1. Rick says

    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.

  2. Charles says

    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…

  3. jason says

    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.

  4. Sean Mac says

    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.

  5. Ken says

    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.

  6. jason says


    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.

  7. says

    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.

  8. excy says

    “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.

  9. JDG says

    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.

  10. Steve says

    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.

  11. tony says

    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.

  12. BIll says

    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”

  13. Slickster says

    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!

  14. says

    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.

  15. says

    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.

  16. Paul says

    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!

  17. Allen says

    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!

  18. Ken says

    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.

  19. Tom says

    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.

  20. TANK says

    IML is drag. The contestants get to wear their little leather costumes and prance around a stage. And I’m not uncomfortable around leather fetishists. I find them hilarious, like I do most all fetishists (especially BDSM). I find it genuinely funny when people have certain fetishes (like feet…how can anyone get off to feet?). Not in a judgmental way, because whatever lifts your leather luggage…I just don’t take it very seriuosly…and the hardcore bsdm’ers out there…that is pure comedy gold. Leather culture? ROTFLMAO!

  21. missanthrope says

    Tyler’s a man of dignity and grace than some people with their disgusting transphobic and anti-leather comments will ever be.

    Congrats to him and the Mr. Leather event.

  22. missanthrope says

    “Judith Warner is right: All gender is performative.”

    That’s Judith Butler you mean, and she gets some of it right, a lot of it wrong.

  23. AngryAdam says

    Sorry, but I am very disappointed by the decision to allow a handicapped person compete. I am all for people with disabilities in most things but not when they are supposed to represent the community as a whole.

    AND there are other contests for disabled. Specifically International Mr Deaf Leather. If there isn’t enough interest to get a wheel chair or a trans leather contest then that should tell you something right there.

    If they can get enough interest in individuals who are gay, into leather and deaf and throw their own contest (which i am sure no one even knew about…) then I say that’s the proof.

    I do not want a handicapped transexual representing me or my community!

  24. says

    As an “Old Guard” leatherman who has lived the life for over 40 years I find this disturbing, not to mention offensive. I was hoping it was a SNL skit. A Mr. Leather with a rubber dick. This isn’t inclusive or groundbreaking, it’s political correctness run amok. If this individual had not been transgender or in a wheelchair he wouldn’t have had a shot. Pathetic. Any shred of credibility IML had among real leathermen is gone now. Let the snarky meowing begin, ladies.

  25. anon says

    Ah, the hardcore leather crowd has largely died off because they refused to believe in safe sex. It was too fascist for them(!). Even in NYC there is hardly a “community” anymore. Bears and hedonists are all that’s left in the US. The best parties now are in Europe. The next generation is largely made up of guys riding sports bikes, not cruisers. It’s a different look and a different attitude.

  26. Rob says

    You can see from the comments here why the leather community is dying off – a lot of it is filled with tired, antiquated ideas and close-mindedness. How is that appealing to anyone, let alone young people? If the leather scene can’t evolve with the rest of the LGBT community and society at large, it deserves to go extinct. Good riddance. This is the first interesting thing IML has done in years and Tyler has bigger balls than all of the old guard assholes bitching about this combined.

  27. Greenman says

    Like Baskin-Robbins there is a wonderful variety of flavors in the GLBT communities. Some i’m not at all interested in (mint chocolate chip just tastes gritty). Just because i’m not part of a particular group doesn’t mean i bad-mouth it. i am a very active member of the leather/bdsm community but i don’t care for the contest circuit. IML, MAL, and all the other contests are populated by men who’ve done a lot for their community and have certainly raised more than their fair share for HIV/AIDS services. i honor and respect their work but i still find the contests boring. That’s my right. Attacking, insulting, trash talking anyone in our community just because they are into something i am not is just plain obnoxious. i am more than happy to celebrate “tranny with peg leg wins MISTER Leather competition”. After all i’m already pretty fringe.

  28. Tom says

    To Charles (who posted Jun 2, 2010 8:48:25 AM): IML has always been open to all who are legally male, however they got there. Tyler is not the first FTM make it to the finals round. The controversy several years ago was a different contest, Int’l Leather Sir/boy, which has since changed its policy, and seen several men of transsexual experience (gay male FTMs) win at regional levels.

    IML is very demanding, and no one gets extra points for “diversity factors.” Beyond what the judges said, you can tell that Tyler is a great choice from the looks on the faces of his classmates. They just spent five grueling days with each other, and that gives intimate knowledge of the quality of a man.

