Sydney Mr Leather Johnny Tyndall needs your help to get him to the 2011 International Mr Leather competition in Chicago so he’s hosting a party and collecting old mobile phones to raise money for the trip.

Tyndall told the Star Observer that winning the title would be “huge” because of what the leather community meant to him.

“I was 18 when I came into the Sydney gay scene,” Tyndall said. “I’d been pretty much disowned by my parents and I didn’t find my fit until I found the Sydney Leather Pride Association.

“They nurtured me and out of that I learned that some of the scariest-looking people can also be the most intellectual.”

Tyndall said if he won the title he would use it to put Sydney back on the map as a leather and fetish destination. He said Sydney had become a bit of a wasteland due to venues closing and some fetish gear makers moving interstate.

Tyndall said people could expect “a night of elegant leather” at An Evening of Leather, to be held at the Midnight Shift in April.

Already on the line-up is a burlesque show donated by DJ Marty, a drag show, and a show by performer Dean Arcuri.

There will also be a raffle and live and silent auctions on the night with prizes including a trip to Melbourne and shopping vouchers.

Tyndall said he would welcome further donations in the form of cash or prizes, and all sponsors will be formally recognised as part of the event.

“On the night we’ll have the sponsors up on the wall and in the program of events, and if there’s enough money we’ll take out an ad in the gay press thanking all those who’ve helped,” he said.

“Businesses that help out in our community don’t always get the recognition they deserve so we think it’s important to give that back.”

People can also drop off their old mobile phones with batteries at the Sydney Star Observer offices. The phones will then go to re-use and recycling company Mazuma — the first time the company has partnered with a GLBTI cause.

“The director of Mazuma asked me what I was collecting for and I told him, for lack of a better word, that I’m a beauty queen representing my community,” Tyndall said.

“It was definitely one of the stranger requests they’d had but they recognised it as a community thing and that’s to their credit.”

Any leftover money will be donated to charity.

info: To contact Johnny email [email protected]

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