Last week saw handsome men from around the world meet up in Knysna, South Africa, for the Mr. Gay World 2018 competition. And it was Aussie Jordan Bruno, 26-year-old reality TV chef, cookbook author and LGBTQ cooking school, who took home the contest’s big prize. We invited Bruno to be a part of Hornet’s recently announced #MyFemmeSelf campaign, and he immediately jumped at the chance to be part of the initiative.
“I have built a substantial social media following and I am unapologetic and proud of my extreme level of gayness,” he tells Hornet. “I embrace feminism and who I am completely, and I think that empowers people to do the same.”
HORNET: Have you ever been discriminated against or belittled for being femme?
JORDAN BRUNO: Yes! On Grindr I’m constantly mocked for being “not masculine enough,” and I’ve been bullied across my social media channels by the LGBTQ and straight communities. I once dressed up in drag and uploaded a photo and nearly 50% of the messages were telling me to stick to being a man. It was harsh, and I quickly realized how backwards we are in the 21st century.
Why do you think the #MyFemmeSelf campaign sends an important message?
Everyone needs to embrace who they are and who the people around them are. There is nothing wrong with being different or standing out, and I think the #MyFemmeSelf campaign highlights that. It’s an important message for everyone.
What kind of feedback do you get in your native Australia?
Australia is surprisingly reserved. We just achieved marriage equality, and we have dominant masculine figures who struggle with equality and embracing the LGBTIQ community, because they are clearly insecure about themselves. Although the majority of society is OK with individual self-expression, we still have a long way to go to achieve complete respect and equality.
What would you say to gay men who have an issue with femme gay men?
Internalized homophobia is extremely unattractive. How can you want the world to accept who you are and yet not be willing to accept the people around you? Please realize we are all unique, and we need to embrace that.
Last, what message would you like to share with those struggling to embrace their femininity?
You have the power to embrace yourself and the people around you, so please use it! Brilliant things will happen as a result.