The gayest young man in Philadelphia

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Lea Sky Ms Paradise 2014

commentary. 

Being a part of the lgbt community, I can only approach it as an adult. That is because it took me years to figure out who I am, or at least how to accept who I am, so I lived as a straight man for 40 years. When I was in my 20’s, I was only gay if I was drunk. I was too busy living the straight and narrow course – as expected by my family and society.

But, under cover of darkness and fortified with the courage of beer, I would sneak off to Atlantic City’s New York Avenue and visit the gay clubs. At the time, there were at least 15 bars, restaurants, clubs, and many more associated businesses. But, like many others, I was an outsider looking in, trying to figure out a world I didn’t quite belong to, but definitely wanted to join, and occasionally did.

I have no idea what it is like to experience being young, out, and free. So, when I recently stumbled upon Matt O’Neill’s Blog My Innermost Thinking, I asked to share his story.

Matt O'Neill. Photo is courtesy of Philly Gay CalendarLocation: Voyer Nightclub, Philadelphia, Dateline: April 14th, 2012.

Matthew recently participated in the Mr. Gay Philadelphia contest, or as his father pointed out… he was competing to be named the ‘Gayest Man in Philadelphia’ Here’s his perception of the pageant from his blog:

Why I wasn’t the gayest man in Philadelphia.

For those of you that are fortunate enough to not be my friend (or be anywhere around me for that matter), this weekend I competed in a beauty pageant. I was competing for Mr. Gay Philadelphia. As my father stated, I was competing to be the gayest man in Philadelphia. And who wouldn’t want a sash and crown for that?

I mustered up my courage, found the sexiest bathing suit I had (ok I bought one for the occasion), and strutted around on stage. If you ever have the burning desire to feel judged regarding every part of your body… this is an event you might want to consider! After Saturday night, to every runway model in the world,I totally commend you on what you do. You may not have any brains in that head of yours, but you’ve got bigger balls than I ever will. I’d like to say that it was a lot of fun… but never again. 

I’ll stick with making fun of your overly large, 95 pound figures from the audience, its much easier on my part.

So the one with the brawniest balls?

My new friend Nathan. I normally don’t drop names in my blog but he knows I’m writing this, so im good to go. So Nathan, who won Mr. Congeniality, took that pageant to a whole new level. For evening wear, this guy, walked out on stage looking like he wandered off of a nativity scene. Praising Allah on stage and all, I told him the only way that the boy following him would get noticed, was if he followed up by being naked. But leave it to Nathan to take care of that too. Along came the swim suit portion and of course he walked out in the Borat bathing suit! 

Now we were competing against all the hotties in the Philly area, and (taking a wild guess) he knew he wouldn’t beat out people who do personal training for a living. So what did he do? He mustered up the self-confidence and bared his balls on stage. Self confidence is one thing that I found most people can never have enough of. “Do I look fat? He wont go for someone like me. No one likes what I have to offer.”

There are a few facts that are universally true:

1. You are who you are.

2. You are the only one that can change you. 

3. People strive to be happy, and therefore are drawn to positive energy.

Nathan went on stage with confidence. You can tell from the vibe that he gives off that he is someone who is ok with who he is and what he does. If you don’t know him, getting on stage is not uncommon. As a drag queen, he’s the host of multiple shows that generally fill up with a crowd all the time. Like I mentioned above, you can only change you and you are the one thing that might be keeping you from being happy. Once you build up that positive energy through confidence, people will be drawn to it like flies and feces (sorry for the strange analogy, it’s Monday morning…)

Think about what you have to offer, everyone has something. Use that as leverage to push yourself above the confidence bar and work it. Nathan is a man of humor. He used that as a way to show that he owned that stage. And he certainly did because he won the congeniality award.
Look at what you have to offer, and use it to steal the spotlight.

For Nathan’s blog visit www.facebook.com/myinnermostthinking.  

And now let’s get back to New Jersey and Atlantic City. For those of you who missed it. This past weekend was Resort’s Beleive, Diva’s in a Man’s World showstopper and Pro Bar’s 1st anniversary. Pro Bar was the 1st Gay Club to open in an Atlantic City casino and filled an empty void.

Congratulations to Joel, Mark, Bill, Mike, and the rest of the staff there for making every night special. And, thanks again, to Resorts AC’s much missed owner, Dennis Gomes, for believing in and supporting the lgbt community.

 

commentary. 

Being a part of the lgbt community, I can only approach it as an adult. That is because it took me years to figure out who I am, or at least how to accept who I am, so I lived as a straight man for 40 years. When I was in my 20’s, I was only gay if I was drunk. I was too busy living the straight and narrow course – as expected by my family and society.