Fresh off the plane from Malta where he represented New Zealand at 2016 Mr Gay World, Borneo born Wellingtonian and social animal Bernard Lee is eager to jump right back in to capital life with renewed passion and a suitcase full of international networks.
On top of representing us Kiwis in Mr Gay World, Bernie is a fierce social advocate and volunteer. As a dedicated volunteer for the New Zealand AIDS Foundation and LYC, Bernie is passionate about increasing awareness and testing around HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses.
“I am a weekly volunteer for NZAF, wrapping condoms and participating in their annual fundraising campaign. NZAF has invited me to be a part of their national campaign this year, so that makes me one of their spokespeople too!”
He says that now is the time to start taking ownership over sexual health, “regular testing is essential, especially for gay and bi guys,” he says.
A multi-faceted individual, Bernie is also a part of Tiwhanawhana, a takataapui community group based in Wellington.
Bernard says that coming to New Zealand “allowed [him] to experience incredible acceptance. This acceptance within and outside our GLBT+ community regardless of sexuality, gender and race has extended [his] whanau. One could not ask for more.”