Meet Tomas Winner of Mr Bear Belfast 2020

So, congratulations on winning Mr Bear Belfast 2020 Tomas, 

It’s great to speak to you.

Tell us a little about yourself first.

My name is Tomas, I am 33 years old, originally from Slovakia, grew up in Yorkshire (Leeds area) now live in Belfast for the past 6 years and single.

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So how has Lockdown been for you?

Lockdown has not been that bad. In my current role, I am a key worker, so no time off for me. What I do miss is everyone on the Belfast scene (especially the bears).

What made you decide to enter the Mr Belfast Bear contest this year?

I entered Mr Bear Belfast 2019 and was runner up, so I decided I would give it another go and see what would happen and here I am, Mr Bear Belfast 2020.

It’s great when the community can inspire us to do things we wouldn’t have done otherwise! Did you think you would win?

It is actually really funny. Last year we knew beforehand who the contestants were, but this year the organisers kept it secret. On the night, contestants were called on the stage one by one. I was introduced first and felt that the pressure was on me to deliver. Seeing the rest of the contestants after me, made me feel apprehensive and when all 5 were on the stage, I looked at my friends in the audience and I said "Oh my god! Here we go again. I am not going to win. I might as well get off the stage. LOL".

What was the competition like and what did you have to do?

The competition was fun. I was a bit scared but I had my friends with me for support. We were being interviewed on the stage by the hostess, asking each contestant a few questions about themselves. Once everyone was introduced, you had 10 minutes to go around and get as many pegs as possible, attached to anywhere on your body from everyone in the venue. The pegs were given to everyone upon entry and you had to keep them until the contest. Obviously I had the most pegs from all the contestants and the jury decided that I am the winner. 

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How will you use your title over the next coming year?

With the Covid-19 pandemic, it's difficult at the moment. Once everything returns to normal, I will be attending functions to represent the Bear community, supporting LGBTQ+ events. I want to get involved in supporting others in any way I can within our community, not just the Bear scene but the LGBTQ+ population as a whole. I want to be seen as a role model to inspire others. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. 

How did you feel when they announced you were the winner?

I was over the moon when they announced me as the winner. Friends were shouting my name even before it got announced as they all wanted me to win. I didn't know if they had made the announcement or not, but yeah it was an amazing feeling. When I walked back on stage, all of my friends, other contestants and bears in the venue were hugging and congratulating me. 

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What message do you have for the bear community?

Just be who you are, be proud, support each other, especially in these hard times and soon enough we will be back to normal.

Do you have anything else you would like to say or add?

With everything on hold at the moment, it is a difficult situation. So if anyone needs a friend, support or even just a chat, I am always here. Don't be afraid to add or follow me on any of my social pages.

Places you can follow Tomas......

Facebook -  www.facebook.com/tomas.hriczo

Instagram - tomashriczo

TikTok -       tomi_bear

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Do you have any thankyou’s you would like to add ?

Firstly, I would like to thank the organisers of Belfast Bear Bash - the guys have worked their back sides off to get it all organised and off the ground, especially Mr Robert Brown. I would like to thank my friends, Belfast bears and everyone who attended and supported me during the competition. Love you all so much xxx

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Well thanks Tomas. And once again, congratulations on your win.

See you soon!

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