Rawhide Radicals: Meet Five Heroes From The Leather Community


Tyler McCormick
Albuquerque, New Mexico
International Mr. Leather 2010

A case manager for New Mexico AIDS Services by day, McCormick made leather contest history when he won IML in 2010. Not only was he the first female-to-male transgender man to snag the title, but also the first in a wheelchair (and first New Mexican to boot). Proclaiming himself a “leather gimp,” McCormick brought some Artie Abrams/Glee realness to IML as he joyfully whirled around the stage in his jockstrap.

During his speech, McCormick moved and inspired the audience: “When I first transitioned I was told that I would never be accepted and that I would never be able to take my shirt off in public,” he said. “My presence here as a proud, confident Leatherman is proof to the contrary.”

Also a Mr. Rio Grande Leather active in AIDS/HIV work and fundraising, McCormick spent his IML title year putting in appearances at many events, helping to raise awareness about the leather community and the warm, unconditional acceptance it has represented for him. “I ask you to look into your heart, discover your greatest desire, and pursue  it without fear. Strive to help those around you, the members of your leather family, to find their own paths. If we devote ourselves to providing the kind of unconditional support that I have enjoyed, we will make great strides in improving ourselves, our leather community, and the world.”

 Photo: Tyler McCormick