I feel proud to be able to represent the GLBT community in New Zealand. While running for the title I was humbled by the support and comments I received from friends as well as from total strangers on Facebook where the online vote took place.
How are your preparations for Mr Gay World going?
I am quite happy with it; there are several parts to it. Of course the planning of the journey itself, outfits for the different appearances, research about current GLBT matters in different parts of the world, physical fitness for the sports challenge, presents for the other delegates, a nice NZ item for a charity auction, etc. We have a delegates handbook that really helps and explains a lot about what, where, when and how â€“ a full on programme!
What are you most excited about in going to South Africa and Mr Gay World?
Meeting people from all over the world and being part of a competition that raises awareness of the GLBT community. Sometimes gay life is still stereotyped and having such an amazing event showing role models will add to the acceptance of GLBT people.
Bringing the title back to Aotearoa of course! Also I hope to make great friends and invite people to come visit this amazing country.
You are an import to New Zealand, why do
you love this country so much?
I came to NZ four years ago on a working holiday permit. I soon fell in love with New Zealandâ€™s welcoming and friendly people, its lovely big and small towns, beautiful beaches, mountains for snowboarding and breath-taking natural attractions. There are many more places for me to visitâ€¦ So exciting to have many adventures ahead!
Who are some of your heroes?
Everybody has strength and fascinating character features. Nobody is perfect (apart from comic heroes maybe), therefore I aspire to great traits I see in the people I meet and spend time with: my family, friends, colleagues and new people I meet. But since you asked, the one person that possibly inspired me the most so far was Martin Luther King who was an inspirational leader. Amongst other his â€śI have a dream speechâ€ť was essential part in changing the world. He said in there: â€śI have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.â€ť My dream is that a young boy or girl who discovers that he or she is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender lives in a society where he or she can be without fear of talking to parent, family and friends about their identity. It doesnâ€™t matter if you love a man or women, what matters is that you are a good person.
What are your favourite books?
The last book I read was The Upside of Irrationality â€“ a book by Dan Ariely. It is about why we do things and explains that often we make irrational decisions but also looks at the benefits of this phenomenon. The way the human mind works always fascinated meâ€¦
What are your favourite movies?
I really like the three Bourne movies, I Robot and the lasted movie that I really touched me was The Help.
What type of music do you like?
Everything, I often just enjoy the current top hits on radio and music TV and get a copy of the top songs on my mobile phone.
Describe your ideal man?
For me attraction can be mental, physical or both. Everybody has something that makes them unique and desirable. I cherish great personality, confidence, kindness, positive outlook on life, energy, innovation, caring nature, reliability (do as you say) and looking after yourself.
Are you single or in a relationship?
I am very lucky to have found the one for me. Iâ€™ve been together with Tom for a long time and last year we decided to make 11.11.11 our special day an entered into a Civil Union.
What is a typical weekend like for you?
I love change and diversity; therefore there really is no typical weekend for me. One weekend you might find me with my partner on Kawau Island, another one just partying, the next one helping a friend move house, there is really no blue print whatsoever!
I grew up in a small catholic town where being gay was unthinkable. I was petrified when I realised I was. It took me way too long to open up to someone because I thought everybody would abandon me. Eventually I did and it turned my life around. If you are in the same situation, donâ€™t make the same mistake and be sitting scared in the closet. I met the fantastic team at Rainbow Youth and they would be a great point of contact, where you can meet other young gay men. There is also Outline which offers free and anonymously an open ear, just to talk or to get support and advice over the phone. Coming out might not seem easy, but keep in mind your true friends will always be with you, no matter if you love a boy or a girl. Trust me, lifeâ€™s good!
Thanks, wow you must be getting excited!
Thank you for the opportunity and yes I am very excited â€“ just one week to go before I fly out on Tue, 3rd April. Please show your support for the great work in awareness the Mr Gay world organisation does by clicking on â€śLikeâ€ť on the Mr Gay World facebook page!