The third annual Mr. Gay Taiwan is happening this October 29! After three categories — formal wear, casual wear and swimwear — and a question round, the winner will be sent to the Mr. Gay World 2017 competition! We’re taking a look at the hosts and all the contestants. Mr. Gay Taiwan is proudly sponsored by the gay social app Hornet.
Bouncy Babs is one of the featured performers at Mr. Gay Taiwan, as well she should be! She’s from South Africa, but she moved to Taipei 13 years ago to become one of the most vivacious queens in Taiwan. She agreed to sit down with Unicorn Booty for an interview — and she was fabulous as always!
Unicorn Booty: What’s it like being gay in Taiwan?
Bouncy Babs: It’s a double-edged sword. Dating can be challenging because of the ‘language barrier’ or ‘cultural barrier’ but this country — and the people, both local & expats — has also given me a SAFE space to explore my sexuality. This allowed me to accept who I am: A free & spirited sexual being that only wants love & equality.
Why is Mr. Gay Taiwan important?
Mr. Gay Taiwan promotes awareness on various social issues. It also highlights the value of being free to live authentic lives. Living your life open and free should not be a hindrance to anybody. We are all different…yet the same.
At first, I wasn’t a big fan of the event, to be honest — competitions like this can easily turn into ‘crotch bouncing’ contests. [Laughs.] Well, I wasn’t until I’ve seen the impact this event had on people — and also the true bravery of the current Mr. Gay Taiwan and organizers. It transcends the expected code of morality and gender roles within society.
The community is still not 100 percent on board, which makes it hard for the organizers to push for more exposure. We’ve done some fundraisers but it’s tough to convince “keyboard-activists” to be more visible in helping to create awareness. Talking to a face is always more effective than talking to a phone or a computer screen.
We should definitely be thankful & grateful for all the years of grassroots level activism, and the people who marched the streets & fought for more acceptance. They made it possible for us to even have an event like Mr. Gay Taiwan.
What’s next after October 29?
We’re obviously going to celebrate the night away, but the work starts immediately. We need more help to create a steady platform for the winner — including financially — to help him represent us at the Mr. Gay World competition. We need friends from the media & LGBTQI supporting businesses to get onboard.
How is the queer scene changing in Taiwan?
In the last 13 years I’ve been living here, the options for us has grown enormously — as has the LGBTQ community. When I first came here, we only had a handful of places to go to, but now we are slowly but surely growing into a massive and gorgeous li’l beast! [Laughs.] Lesbians and gay men here don’t really party together, and that’s what we are trying to change with our monthly C.U.M (Create Ur Mmmagic) parties.
Feminine men and boys are still pretty much frowned upon… hence my current single status! (Just joking!) But our drag community is growing, which is friggin’ awe-inspiring! We need more fierce queers mincing the streets of Taiwan! We also have a very successful queer film festival (TIQFF), and many non-government organizations supporting the LGBTQI community.
Finally, why are you personally involved with Mr. Gay Taiwan?
Because fondling these studs backstage gives me LIFE! [Laughs.]