About Jarrod Bachelor Mr Gay UK 2003

Welcome to the "Mr Gay UK" website. My name is Jarrod Batchelor and on the 23rd August 2003 I was luckily enough to be crowned Mr Gay UK 2003-2004. 

The reason I'm writing this biography is because I wanted people to get to know their Mr Gay UK and so thought I'd write a few paragraphs about me, my life to date and what I hope to "give and gain" from being your Mr Gay UK. 

So where do I begin? I suppose as Maria from "Sound Of Music" would say, "Let's start at the very beginning, that's a very good place to start" (*I promise it won't stay as camp as this*). Grin. 

I was born in Newport, Isle of Wight on the 15th September 1979 (you've all missed my birthday now, moan) and grew-up there a relatively happy boy. I am the youngest of three siblings and still �Mummies Little Blue-Eyed Boy'... according to them! I was spoilt as a child, for use of a better word, and was a very popular boy having many friends and even girlfriends before the age of 9! 

It was around this time that I knew that something wasn't quite "right", and when I say "right" I, of course, mean conventional. I had no idea what being "gay" meant but I knew that this wasn't something that my peers or family would understand. I therefore did what most other older boys'/younger men would do in the same situation and denied its existence. I courted (thanks for the vocabulary mum) girls in the normal way and proceeded to lead a conventional life at school. I wanted to hide that part of me I hated. I'd been taught all along that homosexuality was wrong. I felt disgusted and ashamed that I was affected with this illness and wanted no one to know of my shame. 

Although I did all this to keep myself hidden, somehow I still stood out from the crowd and the bullying started. I thought I was a strong individual. I thought I could treat it as "water-off-a-ducks-back"... but I under-estimated the damage that bullying could do to me. I became a recluse at home and at school. For the majority of my adolescence my family didn't know me. I would tell them nothing of the pain at school in fear that they would believe them and think the same. In fact, I wouldn't speak to them at all. My "family" became just people I lived with. I look back now and am saddened by that wasted time. Especially the time with my grandparents who passed away a few years ago. (Still think of them both...a lot). 

However, out of all this pain there has come plenty of good!!!! If I could be so tacky as to mention a favourite saying of mine: 

"From the desolate ashes rose the phoenix, so full of beauty and power. Marvel at her spirit" 
I have no idea where it came from, but read it at school once. If anyone knows can you let me know? :0) 

My past experience has shaped the way I see the world, the way I treat people and has given me the energy to go and grab life with both hands and not let go. I used to be shy and reclusive. Now I am confident, full of self-esteem and always looking for the next adventure. My past experiences have hardened me and made me a fighter. (I feel a Christina Aguilera song coming on!) 

The Isle of Wight was never the place for me to be. London had always been a place of wonder. After all, I was (and still am in a way) a country boy! Ah, bless! After a stay in Southampton (2� years), I decided London was where I belonged. So I just packed up and went. I quit my good job working in Investments and Life Policies for HSBC and went. That was January 2003 and I've never looked back! 

I've met some amazing people in London (as well as Southampton) and would like to make a special mention to some of those that I couldn't be here today without. 

Special thanks go to my Barneys, (AKA Dave & Glen) who made London possible for me and are still my greatest fans LOL! To Coro and Alan who are part of my family. To Colin in Southampton, who's been the best brother (or is it aunty) I could've had and not forgetting Nicky, the fag hag lesza wife � Champers alright for you Nix? 

So, drawing to a close what is Mr Gay UK about? 

For me, Mr Gay UK is about being a voice. A voice that sends a message. Whether that message is a speech in a bar, or an interview for the general media or simply making a personal appearance somewhere... he should make a difference, even if that difference is a small one. This is what I intend to do with the time I've been given. Bullying is a serious problem for many young people, gay and straight alike. It is an issue that had a huge impact on my life and I hope to help reach those feeling the same as I did � isolated, confused and alone! Hopefully, they will realise as I did that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Thanks of reading this far, and I hope to see you all very soon. If you'd like to comment on this Biography, please email me, as I would love to hear from you. Sadly I can't respond to every message I receive, but I do try my hardest! 

With Warmest Thoughts,