mr gay pride australia 2020
5 min read

The Mr Gay Pride Australia competition has moved into top gear today after the announcement of seven finalists selected to compete in the 2020 race, which will culminate at Hay’s Rainbow on the Plains Festival from 27th to 29th of March.

Over the next few weeks, finalists will compete in two online challenges where they will write an opinion piece to be published and then be subjected to a public vote.

When the finalists come together in Hay the challenges will include an LGBTI knowledge test, photoshoot, a personal interview and a public speaking challenge on stage at Rainbow on the Plains.

The Mr Gay Pride Australia competition, sponsored by Trustpilot, will be scored by a judging panel and the winner will get the chance to attend Mr Gay World 2020 as Australia’s representative in South Africa from 26 April to 2 May 2020.

Last year’s Mr Gay Pride Australia Rad Mitic went on to place in the top ten at Mr Gay World 2019.

Here are the 7 finalists for 2020.

1. Ali Haidar

Ali Haidar

Age: 27

Calls Home: Reservoir, Vic

More about me:

I want to be Mr Gay Australia because I want this to mean something to someone else out there and to inspire others who are dealing with their identity to live as their authentic and proud selves.

I never had a role model or anyone that I could relate to or look up to. Growing up gay was challenging for me. Dealing with self-acceptance and outside influences telling me what I am and who I shouldn’t be is wrong, made is so much more difficult for me. I began to resent myself, because of the environment I was born into and people I had surrounded myself with.

I don’t want the journey to self-love and acceptance to be so difficult for others, I want to inspire people to be as free as they were born to be, and to show the rest of the world there’s nothing wrong with being gay. We are all human, we are all the same our sexualities or gender identities don’t make us any different It’s people’s ignorance and choice to judge others that separate us from them.

We have so much love to give and I want to share that with the world.

 

2. Antony Brookes

Antony Brookes

Age: 39

Calls Home: Sydney, NSW

More about me:

Who am I? Sometimes I ask that myself.

I’m Antony, a 39-year-old male originally from Wales, now residing in Sydney. I’m literally an average joe going about town, who has found himself in the shortlist to this huge competition.

I play rugby, I’m a Drag Queen and give an amazing cwtch! Imagine a male version of Ness from ‘Gavin & Stacey’ – just with a more colourful wardrobe, ready for April 25th.

 

3. Craig Mack

Craig Mack

Age: 38

Calls Home: Sydney, NSW

More about me:

The power and impact of connection, whether it’s with the people around us, our broader community, the environment ( that we can’t live without) the wifi, or even simply ourselves fascinates me.

My name is Craig Mack and I’m an Ambassador for suicide prevention charity R U OK?, work in social media, teach communications, and have been volunteering with community organisations like ACON and The Pinnacle Foundation for a long time.

I noticed recently that having a sense of connection, belonging, identity and self are at the heart of almost everything I do.

Through my own personal experiences with mental health, I also think they’re the things that give us life. We don’t always feel connected though and I’m here with Mr Gay Pride because I think it’s a great platform to spread not just this message, but what it means and with any luck, how we can help ourselves and others build and strengthen these things that make us who we are.

 

4. Esteban Calvo

Esteban Calvo

Age: 29

Calls Home: South Yarra, Vic

More about me:

My name is Esteban and I live in South Yarra, Melbourne.

As an identical twin, I became aware of the competitiveness that exists between even those closest to you from a young age. As you grow, you soon realise the broader and diverse reasons for competitiveness along our life path.

A perfect example for us is the constant conflict within us wanting to progress mentally and physically while struggling with our sexual identity.

Together with the opportunity to be Mr Gay Pride Australia, my aim as part of my career in recruitment, is to utilise my opportunistic platform to mentor people towards taking their next step, such as avoiding discrimination, grow and develop with pride, confidence and good self-achievement along the way.

 

5. Hamilton Summers

Hamilton Summers

Age: 32

Calls Home: Five Dock, NSW

More about me:

I’m 32 years of age working in finance.

I live by the rule of having a good time and living positively, being confident in your own skin and living true to yourself.

I’m passionate about LGBT rights, here and abroad and animal welfare.

Food, fitness and the outdoors is what you would see me doing in my downtime.

 

6. Mathew Tyack

Mathew Tyack

Age: 35

Calls Home: Prahran, Vic

More about me:

As an entrepreneur in the eCommerce industry I have always had a passion for those who desire to build out their ideas into something more tangible – no matter how small or large those dreams may be. I am an avid believer in that hard work pays off and have recently had the ability to share my story.

With my experience within the online stratosphere and now, place in the competition, I want to mentor other LGBTI youths with their own businesses and entrepreneurial dreams so like myself they can to take life by the reigns and gain the exposure and business knowhow they are striving for. The thing is, it’s a scary space to start and I know I wish I had a mentor when in my early stages to learn and bounce ideas off.

Being recognised by Swinburne University of Technology (where I attended) combined with my place in the finale for Mr Gay pride Australia – This is the time to give back to the community as well as help grow and drive the economy for ourselves and the wider community.

Finally, failing is not trying and our challenges only make us stronger so keep pushing through and we can all achieve greatness.

 

7. Ruan Uys

Ruan Uys

Age: 38

Calls Home: Alexandria, NSW

More about me:

As the endemic lateral violence continues to pervade our community, the intersectional divide within our community is becoming increasingly apparent. It troubles me to see, a group of beautiful people, who have spent the majority of their lives being othered, become experts at doing this to one another. In a community where we go to seek safety and support, the culture of care that I once knew, is being eroded by the current “no fats, no fems, no certain ethnicities” mentality and weakened by a political climate that seeks to revoke and wind back our human rights.

I am a gay, immigrant, HIV positive guy with a history of substance dependence. After disclosing my status at work, I faced unemployment and was consequently faced with homelessness. I was sleeping in abandoned houses and on couches of friends and community members while I put my life back together. Each of these lived experiences brought a wealth of knowledge unique to me. These are my strengths, not my weaknesses. Whilst facing the many obstacles, hardship and discrimination from wider society, it was the members of the LGBTIQA+ family that took me into their care and helped me get back on my feet. It was community support that enabled me to survive.

I’m here to show others in the community who may be facing hard times or feeling isolated, you are not alone. You can get through anything. I am here because I want to create awareness about the strength of our diverse community. It is time the LGBTIQA+ community realise that we are not one community, but many communities under one umbrella. Our differences are what make us a unique, beautiful and potentially powerful community. But only if we choose to embrace it. Let’s work together to get rid of lateral violence and work toward a safer, stronger, more inclusive community. We are stronger together.

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