Justin Laevens Source: Mr. Gay Belgium

Belgian Professional Cyclist Justin Laevens Hopes To Be Next Mr. Gay Belgium


When Belgian professional cyclist Justin Laevens came out in 2021, he sent shock waves through the sport, writes Outsports. At the age of 19, he was one of the first athletes in the sport to come out, which led to much discussion in the sport.

"Laevens was with his team, Proximus-Cyclis-Alphamotorhomes, for another two years, but he moved on too, announcing the end of his pro cycling career in February 2023," reports Outsports.

"The last few years have been with ups but mostly with downs," he wrote on Instagram, thanking his boyfriend Marlon, among others. But during that time he gained confidence in his sexuality to the point that he is in the running to become the next Mr. Gay Belgium, the first step to becoming Mr. Gay Europe.

"My participation in Mr Gay Belgium came very unexpectedly," Laevens tells Outsports.

"I came out of the closet in cycling and a lot was thrown at me. I'd like to share my experience with other athletes who are still stuck in the closet.

"I hope to win the title in order to achieve my goal in the sports world."

While his professional cycling career was rocky, his coming out wasn't, largely due to his supportive parents and the larger community who reached out to him when he went public.

"Fortunately, I received many positive reactions and I could go to the competitions with peace of mind," he says. He gained thousands of new followers on social media and won an LGBTQ+ media personality award at the end of 2021 from OUTtv.

He says he often receives "requests for photo shoots, to judge drag queen shows and to attend fun events" – but he takes advocating for other LGBTQ+ athletes very seriously.

His advice for young athletes was right to the point:

"Be yourself and take enough time for yourself. Talk to friends and family about it at your own pace and keep focusing on being happy and liking yourself."

Laevens is competing with 11 other finalists for Mr. Gay Belgium, which enters its tenth edition this year. To see the other candidates and to vote, visit the Mr. Gay Belgium website.

Laevens is soliciting votes on social media, saying "I'd be extremely grateful to all those who vote for me."

The final of the pageant is in late August, with the winner going on to compete in Mr Gay Europe and possibly Mr Gay World too.

Check out pics from Laevens' Instagram:

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