After losing Mr. Bear Europe, Gabriel Yalda, a 26-year-old make-up artist and LGBT activist from Austria, proposed to his boyfriend.
Yalda narrowly lost Mr Bear Europe. After an online vote and a final performance in Cologne, the title went to Mr Bear Netherlands, Henk Heijenga.
The winner said: “I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support, the nice words and of course the voting for me. Without you, it would not have worked out.”
But runner-up Yalda had a surprise in store for the crowd, even before the final result was announced. In front of the audience, he got up on stage to propose to his 48-year-old partner, Csaba Toth – who currently holds the title of Mr Bear Hungary.
Yalda asked: ‘Do you want to marry me?’
His proposal was answered with a yes, even before he could get down on one knee and show Toth his engagement ring.
“I was super nervous, because that was just before the final – no one knew about my plans, and I hardly knew what to say, just because of nervousness: the choice and the application,” Yalda recalls to Asutrian LGBTI website GGG.
In addition to Yalda, who is also active for Aidshilfe Wien, Toth is also an active member of the community: he has been running a gymnasium in Budapest for twelve years and is organizing a gala to raise money for Hungarian aid.
So far the couple haven’t set a date when they will tie the knot. Austria and Hungary do not have marriage equality; same-sex couples can enter civil partnerships.
We love these adorable bears! The two are a real bear-power pair and we love that Yalda made his Mr. Bear Europe into a huge win.