07/02/2013 05:16 pm ET Updated Sep 01, 2013

Mr. Gay USA and Me

Ex-Marine Matt Simmons is a fearless Marine vet and the new Mr. Gay World/USA. I almost was. Sort of. (See below).

And the similarities don't sop there!

. We're both Americans.

. I am, as he is, male.

. I, like Mr. Simmons, have lived in Nevada (his home state).

. I have seen casinos. Mr. Simmons has, too.

. I have an affection for relatively low humidity.

. Mr. Simmons almost certainly does.

. I had a kind of buzz-cut (albeit when I was six).

. Mr. Simmons has an abiding respect for the robust defense of this nation, as do I.

. Mr. Simmons is buff and cut. I am, as well, in my mind. I could go on, on, and on.

For example,

. I have written about the benefits to our nation, to lgbt and straight citizens and to the law, resulting from the just, overdue death of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell (DADT). Mr. Simmons agrees.

. Mr. Simmons' winning this pageant is emphatic punctuation of the personal freedom he, all our servicemen and women (and you and I) deserve. I am all for proper punctuation.

The champion told Gay Star News (6.24.13):

I dream to inspire my peers to overcome the tough obstacles in their life and strive to be the best person they can, never giving up on their dreams and never losing sight of who they are. Traveling to and living in many foreign countries for the better part of my childhood has allowed me to gain a respect for people living in other parts of the world that may not be as fortunate as many Americans are. I believe this makes me relatable to a diverse range of men, giving them someone they can easily look up to.

Like Mr. Simmons,

. I have never lost sight of who everyone else is.

. I have traveled and lived in foreign countries. In fact, I have seen others as they are so well that, at one point, in June, 1986, I was expelled from a foreign country, and I am up to the task of showing Mr. Simmons how to accomplish that for himself (if he likes).

. I also am relatable.

. I am a proud American citizen.

.I am very, very diverse.

And just like Mr. Simmons, I will root for him as he represents our nation on August 4 when he competes against twenty-five others in Belgium for the Mr. Gay World title.

Finally, just like Mr. Simmons, I am a Gay Contest winner (after a fashion).

Several years back, just after I signed on to the Castle Gay Guide as an editor, a few weeks after I provided the site's owner with the way-buff photo of me you see here to accompany my weekly politics column, I was voted "Eighth Cutest Guy on Castle Gay Guide" (no one Asked if I'm Straight, and I Didn't Tell.)

Now I can say, with my magnificent champion-brother, that I have won devotion and broken hearts the wide-world over, from Tiajuana to Timbuktu.