By: Unfolding Media
1 October 2015
On Saturday 26 September, the first Mr and Miss Pretoria Gay Pride pageant took place on Funny Farm Lodge near Cullinan (Pretoria), during the four-day FabFest festival.
Steph Jansen van Vuuren (31) was crowned Mr Pretoria Gay Pride 2015 along with Victoria Styles (21), crowned as Miss Pretoria Gay Pride 2015.
Jansen van Vuuren (also Mr Mardi Gras 2015) said in an interview “This is only the start for the impact the pageant will make in the LGBTI community and only the beginning of great things to come.” Jansen van Vuuren also won Mr Congeniality, Mr Photogenic and the Best Media Award.
The five ‘Mr finalists’ were Christo Snyman (23), Heinricht Meintjies (26), Pierre Eksteen (30), Pieter Pretorius (28), and Steph Jansen van Vuuren. The four ‘Miss finalists’ were Amber Szolinski (20), Camilla Coppertone (44), KourtneyB Lane (36) and Victoria Styles.
Styles said that for her it was “an absolute adventure, being part of this pioneering project and branching out to the community is such a privilege and honour, and the organisers and judges, just made it all the better”. Styles also walked away with the title Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Extravagance.
The finals came after a very successful meet-and-greet with the judges and organizers earlier this month at Nuvo Cuisine in Pretoria East. It was decided to hold the finals a week before Pretoria Gay Pride, so that the winners can spend the day interacting with their fellow LGBTI members and to be fully prepared to lead the parade on the 3rd of October.
“The winners have been chosen by a very credible judging panel. Each winner had a 20- to 30-minute personal interview with the judges, and at Nuvo Cuisine they all spent several hours with the contestants to get to know their personalities, how they interact with people, and what their views are on various LGBTI problems. We wanted winners who share the ideology of being an inspiring representative of the LGBTI community with a passion for life, and to be a role model for future generations with good values”, said Frans Zeelie, Operations Manager for the pageant. “The winners also had to sign a formal contract valid until the following year’s winners are chosen”.
The judges selected were Marelize Gloy (advising attorney at law and judged various orators competitions at Universities since 2007); Gary Scallan (judged LGBTI pageants in the late 80’s and early 90’s, owner at Barbet Communications and Councillor in Ekurhuleni Municipality for the Democratic Alliance); Megan Carreira (a very known figure in the LGBTI community, a former Miss Mardi Gras, a former Miss Diva SA and practising attorney at law) and then lastly Karl-Heinz Michel (Production Manager for the pageant, singer and model, Mr Legends 2009, and a finalist for Mr Gay South Africa 2010).
“Steph and Victoria are true ambassadors for the Gauteng LGBTI community, and I look forward to seeing them grow and excel in their futures” said Michel.
Pierre Steenkamp won the title of Mr Body Beautiful, is the 1st ‘Mr runner-up’ and will be joining Jansen van Vuuren and Styles at Pretoria Gay Pride on Saturday. KourtneyB Lane is the 1st ‘Miss runner-up’.