Muslim man crowned Mr Gay World Thailand set to compete globally in October

Nazmadih Mateem Nujan, centre, winner of this year's Mr Gay World Thailand. Picture courtesy of Mr Gay World Thailand Facebook.

A 30 year old Muslim man from southern Thailand has made history by winning the Mr Gay World Thailand competition and will represent the Thai LGBTQ+ community at the Mr Gay World 2023 contest in October later this year.

Nazmadih Mateem Nujan, an outdoor fitness instructor, clinched the title at the event hosted by Bangkok Rainbow Organisation at Mambo Cabaret. He is set to fly to South Africa to participate in the global competition from October 23–29, becoming the first Muslim to represent Thailand at Mr Gay World.

In a recent interview, Nazmadih discussed his experiences as an openly gay man living in a Muslim society. Despite the potential for discrimination, he praised his family and community in Kuan Prab Village, Phatthalung, for offering unwavering support, Bangkok Post reported.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that some misconceptions might persist within the diverse Muslim community. According to Nazmadih, it is crucial to communicate with those who may misunderstand. He noted that numerous LGBTQ+ Muslims possess strong faith yet struggle to remain devout due to external pressures claiming they are in the wrong.

Nazmadih credits his family and community for empowering him to be courageous and authentic. Winning the title of Mr Gay World Thailand as the first gay Muslim to do so might inspire other LGBTQ+ Muslims to embrace their true selves while remaining committed followers of their faith.

Now in its fifth instalment, the annual Mr Gay World Thailand competition began in 2017 but experienced postponements in 2021 and 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s event, themed “This is Me,” featured 29 contestants, including one profoundly deaf participant.

Highlighting the importance of such contests, Kittinun Daramadhaj, chairman of the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, emphasised that LGBTQ+ individuals often face accusations of being “sexually abnormal” or “unnatural.” Events like Mr Gay World Thailand play a vital role in showcasing the positive aspects of LGBTQ+ sexuality to the public.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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