|Mr Gay Philly 2014 - Lou Cutler
posted by Steve McCann on Jun 23, 2014 10:30am | comments
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Steve McCann is the director and founder of PhillyGayCalendar.com. He works full time at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania, and works in his spare time on the website. He has been an active member of the LGBT community of Philadelphia for over 10 years and feels that giving back to the community in which you live should be an important part of everyone's life.
Last Saturday, Bruce Yelk and Josh Schonewolf teamed up to bring us the annual Mr Gay Pride contest - a pageant that's a little more fabulous then usual. Gay men from around the area competed in several categories including casual wear, swimsuits, and of course, Q/A. In the end, a winner was crowned - Lou Cutler! We sat down with Lou to find out more about what the adventure was like at the Mr Gay Pride Contest.
How did you find out about the Mr Gay Philly Contest?
I found out about the contest through Josh Schonewolf who was very eager to enter me. I have a bit of stage fright but I agreed!
Have you ever done anything like this before?
I have never ever done anything even close to this before. ( I didn't know how much I'd love it, haha)
How did you prepare for the contest?
I took some time picking out my outfits and on the day before and during the competition I made sure I rested a whole bunch! Mentally I tried to think about what I would say to certain types of questions. I pride myself on giving really genuine answers to people and showing my heart, but also not tokenizing myself as a trans person when that discussion comes up. There is a balance.
You were the only one that randomly received a joke question – did that throw you off your game?
The joke question threw me off for a second only because all 4 guys before me got a political question....BUT I was very happy with my answer
You are the first openly Transgender winner of Mr Gay Philly – how do you think that will impact your role as Mr Gay?
I think it will open peoples eyes to the fact that we are all so diverse as humans. There is such diversity amongst gay folks, queer folks, straight folks, trans folks, people of all colors and ethnicities and body types.....everyone! I have noticed my story going viral on Facebook and some other websites. I honestly didn't anticipate that at all because I didn't even think as far as what could happen IF I won. I am feeling very proud. A couple people have called me a "trailblazer" and I'm so humbled it feels like my heart is going to explode. I'm happy to use my title to help the community and I hope I can inspire people. I'd like that to be my role. To inspire people to be themselves.
How did you friends and family react when you came out to them as transgender?
I began my transition 10 years ago. It feels like a very long time ago and I don't remember all of the hardships around it for that particular time period. It was very tumultuous and difficult for a while, but not as hard as it was for me to have to live as I was prior to being able to transition. Transitioning literally saved my life. My best friend Tia was and continues to be my biggest support and source of love. I think my family initially had a bit of a hard time with it and me, especially my mom and my brothers, however they are very accepting of me now and my mom tells me she is very proud of me which always makes my day! My 90 year old nana Fran is eagerly waiting to see my Mr Gay Philadelphia pictures. I have great friends who always have my back and are also proud of me.
What do you plan on doing with your Title?
Nobody has told me that there are any specific responsibilities that come with this title but I'd like for one of my biggest roles to be to inspire people to be themselves. Especially people who feel that their differences are too strong. I'm also going to reach out to see what I can do in the community. I'd be happy to make appearances at stuff and also to sit on committees. And I'll wear it well
Anything else you want us to know about you?
My hobbies include working out/lifting , music (beginner on the drums and ukelele), roller blading, eating, hanging with my friends, porch sitting and taking walks. Oh and I'm obsessed with cats and secretly want to be a model
Is there any doubt they picked the right person to represnt Philadelphia - look out for big things from Lou Cutler in the future!