Rawhide Radicals: Meet Five Heroes From The Leather Community


Brent Heinze, 37
Denver, CO
Mr. Leather Colorado 2010

A licensed psychotherapist who developed multiple, state-funded HIV prevention programs, Heinze writes a relationship column for Denver’s OutFront and founded the Ascension fetish ball series. He’d been asked to compete in Mr. Leather Colorado for several years before finally taking the plunge in 2010. “It wasn’t until I felt that I had something in my heart that I wanted to express to the community that I decided I would run for the title,” he says.

Heinze went on to win the National Leather Association Colorado’s 2011 Community Service and Leadership Award. He’s dedicated both his career and community work to wellness and HIV prevention in the gay-male community, while his Ascension events provide a safe space for sexual exploration. “If you do get a leather contest title, be prepared to work,” he advises would-be competitors. “I’ve gained a true sense of enjoyment and appreciation of life, friends, and how much effort it can take to achieve goals. Use this opportunity to do some amazing things.”

 Photo: Brent Heinze