I always thought of myself as a bit of an outsider/loner when attending fetish events.

Since arriving in Oz from England 4 years ago I’ve achieved a lot of firsts: I’ve touched my first kangaroo, I’ve hugged a koala, I’ve drunk my first Bundy rum (all the touristy stuff!). Now I can add attending my first fetish event almost two years ago to that list and the biggest accolade within my short stint has been my personal growth after winning QLB2019.

Before I entered the competition I was shy, riddled with anxiety and body confidence issues, but in the 10 days of the MQL and QLB competition, and since then, I have made huge leaps forward in all of these areas.

Thanks to the way Boot Co organise the competition, each stage challenges competitors and build on areas such as our social interaction, public speaking, and knowledge of the leather community. This has helped me improve as a human, which will enable me to represent and help the community much more effectively.

To anyone thinking about entering and challenging for a title: forget the prizes, and forget the title itself. The self-improvement, the love and support from your community, and the feeling of self-worth make it a must-do. The rest is an added bonus. So go ahead take that risk, take that leap of faith and just do it – you will not regret it.

My aim as Queensland Leather Boy 2019 is to improve mental health within the fetish and wider community. I will endeavour to hold a mental health workshop and fundraising night for a lesser-known non-Government funded charity to not only help the charity but to give us all an awareness of a place we can turn to in times of need. Additionally, I will continue to educate, invite and encourage men of all ages to attend more events as everyone has something to contribute to our beloved community.

I will be at Mardi Gras 2020, potentially IML2020 (it’ll be my first, so be gentle!); please come and say hi, share your stories and knowledge with me or just share a drink at the bar with me. Who knows in future years I may try out for the Mr Queensland Leather title too!

In my title year let’s make a difference together, but most of all let’s enjoy living in the moment and make positive memories together.

Your Queensland Leather Boy 2019

Shane Stevens