International Mr. Leather Tyler McCormick
(in wheelchair).

For the first time ever a transsexual man has been chosen as International Mr. Leather at last weekend’s annual competition in Chicago.

According to Chicago Pride, Tyler McCormick, a female-to-male transgender man who uses a wheelchair, took the top spot after competing against more than 50 participants from 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. Standing here as a strong, confident leatherman is proof to the contrary,” said McCormick, who is also Mr. Rio Grande Leather, during the competition.

The first runner up was Lance Holman (Mr San Francisco Leather) followed by Jack Andrew Duke (Mr Texas Leather).

Participants were judged on their stage presence and personality, leather image, presentation skills and physical appearance in front of a 2,000 strong audience in the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s Grand Ballroom.

South Africa was represented by Mr. SAleathermen 2009, Jaco Lourens. It was the first time that an African contestant has taken part in the 32 year old event.

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