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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Gay blogger takes out tough competition

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News, People
By Daily News Staff - 24th March 2010

Gay Wellington filmmaker Chaz Harris has won a challenging blogging competition to become the second Blog Idol on news website Stuff.

Describing himself as a "single white gay male", Harris has blogged on subjects including bullying, the role of a Best Gay Friend and the death of his father.

The 26-year-old battled through a write-off against ten finalists, who were whittled down from nearly 400 initial entrants. A Stuff panel oversaw eliminations, while blog readers had a say with votes in a daily poll, comments and visitor traffic.

Harris tells he found the whole experience fairly hard going in terms of the level of fierce anonymous criticism bloggers often face from what he calls "haters".

"If they raise valid points then fair enough, but a lot of them weren't constructive so it was a bit of an ego battle."

The blogger says the moment the "gay" label was out there, people would rant about how they "don't care about being gay so won't read it" or "all you write about is being gay". He says this was misinformed, as four out of his 12 competition posts were completely "vanilla" and not specific to being gay at all.

"People tend to make assumptions far too often and that's kind of the point I wanted to expose."

Harris says the process has shown him that even though many people seem to think that being gay is "so mainstream" and accepted in society these days, it really isn't and the perception versus the reality is disturbing.

"That, I guess, is what my blog aims to help with beyond just writing from my own perspective on all kinds of other things - there needs to be a young gay voice in the mainstream media who can help get the issues that impact the gay community out there."

Harris wins a blogging contract with Stuff and a new cellphone.

   Bookmark and Share Daily News Staff - 24th March 2010