For the first time, an out Muslim man is a finalist in the Mister Gay Belgium contest, a precursor to the international Mr Gay World competition.
Bijat Abdellah is a 22-year-old student of Moroccan descent who’s been out since 2013. He entered the competition, he says on his profile, to challenge stereotypes surrounding Islam and to represent LGBT people from different cultures.
While there have been other Muslim contestants in the Mr. Gay Belgium pageant, they have dropped out due to family pressure.
Abdellah (above, far left) is a real cutie, with a charming smile and what seems to be a fun personality. He’s thoughtful too, as he explains how reconciles being both a practicing Muslim and an out gay man: “In the Koran it says that we should be tolerant and open. That means respecting others, no matter what their preferences are.”
Mr. Gay World 2017 will be held April 19-23 in Malta. You can vote for Bijat here.
Below, get a closer look at Bijat Abdellah on his Instagram feed.
Good luck, Bijat.