Miss Gay Nicaragua to fight homophobia

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Miss Gay Nicaragua
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Miss Gay Nicaragua to fight homophobia
In this Friday, June 20, 2014 photo, Carlos Castro, 19, holds his crown as he hugs his mother Claudia Gonzales after winning this year's annual Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty pageant in Managua, Nicaragua. It was the culmination of a lot of work by the 19-year-old agronomy student, who represented the province of Leon, and received a tiara valued at $2,000, a $5,000 cash prize. Castro will now have the opportunity to travel to Thailand as Nicaragua's representative in Miss Queen International. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Friday, June 20, 2014 photo, a contestant competes in the annual Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest in Managua, Nicaragua. Contestants paraded down the stage of a hotel auditorium in Managua last week in exuberant traditional dresses, evening gowns embellished with sequin and feathers and in swimsuits as they competed in the beauty pageant. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Friday, June 20, 2014 photo, last year's Miss Gay Nicaragua, Elizabeth Rios, does her hair in the kitchen of the hotel where this year's Miss Gay beauty pageant is hosted in Managua, Nicaragua. Contestants paraded down the stage of a hotel auditorium in Managua last week in exuberant traditional dresses, evening gowns embellished with sequin and feathers and in swimsuits as they competed in the beauty pageant. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Friday, June 20, 2014, photo, a contestant competes in the annual Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest in Managua, Nicaragua. Contestants paraded down the stage of a hotel auditorium in Managua last week in exuberant traditional dresses, evening gowns embellished with sequin and feathers and in swimsuits as they competed in the beauty pageant. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Friday, June 20, 2014, photo, former Miss Gay Nicaragua 2013 Elizabeth Rios, center left wearing the crown, kisses a contestant competing in this year's beauty pageant in Managua, Nicaragua. Contestants paraded down the stage of a hotel auditorium in Managua last week in exuberant traditional dresses, evening gowns embellished with sequin and feathers and in swimsuits as they competed in the beauty pageant. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Saturday, June 21, 2014 photo, this year's winner of Miss Gay Nicaragua, Carlos Castro, is reflected in a mirror as he does his makeup for his crowning and presentation ceremony in Managua, Nicaragua. Castro, who represented the province of Leon, received a tiara valued for $2,000, a $5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to travel to Thailand as Nicaragua's representative in Miss Queen International. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Friday, June 20, 2014 photo, contestants perform at the annual Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest in Managua, Nicaragua. For six months prior to the pageant, contestants attended workshops about sexual diversity and HIV. They also visited people living with HIV, and helped young victims of discrimination by buying them food and corrugated metal sheets for their homes. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Saturday, June 21, 2014 photo, this year's Miss Gay Nicaragua, Carlos Castro, left, and last year's Miss Gay Nicaragua, Elizabeth Rios, are reflected in a make-up mirror as they get ready for Castro's crowning ceremony and presentation in Managua, Nicaragua. Castro, known as Amerika Ithzell Korkobas Berdrinadxy, will now visit several provinces as Miss Gay Nicaragua to raise awareness about sexual diversity and gender identity, and to help fight discrimination. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Saturday, June 21, 2014, photo, beauty pageant finalists prepare for the crowning and presentation of this year's Miss Gay Nicaragua winner in Managua, Nicaragua. For six months prior to the pageant, contestants attended workshops about sexual diversity and HIV. They also visited people living with HIV, and helped young victims of discrimination by buying them food and corrugated metal sheets for their homes. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Contestants compete in the 2012 Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest at the Ruben Dario National Theatre in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 28, 2012. Bismark Martinez pictured center, went on to win the contest. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A contestant dresses backstage of the Ruben Dario National Theatre to compete in the 2012 Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest, in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Finalists competing in the 2012 Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest rest backstage of the Ruben Dario National Theatre in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Contestants compete in the 2012 Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest at the Ruben Dario National Theatre in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A man pauses to look at himself in the mirror while applying make-up prior to participating in the annual Miss Gay Nicaragua on Saturday Feb. 18, 2006. The Miss Gay Nicaragua is an annual pageant held to promote equal rights for gays. The real names of the participants are ommited. (AP Photo/Ariel Leon)
Two gay men apply thier make-up prior to participating in the annual Miss Gay Nicaragua on Saturday Feb. 18, 2006. The Miss Gay Nicaragua is an annual pageant held to promote equal rights for gays. The real names of the participants are ommited. (AP Photo/Ariel Leon)
Gay men await the decision of the jury of the annual Miss Gay Nicaragua on Saturday Feb. 18, 2006. The Miss Gay Nicaragua is an annual pageant held to promote equal rights for gays. The real names of the participants are ommited. (AP Photo/Ariel Leon)
A dancer poses for a picture after performing in the 2012 Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest in a backstage kitchen area of the Ruben Dario National Theatre in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Danceres prepare backstage of the Ruben Dario National Theatre for their performance in the 2012 Miss Gay Nicaragua beauty contest in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, April 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - Carlos Castro hugged his mother and wept after the announcer named him Miss Gay Nicaragua 2014. It was the culmination of a lot of work by the 19-year-old agronomy student and the beginning of a lot more.

Castro, known as Amerika Ithzell Korkobas Berdrinadxy, will now visit several provinces in the Central American nation in the role of Miss Gay Nicaragua seeking to raise awareness about sexual diversity and gender identity and to help fight discrimination.

"I'm happy, ecstatic, satisfied because the work was not easy. There were months of catwalk, makeup that helped me and other beauty queens to prepare," said Castro, who won the contest in a shiny purple gown decorated with beads and rhinestones. "I think the judges liked my charisma and my humility and that I'm crazy on the runway."

Dozens of contestants paraded down the stage of a hotel auditorium in Managua last week wearing exuberant traditional dresses, evening gowns embellished with sequin and feathers and in swimsuits as they competed in the beauty pageant.

Castro, who represented the province of Leon, received a tiara valued at $2,000, a cash prize of $5,000 and the opportunity to travel to Thailand as Nicaragua's representative in Miss Queen International.

For six months prior to the pageant, contestants attended workshops about sexual diversity and HIV. They also visited people living with HIV, and helped young victims of discrimination by buying them food and corrugated metal sheets to strengthen their homes.

"The event is important to raise awareness in society, for people who are sexually diverse to be united and for the girls to start enriching their gender identity," said Miss Gay Nicaragua's organizer, Julio Sanchez. "It's also a way to fight against homophobia."

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