By David Eisentraut.

This is the first article I have written since becoming MQL. I feel very proud and fortunate to have won the title and I look forward to fulfilling my role as MQL and representing the community. As most of you know I have had problems with mental health in the past. I therefore plan to promote good mental health within BootCo. through the use of a peer based support group and mental health workshops. I also plan to incorporate these actions into the wider LGBTI mental health support groups, so that our members will be able to take full advantage of all the help that is out there. I will continue to endeavor to attract new members to the club, both young and old, and try to encourage interaction between the older and younger generations of leather men and kinksters.

It is important to attract younger members to the club in order to ensure its future and help it adapt to the changing leather scene. Many leather fraternities in Australia are declining because they have failed to attract younger members, embrace change and incorporate the new leather scene whilst preserving the best of Old Guard principles. During my interview with the judges for this year’s competition I touched on how the Old Guard principles of respect, brotherhood and caring deserved to be preserved as these principles hold the community together. Respect for the individual forms a large part of the new leather scene. The way an individual expresses their kink should be respected. Leather men no longer have to conform to a stereotype and can express their love of leather and kink in a unique way; letting their personality shine through.

I also plan to represent BootCo at Mardi Gras and IML. This will require a lot of fund raising. Boot Co. has plans for holding a number of interesting fundraising events including old favorites such as the naked car wash and new ones like a naked pool party. I will also put effort in trying to re-establish a national Australian leather competition and try and bring the leather clubs and community of Australia closer together. Building a sense of belonging and fraternity amongst the Australian leather clubs will encourage us to interact and support each other more. We would all be able to share in a sense of pride and accomplishment when a Mr Leather Australia goes to compete in IML.