Since my last blog, there have been a few special moments on my path as Mr Gay Europe but also some things on my mind I want to share with you.
One of the things that happened was my travel to Malaga, Spain. I flew there for a 5 day stay where 3 days were photo shoots for the famous ‘The Gay Issue Magazine’.
While I was there, I went to Marbella and visited the local LGBT-bars and places of the local people. I talked to them about how their life is going as an LGBT in Spain or how they look at gay-/trans people.
What stood out for me was that there was a strong and big community, and most of the people were open minded, but that’s just in some parts of Spain. Of course there are some exceptions like in any country.
Also I was invited to a travesty-show in Fuengirola and enjoyed it very much.
After my trip to Spain, I came back to Belgium and had to start to work again. I work at a college, Thomas More College, where I teach sports and ‘how to teach sports’ to students, a very important job when it comes to accepting yourself, others and how to give a good example to young people in how they treat each other.
As my time passes by as Mr Gay Europe and Mr Gay Belgium, I see more and more hate and disrespect in our younger generations. For example, when I teach a sports-day for children or youngsters, or when I go to see how one of my students is teaching, I see how children scream ‘little faggot’ or ‘you’re such a pussy’ at each other like it’s just a regular thing that you say, without someone stepping up to tell them it’s a very bad thing to say such things. When this happens, only a few coaches or teachers react to this and try to explain that it’s just not okay to talk that way to each other.
In the dressing rooms these kids are so hard on each other, I just don’t understand why young people have to say such harsh things or who let it get this far.
I try to do a lot of things to get LGBT’s attention in a good way, but especially LGBT’s in sports. I try to take actions to change people’s views or at least make it known that it’s still an issue.
I visit organisations to talk about this issue and what we can do about it, I do actions in sports competitions like for example throwing the first ball at the Belgian Championship of Baseball, or give speeches in colleges about how to team up in sports, and how you can affect others by saying bad things.
My biggest dream is, that one day, we can all love each other without hate, violence and prejudice. If we stand together we will, but we still have a long way to go…