Mr Gay Scotland has been stripped of his title.
The formerly reigning Mr Gay Scotland Jamie Love had objected to having to fund a £1,000 trip to Stockholm to compete in Mr Gay Europe. He said he thought it would be a better use of his time to attend the West Lothian Pride in Scotland instead.
But Mr Gay Europe moved to remove the 20-year-old’s title. Love was asked to turn in his sash.
Ross Gunning, the model’s manager, said they were “shocked” at the decision, and that they had expected that the Mr Gay Europe organisers would support Love’s decision to attend a local pride.
But the organisers say the title is only awarded if the participant agrees to compete in the European competition.
Love said: “I was asked to support young LGBTI people in Scotland at a voluntary event called West Lothian Pride this weekend, when Mr Gay Europe is taking place. I expected Mr Gay Europe to support me in attending this. When I told them that I would not be attending the competition they basically said, ‘cool, give back your sash.’”
Gunning told Deadline: “I was shocked that Mr Gay Europe didn’t fund the trip. I would have thought if they wanted Jamie to come they would pay for it. Mr Gay Europe weren’t giving Jamie any promotion on their social media, they weren’t promoting us. He was asked to do West Lothian Pride event, and he thought, ‘I’d rather do that’.”
But the managing director of Mr Gay Europe, Stuart Hatton, said: “Jamie’s title of Mr Gay Scotland was tied in to him representing his country in the competition. Jamie did not win the title of Mr Gay Scotland 2016, he applied online alongside other candidates from the UK and he was chosen as the Mr Gay Europe representative for Scotland and was therefore our Scottish delegate.
“If Jamie or indeed anyone else would like to call themselves Mr Gay Scotland, that is up to them, but it cannot be associated with Mr Gay Europe.”
He added: “Contestants were told that they would have to pay for their travel to the competition, but once within the care of Mr Gay Europe all accommodation, food, expenses and travel throughout the competition stay would be paid for by The Mr Gay Europe company.”
Mr Gay Europe started on Friday in Stockholm, where the delegates are invited to take part in the Stockholm Pride. The contestants will then journey through Northern Scandinavia to Norway, where the finale occurs next Friday.