Australia put in a very respectable showing at the International Mr Leather competition, held in Chicago from May 27 to 31.

In a field of 52 contestants, Sydney Mr Leather Anthony Lowe finished sixth. Mr Leather Australia/NZ Josh Burrows was ninth.

Landing back on home soil last week, Lowe stopped by for a chat with Sydney Star Observer about the event.

“The scale of it all was a big surprise to me. There was a huge stage, a rocket came down and landed, then the rocket opened and all the contestants came out of it,” he said. “I think we were all channelling Kylie Minogue.

“Australia was first up, so I was the first leather man out on the stage, carrying the Australian flag. It was a very proud moment.”

Lowe said that despite missing out on the title of International Mr Leather, which was awarded to Mr Rio Grande
Leather Tyler McCormick, he was proud of his position — and prouder still of the lessons he had learned.

“It’s made me a more confident person in terms of public speaking. I mean, you have to answer questions while you stand there in a jockstrap. It’s a combination of sheer panic, sheer adrenaline and sheer delight that gets you through it all.”

And rest assured, behind the leather-clad glamour on stage, there was little room for rivalry between the contestants.

“The guys all helped each other, there was no viciousness — it was a true brotherhood. There were no Tonya Harding episodes, I can assure you.”

Now that he’s back in Australia, Lowe has another few months as reigning Sydney Mr Leather before the title is up for grabs again in September. He believes that with mentoring and preparation, next year’s Australian delegate can improve on his position.

“What can I say — Australia’s got talent.”

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