Sunday 31st July 2016 saw another piece of leather history being written with the first ever Mr Leather Wales being appointed.
Five sexy and eligible candidates stepped up to the challenge and offered themselves to the panel of three judges at the event, generously organised and hosted by The Eagle Cardiff. The event coincided with The Leather Social: Cardiff which continues to go from strength to strength. It was the perfect combination to show Wales that leather culture is alive and thriving in the country.
Each candidate was asked a few questions by cheeky compare Hayden, in order to find out more about their vision for the Welsh leather community and what they hope to achieve in their role. Our very own Mr LeatherWest 2016 was on hand, not only to act as a judge, but to give the candidates some advice. He shared with them that being a title holder is all about being true to yourself and your beliefs and that it’s such an honour to represent and support your local leather community.
Simon from Abergavenny was the first to face the questions and scrutiny of the judges. Simon spoke of the need to engage the community more by wearing fetish more in public to stimulate and prompt debate. He mentioned he’s regularly to be seen in Tesco’s in gear and is proud to be seen in public standing for what he believes in. He would want Mr Leather Wales to help others to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Next up was the youngest contestant, Cameron, who recently started working at The Eagle bar and has already been on quite a journey of discovery. He spoke of how he feels much more comfortable wearing leather and is wanting to explore leather more. Cameron enjoys a spot of baking and he can knock out a mean Victoria sponge. He would like to become a ceramics teacher in the future with perhaps his own studio and he believes that life’s a journey not a destination – and that journey includes leather!
Martin from Caerphilly was next to take to the stage with the ambition to be the best you can you be. He wanted to help enhance the leather community by fostering closer working relationships between groups and organisations while strengthening the existing links and structures. Martin works in the tourism industry and has travel extensively and spoke of how Mr Leather Wales could work to pull the international community into the local community.
Contestant number four was Ashwood from Newport. He can often be found behind the bar at the Eagle and has already established himself as a knowledgeable fetishist through his forays in to making rubber items and is an experienced bondage player. He is a trained photographer and would like to combine his skills to develop fetish photography – producing horny images that support and promote our community. Ashwood is rather proud of the 5 foot photo collage dildo he created that stood proudly outside Bristol museum – quite a conversation piece!
The final contestant of the event was Richard from Cardiff. Richard recounted the time he once got stripped at the Yumbo centre in Gran Canaria and had to spend the rest of the evening with just his assets to keep him company! His ambition as Mr Leather Wales would be to try and get guys into leather and to help them to overcome the apparent threatening and intimidating reputation of the leather community.
While the judges began their deliberations, Dave, Mr LeatherWest 2016 spoke of how he is looking forward to the new Mr Leather Wales achieving great things and he was looking forward to working with him and achieving wonderful things together for the local gay leatherman’s community.
Finally it was time to announce the results, which were:
Winner – Richard
1st runner up – Martin
2nd runner up – Simon
In his acceptance speech, Richard spoke of wanting to build the community and to put Wales on the map. He expressed a desire to see an inclusive community and to help guys new to the scene develop their confidence and to make them feel welcome. Richard will be speaking at Pride Cymru on 13th August on the main stage and introducing one of the acts. So make sure you stop by to congratulate him on his achievement.