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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Meet Jade Doel - Mr. Gay Auckland 2009

Posted in: Hall of Fame
By Matt Akersten - 4th November 2009

Nine worthy candidates graced the stage at Family bar at the weekend in the hopes they'd take away a huge prize package and the coveted title Mr. Gay Auckland 2009 - but there could only be one winner.

We got to know 27-year-old Jade Doel a little better, and discovered a rare specimen - a single man who's smart as well as handsome...

Jade Doel - Mr. Gay Auckland 2009 Congrats on winning Mr. Gay Auckland! Well done.

Jade: Thank you very much. The competition was tough, all the boys presented themselves admirably and am privileged to have shared the stage with them.

What did you have to do on stage to win? Were you nervous?

All the contestants had to participate in four categories; Casual attire, underwear, swimwear and finally, formal attire, where we had to answer a question from the judges. I had no secret formula to help me win the competition, so apart from strutting my stuff on stage I just focused on being myself from the door. I'm definitely not a crowd person, spotlights scare the crap out of me, so I approached it from a different perspective, which I think helped with the calming of the nerves.

I saw the competition more as an opportunity to exhibit contributions I would like make to the GLBT community instead of it being about exhibiting my appearance, so I was quite comfortable in the end.

Jade with Miss Ribena on Mr. Gay Auckland night
Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I'm proud Nagti Porou, born and raised in Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast, the hometown of my mothers family, who are Maori. Being Half-caste and growing up in such a small community with my Maori culture all around me blessed me with a creative spirit, a unique identity and a diverse outlook on life which I hold deeply.

Where do you live, and what do you think of the place?

I'm currently living with my cousin and her fiancé and our little beagle, Benny in New Lynn. Exposure to the Westy lifestyle I have to admit has turned me in to a bit of a bogan but in a classy way, I call it Bogassy!

What do you do for work or study?

Architecture has been a lifelong passion, I currently study a Bachelor of Architecture at Unitec in Auckland full-time and if all goes according to plan, next year I'll be commencing my Masters in Architecture.

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

Like many coming out stories mine was composed with struggle, conflict, shame, doubt, fear, loneliness and isolation. I was 20 years old and fairly withdrawn, a far contrast to who I am today. I've always known from my earliest memories that I was gay but it took 20 years of gathering strength to acknowledge who I was openly. Within 48 hours I had come out to my entire family and from that point on my life suddenly turned from doom and gloom to prosperous and vivacious.

Do you have a partner? What kind of guys do you most admire?

Single and funnily not by choice. When it comes to finding guys visually appealing I'm a little quirky, I find beauty in imperfection. The character which I admire and seek most in a guy is culture, they must have substance and know who they are and where they come from.

Jade shows off his tattoo on stage
What do you think are the biggest issues currently facing NZ's gay population?

Personally, as a gay New Zealander, I believe we live in one of the luckiest countries in the world. At times I take my freedom to be who I am for granted, and forget those who have come before me, those who have struggled and fought for freedom and have dedicated their lives to allow me to live the life in which I live.

The biggest issue that New Zealand's gay population face is losing our unique identity and culture, I honestly believe our gay history is incredible and it should be treasured, as without it we are nothing.

What's your worst habit?

That's a hard one, I'm not as self-conscious as I probably should be. I suppose I get told a lot that I work too hard.

Your biggest fear?

Finding out that Zachary Quinto doesn't like me as much as I like him.

Which books are you currently reading and recommending?

If it isn't architecture related I don't read it, because we are given pages and pages of reading lists from our tutors at uni. It would be a dream come true to have time to read a book by Witi Ihimaera.

Your favourite music at the moment?

I'm huge on New Zealand music and have recently been inspired by the tunes of a young up and coming Maori singer/song writer by the name of Maisey Rika. Her voice is beyond beautiful and her talent completely captivating. Her debut album, Tohu, just came out, go do yourself a favour.

Your favourite movies?

Also a big kiwi movie geek; Meet the Feebles, Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Piano just to name a few.

Your favourite TV programmes?

Easy! There is only one show, Outrageous Fortune! If I had to choose a second show it would be Flight of the Concords, they're good-funny, and their music is catchy and witty.

Who in the world (including NZ) would you most like to have a coffee and a chat with and why?

The one and only, Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and Donkey Kong. It may seem a little unusual to have a Japanese videogame designer as an idol but what I admire and am interested in most about Miyamoto san is his imagination and his philosophies on design which I translate in to my architectural designs.

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

I would love to be able to speak any language so that when I travel the world I can talk to all the sexy boys and of course for educational purposes...

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

For summer I have to return home and help out on the farm, I work in the shearing sheds with my family. Rhythm and Vines looks impressive this year too. Early 2010 will see me be back in Auckland preparing for my studies and participating in all the GLBT events such as the Big Gay Out and over to the Sydney Mardi Gras.

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Matt Akersten - 4th November 2009