While Washington took time during Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate DC Black Pride, Chicago spent the weekend with the International Mr. Leather contest. A few locals who headed to the Windy City ensured that metro D.C. had a good showing in the leather world's most prestigious contest.
Among the 52 who vied for the IML title, three locals made it to the Top 10. While the top spot went to Tyler McCormick of New Mexico, Matt Bamford -- who initially tied for the fourth spot -- came in at No. 5.
"Every mid-Atlantic state that competed made the Top 20," says Bamford, reigning Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather and Mr. Capital Pride Leather 2010. "That says volumes about the community leadership on the East Coast."
Joining Bamford were current Mr. Maryland 2010 Leather Justin B. Terry-Smith, at No. 7, and Mr. DC Eagle 2010 R. Derrick Thomas in the tenth spot.
The particular nature of the IML contest has left all three saying that while this was a first shot at the title for each, it will also be their last.
"The only reason I would not do it again, is because of the experience you have, your class brothers, you're shared bond," says Terry-Smith, characterizing the fellowship shared with his fellow contestants with sentiment similar to Bamford's and Thomas's. "If you want to do it again, then it's like another bond of brothers. I'd rather concentrate on the 51 I have."