I was hesitant about entering at first. To be honest I am quite a quiet person that likes to work in the background and I never expected to get this far in this competition. Since winning Mr Gay Cork and then to be named Mr Gay Ireland 2016 my confidence has been given a major boost. I’ve started to put myself out there a lot more with newspaper, radio and video interviews and my confidence grows with each event and activity that I get involved with.
Taking part in this competition allows me to be a role model for the young LGBTI community. Ireland is in a great place at the moment after becoming the first country to say Yes to Marriage Equality by popular vote. This has resulted in a 40% increase in young people ‘coming out’ due to the referendum opening a discussion in Irish homes. An amazing step forward but like the rest of the world we’ve a lot of work to do with Trans Rights and Mental Health. Raising awareness for these issues is most important and the Mr Gay Europe title would be a great way to help do this.
If I was to win Mr Gay Europe it would be a perfect way to help tackle a lot of issues that face the LGBTI community around Europe. I am a young gay man, slightly shy, with a less than ‘perfect’ body but I hope I have inspired other young gay men to be more confident in who they are and not to try and live up to the impossible beauty standards that are forced upon gay men through social media and apps. As a community we should all support each other and this title is a way to push that message forward.