Who is Mr Gay Europe 2023? Say hello to Tim Küsters from The Netherlands. Tim is 28 and a digital marketing & communication specialist. Tim has a boyfriend who is also called Tim and is a father of two.
We wanted to dig deeper and get to know more about this year’s winner who for the next twelve months is Mr. Gay Europe.
Everyone has their own reason for wanting to participate in a competition like Mr Gay Europe; Tim, why did you choose to take part in Mr. Gay Europe 2023?
I decided to participate in Mr. Gay Europe because of my passion for the LGBTQIA+ community. Over the past years, I have been advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights in the Netherlands and Belgium. By taking part in the Mr. Gay Europe competition, I had the chance to reach an even larger audience.
How was your experience in England? My week in England was a unique experience filled with excitement, fun, and connections. I got to know a wonderful group of people well in a short time and made friends for life. In our busy schedule of competing, we had the opportunity to do special things like going to the Beamish museum and visiting a 1950s village and get to walk their first Pride Walk, giving a speech to the mayor of South Shields, and working with the other finalists on our project about Mental Health.
The best part about this week was connecting with LGBTQIA+ ambassadors throughout Europe, talking with an expert about mental health and all the different events that were organized for us by Stuart Hatton Jr.
How would you make Mr. Gay Europe better for next year? I would like to see more finalists in next year’s final. We must try to include more European countries. This way we have an ambassador in every country.
What would you say is the most important part of you being the titleholder? I get the chance to use the Mr. Gay Europe platform for spreading awareness about several LGBTQIA+ topics.
What do you hope to get out of the coming year and the title itself? In the coming year, my goal is to raise awareness by enhancing understanding of mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community. This involves reducing stigma by challenging stereotypes, discrimination, and social bias. Additionally, I aim to foster empathy by encouraging compassion and support from allies, and finally, promote resources to highlight available mental health resources and support networks.
What would you say is the biggest challenge for the gay community in Europe right now? Right now, the biggest problems for the gay community in Europe are three things. Firstly, it's hard to get the same rights all across Europe. Some countries have better laws and acceptance than others.
Secondly, not many politicians are focusing on LGBTQIA+ rights. This makes it tough to make positive changes. Lastly, there are more hate crimes happening. People are being mean and hurting LGBTQIA+ individuals. To fix these issues, we need to work together for equal rights, push politicians to care, and stop hate crimes.
The finalists of Mr. Gay Europe 2023 agreed on a mental health project for the winner in the year to come, please, please share your thoughts on this project and how you plan to work with it.
I'm excited about the project we chose with all the 2023 MGE finalists, which focuses on mental health, loneliness, and the power of sharing personal stories. This is important, especially for LGBTQIA+ people where the numbers of mental health issues are higher. My plan is to create a safe place where people can tell their stories and feel like they belong. I'll do workshops, use the internet, and work with mental health experts to make talking about mental health easier, help with loneliness, and give practical advice. By sharing our stories, we can help others understand and make things better for everyone.
Europe is very diverse, how do you think you can be a role model for gay men both in western and eastern parts of Europe, or even the northern and southern parts? And what about lesbians, trans people and everyone else?
In Europe's diverse landscape, I see myself as a role model bridging gaps between gay men in the west and east, as well as the north and south. By sharing common struggles for equality and acceptance, I aim to inspire unity across regions. Additionally, my advocacy extends to lesbians, trans individuals, and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, promoting inclusivity and addressing unique challenges. Through shared stories and representation, I aspire to empower and foster positive change for everyone.
As our titleholder for the next year, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? I'm a kind person, I enjoy sports, and take things seriously. I work hard for my goals and always support others. I’m passionate about LGBTQIA+ right and fight for equality. A bad thing about me is that I have little patience.
We also know you have a boyfriend and children, would you tell us more about them? I met my boyfriend online seven years ago. He's from Belgium and has two children named Nick and Lissa. This made me a plusdad to two children when I was only 22 years old. His children were 13 and 11 years old at that time. A few years later, we started living together in Antwerp, Belgium.
Do you have any hobbies? When I'm not working, I really enjoy hanging out with friends and creating wonderful memories together. Exploring new places through travel is something I'm passionate about. Staying active is important to me, so you'll often find me hitting the gym or engaging in ball sports to stay in shape and have fun.
You are now going to be a role model for others, but do you have any role models or idols yourself? I have a few role models; Marsha P. Johnson because she was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Nikki Tutorials for uplifting the Trans community and also Josh Cavallo because of being an openly active gay soccer player.
And finally, just for fun: Party time or snuggle at home? Snuggle at home. Beer, wine, or cocktail? Wine. Adventures or romance? Adventures. Early bird or night owl? Night owl. Tiger or pussycat? Tiger. Car, bus, or bike? Car. Favorite music: Beyonce. Favorite holiday destination: Spain. Your perfect date: Going to the beach, drinking a cocktail, eating tapas, visiting a foreign city.