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 You have entered Mr Gay Britain this year. What made you decide to do that? 

I’ve spent the last year and a half looking inwards and trying to work on my mind and body and now I want to take some of that energy and put it back into the world. I feel like the most evolved version of myself to date and I want to hopefully be an example of queer excellence. I’m also a storyteller at heart and there are so many parts of MGGB that allow me to be creative and connect with people from across the LGBTQ+ community.

 What will your campaign for Mr Gay Britain consist of? 

Fundraising! We are working with two incredible partners charities the Charlie and Carter Foundation and Pride Action North, it’s really important to me to be able to raise as much money for these organisations as I can because the services they provide are so important! I am currently running 105K across May (fundraising link here if anyone would like to donate every penny counts!  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tom-white-268  but as well as running, I’m also using it as an opportunity to tell a story. The number 105 wasn’t just plucked out of thin air it represents the 67 countries where homosexuality or any kind of queerness is still illegal and the 37 countries were same-sex couples have the right to equal marriage and altogether that makes 105. Every day on my Instagram @tomedwardwhite I am telling the story of queer people in these countries, and each kilometre is dedicated to them. 

 

There will be more fundraising coming across the next couple of months so watch this space. 

 

But ultimately I would like to use my campaign to reach parts of the LGBTQ+ I’ve yet to connect with as it’s so important to me to be the best ally for every member of my community.

 Do you feel that LGBTQ+ rights are progressing in this country or going backwards? 

This is an interesting question according to the European league table of LGBTQ+ rights the UK’s ranking has been in decline in the last three years going from 10th place to 14th place and in 2023 to 17th place. And the hardest hitting fact is that in 2015, the UK were leading the table as the country with the most inclusive laws, protections and policies for queer people. So those are the facts, however, comparatively to other countries around the world where homosexuality or queerness is still illegal or punishable by death, the UK is leaps and bounds forward. But that doesn’t mean the fight is over in the UK. The anti-trans rhetoric flooding our news and social media cycles is hideous and surely so exhausting for trans people in this country and in the wake of the case review we must do more to protect our trans siblings, but most importantly, trans children. Unfortunately our current government and potentially our next are perpetuating this regression of rights. And don’t get me started on the ban of gender neutral toilets let people use the bathroom where they see fit! So we must continue the fight it did not end with the passing of marriage equality. 

 For those who don’t know when does Mr Gay Britain take place? 

‘Gay Day’ the finale for Mr Gay Great Britain and Mx Drag 2024 takes place at the Annick  Gardens on August 26th. This year is particularly exciting as Mr Gay World is being hosted in the UK along side MGGB so I will be cheering on Mr Gay Great Britain 2023 winner Paul Carruthers at the same time as he competes for the Great Britain on the worlds stage!

 What will you have to do to win Mr Gay Britain?

There are many rounds within the competition, and as I mentioned previously fundraising is one of the biggest. But there are also different runways to perform in from beach wear to regional wear and I have some really exciting ideas, but I am keeping those under wraps for now. But just know I will be representing my home of East London! The competition also includes an LGBTQ+ history exam which I think is amazing because as a queer person I know I stand on the shoulders of giants so being able to communicate that knowledge efficiently is great practice!

 

 There is also an online vote, which I will definitely be sharing with you when that goes live #TeamTom. As well as many other exciting parts to it. You can follow @mrgaygrearbritain to keep up to date at the contest progresses. 

 What will you do if you win Mr Gay Britain? 

I will use this platform to continue to tell stories, as an actor and theatre maker I have always used my platform to raise the voice of underrepresented communities. I would also like to move this beyond the entertainment realm and be able to make lasting change within our country at a local and governmental level. I also just want to be an advocate for queer joy, in whatever form that takes!

 What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I love to dance! Anytime anywhere, and whilst I might not always be the most rhythmical in the room, the joy of dancing just takes over. And hopefully you’ll see some of this joy in my runway presentations on Gay Day this year.

 

I also have a huge passion for fitness I work with an amazing personal trainer @andytrinder_ who took me from total beginner novice to living the best version of myself in my body! He is the main man for beginners starting a fitness, health and wellness journey. 

 

I also love to cook, and as a vegetarian, I find it really liberating and creative outlet to experiment with new ingredients to create new dishes.

 

I’m also very lucky to have an amazing support system around me from my friends to my siblings so just spending time with them and being present is really important to me. 

 

And lastly, I am a huge Negroni cocktail lover, so I am always on the hunt for the perfect Negroni! 

 What are you plans for the next 12 months?  

This might be the biggest question of all my plans for the next 12 months are to continue to invest in myself, and my community. To strive to become a fitter stronger version of myself and to find joy, wherever joy comes.

 I would like to make some big moves into television and radio presenting as I’ve mentioned, I love to tell stories and connect with people and I feel that this space would really allow me to do this. So if anyone out there can help me on this journey please reach out!

But first and foremost, my plan is to be the next Mr Gay Great Britain. 

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