David Allwood

Great Britain

Mr Gay Europe 2023

Why do you want to take part in MGE23

I want to continue to make a difference to the LGBTQ+ community. I intend to be a voice for the entire community and firmly believe that we are not free until all of us share the same rights. We have come a very long way and it’s thanks to so many inspirational activists, that so much progress has been made. However, there is still a long way to go. I believe that I can represent Europe better than anyone else. I devote so much of my time to providing healthy social opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community in London through my own company HOMOPARODY. We perform at Pride events and run weekly dance classes and meet ups as a way of combatting loneliness within our community. I want to continue this work on a larger scale and believe that no matter where you are from, it is so important to have a sense of belonging. I launched my campaign Belong (Embrace the Rainbow) last year after winning Mr Gay England. This campaign highlights the importance of looking after each other, checking in on friends who may be struggling and encouraging people to socialise and interact in a positive way. I want to take part in this competition to challenge perceptions of what a gay man is. We should be able to represent all of our community as best we can. I want to challenge perceptions and help people feel like they have a strong representative to fight their corner and support them when it is needed.

What is the biggest LGBT challenge in Europe today

There are many changes I’d like to see in our community. I feel that more unity is needed. The LGBTQ+ community feels very segmented and detached from each other. The saying goes that ‘none of us are free until we are all free’ and this means that we should ALL be campaigning for trans rights, equality in healthcare (physical, sexual and mental health) and actively showing support for same-sex couples wanting to start a family, no matter where they are from. Social constructs take time to disband, however I feel that more needs to be done within our own community with regards to body shaming, gender norms and allowing ALL LGBTQ+ people to feel accepted. We also need to support young people more in education and support those who experience bullying, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia as a matter of urgency. Communicating these messages in an appropriate way for young people is very important and I have the ability to help do this. Europe has made a lot of progress in the past decade, however, some things seem to be regressing and we can’t allow that to happen. Action needs to be taken to ensure laws affecting basic human rights are protected.

Your profession / study

I am a professional choreographer. I danced for over 10 years professionally and then moved into choreography. I have choreographed showed all over the world and also teach at a professional dance school on a degree course. I am head of second year at this college and have worked there for over 8 years. My company HOMOPARODY is also becoming a full time job and I am the CEO and Artistic Director of this company that is growing at a very fast rate.

Your hobbies

I am a HUGE Eurovision fan. I travel to the competition every year and love watching old competitions and geek out on the statistics and scoring. This is my second passion behind LGBTQ+ activism. I regularly attend marches and protests to campaign for LGBTQ+ rights. I also love the outdoors and enjoy camping holidays in beautiful parts of the country. I am very social and enjoy meeting friends on weekends. Another hobby is fitness and have recently become very focussed on my general health and have made changes to my diet and fitness regime in order to help me live a happy and healthy life. I also love food. I am a Veggan!! I made this up but it basically means I have a plant based diet with the exception of eggs.

Why should you become MGE23

I should be selected for this competition because I know I have what it takes to make a difference to peoples lives. I believe in action and clarity when trying to make a difference. I am ambitious, hard working and approachable. I have set my sights on winning this competition and this is because I feel that I have the skill set and knowledge to do well and continue the good work that previous winners have achieved. I won 5 of the 7 rounds in Mr Gay England and achieved a very high score on the written exam. I am very aware of the importance of knowing our history and ensuring we learn for the past in order to make a difference to the future. I am a very strong public speaker and have been lucky enough to talk at many large scale events since winning my title. I should also be selected because I will put on the biggest show the audience have ever seen. I love fashion and want to ensure that my looks have a message attached to them. I am so excited to storm the runway in the looks rounds for Mr Gay Europe. Lastly, kindness is so important. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness and my main motto is ‘work hard and be kind to people.’ I feel that this is important in a competition. All of the candidates and the people involved in this competition deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.

What is the biggest mental health challenge in the LGBT community today

Loneliness is a huge factor in peoples mental health. The LGBTQ+ community are statistically far more likely to experience the feeling of loneliness than heterosexual people. We need to ensure this is recognised across Europe and then come up with ways to combat it. This can be done by structuring healthier social engagements and encouraging people to connect more to their community. My campaign Belong is all about that. I want to help people gain a sense of belonging as this will have a hugely positive effect on their mental health. Everyone needs to find their tribe or their person and this can only happen if they have an ability to meet likeminded people and an openness to new experiences and lifestyle choices.

Your idea for your national costume

I am keen to present something that highlights the natural beauty of Great Britain. We are famous for our countryside and country gardens. Therefore, through the use of the three national flowers; daffodils for Wales, thistles for Scotland and roses for England, I plan to create a garment that is full of these flowers. Expect an elevated version of a traditional tuxedo that has added elements of things that a quintessentially British!