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Why this year's Mr Gay New Zealand isn't keen on the word 'gay'

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Mr Gay New Zealand has been announced for 2018, but despite the new title, he says he wants the word 'gay' to disappear.

Big Gay Out was cancelled on Sunday due to the rain, but festival-goers didn't let that dampen their spirits.

They took the announcement of Mr Gay New Zealand to Karangahape Rd bar Caluzzi and this year's winner was announced as Blenheim's Ricky Devine White.

While he said New Zealand is far further ahead than Australia in terms of equal rights, he still has goals he hopes to see achieved.

"In 20 years, I want New Zealand to not actually have the word 'gay' so that it becomes a normal society where there is no 'gay', there is no 'bisexual' and 'transgender'. We're all just one people," Mr White told The AM Show.

It's been his goal over the past few years to give back to the community.

"Mr Gay New Zealand is based on your contribution to the wider LGBTI community, things you've done in the past, and things you plan to do in the future as well.

"My day to day job is a personal trainer and life coach. I work with 20 kids and mentor them.

"We run charity events and set up for cancer society events, and we also run a big diversity day."

Mr White said he came out at age 21 when he was on deployment with the Royal New Zealand Navy.

"I came out while I was on ship. I was in a very small place sharing a room with 16 other guys.

"The navy was a place where there's so much comradeship and so much support so it was easy.

"Some of the older sailors definitely had a lot of questions: What does it mean to be gay? Have you been gay all the time? Is it a decision?"

However, he said he never faced any animosity from his fellow sailors.

 "The New Zealand Navy is really accepting."

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