If you had asked Derek Bedry a few weeks ago if he would have considered entering the Mr Gay World competition, the answer would have been a resounding no. But sometimes, when fate hands you such an opportunity, the answer can be very different.
“I was asked by the fellows who hold the license in Canada to take part,” says Bedry. “They had a short list of potential candidates, and I was one of them.”
Hestitating for only a momente, Bedry says says the chance to represent Canada at the annual event, which this year will be held in Malta, was too good to pass up.
“It was a bit of a humbling experience to be asked,” says Bedry, who also admits that the idea of traveling to the Mediterranean island-state was enticing. “It was pretty easy to say yes to going to somewhere like Malta.”
More than getting to enjoy what Malta has to offer visitors, Bedry is also passionate about LGBTQ rights, something that he says also makes him the ideal candidate.
“To be able to go and to talk about something that really motivates me was big too,” he says. “The competition brings together men from around the world, and It will be a great opportunity to meet other people that are from areas where legal equality isn’t as advanced as it is in Canada.”
It is in meeting the competitors from areas that legal human rights for LGBTQ citizens is still an issue where Bedry says he can both learn from and help.
“If I were to win I would welcome the ability to travel to some of these countries, meet the leaders and find out what the problems are and whether I can, as a communicator and faciltitator, help make my community better, and perhaps how I can extend the benefit we enjoy in Canada to others,” he says.
Lofty goals for the 27-year old SFU communications student, but one that he takes very seriously as he prepares to fly out for the competition later this month and compete against 21 other like-minded individuals from around the world.
The Mr Gay World competition takes place in Malta from April 19-23. Along with the live competition, that will include everything from a swim suit challenge to a written test, part of the judging also includes an online voting element. You can find out more about Mr Gay World 2016 online at http://mrgayworld.com.