Brent Douglas Kuenning (40) is Mr. Gay USA and he is representing United States of America in Worldwide Mr. Gay 2010 in Oslo, Norway.
Name: BRENT DOUGLAS KUENNING
Hobbies: Singing, dancing, American football, snow & water skiing, scuba diving, spending time with my family, theatre, huge movie buff, cooking, baking, wine tasting, dessert connoisseur, traveling (been to every continent except Australia), interior faux painting/ matchbook collector, foodie, taking care of my nieces & nephews and being a mentor to them, Empire State Pride Agenda & gay league volleyball & football.
Profession: Executive Assistant to the President of a Real Estate Development Company in New York City. Also, an Actor/Host/Singer & Dancer
Role model: -
Dream date: -
Favorite moment in life:
Relation status: -
Statement: Similar to many gay individuals I was raised in a modest, remote community sheltered from the colorful complexities that abounded in the big cities. I had never met a gay person nor had my family ever been exposed to anyone different from themselves, until me. In Nebraska, you go about your very routine life, which was fine because all I ever wanted was what everyone close to me had. Someone who I could get married to, spend the rest of my life with and have a loving caring family.
Strangely I knew I was different but not quite sure in what manner. Looking back I wish there had been visible gay role models as it would have most definitely eased my coming out process. Like many I was scared of what my family would think, how they would react and if they would still love me if they knew I was different. So when I was 17 years old I traveled to New York City for the first time to celebrate my 18th birthday. I will never forget that on the night of my 18th birthday after having dinner with my sister, I saw two very handsome, masculine men walking in front of us down the street holding hands and no one cared or brought attention to them. I realized that it was just as it was in Nebraska, and people are people. It was then and there I thought for the first time that I could be gay.
It was so wonderful the feelings and thoughts that were going through my head. I did not know exactly if I was gay or not , all I knew was that one day I would move to the Big Apple to find out who I was and be in a place where I could be whatever I wanted to be. So after many years in New York City as a working actor fulfilling my dreams and facing the challenges, I found that New York City was very much like Nebraska. That people in general just get into their daily routines, go on with their everyday lives and are not really affected by things that do not concern them. You will either like what is offered to you or you won’t. But to have an opinion about something you know nothing about is just pure ignorance. And I found that in both places (NYC & Nebraska) that this ignorance happens a lot.
In the United States we are protected by the first amendment allowing everyone regardless of race, religion or creed their personal voice and opinion. Unfortunately, and frequently, opinion can be based without accurate knowledge and that “opinion” takes the form of ignorance and bigotry. My 80 year old father often says that people from our state get a bad rap because many in our community are still unexposed to those with different viewpoints. People become very set in their ways and opinions are historically passed down from one generation to the next, right or wrong. We are living proof that as time marches on we have the power to the world a better place. People are able to live diverse lifestyles and as we evolve as a society not only are they accepted but celebrated as another great thread in the fabric of life.
My father, being one of my biggest champions’ stills finds it insane that in the Midwest, in Iowa which so many people believe to be backwards, that two men can get married, yet in New York City the fight for marriage rights still continues. I find it very ironic that the small town boy who wanted so badly to move to the big city to become what he truly wanted, (a man who could walked down the street holding hands with his husband) still has to struggle with the views of so many people who have not been tolerant enough to see that in the end we all just want the same thing, Happiness.
Thankfully today young gay people have countless resources and outlets to express who they are, interact with other gay people via the internet and be supported regardless where they live. We truly live in a wonderful time! So I feel I would be a great representative of such a great organization where I could contribute my part and help others to understand what being a gay person is about. That we are all just human beings and there is really no difference between us. That deep down the common goal that we as a worldwide society have is to get along and live in place full of harmony.