Raf Van Puymbroeck beat out nine other finalists for the top spot
After becoming Mr. Gay Belgium last May, Raf Van Puymbroeck secured the title of Mr. Gay Europe over the weekend.
Van Puymbroeck, 21, was crowned at the closing ceremony of the pageant this past Friday in Oppdal, Norway.
As part of the ultimate round of competition, Raf, along with nine other finalists, participated in workshops and congresses in which they were challenged to defend their worldviews in debates with journalists and politicians.
Raf, a trained dancer who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, focused on “sports and diversity” in his interviews, stressing the need for LGBT acceptance in sports.
“The whole week has been a roller-coaster with ups and downs, but this trophy is the icing on the cake,” Raf Van Puymbroeck told reporters following the announcement that he’d been named Mr. Gay Europe.
“I want to inspire people. I want to be a role model, even at my young age.”
Van Puymbroeck will now serve as an ambassador for the organization, traveling across Europe promoting LGBT inclusion in the world of sports.