"How did Mr Gay Hong Kong prepare?" was the question I was asked on the Mr Gay World red carpet.
Indeed, what makes a Mr Gay Hong Kong?
Personality, confidence, good looks - that's just to begin with. These are the "raw goods" that a candidate must possess before he even treads the stage and makes a bid for the title.
Composure, charisma, and the will to win are the qualities which then makes cream rise to the top.
Once a new Mr Gay Hong Kong is proclaimed, a small army of professionals take stock of the individual, look at his best assets, discuss how to highlight these, and how to enrich him even more by allowing him to feed on ideas, by looking after him in the best possible way, and by engaging him in various aspects of the job. And in case anybody had a doubt, it is a job.
Holding the title takes patience, tenacity, good humour, and, above all, a good heart.
|Mr Gay Hong Kong Heihei Yau|
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people who compose MGHK's "council of elders." OK, that didn't sound fabulous at all. Sorry.
How about: Please put your hands together for MGHK's A-Team of "Fab Eye for THE Queer Guy!"
Andrew Cheung - Costume Designer
Andrew is a personal friend of mine who has moved hell and high water (seriously) to produce costumes for Thomas the Tank Engine, my tai-tai friends, and Rick Twombley's winning costume in Oslo (MGW2009). Andrew is immensely talented, patient, and becoming increasingly in-demand. I'm lucky that he takes my requests at all, considering that I'm terrible with allowing him enough time to finish my projects in a leisurely manner.
Train Station HK
They're an up-and-coming company that specializes in coaching effective communication using neuro-linguistic programming. The coaches come from all over the world, are esteemed in their own fields, and have had involvement in the entertainment industry.
Joe Leung - PR Manager, Mr Gay HK
After having been a candidate in MGHK2009, Joe has become a good friend of mine and my right hand man. He patiently collected data, histories and all sorts of personal anecdotes to enrich Heihei's mind with what's going on in the local gay community.
"I want Heihei to eat well, especially when he's in Manila. I want him to maintain his weight and keep ingesting the right nutrients so that he feels good and stays healthy." This was my brief to Guy Young and Sarah Armstrong, MGHK's de facto nutritionists. Both Heihei and myself carried Cambridge bars everywhere, all the time - and the results speak for themselves. Look at that body - Heihei's, not mine. LOL. It's so tight, you can bounce coins off of it.
He shapes hair like a sculptor moulds clay. He's a hair magician, a hair architect, a hair wizard. Whatever you wanna call him - with David looking after Heihei, I've come to realize what it truly means to flaunt your "crowning glory."
Helen Barker is an absolute delight - a true Energizer Bunny of a woman. She knows how to talk to people about their intimate bits, in the most candid way. She's been in the beauty and wellness industry for years, in a city where people demand it to counter constant stress with... The Feel Good Factor! Which is why we love her.
Joe, Gay HK's very own media impresario, is a film festival director, publisher, graphic designer, stylist, and all-around bon vivant. He's constantly pushing the envelope, going over the edge, and living to tell about it. How lucky is Mr Gay HK to have this man on board?
Van Castillo - Photography
Photographers seem genetically destined to be gorgeous, no matter where they are, no matter where they' re from. Van would be a worthy Mr. Gay titleholder, too, if he wanted to be one. Van shot Heihei all around Hong Kong for two days, with oodles of creative input.
MGHK is a small part of the large TCJM family. Nigel Collett, Peter Sargant and the author known as "AD" have been MGHK's partners in advocacy, politics and fund raising. Yeah, we want world peace - and we're serious. But we can't do it by ourselves, since we're no experts. We needed the guidance of a larger "council of elders" (here I go again...) to show us the way towards serving advocacy on a glittery rainbow plate. The result is Tongzhi Tsai - the campaign against Homophobic Bullying in Hong Kong Schools!
So what makes a Mr Gay Hong Kong special? Sugar, spice, and everything nice?
He already is very special - and he becomes even more so - with plenty of help along the way.