Time is fast running out to enter the Mr Gay Australia competition, which kicks off at the Flinders Hotel this Sunday.

Organisers hope the competition will move beyond the wet Speedos section and find a real community ambassador.

Russell Harrower has looked to the broad judging criteria of the UK version, which is often broadcast on television, to revive the brand in Australia.

It’s about creating a positive image of gay men, not just for a bunch of queens who look hot. It’s to show there are all different types of gays, not just what you see in the media, Harrower told Sydney Star Observer.

We’re all different, we all have something to offer. If you’ve got smarts, that will help because we want more than just -˜world peace’ responses.

A real community ambassador needs to think on their feet and get through to the wider community, he said, and PR training will be offered to the winner.

Harrower also hopes Australia could take out the Mr Gay International competition for the first time, so professional photographs of all the finalists will be taken at iconic locations, such as the Sydney Opera House or Harbour Bridge, rather than the traditional half-naked bedroom shots.

They say sex sells, but we want to show Australia. We have to do our own thing, it has to be Australian, Harrower said.

In the local competition, there will also be sections for casual wear, swimwear, and formal wear.
The competition has already begun, with Perth selecting Adam Vanderspil as the winner and Kyle Dessent the runner-up for the finals, to be hosted by Vanessa Wagner at the Flinders Hotel in Sydney on 26 October.

Lady Babushka will host the Sydney heat events every Sunday in October from 7pm, also at the Flinders Hotel. Judges will come from the Harbour City Bears, Flinders Hotel, and Sydney Star Observer. Melbourne and Brisbane are also holding heats.

We’re hoping the success of this year will open us to the smaller cities next year -” that’s one of our goals for this year, Harrower said.

The winner of Mr Gay Australia will get flights to Los Angeles, accommodation and $1,000 spending money to enter the Mr Gay International. Other prizes include tanning, and accommodation at the Diamant Boutique hotel in Sydney.

info: An entry form is printed on page 18 of this week’s paper or can be found at www.mrgayaustralia.com.au. Entry forms are also available at Aussie Boys and the Flinders Hotel.

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