Mr. Gay Canada and Mr Gay World delegate Rob Goddard. If you`re in Vancouver, you have definitely seen Rob around modeling or volunteering for one of your favourite organizations. Rob was chosen in all of Canada to represent his country in the Mr. Gay World competition, this year taking place here in Manila.
Don`t forget to vote for Rob in the popularity contest online here. And if you want more info on him just visit his facebook page.
Growing up in Smithers, 21-year-old Rob Goddard experienced first hand what a gay person living in a small town endures.
But Goddard also knows his experiences pale in comparison to the struggles gay men face in countries where homosexuality is illegal, and in some locations a risk for the death penalty.
That’s one of the reasons the Vancouver resident looks forward to his trip to Manila, Philippines in March to compete for the title of Mr. Gay World against delegate models from 24 other nations.
“I really want to hear the different stories about their rights and learn a lot from these men,” Goddard said, calling the others “courageous.”
Should Goddard win the title of Mr. Gay World, one of his goals is to share his experiences as a gay man privileged to come from country known for its human rights. He noted it’s ironic that while Canada is respected around the world for its equal rights for gays and lesbians, its neighbour the United States remains divided over the acceptance of “non-straights.”
“I’m so proud to be a Canadian,” said Goddard, who holds two bartending jobs.
Goddard won the title of Mr. Gay Canada, and along with that the right to compete for Mr. Gay World, as the result of his volunteer work for the past three years within the gay community for organizations such as the Vancouver Pride Society, GayWhistler’s WinterPRIDE held during the 2010 Olympic Games and Friends for Life. Goddard was reluctant to admit his good looks had anything to do with his winning the title of Mr. Gay Canada, but admitted he did place second in Vancouver’s Next Gay Top Model search last year.
Goddard looks forward to the part of the competition during which the contestants model an outfit relevant to their home country.
“I’m dressing as a sexy hockey player,” said Goddard.
Australia-based philanthropist and a businessman Eric Butter founded the Mr. Gay World Organization in 2008 to create a more positive image for gay men by recognizing their contributions to their communities, countries and the world. Besides battling discrimination and supporting human rights for gay, lesbian and transgender communities, the organization is dedicated to fighting AIDS worldwide. The Mr. Gay World team includes Vancouver resident Dean Nelson.
Nelson, executive producer of Mr. Gay Canada, said Goddard was chosen to represent Canada after a series of interviews. He hopes Goddard will come away with experiences and stories he can share while highlighting human rights for gays.
Nelson said it’s important to host competitions like Mr. Gay Canada and Mr. Gay World as a reminder discrimination is rampant in many countries.
“Until every human being enjoys equal respect and dignity, we will continue to host these competitions,” said Dean.
Mr. Gay World takes place March 9 to 14 in Manila. One of the categories Goddard is competing in is the People’s Choice award, which is decided by online votes. Voting ends March 12 and the results will be revealed live at the grand finale March 13 at Club MWah in Manila.
For more information, see mrgayworld.org.