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Meet Mr Gay NZ: Aaron Comis

Sat 12 Feb 2011 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

"Words cannot really explain what I am feeling right now," sums up the response of Aaron Comis to the news he has been declared Mr Gay New Zealand. The 32-year-old Christchurch financial controller has won a trip to the Philippines from 9-14 March to compete in Mr Gay World, an event which uses the model of a beauty pageant to find gay global ambassadors. "Being told that you will represent your country on a world stage is a great honour, something that was a dream and now a reality," Comis says."I have a lot to do in only a few weeks to prepare myself but am confident I can represent 'Gay New Zealand' and show the world what an amazing country we truly are." Comis will be rubbing shoulders with some of the sexiest and most community-spirited gay men in the world – and we think he has the goods to go all the way. The Founder and President of Mr Gay World Eric Butter agrees - he was on the judging panel which picked Comis and says he was won over by the contestant's focus on the community and his overall ideology. Comis was born and raised in Greymouth, then moved to Christchurch in 17 to study Marketing and IT at Canterbury University. During his final year he worked part-time at the university bar and immediately fell in love with the hospitality industry and decided this was his career path." After graduating I had worked a variety of hospitality roles from ‘glassy' to security, eventually ending up in an office doing admin work and finally using the degree I had worked so hard to obtain." He now works as a financial controller for a group of restaurant/bars and commercial properties. "I am not and have never been afraid of hard work, it is this work ethic that has helped me get to where I am today. I am and have always been a busy person, pending a lot of time training, running a part time consulting business and taking on various new challenges whenever they present themselves." Comis has a passion for New Zealand which will allow him to proudly showcase us on the world stage: "I love New Zealand and the people in this wonderful country that truly is ‘godzone'. I have started travelling a little more in the last few years and love learning about new cultures and in turn telling others about New Zealand. While I love travelling, my favourite part of any journey is always coming home." He says now that he is very secure and confident in himself he has recently applied himself to putting something back to a community that he feels a part of and has supported him through the good and the bad. His community involvement includes being part of the New Zealand AIDS Foundations campaigns Bro Online and Get It On!, supporting Christchurch event the Oscars and being a board member of queer youth group Qtopia, the latter being close to his heart: "it seems this is more important in recent times with the articles circulating the news of young gay youth committing suicide due to bullying or lack of support networks in place, while primarily overseas it is important for us to focus on making sure this does not happen in New Zealand." Comis says gay society does have a focus on body image, but he doesn't want the gay men who fought on our behalf for decades to now be taken for granted. "These gay men are no longer 'young' by gay standards, but deserve the same respect as anyone else. By building and strengthening our communities we can deal with a lot of the issues we face, including but not limited to depression which seems to be prevalent," he says. "I have a policy in my life of never regretting anything; things happen for a reason whether good or bad they offer us an opportunity to grow. "I have an open mind and value the opinions of others; I don't necessarily agree with everything, but always listen before voicing my opinion. I think we can learn so much from every interaction with every person, in fact the only time we stop learning is when we die. "I try to surround myself with positive people and no matter what I do or where I go I never forget who I am or where I came from, something I am very proud of." We wish Aaron luck in The Philippines, but are confident he will do New Zealand proud!     Jacqui Stanford - 12th February 2011

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Saturday, 12th February 2011 - 10:17am

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