With a just over a month since the Queer of the Year competition wrapped in Montreal and the Holt’s shopping spree now complete, life is quickly returning to normal for winner Sean Horlor who is about to start filming the second season of OUTtv’s Don’t Quit Your Gay Job and as an interviewer for the new television series Gayest Show Ever.
An international search for “the brightest star under the rainbow”, Queer of the Year (QOTY) was the brainchild of Tourisme Montréal as part of their ongoing marketing strategy to lure the LGBTQ tourist to their city. And while the organizers opened the contest to anyone worldwide from across the LGBTQ spectrum, the final contestants ended up being five white guys from North America.
Initially surprised that a more diverse group of gays and lesbians from around the world didn’t submit entry videos, Horlor says he was still pleased with the final contestants that were picked and felt organizers “did a great job of showcasing five really different gay guys”.
Sharing a loft in Montreal over that city’s pride celebrations in August, Horlor and the other contestants battled it out in a variety of challenges
that included an urban triathlon, a photo shoot, and of course, the obligatory drag show.
As part of the urban triathlon competition, contestants were expected to rollerblade for the camera, something Horlor says he hated more than Geena Davis in A League of their Own and definitely the worse part of the competition for him. But, perhaps not surprising to those that know him, he did find the drag show the best part.
“For one of the challenges, we joined Montreal drag-sensation Michel Dorion to learn a group drag performance and ended up performing “Stop” by the Spice Girls in front of a thousand-person crowd,” said Horlor. “I was a hot tranny mess and loved every second of it.”
Of course sharing a loft with four other gay men over the course of the
competition had challenges of its own, but despite fears of waking up with no eyebrows on a couple mornings, Horlor says overall the experience was a positive one. “It turns out that there’s nothing a case of red wine can’t fix”.
Despite all the final contestants being gay men, Horlor doesn’t seem to have a problem with the “queer” title. “When I was younger, I used to hate the word queer because of its literal meaning,” explained Horlor. “But you know what? I am weird and picky and strange. Combine those three things with an uncontrollable need to make a spectacle out of myself and I think the Queer of the Year title makes a lot sense; at least to me”.
As he polishes up his huge championship belt, Horlor has these words of advice for future QOTY contestants: “come out, come out, wherever you are … and get your ass to Montreal!”