My gay election pride

Michael Felse, who two years ago was challenging Peter Davies in the race to become Doncsater's elected mayor, is to be the Parade Queen for Manchester gay pride

Michael Felse, who two years ago was challenging Peter Davies in the race to become Doncsater's elected mayor, is to be the Parade Queen for Manchester gay pride

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TWO years ago he was battling Peter Davies to be Doncaster’s elected mayor.

The he joined Mr Davies’s party and stood for parliament in Dewsbury.

But now Michael Felse is the drag queen fronting one of Britain’s biggest gay pride festivals.

While Mr Davies upset Doncaster’s gay community after his election by pulling council funding from the Doncaster pride event, beaten rival Michael has embraced Manchester’s version of the event.

Former Rossington miner Michael Felse moved from Doncaster to Salford in Manchester six months ago and auditioned to be the Parade Queen for Manchester Pride as a dare.

He was surprised to find himself selected for the job and admits he cannot imagine the man who beat him in the race to become mayor doing the same.

Michael, a welfare officer, goes by the alias of Ethol Mary when he puts on his frock, and had never tried his hand at drag before taking part in an audition at Salford Quays.

He said: “There are more than 100 floats in the parade and thousands of spectators - it is certainly totally different to standing for mayor or standing for parliament.

“I’ve always supported the charities that the gay pride is raising money for so I’m pleased to be doing it, but it all came out of a dare that was made at my swimming club. They say I make the ugliest woman they’ve seen!”

“After they saw me audition, the judges described my performance as unique. I thought it was terrible - it was dancing to an Icelandic Eurovision song contest entry of a year ago.

“I had been under the impression that the audition I went to would just be the first heat, but it turned out that winning it meant I got the role. It’s something new on my CV and I think it must have been beginners luck.

“I think I probably look more like a docker from Grimsby than a woman.

“I would certainly be open to an invitation to Doncaster Pride if they want me there too, as I’m pleased to help good causes.”