Ted Nieves won Mr Fire Island Bear 2018 in June last year and as we prepare for the next Fire Island Bear Weekend, featuring the Mr Fire Island Bear 2019 contest, I wanted to catch up with Ted to see how his year has been.
Ted Nieves was born and raised in the South Bronx, NYC. Alongside his day job, he works as a DJ in NYC. He shares a Saturday night residency at The Hangar NYC with DJ Mando, partners with John-John Punki at RockBar for the monthly Purgatory Party, is resident DJ at the monthly Soaked Party, also at Rockbar, and he also works in partnership with Shane Tate and Antonio Cedeño on their occasional events.
Robin: Hi Ted, looking back over your title year, what have been some of the activities you have been involved with this year?
Ted Nieves: It’s been quite a whirlwind year! I worked with Joseph Macchia, Mr. Eagle 2018, on our joint fundraiser, Colors at the Eagle NYC where we raised over $1k for homeless LGBTQ youth. I’ve also been blessed to judge the Miss RockBar contest this past year.
There were many other events such as the Mr. Eagle and Mr. RockBear contests which my fiancé Kory Harmon ended up winning and, one of my favorite events was the SAGE Toys Party where I got to run into a lot of people that I hadn’t seen in years.
What’s been the highlight of your reign?
It’s been pretty amazing to meet the incredible people involved in the leather and title holder holder community. There’s such a hugely diverse group of people out here working their hardest to make a difference in their communities. It’s very humbling and I can’t wait to continue building connections and seeing what else we can achieve.
What are your plans for the future, any more competitions to enter?
Now that the title year is almost over, I want to continue working with the True Colors Fund and raise awareness on the work they do. As far as more competitions, I think that time will tell. Right now I have no further plans to enter another competition, but then again I had no intention of being in the Mr. Fire Island Bear contest either so it remains to be seen. lol
What’s your advice for the new Mr. Fire Island Bear?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. You have a platform and there is a lot of good you can do with it and I greatly encourage them to work hard, but also make sure that you enjoy it as well.
What are you looking forward to the most from this year’s Fire Island Bear Weekend?
I’ve been DJing the opening event for the last 2 years and this will be my 3rd. It’s so much fun every year and the party just keeps growing so I’m really looking forward to seeing the new fresh faces that we will be seeing that weekend. Also, I can’t wait to meet and get to know who the next Mr. Fire Island Bear is going to be!
For more information about Fire Island Bear Weekend, advice on where to stay and to buy tickets, visit the FIBW website