The Queerty Interview

IML 2010 Winner Tyler McCormick Talks Trans Acceptance in the Leather World

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.

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  • Fitz

    Blech. Haven’t been to an IML event since they sold out to the PC police.
    I like my IML to be M

  • Joel Wang

    Wow! I guess there’s leather and then there’s LEATHER!

    What a wonderful progressive and unifying statement from the IML. Kudos!!!

    And CONGRATULATIONS to Tyler McCormick!

  • Joel Wang


    Yeah Fitz, everybody knows, proper conduct of sexuality is all about EXCLUSION.

  • Ryan M

    I go to a lot of leather events around the country and the world. This year, I have been surprised that Tyler McC has been largely absent. He is simply not present. If he is actually involved in leather play, he keeps it very safely hidden away. IML seems to have pretty much lost its teeth during its transition to an socially acceptable, politically correct organization. These people are not the leaders of our community.

  • tony

    just a note – Tyler is from Albuquerque, not Phoenix.

  • American Again

    Who gives a flying rat’s ass. You can sew up all your holes, but that does not make you a man. You live in “narratives”. I will live in reality.

  • Leather John

    To all the fags that are bitching that a transsexual won IML FUCK YOU!
    maybe the christian right wingers are right and fags like you hatefull queens should be put to death behind an electric fence or a death camp. You are no better then the transsexuals.

    Incase you forgot you do “unnatural ” sex acts will an organ designed to expeal food waste. So unless you want your one man one woman arguement thrown in your face and your rights taken away DO NOT bash others like the mainstream bigots bash you. Or at least get off my planet and stop breathing my air.

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