Tiger Shigetake has already made a speech at the United Nations and has been a part of Human Rights Watch in Japan all before the age of 21 but now the current Mr Gay Japan takes on one of his life long dreams, to compete at Mr Gay World.
The lifelong Tokyo boy has a strong British English accent which is a surprise when you first meet him. But he also has the uncanny knack of being able to speak in many different languages, something that may surprise delegates heading to Cape Town for Mr Gay World this week.
“My Mother grew up in hong kong and I was very privileged to be taught the UK English and I stuck with it,” Shigetake explained to Gay Nation.
“I’m Quite nervous [about the competition], quite scared to be honest but very excited to meet the other delegates and their perspectives to widen my world view.
“My prize for winning is to be able to get to know a lot of people from different countries and get to know their justice and activism for being there and the work in their country.
“I’m quite privileged because I come from a country where I can go outside and hold hands with a man and not be beaten up or something. Some people from different countries are not as privileged and so I would really love to spend more time with them across the week.”
Mr Gay japan used to watch Mr Gay World as a child and always dreamed of being at the event so being a part of the Mr Gay Japan competition was a great first step.
“I was the biggest fan of the Mr Gay World competition and now I’m just like one of them and now I’m going to be on stage which I used to watch as a child.
“Mr Gay Japan is a little smaller and very new, we had about five delegates at the end and a big influence on women’s rights and LGBTQ rights and on things that we want to accomplish.
“I had a lot of background already I have spoken at the United Nations and worked with the Human Rights Watch so I was a little bit more ahead in terms of knowing the situations of what is really discrimination in this country so I think that was helpful.”
The week ahead is important for Shigetake as he wants to build a platform where people can speak freely about LGBTQ issues and to make education more accessible than for those that don’t have the resources.
“It’s a slow process but a very important process.
“We are all from clearly different cultures but I come from a very different culture where sexuality and everything to LGBTQ is super openly talked about on media, manga and movies and stuff.
“But I also come from a culture where that is complete fantasy and in real life workplaces, schools and at home people cannot come out easily so that’s one thing that is very interesting.
“I come from a very intricate culture that nobody understands, not even Japanese people not even those that study Japan.
Our sort of injustice is not the stereotypical injustice that people face generally.
Mr Gay Japan will join 23 others from around the globe for Mr Gay World in Cape Town South Africa from April 28 to May 4 and Gay Nation will be there to cover all the action.
Last Updated on Apr 28, 2019