Mark Carter – Mr Gay Uk 2006

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“If somebody had of told me two years ago that I would be writing my own column in Bent magazine as Mr Gay UK – I would have laughed at them!” – Mark Carter Mr Gay UK

But here I am, Mark Carter – your NEW Mr Gay UK, it may not have come as a shock to some of you that a straight acting, openly gay Police officer was the winner of the contest – but by god did it create a stir in the press!

Since winning the Mr Gay UK title back in September I have had a lot of publicity in the media – both local and national – gay and straight. And if you’ve seen any – I think you will agree that this has been very positive – which is great for our gay community.

“But you don’t look or act gay!” That’s the thing I’ve been hearing from most people, since I won. Bent readers know that there’s no such thing as the typical gay man. We’re from all walks of life, we all look, talk, think, act differently.

But the general public, who perhaps don’t get to meet many gay men, seem to think I should be camp as a row of tents. Nothing wrong with that – it’s just not me.

Let’s get things straight, I didn’t expect to win. I entered the Birmingham Heat on the spur of the moment – whilst on a night out with a good friend of mine – Craig Fox. When I won it sent shivers down my spine and I thought to myself – “What are West Yorkshire Police going to say about this?” – I was worried, very worried – and excited at the same time of course!

The Police are a disciplined organisation – but thankfully they allowed me to appear at the final full of confidence.

Now here I am. During my year in office I want to help change the attitudes of the public towards gay people. If I can work to break down stereotypes, I hope to crush some of the prejudices that gay people still face today. I also want to show the gay community that you can be out and still be successful – even in a job like policing!

When I was first asked to write a monthly column in Bent magazine I was delighted, as I realised that this was another step forward for the Police to engage with the LGBT communities of all the major towns and cities in the UK – you will be hearing from me a lot more in the future – in next months issue I aim to give you an insight into my life as a gay cop!

Meanwhile, at the recent BNP trial here in Leeds there were some of their supporters carrying placards enquiring if I was on duty. I thought they’d have seen enough of me in the press! I am not offended and it didn’t bother me in the slightest – the only issue I have is that there was no photo – but there you go!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who voted and supported me – and the gay community for allowing me to be Mr Gay UK. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the coverage and support I have received through the press and media and even more so by the positive response I have had from members of the public.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,