I have been Mr Gay Europe for a month now and have enjoyed my time so far. Already I have done a couple of radio shows, magazine articles in Gaytime, Metro and Pink News as well as featuring in local newspapers – Argus and The Brighton Independent.
I do miss my time back in Stockholm because, as much as the competition was full on, it was lovely being around all the delegates, forming great friendships and picking up memories that will last. Coming away from the competition and keeping in touch with the boys, I even got a new flat-mate, Ben Brown who is Mr Gay Wales. He is settling into Brighton life really well and we are having a great time together.
I’ve been quite proactive, making great connections to progress my campaign ‘Pride Families’. Just to remind you the aim of my campaign is to raise awareness that our LGBT community can foster and adopt children – something we do incredibly well.
I am pleased to have formed links with Barnardo’s, probably the largest adoption agency in the UK. They are thrilled that I have made contact and are looking forward to creating a campaign that we can work together on in the future.
Then there is a new connection with P.A.C.T., another adoption agency with branches in the South. I had a meeting with the Brighton team last week and have come up with some ideas on how best I can support them in their aim to encourage more LGBT adopters to come forward.
I have started working with Brighton and Hove foster team and have shot a short video for them to use on their social media platforms, talking about my experience as a foster carer, the ups and downs and any struggles I faced as an openly gay man. I fostered ten children over a three-year period. When caring for the children I, like any parent, found it very hard as I have strong family values and always encouraged them to to do their best. But, looking back at my time I actually found the the whole experience incredibly rewarding and see it as a massive achievement. Actually the children found it quite a cool concept and fun, as we were proactive parents, encouraging them to pursue extra-curricular activities where possible.
I am excited to be in the process of forming a Pride Families website where you will be able to keep track of everything that happens on my journey as Mr Gay Europe.
I look forward to blogging next time as I’ve teamed up with another charity, away from same sex adoption and will explain why I want to support them. There may be some news about exciting school projects coming up in Wigan and Birmingham.
Stay tuned guys.