By: Alice Guy

Rotorua’s Cody Jarvie is using yellow to represent the “It’s not weak to speak” campaign. Photo / Supplied

Rotorua’s Cody Jarvie has made the finals of the Mr Gay New Zealand contest for the second year running.

“I am very excited this year. I feel like I can accomplish more because I know better now how the competition is run,” Jarvie said.

“Entering last year, I really didn’t know what I was doing, but walking out I knew I wanted to do it again this year.”

Jarvie is one of eight finalists for this year’s competition.

Each of the contestants submitted an application as to why they want to be Mr Gay New Zealand.

In the build-up to the big day Jarvie wrote an opinion piece, has been mentoring youth and giving out yellow ribbons to show support for his cause.

“This year I am focused on the stigma around suicide prevention. We have the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world, and I feel it’s an issue that’s getting swept under the rug.”

He said his campaign was about giving a voice to those who were not being heard.

“Even if I don’t win I will still campaign for this cause because it does mean a lot to me.”

He said the topic of suicide applied to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.

“Coming out is hard enough, along with all of the other pressures that people face.
There are a lot of people who just need someone to talk to.”

Public voting runs until February 11 when the winner will be announced at The Big Gay Out in Auckland.

For more information visit ww.mrgaynewzealand.com.

Where to get help
Lifeline (open 24/7) — 0800 543 354.
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) — 0800 111 757.
Healthline (open 24/7) — 0800 611 116.
Samaritans (open 24/7) — 0800 726 666.
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) — 0508 828 865 (0508
TAUTOKO).
Youthline (open 24/7) — 0800 376 633.

Source: Rotorua Daily Post

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