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Wayback Machine

Hall of Fame
Aku Hammond – Mr. Gay Auckland 2008
By Matt Akersten
3rd October 2008 - 01:59 pm

Aku Hammond: Mr. Gay Auckland 2008
Auckland already has its Sky Tower – but at 6'8" tall, the new Mr. Gay Auckland is now the Queen City's official 'Gay Tower'.

20-year-old Aku Hammond impressed the judges at Family bar last weekend with his funky styling in the casual wear section, dapper suit and tie in the formal wear round, and a thought-provoking appearance in the underwear round. But the audience reacted well to Aku's choice of cossie for the swimwear round – he appeared on stage wearing only a beach ball held at waist height!

We caught up with Aku backstage after his big win, to find out a little more about him… Well done! How does it feel to have won?

Aku Hammond: I can't get over it, it's so exciting. It hasn't sunk in yet. Family is one of the first gay bars I've been to since I came out, and I'm so grateful to them for such a great experience.

What's your background and where did you grow up?

My mother is Scottish and my father is Maori. I grew up in Palmerston North, but moved to Auckland a few months ago. Now I live in a flat in Devonport. It's beautiful – we're across the road from the beach. I love the ferry ride into the city.

What do you do for a job?

I'm a manager in a clothing store called Cotton On. I was at Teacher's College studying Performing Arts and hope to find opportunities in that area. I'm also the official dancer for The Eurochix drag group!

Aku & friends in the swimwear round
What's your relationship status?

I've been single for about six months now. I'd like to find someone who can party with me. Someone who's not the jealous type.

When did you come out as gay?

I told my friends this year, just before I left Palmerston North. It was a very exciting time – secretive, like being a spy. It would be trickier to be 'out' in Palmy I think.

Which are your favourite movies?

I know it's geeky, but Star Wars – I love it so much, I can recite whole scenes from it! More recently, I like Blades of Glory, with Will Ferrell.

And TV shows?

I'm a Shortland Street fan. I like Futurama and still watch DVD's of it, plus American Dad – I love that scene were he sits with his gun and goes "I love my lazy Sundays with you!"

Which three words sum you up best?

Outrageous, exciting, party boy.

If you could have one wish, what would it be?

To be myself, and be accepted.

Check out Aku winning Mr. Gay Auckland 2008 on the video clip below.

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