Mr Gay Ecuador 2017 - Flavio Romero (Supplied)
Mr Gay Ecuador 2017 - Flavio Romero (Supplied)

For the first ever Mr. Gay World representative from Ecuador, Flavio Romero Valdez is calling on all of his community, especially those that are straight, to help strengthen the union between people of different sexual orientations.

In an exclusive interview with Eikon, Romero spoke about his excitement to be heading to Spain in May to compete against the rest of the world in something that he didn’t even know existed before this year.

At the finals, Romero will also launch his own campaign called “My Best Friend Is Gay” where he is encouraging everyone to remove the barriers between people of different sexual orientations.

The 27-year-old is from coastal province of Manabi in Ecuador. This region suffered a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April last year where more than 600 people died and more than 16,000 people were injured.

Romero is very proud of his country and the way they have managed to move forward following the disaster and work hard to rebuild the country since that day.

Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 - Flavio Romero (Supplied)
Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 – Flavio Romero (Supplied)

“As a coastal Ecuadorian I am proud of where I am from and proud of the hardworking people who went ahead after that day,” Romero explained to Eikon.

Romero studies Arts at University and is a professional dancer working in the National Ballet of Ecuador.

In fact, following the earthquake, it was his family that really supported his inclusion in the Mr. Gay World competition.

“It was my brothers who from the beginning demonstrated their love and support to be a candidate for the mister gay world Ecuador.

“They motivated me to be in this event.”

The first ever Mr. Gay Ecuador contest was held between seven finalists who all prepared strongly for the final held in February in the Ecuadorian Capital of Quito.

Contestants walked down the runway in swimwear, traditional outfits and formal wear. They were also expected to learn about the country’s LGBT rights issues and these formed a large part of the final judging which saw Romero take out the title.

Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 - Flavio Romero (Supplied)
Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 – Flavio Romero (Supplied)

Juan Carlos Cevallos is the first runner-up and he won the prize to the best traditional outfit while the best visage prize went to Christian Barzola who was also the second runner-up.

Romero said the opportunity to visit Spain and to learn more about LGBT rights from the other countries is what is exciting him the most.

“I want to contribute my knowledge and transmit positivism to all other candidates.

“I want to exchange ideas to contribute to my own LGBTI community and help the rest of the world understand more about Ecuador.

“I have not had the opportunity to talk to other participants yet but I have seen photos and videos of them. They are very handsome and I really love what they do and anyone could become the new mister gay world.”

Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 - Flavio Romero (Supplied)
Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 – Flavio Romero (Supplied)

Romero believes his spontaneity, passion for solidarity and his smile will capture the hearts of the judges in Spain.

He hopes to make a lot of friends and hopefully get over the language barrier (Spanish speaker) by smiling a lot which will help build friendship sand convey trust.

“I want people to love what makes them happy. I am an example of that, I am Latin I love my country I love being who I am.

“The change begins with me so to get help for my Ecuadorian Latino Society and why not tell the world.

Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 - Flavio Romero (Supplied)
Mr Gay World Ecuador 2017 – Flavio Romero (Supplied)

“I will launch my campaign with straight sexual people who will help me to strengthen the union between people of different sexual orientation.

“My campaign will be called: MY BEST FRIEND IS GAY …. all united by an inclusive world.”

Flavio Romero is one of more than 20 delegates from around the world that will descend on Spain in May for the 2017 Mr. Gay World Finals.

For more information visit our special Mr. Gay World page including videos and where to vote for your favourite.

Eikon will be live from Madrid and Maspalomas through the entire Mr. Gay World competition so to stay in touch follow us across our social media here.