  29. Walter says

    I continue to see that bigots are still alive and well, and I continue to be saddened when that bigotry is expressed by gay men toward gay men. My experience with IML is extensive. Tyler is not the first FTM contestant, nor is he the first disabled contestant. Therefore, this is not the first opportunity for the judges to elect a “token”, as many of you have said. Give Tyler a break! See what he accomplishes during his year as International Mr. Leather and than bring on your criticism: positive or negative. He went through a grueling process to end up winning this title. Give him your support!

  30. Tom says

    For those of you who ROTFLMAO at the leather community without knowing anything about it, or even having the integrity to acknowledge its potential value, I’d say you are like the religious fundamentalists who dismiss or attack mainstream gay movies or books without having read them. Same frightened close-mindedness. You are just as sex negative as the far right.
    As a dedicated cocksucker, I am disappointed that Tyler will not fit my personal fantasy of what an IML winner should be, but that’s my problem. I also know I have been raised with different expectations and ideals of masculinity, like having a penis. Since the judges of this contest did not compare notes during the selection process, it may be even more than PC run amok. Tyler also represented a chance to have a disabled man included in this pantheon of idealized men. Leathermen are surprisingly emotional. Perhaps it is the sense of tribe and belonging brought about by the shallow, callous queens who shun us, what I call the “straight gays”, the assimilationists. Truth be told, I am not a fan of leather contests, they can be embarrassing and tedious. I have said, “One should not witness the making of laws, sausages or titleholders”. This particular title contest though, has produced a winner who generates such discomfort among some, and excitement among others that growth and learning are the inevitable outcomes. I suspect that Tyler’s humanity will be put to the test this year, and I wish him strength for that journey. He has been invited to participate in the Los Angeles gay pride parade, so his upcoming appearance will be an early test case of how this outlaw community will respond. Lines will be drawn in the sexual sand, probably along generational parameters. You “straight gays” don’t know shit about drama, that’s for sure.

  31. Mark Hutchinson says

    What Gay Movement? Oh, you mean, Gay Assimilation. 2.5 kids and that crap – you can have it – I’ll take IML over trying to be just like straight people. The best thing about being Gay use to be that we were different – no so much anymore.

  32. Roo says

    @angryadam So you’re “all for people with disabilities in most things but…” huh? Golly gee, how very big of you.

    Who *is* good enough to represent the community as a whole in your little world? White only? 6’2″ blond hair and blue eyes? Making only $100K and above and living in a particular neighborhood of a particular city?

    Throw your own exclusive pageant, you sad, limited little bigot.

  33. Rick says

    This is so disgusting! Dykes have had such a long history of hating and resenting men, and have often tried to push their way into what few exclusive male circles that are left. This appears to be the final phase of this persons power struggle. I’m sure she is now satisfied, and actually believes she is more of a man than the biological men on stage with her.

  34. ANGRY ADAM says

    @Rod, Of course if you could comprehend as well as you throw mindless insults, you would have read from my previous comment that my point is that there are already venues for people with certain disabilities.

    We as a community identify with a specific community, the Leather Community. I always have considered myself a part of the community even though, I am part of the younger part of this (33 yrs old), I have been identifying with the Leather Community since I was 22 yrs old.

    IML is supposed to represent our community as a whole, and I do not feel I am represented well by some transgender handicapped person.

    That’s great and all for him/her to overcome such adversity, but please, this individual most certainly does not represent me or my community.

    This is why they have separate communities and events. My example was Mr Deaf Leather, but there is also a Ms. International Leather. Tyler could start up International Disabled Mr Leather and then I would support that.

    Everyone is forgetting one simple fact, in the LGBT Community what do the L, the G, the B, and the T stand for???? Does everyone fall into each category?????

    I think Not. Tyler is a “T” while I am a “G”. There is absolutely no arguing that!

  35. Patrick says

    Oh please “normal” gays, who don’t even identify or understand the prejudice of having lived as a minority within your gay minority, let us assimilate you into the leather world by making it all-inclusive and give you tears by allowing some woman pretending to be a man be Mr.IML 2010.

    The IML community was created 34 years ago because the gay community ridiculed us and told us we were the freaks keeping the cause down. Well Chuck Renslow has gone over the edge. He’s betrayed the memory of his lover, Eitenne, and the entire leather community by turning IML into a gay kumbaya mockingly dressed in leather in order to pander to the gay community.

    IML is over.

  36. Master Steve says

    I am now done with IML, and my leather club will no longer be sending any of our contest winners to IML. I am happy to hear all of the flack over the winner, and I know that IML will suffer financially because of it.

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