For the first time, an openly gay man has been crowned Mister Spain, a beauty pageant that is very popular in the country.
Daniel Rodriguez, 23, from Tenerife, beat out 47 other contestants to win the contest and his declaration of being openly gay was big news in Spain. When asked whether a gay man should be crowned Mr. Spain, he replied: "A homosexual can be as manly as a heterosexual." He also said that he can easily seduce women, though he chooses not to. Looking at his photo, he isn't lying.
Outsports reader Jeff, a corporate lawyer who considers Spain his second home, emailed me about the importance of the win:
"In Spain the media pays a lot of attention to different pageants — Miss Espana, Miss World, Mister Gay Espana, Mr. Gay World (which has been won by several Spaniards over the years) — and the winners (both the men and woman) appear on lots of televisions news broadcasts and talk shows. Daniel's case is different in that it's the first time that the winner of this specific contest has announced that he's gay upon winning and will now compete in the international contest as a gay man."
Rodriguez credits sports, especially running and weight training for his body. Swimsuit was, naturally, part of the competition. He said he is open with his family and friends and has never hidden his sexual orientation. When asked whether there were other gay contestants, he joked: "Although they say that we have a radar to recognize others, I'm pretty bad at that."
A shot of Rodriguez, left, with a guy on the beach: