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Meet: Mr Gay Wellington 2014

Fri 2 May 2014 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

Marton 24-year-old Dean Raimona is the new Mr Gay Wellington. He tells us about coming out to homophobic family members, breaking down stigma about rent boys, his love of Frozen and who the only woman he will ever need is … Dean Raimona (right) with Ivy's Greig Wilson What does it mean to you to win the title? Honestly it means more to me then I had first expected. I simply thought I had to turn up to the occasional event and what not but now I see I am in an opportunity to get out there and amongst it- find out what the gay community wants, help break down gay/lesbian/transgender etc stigmas, the list is endless! It also makes me proud of myself for achieving something so amazing! How much fun was the night? Hahaha the night was awesome! All the contestants were absolutely amazing and fun! Afterwards it was just person after person congratulating me and it was a bit of a whirlwind (though I did enjoy the attention I will say!). Ivy did an awesome job of putting everything together, and all the judges were all easy going and easy to talk to so it was easier to feel more at ease. Where did you grow up? Uuum all over the place - Reporoa when I was younger (it’s between Rotorua and Taupo) and then from the age of 15 onwards it was Bulls and Marton, so now I call Marton home. When did you come out and how did it go? I was 14 and told a few friends but none of them took it seriously. When I went to high school in Marton I had to keep being gay under wraps. The family members I was living with were homophobic and once they found out, I was out on the street. I was lucky enough to have friends who would take me in over the years so I could finish school and then one of my friend’s mums became my mum and now she’s the only woman I will ever need, haha. Coming out to my birth parents though was kind of tricky - They both have a heavy military background (I'm an army brat from Burnham, Christchurch) - but all I did was send a simple text and they were fine actually ! The most memorable "coming out" was when I was 17 and the youth group I was with, we all had an event in Palmerston North. No one had directly asked me if I was gay then at McDonalds one boy turned around and said "You're gay aye Dean?" and in front of the 40+ people I just smiled, said yes and kept chatting with friends! No one cared so much after that. What’s the best thing about being gay? Lord hahaha I'm not actually sure? I do enjoy the shock horror reaction from people when they find out actually . . . But if I had to pick I would most likely say being able to breakdown stereotypes - I've had friends who though I couldn't throw a ball, do 50 press ups and climb cliffs and I usually turn around, laugh at them and prove them wrong and then say they owe me a drink, haha. The Mr Gay Wellington contestants What do you think are the most pressing issues currently facing the NZ's LGBT community? I think it has to be with the stereotypes and acceptance. Whether your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Pansexual or Trisexual you are going to come across some situations where you think why me? What did I do wrong being gay? I'm a rent boy at Revolver Club on Cuba St and even then other gays etc have an issue with what I choose to do for an income, though it is more common than people would think. I think if we all somehow could teach people to break down the stereotypes of others from their sexuality to their job things would start to ease up for us. But before all that happens, we as an LGBT community have to look at our community as a whole and start there before we can help others understand. What do you do for a job? I'm a hairdresser by trade so I do haircuts at home for people and the occasional baking for people who want to pay me to bake them cakes for parties etc but my more full time job is I am a rent boy at Revolver Club on Cuba St. For me it’s a job not a career and I started because I needed some quick cash and went from there. It's legal and frowned upon, I know, and one day I will get a "normal" full time job, but at the moment it pays my bills plus a little extra, plus it's a lot of fun and I've met some wicked people while doing it! What's your relationship status, and what are you attracted to in guys? Single!! And planning to stay that way for now. I'm attracted to Island guys or Maori usually, but I'm really into someone that makes me laugh! I love intelligence, guys who play computer games or gaming in general! Someone who can cook, has tattoos and piercings, muscle (I really dig big arms!) someone sporty and family orientated. What's your worst habit? Gaming - I can game for days straight with no food either haha and I have a massive heart so I tend to be always forgiving no matter what and that can lead to a bit of trouble for me sometimes! What's your biggest fear? Being alone for longer than an hour at a time - stupid I know but I don't like being alone hence why I'm usually with friends always! Your favourite music right now? FROZEN!!!!! Let it go, let it go . . . . the cold never bothered me anyway *cough cough* and I love the likes of Beyonce, Common Kings, Stan Walker, Rhianna . . . The list is endless. Favourite books? Mmmm . . . The Vampire Diaries series, The Secret Circle trilogy, The Day After Forever by Erin Skiffington, (kiwi author!!) and again the list goes on - I can be a bit of a geek at times! Movies? Frozen, Epic, Pitch Perfect. Wreck it Ralph - I love animation! Also I'm really in to anime so movies like Howls Moving Castle, Wolf Children and so much more! TV programmes? Any cartoons or anime but Spongebob - I hate Spongebob haha If you could have one wish granted what would it be? That somewhere in the world you could just go there and be anyone you wanted and everyone loved you for it anyway! If you could have ANYONE over for dinner, who would it be, and what would you cook? My maze balls mum, Rona. She's so loving and kind and took me in when I had no one else and has been every aspect of a mother to me I always wanted so it would be her over anyone else even if they were a famous celeb! I'd cook lasagne (from scratch, pasta and all) and then follow up with one of my epic apple crumbles - with French Vanilla ice cream!, with Dean Raimona - 2nd May 2014

Credit:, with Dean Raimona

First published: Friday, 2nd May 2014 - 10:01am

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