By Toby Longhurst
The international leather community has lost one of its pioneers with the death of Marcus Hernandez — the long time leather writer for San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter who was best known by his pen name “Mister Marcus”.

Hernandez served as a leather writer for 38 years and has judged an estimated 250 leather competitions in his lifetime. Through his weekly column in the Bay Area Reporter ­— one of the world’s largest and most respected LGBT publications ­­­­- Hernandez had a great influence on the mainstreaming and acceptance of the leather/BDSM communities across America and throughout the world.

Succumbing to complications from diabetes and arteriosclerosis, Hernandez died at  a nursing centre with friends and one of his sons by his side. He was 77.

QNews publisher Ray Mackereth remembers Hernandez as “an amazing man” who was able to achieve incredible things and as someone who was always willing to offer anything he could to help his community.

“Hernandez and the publisher of Bay Area Reporter, Bob Ross (deceased 2003), were two legendary stalwarts and anchormen of gay publishing.  In the face of adversity they built the biggest gay newspaper in the world and their ethics, politics and sense of social justice were beyond reproach.” Mackereth said.

“They also assisted many gay businesses to build huge successes. Hernandez had an amazing drive and energy. He helped to build a world wide community, and competitions for the gay leather fraternity.

“Both of these men assisted me when I embarked into the world of gay publishing in Adelaide in 1992 and shared with me their values and ongoing experience of how to succeed and how to make a difference and how to make this world a better place.”

Hernandez is survived by his four sons, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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