“I loved the idea that there was this place with more answers”
Dean is a man of many (fabulous) hats. He is also active in the CIFWA Youth Peer (CYP) group and he sits on the board of the leading LGBTI+ advocacy group in the country, Pride Cook Islands, which is currently fighting to decriminalise homosexuality in the Islands. Dean was also the IPPF Youth Representative for the Cook Islands from 2014 – 2016. When he’s not working in sexual and reproductive health and rights, he teaches island-style Zumba classes to local women in the community.
Dean has a long history with CIFWA. He joined as a youth volunteer when he was 15 after the organization visited his school.
“I loved what they were talking about,” he recalls. “They were talking about HIV and AIDS, and it piqued my interest immediately. There was also my sexuality as well. I have never questioned my sexuality, ever. I knew who I was, but I loved the idea that there was this place with more answers.”
Dean says CIFWA served as a safe space, where he was able to find answers to his many questions about sexual and reproductive health.