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Saturday 10 October 2009

Meet Rye Drummond - Mr. Gay Waikato 2009

Posted in: Hall of Fame
By Matt Akersten - 5th September 2009

23-year-old Rye's costumes, charisma and energetic dancing won the audience over at Hamilton's Shine nightclub - he's the deserving winner of the Mr. Gay Waikato 2009 title.

Mr. Gay Waikato 2009 - Rye Drummond
Rye proved he was 'one out of the box' during the 'fantasy' round - he burst out from a cardboard toy box dressed as G.I. Joe, shooting the crowd with party string.

Following the audience vote, Rye was presented with his hard-earned Mr. Gay Waikato 2009 sash, along with a bunch of flowers, a variety of products from Erox stores, and a generous bartab to use at Shine on future visits.

Now Rye enters's Hall of Fame, so we enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about him!


Hello Rye, congrats on becoming Mr. Gay Waikato 2009! How does it feel to win?

I'm quite flattered really, it hasn't quite sunk in yet. But at the same time, I'm very proud of myself for what I have achieved.

Rye with more pageant contestants
How did you wow the crowd on the night? Did it involve a lot of preparation?

As soon as I was entered by two good friends, I started pre-planning what I wanted to do. After driving back from a class at Les Mills our five-minute drive home became the brainstorming part of it. It rapidly developed into something major from a simple soldier to GI-Joe coming out of his figuring case. Well that's the brains of a group of marketers put together.

Many late nights it took to piece my costume and props together with all choreography was to be made up totally on the night! Thanks to those who helped.

As for the crowd they were all awesome to perform in-front of. But I think the aim was to get the audience to be a part of my performance as much as possible. I think that's what truly won my title in the end.

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

I'm an only child, born in Rotorua in '85 to very business focused, forward thinking parents. I spent most my schooling life and worked for my dad in his pet store in Rotorua before relocating for work to Tauranga where I resided for the next four years. After many years in Tauranga my best friend/flatmate and I made the move over the Kaimai's to Hamilton where I have been for a little over ten months now.

When did you come out as gay, and what was that like for you at the time?

Well it's been a thing in progress over a period of a few years, it wasn't like a newsflash and it was out. It was something that I adapted as I become more myself. It's wasn't the easiest road for me, But hey that's life challenging you. I think for people in the same situation and I know there is a lot. I think they should be who they are on the inside and live it on the outside and go hard and have fun!

Rye and last year's Mr. Gay Waikato winner Shane
What's your relationship status, and what kind of guys do you most admire?

Well currently I'm single, so this is starting to sound very advertorial so I might as well go hard and put myself on the line. Well I admire a normal guy... Someone that's funny, cute, intelligent and loves having fun. If it sounds like you then send in your details and I'll be posting your application form out to you shortly!

What do you do for a job during the week?

I work in the field of Pet/Vet as Business Development Manager for a Multi international Pet and Vet Distributor… technical sounding, I know!

What do you think are the most pressing issues currently facing the NZ's gay community?

We need to raise awareness on STD's and AIDS and how extremely promiscuous gay guys can be especially through the use of dating sites.

What's your worst habit?

This may sound funny but it's having the volume set on even digits in the car or at home.

Your biggest fear?

To be murdered in a slaughterhouse like on hostel.

Your favourite movies?

A lot of world cinema/independent films – Crash, The Boy in the striped pajamas,


Dance Movies – Honey, Step It Up 1 & 2

Eagle vs shark, Rommy & Michelle's high school reunion

…far too many to list.

Your favourite TV programmes?

I'm a huge reality TV freak – Survivor and Amazing Race, Chasers War on Everything, So

Graham Norton show, So You Think You Can Dance, Summer Heights High, Trading

Spouses/Wife Swap, Sensing Murder, Desperate Housewives, The Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Your favourite websites?

Facebook and YouTube.

Your favourite music at the moment?

Um, My iPod goes from one extreme to another, But loving Empire of the Sun, Ministry of Sound Session 6, Sophie Ellis Bextor – Heartbreak make me a dancer, Cascada –

Evacuate the dance floor, Ciara – I'm On, Shakira – She Wolf. Will always be the hugest fan of Michael & Janet Jackson's music.

Who are your gay heroes?

Ellen DeGeneres – since laughter makes the world go round. Plus she's an awesome gay role model too.

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

Would be more accepted for being me, regardless of my sexuality. And a cure for HIV & AIDS.

What's coming up in the near future for you?

Well actually I have a lot planned, from going overseas with work and I already have a few gay events popping up on my calendar already. I would like to be more involved in the local gay community I guess. I'll attend all major events at Shine nightclub here in Hamilton - if not all weekends!


On the video below: Rye becomes G.I. Joe as part of Mr. Gay Waikato's 'Fantasy Round'. He's the fifth contestant to hit the stage.

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Matt Akersten - 5th September 2009