern European countries are probably pretty courageous, coming as they do from some very conservative societies, in social matters. On that subject it is noticeable that there is no entrant from Russia, one of the most anti-homosexual (as well as being 'homophobic' of course) nations in Europe - I imagine it would be just too dangerous for any entrant from this lovely place to 'come out' to the whole of Europe for fear of what would happen when they returned home. I am a little surprised, but pleased, to see an entrant from Poland, though - and I hope his bravery will not have repercussions back home and the same can be said for several other entrants, too.