Igor Scheurkogel, Director of Mr. Gay Taiwan, on the Importance of Community
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.
Igor Scheurkogel is the director of the Mr. Gay Taiwan pageant — and he’s had experience. In 2013, he was one of the top ten contestants in Mr. Gay South Africa. Though he’s from South Africa, Scheurkogel has lived in Taiwan for over 11 years. He’s got brains as well as brawn, too — he’s working on his Ph.D in political science, with an emphasis on Chinese, Asian and Pacific studies. Somehow he also finds the time to run an NGO in South Africa for social developmental issues.
Unicorn Booty: Why is Mr. Gay Taiwan so important?
Igor Scheurkogel: Young people in Taiwan need a role model; someone to stand up in the spotlight for those who have no voice. Furthermore, the more voices we have for the LGBTQ community, the louder our call for equality will become.
What is gay activism like in Taiwan?
Taiwan is very populous and very few people take individual action. Thus, it’s hard sometimes to get people interested or to build up hype. Unfortunately, certain good causes lose impact or motivation, due to a lack of support.
What is your involvement is the Mr. Gay Taiwan and Mr. Gay World organization?
I was a top 10 contestant for Mr. Gay South Africa in 2013 and it allowed me to see a side of the LGBTQ community that I would not have seen if I didn’t take the risk to part take in the event. It’s more that just a beauty event — it’s a different way of getting a message across.
While Taiwanese society is starting to understand and accept the LGBTQ community even more —the national legislature is possibly on the verge of legalizing same-sex marriages in Taiwan — there is still so much division in the LGBTQ community. The different groups only come together at Pride, but otherwise never interact. Everyone is trying to be the hero themselves instead of making our voices louder together. If we do not unite, we are going to fall apart and society will judge us accordingly.