On a platform of ending homophobia in sport and creating the first-ever AFL Men’s Pride Round, Dion Alexander has taken out the crown of Mr Gay Pride Australia 2022 after months of challenges that culminated on stage in the finale at the Rainbow on the Plains Festival in Hay, NSW overnight.
Alexander, 34, originally from Adelaide but now living in Sydney, won the competition ahead of Craig Mack from Sydney and will now represent Australia at Mr Gay World in 2023.
The competition was extremely close after six online and face-to-face challenges, including interviews in front of a judging panel that included Hay Shire Councillor Jenny Dwyer, Co-creator of Rainbow on the Plains Festival in Hay Kerri Mijok and 2019 Mr Gay Pride Australia Rad Mitic.
Alexander is already involved with the Rainbow Swans AFL group and has assisted with the current AFL Pride match held every year between Sydney and St Kilda but he wants things to go further and will be pitching to see an AFL Pride Round held for all clubs similar to what is already conducted in the AFL Women’s competition.
Speaking after receiving the sash on stage at the Rainbow on the Plains Celebration concert, Alexander said his ultimate goal is to end homophobia in sports.
“In this country, I want to be a champion for AFL and be a champion for a Pride Round in the AFL but when I get to Mr Gay World I want to champion for change at all of the large world sporting events such as the World Cup,” Alexander said.
“Now the real work starts, I feel a great sense of responsibility now to the community to make sure that I can really come through on what I want to do and really spread the message.”
For the first time since 2019 the competition was held in a rural setting in the small town of Hay in South Western NSW.
Alexander said the whole Rainbow on the Plains Festival in Hay has been an absolutely amazing experience.
“It has been one of the best weekends we have ever had and just to see the love and the community engagement, everyone has been so lovely and welcoming.”
“This community in Hay is so amazing. It’s a regional town and regional towns get bad raps for perhaps not being as progressive as the bigger cities from where a lot of us come from, but we really have been schooled in how to create a community that doesn’t want to leave anyone behind.
“There are some people here that may not necessarily know exactly how they can be supportive but they just want to be supportive and they want to let everyone know in this community it doesn’t matter. Be who you are, we will accept you, we want to make sure you are really important to this community.”
The 2022 competition was proudly sponsored by Trustpilot, Gay Nation, Cass Brothers, Midnight Mischief, Panasonic and Rainbow on the Plains and has, for the first time, had a seminar series for the delegates before the main portion of challenges.
Last Updated on Dec 4, 2022