A popular K' Road bar stalwart took the title Mr. Urge NZ Bear 2009 last night – the first time a 'grizzly' bear has triumphed in the annual all-male pageant. Last year's winner Heath Jones (left) congratulates Mike Binis, as Urge bar co-owner Paul Heard (right) hosts the show With his silver hair, beard and plus-sized physique, 52-year-old Mike Binis is comfortable with the label 'grizzly' and says he's proud to be a bear. He's worked as Urge bar's doorman for several years, greeting punters with a friendly 'howdy howdy'. The runner-ups were Carlos in third place and Scotty Dunning in second place. Five bears took to the stage last night for the annual pageant, at the mercy of a panel of judges including Labour MP Chris Carter. Not only did the contestants show themselves off by dressing up – and dressing down – they were also asked a variety of questions about their role in the LGBT community and their beliefs about bear culture. The contestants also had to circulate the crowd during the break between rounds to sell raffle tickets for HIV+ support network Body Positive - $1,064 was raised for the worthy charity. Along with the title and leather sash, Binis wins a trip to Melbourne's upcoming Southern HiBearnation show, where he'll represent New Zealand.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Sunday, 29th March 2009 - 8:07am
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