Raspado has long been an advocate for ending HIV and fighting stigma in the Philippines
The first man from Southeast Asia to win Mr Gay World is not just a pretty face and wants to help the LGBTI community.
John F. Raspado was the first Filipino to win the prestigious competition when he was crowned Mr Gay World 2017 in Madrid on Wednesday.
On top of winning the title, Raspado also swept many of the top categories including; Best in Swimwear, Best in Formal Wear, Best in Interview, Mr Online Vote and Mr Social Media. Runners-up were from Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and South Africa.
Raspado is one of the ambassadors of the Phillipines’s leading HIV organizations, LoveYourself.
‘I would like to use my voice and be a role model for the members of the LGBT community who are still in the process of acceptance,’ Raspado has said in media interviews.
Last year Raspado became a LoveYourself ambassador and urged people to not be afraid to be tested.
‘It doesn’t stop with just one HIV test. You would always have to be careful and be safe,’ he said.
Proud LGBTI family
Needless to say the LoveYourself team is very proud of its ambassador.
‘John is now in the ranks of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who internationally helps Filipinos raise awareness on HIV and AIDS,’ said LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan.
‘With his vigor to push for his advocacies, we are truly proud of John for he committed 101% himself to represent the country well, and he did.
‘We are not losing steam and we will never lose the energy to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS. We have a new breed of ambassadors rallying behind us, and we are grateful that one of which is our very first Mr. Gay World.’
LoveYourself is currently hosting a month of events around the Philippines to encourage people to get regularly tested for HIV.