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QandA: Mr Gay NZ 2014 Troy Williams

Thu 13 Feb 2014 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

Hawke’s Bay-raised 33-year-old Troy Williams is the new Mr Gay New Zealand. We find out more about the lawyer-turned-med student who will represent NZ at Mr Gay World in Rome. Troy Williams (second from right) with Mr Gay World Chris Olwage and fellow Mr Gay NZ 2014 contestants (Picture: Aaron Parker from Wireless Nation) Well done on becoming Mr Gay New Zealand 2014, what do you helped you take it out? It was a pretty even competition this year. In the end I think my age probably gave me a slight advantage in some of the competitions which helped get me across the line. Were you nervous? Entering a competition like Mr Gay NZ was a very new experience for me and so I would be lying if I said I wasnt pretty nervous to begin with. However, as I got to know the other contestants and interact with lots of different people at the Big Gay Out the nerves completely disappeared and it ended up being one of the best experiences. I would encourage anyone that may have been considering entering to do so next year, you wont regret it. Where were you born, and where did you grow up? I was born in Papakura at 11.55pm on New Years Eve. My Dad is forever reminding me that if I could have just held on another 5 minutes I would have likely been the first baby of the year and they would have received a whole bunch of white wear, but unfortunately for them I had other plans. My family then moved down to the Hawkes Bay when I was quite young. I had a good group of friends and had a pretty typical kiwi upbringing. Saturday morning sports when I was younger, later replaced with Saturday evenings driving around the town trying to look cool. Where do you live now and what do you think of it? I have recently moved to Auckland and am currently living right next door to a church. I am sure I will eventually get used to all the bell ringing and organ music bright and early on a Sunday morning. Although for now it acts as a pretty good alarm clock to get me out of bed and to go an explore all the great things Auckland seems to have on offer. I love trying and experiencing new things so if anyone has anything they think I should go check out I would be really keen to hear about it. Tell us about your career – sounds like you’ve just had a change? I have. For the past 6 years or so I have been working as a lawyer in Sydney and London. However, I will be heading to Auckland University in a couple of weeks to start a new career in medicine. It is an adjustment going back to the student lifestyle, but it is something I have always wanted to do and am fortunate enough to be in a position in my life where such a big change is possible. Picture: Aaron Parker from Wireless Nation When did you come out as gay, and what was it like for you at the time? My coming out was a bit of an evolutionary process. I really struggled with the idea at first and worried about what people's reactions might be like. In particular I was a little worried about it defining me as a person– for instance at work I wanted to be know as the “good junior lawyer” not the “gay junior lawyer”. However, the more people I told the more I realised that it seemed to be more of a concern for me than it was for anyone else. Although I accept that I have been extremely lucky that my family and close friends have all been amazingly supportive. Do you have a partner? I am lucky enough to have recently met a great guy. He is super cute and is originally from Tahiti so has this accent which never fails to make me smile. What kind of guys do you most admire? I really admire guys who have an innate sense of self. People like President Obama, David Beckham and Pharrell Williams. The know who they are, they know what they stand for and seem to have an unwavering confidence in what they do. I think its probably a big reason why they are all so successful in their chosen fields. What do you think are the biggest issues currently facing NZ's gay population? Compared to some places overseas I think NZ has a way to go in terms of homosexuality being completely accepted by the broader population. There is still a percentage of the population that hasn’t quite got it that being gay is a normal way of life. I think working to increase acceptance more generally will also help reduce the feelings of depression and suicide that experienced by gay youth which is another big problem. What are your goals for your time as Mr Gay NZ? My main goal is to get out into the community and get to know all the different people that make up the NZ gay community. I also have a few community initiatives that I would like to get off the ground. I am really keen to try and start up a training/mentoring system to help out those people that may have dropped out of education early due to bullying at school or difficulties at home. Picture: Aaron Parker from Wireless Nation What's your worst habit? Hmmm....I would probably say that its constantly checking my phone when im waiting on an important email or text. But im sure my partner or friends may have come up with a different answer. Your biggest strength? Being a NZer. There is something about the way we are raised that we end up being proud without being arrogant, work hard without getting stressed out. Plus when it comes to having a good time not many people know how to do it like we do. Your biggest fear? Sharks...or more specifically being eaten by one. Your favourite music at the moment? I'm very much into club remixes of top 40 music. My go to gym track of the moment still has to be Beyonce – Standing on the Sun (Country Club Martini Crew Remix). Your favourite movies? Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2....I want my own minions!! Your favourite TV programmes? I jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon last year. Otherwise I generally just flick through cartoons, music videos or home renovation/cooking shows. Who in the world (including NZ) would you most like to have a coffee and a chat with and why? I would really like to sit down one day and have a coffee with some of the people that led the way for gay equality back in the day. I admire their courage and ability to stand up for who they were at a time when doing so could have had a lot of serious repercussions. tI would be great to find out what motivated them, how they got through such tough times and to say thank you for making it that much easier to be a gay guy today. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? That the anti-homosexuality laws (and people that created them) in places like Russia and Uganda were abolished and were never to be heard of again!! On a more selfish level I also wouldn’t mind knowing the numbers of the Powerball jackpot this weekend. And how excited are you about taking on the world in Rome!? Hell would be amazing to give NZ its third title in a row. staff - 13th February 2014

Credit: staff

First published: Thursday, 13th February 2014 - 11:09am

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