Contestant Jack Thompson has made history by becoming the first trans person of colour to take home the International Mr Leather title at the competition in Chicago this weekend.
Thompson was a firm favourite with the audience and the judges throughout the competition. During the speech portion of the competition, Thompson told those gathered, “There’s people in this room right now that don’t believe I’m man enough to be on this stage…If you’re enough for you, then you are enough. Period.
“I’m Jack Thompson,” he continued, “and I’m a proud biracial, openly transgender, HIV Positive man and I am enough.”
Thompson is the second trans man to win International Mr Leather following Tyler McCormick in 2010, but the first trans person of colour to do so.
Fionn Scott, the reigning Mr Leather Ireland, and recent GCN cover star proved to be no slouch either, taking home the bronze in a competition that featured title holders from all over the world.
In a recent interview with GCN detailing his own journey to the final, Fionn described, “Since winning Mister Leather Ireland I’ve met so many wonderful people, I’ve heard so many wonderful stories, and so many challenging stories as well from people who faced many difficult years before coming into self acceptance – that multiple coming out process where you’re not just coming out as a queer person, you’re coming out as a queer sexual deviant on top of it.”
2019 International Mr Leather, Jack Thompson! I'm not sure if he's the first transman to win but I'm certain he's the right choice. Glad I got to see this. The last times I was at IML were 1993 & 1995. pic.twitter.com/XofbomY9yZ
— Sam Moore (@onemooresam) May 27, 2019
“What I’m seeing about the international leather community is aside from being a social space, as well as being a sexual space, there’s a political space to it as well – this whole queer identity which seems to be seeping into and challenging normative behaviours.”
He also spoke about the leather scene in Ireland becoming more inclusive: “Geared Ireland are now moving away from it being a men only space and making it all inclusive. We had a couple of individuals who were trans, we had a couple of people who were women and it was absolutely fantastic. It really hammered home that the leather community is more than just a bunch of white guys getting dressed up in cow hides to go out once every couple of months.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.