James Tyrcha, a trans male, was chosen to be Mr. Leather64TEN 2016 at the Jackhammer in Chicago, IL the night of March 12 and as a result, will compete at International Mr. Leather in May.
First runner-up was Gerald Cernak and second runner-up was Matt Cardoni. Steve Bell and Adam H. filled out the roster of contestants.
Michael Pacas Mr. Leather64Ten 2015 Michael Pacas was the head judge. Joining him on the panel were Justin St. Clair, Tinac Mackay, Will Boyd-Bohaczek and Dan Ronneberg. The tally masters were Pup Scout and Alex Tatum.
Emees Slade Travis and Todd Davidson kept the contest moving at a good pace.
The producers were Leather64TEN store owners Eric Kugelman and Michael Syrjanen.
James Tyrcha transitioned 10 years ago this April, and yet for years after he lived in fear of rejection just for being transgender. Two years ago, that stopped—when he came out to everyone about his transition. According to Ross Forman of the Windy City Times.
Tyrcha told the Windy City Times, "I just needed to be open about my transition and be an advocate" for the transgender community, said Tyrcha, spurred to speak out by bathroom/locker room use debates for transgender and the hoard of trans-bullying and physical attacks, particularly against trans women.
Flash-forward to the present, and Tyrcha is now an award-winning trans male. Click here to see full article in the Windy City Times.
Trans males have fared well at International Mr. Leather with Tyler McCormick winning the title in 2010. Years before, Billy Lane finished in the IML Top 20.
Tyrcha said to The Leather Journal, "My passion in life is creating change through acceptance in our community.
Acceptance is the road to the future of our community, especially for our newest members. I love dogs, the beach, and life!"
There was a VIP party on Friday night at the Jackammer followed by a meet and greet.