STEPHAN

I AM

I am an openly gay man, living in Amsterdam. In 2020 I was elected Mister Leather Netherlands. I am very proud of this title and to be able to represent a part of the fetish community.

OPEN

I am already 10 years open about my hiv status. When I was diagnosed with hiv in 1994 my doctor predicted that it was likely I would not be turning 30. Well, I am in my 15th year of extra time.

For my election as Mister Leather I produced a video together with my husband Dirk and Niki Today, a Dutch Drag Queen, about stigma around HIV. I am very proud of my title of Mister Leather. It helps me to raise awareness about hiv, and to help people understand how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) individuals define and see themselves in the world.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HIV STIGMA?