Tyler McCormick arrived from Albuquerque at last year’s IML contest in Chicago and rolled offstage with the 2010 title. And we do mean rolled. McCormick is not only the first trans IML winner but the first in a wheelchair. We spoke to him right before the start this year’s IML contest as he returns as one of the judges.
When we think of queer subcultures we often think of separation: gender, identity, bars, types, etc. But you are a member of the trans community and the leather community.
I think we make artificial separations in our subcultures and this can be healthy if it strengthens the people involved. However, if the separation is petty then we should look closely as to why we perceive something as separate and eliminate unnecessary divisions. To steal a line from Jeff Tucker IML 16, “we are better together.”
The leather crowd has embraced you. How has the trans community? Is there a need to strike a balance between these two “scenes”? I don’t identify as part of the trans community. It is true that I am trans and I have been well received by other trans people but the core of my identity is as a gay leather man. I don’t feel a need to strike a balance I spend as much time as I can with my larger leather family. Being able to meet more leathermen and leatherwomen has been one of the best parts of my year.