Well known as one of the biggest pageants in the LGBTI+ community is, of course, Mr Gay World South Africa, and the 2019 pageant is about to kick off with another year of fabulous contestants and extravaganza.

Of course, there have been many entrants to this prestigious competition and 27-year-old Martin Headger from Johannesburg is one of them.

“I don’t have a six-pack or a stereotypical, gym-honed pageant physique. However, this is not going to stop me from competing – or challenging the status quo. Earning this title is just the first step in my journey,” says Headger.

Pageants often have the reputation of being nothing more than beauty contests. We often have a clear cut idea of what the winner will look like, and how they’ll be promoting their title, however, Headger is keen to throw all that to the wind.

“I believe that being a titleholder means more than promoting yourself, rather, it is an opportunity to promote an LGBT+Me cause that’s close to your heart,” says Headger.

Recently Martin has ventured back into project management where he goes into companies and creates, pitches and executes projects aimed at improving the lives of the LGBT+Me community in those workplaces.

“Creating and sustaining a positive, accepting, diverse and inclusive working environment is important. We’re all judged and critiqued for some or other reason, but being your authentic self should never be one of the reasons,” he adds.

Even before becoming the winner of the Pride of Africa Award for the Most influential weblog in 2018, Headger has stepped out of his comfort zone and decided to flaunt his flaws. It is his hope that this would inspire others to find the confidence to face their insecurities or overcome their fears. “I just want young people who don’t fit the mould that there is a place for them in society and if they can’t find that place, they should go out and make it for themselves,” concludes Headger.

The Mr Gay World South Africa competition has started and voting takes via SMS till Sunday 31 March.

The Mr Gay World Competition takes place between the 28 April and 4 May 2019.

SMS: MGWSA to 45509. Each SMS costs R1.50

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