Chicago | News | Transgender

Transgender Man Wins International Mr. Leather Competition


Tyler McCormick, Mr. Rio Grande Leather of New Mexico, was named International Mr. Leather at the annual IML competition in Chicago over the weekend. The competition is in its 32nd year.

Chicago Pride reportsIml  

"McCormick, a female-to-male transgender man who uses a wheelchair, bested a field of over 50 contestants, from from across the U.S. and around the world. 'When I first transitioned, I was told I would never be accepted and that I would never be able to take my shirt off in public,' McCormick said during Sunday's competition. 'Standing here as a strong, confident leatherman is proof to the contrary.' Participants were judged on stage presence and personality (Pecs and Personality), leather image, presentation skills, and physical appearance. Over 2,000 leather enthusiasts packed the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago for Sunday's competition. Colton Ford entertained the audience. First runner up was Lance Holman, Mr. San Francisco Leather, while Jack Andrew Duke, Mr. Texas Leather, was second runner-up."

Mike Skiff at third Rail Media produced an extended clip featuring an interview with McCormick and clips of the leather competition

Watch it (some portions NSFW), AFTER THE JUMP...


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. 1) They needed to do something to get this event more attention

    2) It's nothing more than tokenism.

    3) It's great to see leather dudes grit their teeth and grin like beauty queens being told they are runner-ups.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 2, 2010 8:35:23 AM

  2. That's so cool and he's handsome. Well done all. It's very much more than mere tokenism.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Jun 2, 2010 8:47:45 AM

  3. Rick: Right. Also, Americans elected a Black man just to get on the news. Or like Germans, who voted for a woman just to get the spotlight : D
    You're bitter, bitch.

    About the news, i think it's great, especially since I remember a controversy a few years ago, where the top directors of the contest had said no to inclusion of ftms, against the majority will of the participants... With crazy arguments like "it's tradition" or "they can go to other contests" lol...

    Posted by: Charles | Jun 2, 2010 8:48:25 AM

  4. Break barriers??? Since when does a silly leather competition represent the breaking of barriers? This is like a bikini contest where all the women vie for the first prize. Tragic doesn't begin to describe it.

    Our gay movement is great but let's not call everything within it great. There are many sad and tragic events within it, such as Mr Leather.

    Posted by: jason | Jun 2, 2010 9:05:17 AM

  5. The only thing sad and tragic is your judgmentalism.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Jun 2, 2010 9:18:28 AM

  6. Congrats!

    Posted by: DippyDoo | Jun 2, 2010 9:23:09 AM

  7. This is just awesome. You gotta give IML credit for sparking necessary conversations about the community, from dealing with less-safe fetishes to changing demographics.

    And for the poster who decried IML as a beauty contest: looks are obviously of importance in any pageant system, but the leather community is pretty hardcore on judging their representatives based on their involvement in volunteer education and outreach programs.

    Posted by: Sean Mac | Jun 2, 2010 9:34:54 AM

  8. >>
    Our gay movement is great but let's not call everything within it great. There are many sad and tragic events within it, such as Mr Leather.

    Agreed. I watched that video and felt disconnected with the gay community. This isn't me at all. Honestly: tranny with peg leg wins MISTER Leather competition? That's fringe my friends.

    Posted by: Ken | Jun 2, 2010 9:39:27 AM

  9. JeffNYC,

    Since when is judgmentalism a no-no? Man makes judgements all the time. You make a judgement when you cross the road, you make a judgement when you select your meal from the menu. Life is all about judgements.

    My point is that gay rights is great but not everything marketed under the word "gay" is necessarily good for our rights. Gay Mr Leather has all the connotations of Miss Minnesota and other ludicrous competitions.

    Posted by: jason | Jun 2, 2010 9:39:35 AM

  10. I met him at IML. He's really hot! And had I no idea he's transgendered and so what? He deserved the win.

    Posted by: Allen | Jun 2, 2010 9:48:25 AM

  11. I thought this was totally awesome. Growing up gay in a machista culture, owning my own masculinity is something I struggle with. I find FTMs very inspiring in that regard.

    Not to mention his speech was pretty much on the money . . . and from what I gather about IML, there's a huge emphasis placed on community involvement and volunteerism.

    Oh and . . . he's really effing hot.

    Posted by: Alejandro | Jun 2, 2010 10:02:30 AM

  12. "My point is that gay rights is great but not everything marketed under the word "gay" is necessarily good for our rights."

    That's just great ... pick and chose what is good for our rights. No Thank You. That is a recipe for disaster.

    The world would be a better place if there was no discrimination and intolerance. Accept, embrace and empower.

    Congratulations Tyler McCormick.

    Posted by: excy | Jun 2, 2010 10:10:02 AM

  13. In theory it's Mr. Leather, not Gay Mr. Leather, etc.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 2, 2010 10:29:01 AM

  14. He seems adorable, but pageants are ridiculous.

    Posted by: Paul Bunion | Jun 2, 2010 10:34:36 AM

  15. This made me tear up a bit. If you are gonna hate on him for being FTM or for being what you perceive as a "token" then I feel really bad for you. Your conservative closet still clouds your ability to understand that the gray space between black and white is really beautiful.

