Together with YOUR ex columnist Jessie Lewthwaite, Gurv Singh is the new co-chair of the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust. He tells YOUR ex about the life journey that led him from Singapore to South Auckland and on to this role.

Congratulations on your recent appointment as a co-chair of RNZCT. Can you tell us how this came about?

In 2022, I was asked to join the Trust as secretary. After being on the Trust for a year and a bit, we started to plan for the future, knowing that three of the existing trustees (both co-chairs) would be stepping down at the end of 2023. We thought this is a great opportunity for existing trustees to step up and step into the role of co-chair.  I really enjoy the work we do and who we are. When the opportunity came up, I said yes.


I share the role with my fellow co-chair Jessie Lewthwaite (who YOUR ex readers know well) – together, we focus on elevating the Trust and its goals in 2024.

Before joining the Trust, what other community organisations were you involved with and in what capacity?

Previous to the Trust, I was involved in the first three years of the formation of the Auckland Pride Festival and the return of the Auckland Pride Parade back in 2013, and then did a few years on the Rainbow Auckland Executive. In both organisations, I was the secretary.

I decided to take a break from volunteering before I joined the Trust.

What challenges do you feel our community still faces?

Unity. I feel that as a community, we keep challenging one another when we should be supporting one another and working together to empower who we want to be. We also need to keep raising our voices and hold on to the things we have, as at any time, those against us will continue to challenge us and try to take away the rights and things we have!

What are the plans for the Trust in 2024 and beyond?

To elevate the Trust, its profile and activities across New Zealand. I want to see GiveOUT Day 2024 bigger and brighter than before – more scholarships to give out and more funds to share!  I would love to see the Trust support rainbow organisations and groups in smaller towns that want to create pride events and celebrate our identity and diversity across New Zealand.

Where did you grow up, and what was it like for you growing up there?

I grew up in South Auckland. Originally from Singapore, my family migrated to New Zealand in the late 1980s. Spent most of my young life in South Auckland, living in an Indian household where we spent most of our time at home with the family or going to Sikh temples. Every Sunday, my mum would take my brother and I to temple. For most of my life, my family was my mother and brother. Our culture and traditions were embedded in my life – I lived, worked and went to school and university in Auckland. My family still live in South Auckland.

What did it mean to you to see Singapore embrace Homosexual Law Reform in 2022? 

Glad to see it happen. But I feel there is still a long way to go. Cultures and traditions remain strong in Singapore. As a nation, we need to embrace and celebrate our people and rainbow community, allowing individuals to be who they want to be and who they love.

What did your coming-out journey look like?

My coming-out journey was hard. As a young Indian boy, my parents didn’t take it so well. I accidentally came out to my parents on an answering machine in my last year of high school – glad it happened then, but it didn’t go well at the start. I had to keep my sexuality quiet and away from home, out of sight. Once I left my family home, moved out and finished my university studies, I was able to be more open about my sexuality and identity.

Now it’s different. My family are more open and accepting. My mum was at my wedding and has been very supportive of Tony and I.

How long have you been with your husband, Tony, and how did the two of you meet (if it’s repeatable)? Give us the love story!

Tony and I have been together for 13 years – married for 7 years. We met back in 2011, during the Rugby World Cup, on a night out on K’Road. The PC version is a bar in the very late hours of a Saturday night. I asked for his number and then didn’t message him til a couple of months later! We made it official on our birthdays and ever since have been together. Both Tony and I share the same birthday – February 17! The same day as this year’s Rainbow Pride Parade.

For more information on the trust visit