Jordan Bruno and Nicholas Steepe are two of the eight finalists in the public voting round.
Mathew Whitehead

3 Jan 2018 - 12:21 PM  UPDATED 3 Jan 2018 - 12:21 PM

The 2018 Mr Gay Pride Australia has whittled down more than 30 applications to its final eight, as public voting is now underway.

The competition aims to find future leaders for the LGBTI+ community in Australia, with the winner chosen as the official Aussie representative for the Mr Gay World which this year will be held in Knysna, South Africa in May.

Candidates for Mr Gay Pride Australia are chosen for their ability to engage with the LGBTI+ community, ability to speak in a public forum, have attributes of a natural leader and, of course, be quite the charmer.

This year's finalists include Nicholas Steepe, who has been an activist working in his home of Dubbo. In 2015, Steepe received a nomination to join the Dubbo city council committee in order to give a voice to the LGBTI+ community.

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Steepe, a social worker who has been part of Dubbo Headspace for several years, also stood in front of the City Council's Finance and Policy Committee and urged them to introduce a motion supporting marriage equality.

"There's so much focus on metropolitan areas for me and there's really limited resources within rural areas and that's what I want to try and change because young LGBTI lives matter everywhere," he told the Daily Liberal.

"At the end of the day, I want inclusion and acceptance of absolutely everybody, no matter where you're from, no matter what your sexuality or gender identity is."

"In a school setting, in a work setting, in a community setting, I just want societal acceptance and inclusion of all people who identify as LGBTIQA."

In the same year, Steepe was also a finalist in the Honour awards for his work within the community. He is also one of the organisers of the Central West Pride March, a pride march aimed at making rural LGBTI+ youths feel more visible and accepted in the own homes.

Steepe has used his own negative experiences of coming out in a rural area to work tirelessly to make sure others have a better experience. 

Steepe is joined in the public voting round by former 'My Kitchen Rules' contestant Jordan Bruno. A semi-finalist in the 2016 series alongside his mum, Anna, Bruno has since used his exposure on the series to support LGBTI+ organisations.

Bruno released a free online cookbook with donations going to LGBTI+ organisations Minus18 and Headspace.

Voting for Mr Gay Pride Australia closes at noon on Sunday, January 14, with results being announced later that day at Melbourne's Midsumma Carnival. You can vote now at the eikon website.

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