    Posted by: JDG | Jun 2, 2010 10:49:51 AM

  16. Lots of diversity in our comments here - demonstrating the many different factions in our community.

    And here's another one - why are transgendered people lumped together in the gay/lesbian community? I'm gay and I just don't get it, never have.

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 2, 2010 10:58:22 AM

  17. Whatever --- can do the BDSM thing without all the trappings. Find it silly - but happy for him and the acceptance he has found.

    Do not get the whole laughable (to me) leahter scene -- but some people do need to belong to a "scene" and the reinforcement they get from it -- and traditionally the leather scene promoted Safe Sane Play ... hope it still does.

    Posted by: tony | Jun 2, 2010 11:25:10 AM

  18. I have been a member of the "community" for over 30 yrs... And I dont call myself "Old Guard" Until now.. The contest stuff used to be fun.. Now all it is is moneymaking for bars and men like the owner of IML... The winners were guys you wanted to be or wanted to be with... Guys yuou hoped to meet and if not.. you would see their pics in the magizines and jack off too.. I dont want to be with a FTM or be a "gimp"

    Posted by: BIll | Jun 2, 2010 11:27:11 AM

  19. All the negative comments here...Are like WOW....Go to IML one year and see for yourself. It was a great event. As always

    @ Rick it doesn't need attention. They solidly book an entire hotel every year!

    Reading Is Fundamental....Read up on it and STFU!

    Posted by: Slickster | Jun 2, 2010 11:28:54 AM

  20. The winners were guys you wanted to be or wanted to be with... Guys yuou hoped to meet and if not.. you would see their pics in the magizines and jack off too.. I dont want to be with a FTM or be a "gimp"

    Well, I sure hope I can be as secure and confident as Tyler is . . . and I find him really attractive. So there you go.

    Posted by: Alejandro | Jun 2, 2010 11:34:02 AM

  21. This is beautiful. I don't identify with the leather community either, but I find this astonishing and moving. Congrats to everyone for allowing a space where something like this can happen.

    Posted by: Billy | Jun 2, 2010 11:41:53 AM

  22. Is anyone aware that IML banned the sale and promotion of barebacking anything? Beyond who won International Mr. Leather, there is a big concern about general discourse at that event. Instead of talking about the pros and cons of barebacking porn, like pleasure VS risk of HIV/AIDS infection, the board just chose to eliminate it altogether for the event. An intelligent debate about barebacking cannot happen if there is no way to start the conversation. IML lost a lot of credibility to people this year. Some people who have been die-hard fans of the event even showed their cristicism. There are some articles on Leatherati to help enlighten. IML is not doing the community any favors by stifling debate over the barebacking issue. It's a legitimate conversation to have, and not wanting to talk about it is just childish. It's as if they've never heard of the word "serosort" before. People can make intelligent decisions!

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 2, 2010 12:42:58 PM

  23. That's nice Paul.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand ... I just watched the youtube clip and he is inspiring. You know he's been through Hell and back and to find himself in a community that accepts him for who he is amazing.

    Proud of ya, Tyler!

    Posted by: Allen | Jun 2, 2010 12:47:58 PM

  24. Hey Paul,

    When was this story ever about HIV or barebacking?

    I love the strata of gays you see presented above.

    You've got the leather daddys.

    The ACT UP HIV counselors.

    And you've got people like me who feel we should drop the "T" from GLBT and realize that most gay and lesbian folks are pretty boring without a scene or a cause and just want to have a boring life.

    Or drama free life.

    Posted by: Ken | Jun 2, 2010 2:07:10 PM

  25. As a first time IML visitor this year, and a witness to the contest at the Congress theater, the look on Tyler's face when he was announced as winner was priceless. He was a crowd favorite for his bravery to even enter as a disabled person, however, I'm not sure his FTM status was known to the other contestants or whether the judges all knew. Making the cut to the final 20 (from 52) was probably more than he hoped for, but when he left his chair and walked to the microphone center stage for his speech, it was astounding. He did say "when I transitioned" in his speech and FTM came to mind, but my old fashioned thinking simply couldn't process it, and I thought he must have meant when he ended up in a wheelchair. I was speechless later when I found out the truth. Tyler is certainly going to face a lot of controversy this year, and I hope he is not personally harmed or emotionally damaged by those who feel this 'just ain't right'. If Tyler has the support and inner strength, he can foster community discussion about what constitutes masculinity and what it means to be "male". I don't envy him this challenge. He will face a lot of ridicule and derision, as he will receive a lot of support. As to the boys who deride leather, its culture and contests as 'tragic' or 'silly' I've seen you before over the years. You are afraid of your own sexual shadows, so you laugh nervously and denounce us. In fact, you are castrating your own sexual journey because you're afraid. Good leather folk are here to open pathways of sexual healing and cathartic renewal. You're welcome to join...if you dare.

    Posted by: Tom | Jun 2, 2010 2:07:25 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Ted Haggard to Make 'Groundbreaking' Announcement Today« «