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Damien Calleja, Mr Urge Bear 2006

Mon 15 May 2006 In: Hall of Fame View at NDHA

Damien Calleja The newly sashed Mr Urge Bear 2006 is an Auckland cabinetmaker with a positive attitude to life... and a tendency to take over most of the bed! Who are you and what's your background? Damien Calleja, Mr Urge Bear 2006. I'm originally from Malta. Malta is a great place to come from and very beautiful. My family is very accepting of me. I came to New Zealand five years ago and now I'm a cabinetmaker. Why did you decide to enter Mr Urge Bear and what did you have to do during the competition? Everyone told me I should enter! It was great fun. I had to introduce myself, and then I had to get into fancy dress (I chose a sailor's suit), and finally I worked the crowd selling raffle tickets to raise money for Body Positive and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. What does being a bear mean to you? I think being a bear is all about a positive attitude to life and being confident in yourself. Plus being a bit hairy helps! What characterises the New Zealand GLBT community for you? A sense of being part of a family with people being willing to help each other out. What is the worst thing for you about being gay? The only thing I can think of is that sometimes people change their attitude to you when they find out. What is the best thing? The freedom to be yourself. Relationship status? I've been with my life partner Jae for just over three years. I'm really looking forward to introducing him to my extended family when we visit Malta in August. Favourite food and drink? Pizza and Jack Daniels and Coke Worst habit? My partner Jae can't decide whether it's smoking or taking up all of the bed. We bought a Super King Size bed and he still complains that I take up most of it. Most noble feature? My personality – I'm fairly easy-going and patient. Favourite TV programme? Boston Legal. Favourite movie? Men On Top (Does that count?!), or Sixth Sense. Qualities you most appreciate in a GLBT person? Being themselves, not hiding their sexuality but also not playing up to it. What are you reading at the moment? ‘The Rule of Four', by Ian Calwell (a bit like the Da Vinci Code, which I also enjoyed) Who in the world including NZ would you most like to have a coffee and a chat with? Bruce Willis (quite a decent down-to-earth guy) Role models? One of my older cousins, Steve, was a great role model, and taught me a lot about the world. He's still in Malta, and I miss him, as well as all my family there. What is the most pressing issue currently facing the NZ GLBT population? The AIDS epidemic is always a major concern here in New Zealand, as elsewhere. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? To bring all my family over here to live. New Zealand is a great country. - 15th May 2006


First published: Monday, 15th May 2006 - 12:00pm

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