From the South Island to South Africa
As you are reading this, I will be flying to South Africa to compete for the title of Mr Gay World 2018. Actually saying that aloud brings up feelings of excitement and nerves combined.
Since being crowned Mr Gay NZ in February, it feels as if I am reaching a milestone when it comes to advocacy for the New Zealand LGBTQI+ community.
As I was saying the final farewells to friends and family, the majority of the advice was to go and enjoy it. However, I consider my competitiveness much like a silent assassin; quietly ambitious but extremely deadly.
I will definitely enjoy the experience, but I am also going with the mindset of being open to learning, sharing what a wonderful country New Zealand is and then, of course, coming home with the win would be amazing, too.
There are many ways that you can come on the journey with me, either through checking out my Facebook page, or by subscribing to the Mr Gay World YouTube channel which will have videos posted daily of what the contestants are doing as well as interviews with the delegates.
Here is a deeper explanation of what the expectations are with regards to the judging criteria:
Sports Challenge (10 per cent):
These could be obstacle courses, sports or games. Scoring will be based on how well you address the individual or group tasks.
Photogenic (5 per cent):
Contestants will take part in a photo shoot with a professional photographer to prove their photogenic side. This will include swimwear and casual beach wear.
Written Test (15 per cent):
This involves questions regarding the language and history of LGBTQI+ in South Africa as well as knowledge of world LGBTQI+ historical events.
Personal Interview (15 per cent):
Consider this the opportunity to speak with the judges in person. The interview is a chance to show ‘‘inner beauty’’ and character. This should be considered like a job interview.
Social Responsibility Campaign (5 per cent):
Prepare and execute a campaign for the benefit of the LGBTQI+ community (local, national or global impact). The jury will judge the benefit for the community, the use of the media and the global spread of the campaign.
Social Media Task (10 per cent):
Contestants will be scored on how actively they promote themselves and the Mr Gay World brand.
Online Vote (5 per cent):
Each contestant has submitted a video message viewable by all. The jury will judge it for impact and quality. Points will be scored on the number of times your video has been liked and shared.
Quality and Content of the Video (5 per cent):
The video will be evaluated as to the information relayed to the viewer.
Swimwear (10 per cent):
This will be displayed in photoshoots and on the runway.
Formal Wear (5 per cent):
This will be displayed in photoshoots and at the grand finale.
National Costume (5 per cent):
To be worn in the grand finale on Saturday. It should be a costume that represents something about your country and where you are from. It should evoke nationalism and the culture and/or identity of your country that you want to portray.
If you make the top 10 or top 5, there will be a final question round with a very large audi- ence. This is considered the public speaking assessment portion of the judging.
Needless to say, I have been preparing for all of the above to the best of my ability. It has meant that this past week has been crazy and I haven’t had much time to spend with people that I care about the most.
To everyone that has supported me this far; friends, family, locals, the wider New Zealand community, the media, Ending HIV NZ, Thomas’s Marlborough, World, 2EROS, Crane Brothers, Eikon Mag and many more ... Thank you.
The voting closes on May 26, so keep clicking. See you when I get home, with an even bigger smile.
Ricky Devine White has said his goodbyes to family and friends. Next Saturday, he will be at the Mr Gay World grand finale in South Africa.