Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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31 Steamy Photos of Mr. Gay World U.S.A., Tony Cannoli

Tony Ardolino, also known as Tony Cannoli, will be repping the U.S. in the upcoming Mr. Gay World pageant. Cannoli and the other participants are already in South Africa for the event. And while we have to wait until Friday to find out if Cannoli will now be the gayest in the world, here’s a little bit about our fearless “queen.”

After high school, Cannoli moved to Los Angeles where he did commercials with actors like David Hasselhoff and the Mistress of Dark herself, Elvira. Then, he spent two years in Singapore working for Universal. He’s also toured with musicals Grease and Happy Days. Cannoli started his pageant life by going for Mr. Gay Maine, which he won. After, he went on to win Mr. Gay World U.S.A.

“What drew me to this was it wasn’t cookie cutter. There were different races, body types, ages, and I wanted to be part of it because I’m brand new to the world of pageants,” he told Out in Jersey in a recent interview.

As a queer teen, life wasn’t so easy in New Jersey, he shared.

“I didn’t have a lot of friends. I got bullied relentlessly. There were Facebook pages about how I was gay and useless, horrible things. I didn’t have school to back me up, just my parents. My parents are my go-to,” he said.

But, he still thought his queerness was valuable.

“I didn’t view it as a weakness. I viewed it as something that would make me stronger.”

Cannoli created a retelling of fairytales in the queer short Far, Far Away, which sees a gay Snow White, a lesbian Rapunzel, and a trans Cinderella go for their dreams. He also wrote the book Gill, the Merboy, a book inspired by an interaction with a fan while he was performing in Paw Patrol.

It’s “about a little merboy who’s gets picked on because mermaids are supposed to be girls. He goes on this adventure to prove his worth to the ocean, and on this grand adventure, he learns that the greatest treasure of all is just being yourself,” he told Out in Jersey.

When he’s not writing or performing, Cannoli focuses on his organization My Gay Big Brother, which helps mentor queer youth in need.

“They need to have somebody to talk to,” Cannoli said. “I just want to support people because growing up I didn’t have that. I didn’t have someone to look up to. I was the oldest of four boys, so my brothers came to me all the time for advice. But as a closeted gay teen, I had no one to go to.”

Cannoli hopes he can take that message to the Mr. Gay World pageant.

“I’m just trying to be myself again. No matter where I am, no matter who I’m talking to, I just want to show support, I just want to show love. You can be your authentic self and wear a crown. You don’t have to be this cookie-cutter image. You don’t have to be Ken. I look more like Super Mario than I look like Ken.”

Check out some steamy photos celebrating Mr. Gay World U.S.A. 2022, Tony Cannoli, below, and take a look at his Instagram @tony.cannoli for more. 

(Images via Instagram/@tony.cannoli.)

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