He has more than 40,000 instagram followers, a YouTube channel and works as a Property Developer, but for David Francis the chance to fight for what he believes in has led him to be announced as the Australian representative for the 2017 Mr. Gay World competition.
The 29 year old is aiming to become the first Australian ever to win the illustrious title when the finals are held in Spain during May. Held since 2009, Mr Gay World is not just a beauty pageant, but demonstrates that both inward beauty and physical appearance are equally important in the gay world as is leadership and confidence.
David Francis is taking on the challenge after Australia failed to send a representative in 2016. He believes with his charity work and the influence he has across social media, he can be a genuine voice for the gay community in Australia and more broadly around the world.
“The Mr Gay World competition is an internationally recognised platform that encourages all its representatives to have their own voice in the LGBTIQA+ community and fight for what they believe in on issues such as acceptance, equality and respect. I want to be that voice,” explained David.
“Like most LGBTIQA+ youth, growing up wasn’t easy for me, being bullied about my sexuality when it wasn’t even something I had thought about let alone even understood at the time. As a consequence, my self-confidence took a battering where I found it hard to even believe in myself. But somehow, I was one of the lucky ones who were able to weather the storm.”
David works in property development as well as giving his time as an ambassador and mentor for StartOut Australia, a mental health promotion non-profit, developing an online mentoring program that will provide access to role models for young Diverse Sexuality and Gender people.
Even though David has battled distress, hardship and the feeling of hopelessness he firmly believes you can’t let anything get in the way of the goals you set for yourself.
“I feel I have a responsibility to set an example and share my experiences so that young LGBTIQA+ people know that others have been through similar situations and made it through adversity,” said David. “Representing Australia and winning the Mr Gay World title in 2017 would be such an amazing opportunity to spread these messages of unity and support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
“It would prove to the teenage version of myself that you can become somebody you never in your wildest dreams thought you could become; the person you needed when you were growing up. But most importantly, it would be a platform from which to inspire, encourage and empower other young people who might be struggling, to take control of their lives and believe in themselves to achieve anything they set their mind to.”
Director of Mr Gay World Asia, Africa and Oceania Igor Scheurkogel said he wishes David all the best and knows he will make all of Australia proud.
“David is one of those individuals that has been through what so many young people today do not understand about being bullied for who you are and not just your sexuality. It makes you question who you are and what is your purpose,” said Mr Scheurkogel.
“But he rose higher and represents the kind of person the Mr Gay World brand wants: A role model and some that the youth, especially the youth can look up to. His sense of understanding of the LGBTIQA+ community and taking this opportunity of Mr Gay Pride Australia to inspire the people around himself and greater Australia is what we need today in this world of turmoil.”
Image: David Francis (supplied)