Former Sir Henry Floyd pupil from Tring celebrates 'best day of his life' becoming Mr Gay England
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By winning the alternate beauty pageant contest, David Allwood, who grew up in Tring and went to Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School, is now able to raise awareness for the campaign he is passionate about.
The 34-year-old is enjoying the new opportunities winning the high profile competition has given him.
One campaign David is really hoping to bring into mainstream current affairs conversations is the idea of gay nursing homes.
He believes a logical next step for progressive gay culture could be introducing these venues at major cities across the UK and also covers something he remains passionate about, improving support for older members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
David told The Bucks Herald: “My campaign from the start has been about trying to combat loneliness in the LGBTQ+ community, as an umbrella term, I guess.
"But more specifically, trying to help the older generation. Who may feel lonely or isolated, or not really included in the LGBTQ+ media.
"My long term goal is to roll out gay nursing homes, or at least areas of existing nursing homes that are targeted at people who are LGBT.”
Mr Gay and Drag pageants have been running in the UK and other nations for a number of years.
Organisers brand the show as an antidote to the old conventional beauty contests of previous years.
An event spokesperson said: “We look for more than beauty. Our champions must be a spokesperson for their community, speak from the heart and shine at every challenge thrown their way.”
Mr Gay England was judged on a series of categories: charity fundraising, an audience vote, a written exam, a Mr Congeniality round, and three runway sections one for regional fashion, one for beachwear, plus a formal attire runway.
David added: “I managed to raise over £2,600 for the chosen charities, so that was one of the best things...it’s not every day you get to do a catwalk and dress up and do that kind of thing, and I’ve been a performer all my life so that have that opportunity was really cool and I made the most of that.
"In terms of the worst things, honestly it was one of the best days of my life.
"But not to sound big-headed, it did feel a little bit awkward when I was winning everything. Out of the seven rounds I won five and drew one of them.”
The choreographer and teacher’s fundraising went towards Pride Radio, an organisation that broadcasts to countries all over the world, with an emphasis on supporting people in countries where it is still illegal to be gay.
And also, The Charlie and Carter Foundation, a not-for-profit venture launched in memory of two brothers who suffered with life-limiting injuries before passing away.
Money raised for the charity goes towards supporting families financially who are looking after seriously ill children with life limiting conditions that require 24 hour nursing care or constant specialist attention.
David concluded by further explaining his passion project, saying: “Gay people have always existed, but in terms of gay rights it is still relatively new in terms of our progression.
"Gay people go on holidays and will meet up with their friends in gay spaces.
"But as it is currently, when we get to a ripe old age when we need some care, that is very geared towards hetrosexuals.
"So in nursing homes now, gay people don’t get that sense of community.
"In my head it makes sense that if you’ve got gay youth clubs and gay bars and clubs, gay holidays, and things people do that are geared towards the LGBT community throughout your life, but then it suddenly stops and you have to go to conventional spaces. Then there is something missing there.
"The only gay nursing homes that are available right now are ones that are extortionate, and inaccessible to a majority of people.
"I personally don’t think it would take a lot to alter either existing care homes or create a care home in every major city that is for the LGBT community."