April 3, 2004.
I have to say that I come from a bilingual background and have had a bilingual education in English and French. While I put alot of passion and enthusiasm in what I write, I just like to have someone check it over for me for clarity and correctness. I would like to thank my good friend Ryan Vincent in Jackson, Mississippi, for reading and editing my writing. If you would like to contact him about his services, you may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the profile section of your site, you claim to promote physical fitness, health, nutrition and sports in the Gay and Lesbian community. Meanwhile, there are several pictures of you smoking a cigar throughout your site, which is undoubtedly a very unhealthy thing to do. What clearly is your message?
With HIV, AIDS, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, depression, low self esteem and the high rate of suicide among younger gays existing in our community today, it is very important to help build self esteem. Living a healthier lifestyle by participating in sports activities and having a well balanced diet certainly makes you feel more positive and definitely helps you build better self esteem. I am very sincere when I tell you that promoting physical fitness, health, nutriton and sports in the community is a very important goal for me.
What I have mentioned above comes from direct experience. In the early 90s, I was heavily hooked on cocaine for almost four years. I had no choice but to put myself into a detox center. If I would not have had bodybuilding as part of my life during my recovery, I am certain that I would not be here today.
Having said this, I have to say that I am a bodybuilder, certainly imperfect and I too still have my little vices. What can I say? I enjoy a good cigar. I never have more than three or four per month.
I used the photos with cigars on my site because I have always found the cigar in art to be masculine and sexy. It basically comes from the awe I had when I saw men like Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood enjoying cigars in their films when I was in my teens. It was a total turn on for me. Also, the cigar is usually enjoyed at a time of celebration. It has always been great to watch the final games of the Stanley Cup, Super Bowl and World Series for example. Once winning athletes had their bath in champagne, it was always so cool for me to see them lighting up a big Churchill cigar afterwards. Having won five gold medals myself, I decided to use the cigar in my photos as part of the celebration.
I am sure that the men and women viewing my site are mature enough to make their own choices when it comes to smoking. We all know that it is bad for you. So don't smoke!
Have you ever competed in straight competitions?
I have never competed in a straight bodybuilding competition. I won my 5 gold and 1 silver medal at the Gay Games (Amsterdam, Vancouver), The North American Gay and Lesbian Bodybuilding Championships (Dallas) and the International Gay and Lesbian Bodybuilding Championships (San Francisco). However, I started my sports career in Track & Field from the age of 17 to 23. I ran the 400 meters, 400 meters Hurdles and 4 x 400 meters relay. The majority of the men I competed against were straight.
What weight category do you compete in?
Los Angeles, Ca.
compete in the middle weight category (165 - 176 lbs).
Who is your all time favorite bodybuilder. Which one inspired you the most?
In my teens, I remember seeing the powerful German bodybuilder Jusup Wilkosz on television and thinking that I wanted to look like him someday. He looked absolutely amazing on stage and I loved his competition routine. Unlike most bodybuilders, Jusup Wilkosz sometimes competed with a beard. I found him to be extremely masculine and physically a perfect man.
Will you be competing at Montreal's Gay Games in 2006?
It is my intention to compete. However, it seems that I might be loosing my biggest corporate sponsor in the very near future. If this happens, I doubt very much that I will be on stage in 2006. I will keep you posted.
What is your view on legalizing same sex marriage in Canada?
Even though the vote was very close in the Canadian House of Commons, I am so proud that Canada is a very progressive country. Opinions are changing and the rights for gays and lesbians are finally being respected.
"Marriage" is definitely a "big" word and there are many definitions. In my eyes, marriage means "for eternity". In my heart, it is more symbolic than anything else. Should I decide to marry someday, it will be with the motivation that throughout eternity I will always be with my man......and that even after death we will always be together during the different phases of life. This is a very comforting and beautiful thought. However, in more practical terms, it is awesome to know that the same rights that are afforded to heterosexual couples are about to be passed on to homosexual couples. In terms of security, this is a very good thing.
I truly hope that the example that Canadians are showing to the rest of the world will help trigger a snow ball effect and that other countries will pass similar legislation for their gay and lesbian citizens in the future.
I read an article about you that suggested that there was a point in your life where you were seriously overweight and that you actually weighed more than 250 lbs. I am an overweight man myself and I was wondering if you ever took any diet supplements or pills?
Franco De Marco
As a matter of fact, yes, I was overweight a few times in my life. The worse was in the 90s, (in my early 30s) where I ballooned to more than 250 lbs actually. It was indeed a tough time for me. I was depressed and lost interest. I did use an Indonesian weight loss herb called Orthosiphon. It is the only weight loss supplement pill that I have used that has given me results and it is part of the "Take It Off" forumula. It worked for me. I actually endorse this product and I still use it to this very day.