Amongst all of Canada’s amazing gay role models comes the country’s newest, Mr Gay Canada Derek Bedry.
Derek is the latest addition to the Mr Gay World delegate list that will head to Malta in April for the competition.
In an exclusive interview with Eikon, Derek Bedry has opened up about his country, his life and his expectations in Malta.
The 27-year-old Vancouver resident is very open about his nomination as Mr Gay Canada given he was asked to be the representative by the rights owners of the event.
“I never thought of myself as the type to enter a pageant, but when I was approached, I started to consider the opportunities,” Bedry explained to eikon.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel outside my, frankly, very privileged Canadian gay bubble and learn about the state of human rights in countries with varying levels of progress.”
Born in the city he now lives, Bedry is a Canadian through and through after living between the U.S. and Calgary before settling back in Vancouver.
He works in communications, is a crossfit coach and has more than 15,000 followers on Instagram.
“Being gay in Canada is great for me. There’s a lot of legal equality.
“Canada is certainly a human rights leader, and there are so many amazing role models here in my community to look up to, including activists, artists and politicians who are out and proud.”
Even though Canada is kind to guys like himself, he is very aware there are still other members of the LGBT community that don’t receive the same levels of support.
“But I think it’s really important to note that I’m a cisgender, white gay man with masculine qualities.
“Femme guys still face a lot of homophobia, and transgender people still very much struggle to find work and housing, let alone the social discrimination they face.
“The government of my province refuses to put specific protections for variant gender expression in the Human Rights Code.
“So I can celebrate my comparative level of comfort, and the fact that my country is leading on LGBTQI+ rights in general.
“But I can’t quite relax until homophobia and transphobia aren’t part of the daily experiences of many of my friends.”
Mr Gay World is an amazing opportunity for men from all parts of the world to join and learn about each other.
Bedry is excited by the prospect of making new friends and hear about their own experiences.
“I expect certain delegates will have some really interesting, even harrowing stories.
“The more I learn about what the lived experience is like in other places, the more I can think about how to do my part.
“Even really politically advanced countries still have plenty of issues at the community level.”
Bedry said he has chatted to a few of the other delegates already but would love to speak to them all before heading off to Europe in mid-April.
“I encourage anyone I’m not acquainted with yet to reach out and say hi.
“I’m really not thinking about how to beat anyone so let’s just make some new friends.”
Even though he is not considering winning yet, Bedry has some very clear ideas of what he would like to do if he wins.
“I’d be really excited to form a set of achievable human rights goals for the year following the competition.
“I would hope that winning would give me access to community leaders all over the world who could exchange ideas with me and teach me things I can take back to make my home a better place.
“And of course, any opportunity for Mr. Gay World to serve as an ambassador and educator in other world communities would be extremely gratifying.”
Derek Bedry joins all of the other delegates for Mr Gay World, to be held in Malta from April 19 to 23.
Eikon’s very own Matt Fistonich will be reporting exclusively from Malta for Eikon for the entire week of the competition.
Last Updated on Apr 9, 2016