Counting Down to Mr. Hyphen 2011: Five Contestants, Five Days

October 31, 2011

Mr. Hyphen 2011 finalist Eugene Canotal

In case it slipped your mind, we’re here to remind you that Mr.
Hyphen 2011 is coming up in just five days! Before the big event
(November 5) we’re bringing you the inside scoop on each of our fabulous
and community-serving contestants. We’ll feature one contestant each
, in no particular order, for the entire week, starting with Eugene Canotal.

We expect great things from Eugene when he hits the stage at this year’s Mr. Hyphen.

Why? Because he’s a model, that’s why! Literally, he is a model. But like all our Mr. Hyphen contestants, Eugene is also a role
model. Eugene dedicates his life to promoting positive images of APIs.
More specifically, his goal is to work toward the de-stigmatization of
mental health treatment and therapy within the API community. Currently,
Eugene works as a mental health therapist at Fred Finch Youth Center.
In his own words, “While it would be spectacular for a merge of my
careers to occur, I know that I’m happy being something I’ve always
wanted to be since I was 18: a social worker.” At Mr. Hyphen he will be
representing the Filipino Community Center in San Francisco -- an
organization that creates a safe cultural and community space for
Filipino youth and families.

On API representation and stereotypes, Eugene says: “My least favorite stereotype is that API men are not hot or attractive enough.  I
think we can combat this through more realistic representations in the
mainstream media, whether through magazine ads, TV shows, and the
Internet.  I think Harry Shum, Jr., John Cho, and Shannon Kook-Chun (from Canada's Degrassi) will hopefully be the first of many more attractive API men to appear on TV.  As the presence of confident, attractive API men increase (Yul Kwon from Survivor comes to mind), I think API men, in general, will have role models to whom they can look up and perhaps emulate.”

We're really looking forward to seeing Eugene
strut down the catwalk. But here’s another teaser: Amy Winehouse. Uh,
what? Guess you’ll have to come to Mr. Hyphen to find out what that means!

Mr. Hyphen 2011 is on Saturday, November 5 at the Brava! Theater in San Francisco. Click here for more info on the event and to get tickets.