By ANDY BOREHAM
The crowning of Mr Gay Wellington at the weekend has raised the debate again as to whether or not such title holders represent us, or anyone at all. The answer is a simple, and firm, ‘no’.
I’ve produced and run many of these pageants, from Mr Gay to Miss Drag right up to being a judge of Mr Gay New Zealand. And every time there’s a debate as to the legitimacy of the winner, and what their role might be.
Perhaps the biggest clue as to the lack of legitimacy of any said title holder might be the context: was it held in a nightclub? Then you can bet this competition is just for fun and relax a little about the winner’s position afterwards. Imagine if your local council representative was decided in three talent sections at a nightclub at 2am!
Another clue: did any part of the contest involve anything to do with looks, ie: swimwear, clubwear, or any stripping? Then c’mon, of course the winner isn’t going to claim to be your representative over social issues at a governmental level!
Sam McLeod was announced the winner of Mr Gay Wellington last weekend, and already the debates surrounding his legitimacy as a ‘representative’ have come up. I’m pretty sure the guy didn’t think, when he ripped his clothes off in a drunken mess, that he was going to be the face of gay Wellington!
You just need to look at his comments on GayNZ.com to see his unwillingness at being seen as some kind of leader. Sometimes it’s even plain ignorance of contemporary social issues. When asked what are the most pressing issues facing GLBT today he mentioned marriage equality and AIDS. World peace, anyone?
But his next comment is the most telling: “Without more research and experience within this area I can’t really say much more.” So I’m pretty sure you can relax with the knowledge that Mr McLeod isn’t going to show up at a Parliamentary Select Committee as the voice for gay Wellington, or go on TV whenever issues relating to being queer arise in the news.
Mr Gay blah blah is just a bit of fun. You should go along, enjoy the show, scream for your fave and then do it all again a year later. Don’t stress about the legitimacy of the winners and what they might expect their role is. Their role is nothing. They won’t claim to represent you (well, most of them). They won’t speak on your behalf.
Have fun, and relax.
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