Funny woman Mikala Bierma (Dissappointing Gay Best Friend) hosts the third edition of Queer of the Year (QOTY), which, for the first time, will be decided by public vote—voting on the contest’s Facebook page begins today!
To nab the top slot, finalists endure a series of zany challenges and will be on display on the QOTY float in Sunday’s Pride parade. The winner, announced August 19 during Montreal Pride’s closing ceremonies, gets $5,000, a return trip to Montreal, and of course beaucoup bragging rights for the next twelve months.
Below is a quick preview of the five finalists. Check them out and vote for your favorite!
The Boy Next Door: Caleb Judy
The tall, dark and handsome Judy is a Pittsburgh native who now lives in Torrington, CT. He’s a charmer and a braniac, with a masters in biomedical anthropology.
Why him? “I want to be able to represent people in the best way possible, and I think that’s something that I can really do.”
The Funny One: Topher McFarlane
Alberta, Canada native McFarlane now lives in Toronto, where he works in TV production and runs the Canadian comedy website TheSketchers.com.
Why him? “Not only am I funny, fabulous, and outrageous, but I’m willing to do anything to get a laugh.”
The Fierce Femme: Ivette Gonzalez-Ale
This year’s only female finalist is a Brooklynite, a self-described “Cuban-Mexican bombshell” and the co-founder of Marimacho, an “unconventionally masculine” clothing line for women. She also produces Azucar, a queer Latin dance party in New York.
Why her? “It’s about time that Queer of the Year had a fierce femme of color as their winner.”
The Double Threat: Shane Jenek
As his drag alter-ego Courtney Act, Jenek was an Australian Idol semi-finalist in 2003. He’s originally from Sydney and now lives in West Hollywood.
Why him? “Even though I dress as somebody else sometimes, I’m a big advocate for always being yourself, and I think that’s really important.”
The Hyphenate: Peter Picciano
This beefy South Florida boy now resides in New York, where he’s an actor/model/dancer/bartender who’s recently been learning gymnastics.
Why him?”I’m a unique individual with a high level of motivation and dedication that can relate to people from all walks of life.”