Today I'm in Maun, Botswana. Stuck for work in the same hotel room I am supposed to know the name of the next Mr Leather Europe. It's Friday 8th of November. Oddly, my mothers birthday too. So emotions are running. I'm 7500km from Padua, italy. The place where the competition is being held this year.
The reason I'm here, if anybody missed it is simple: work. I work for a charter airline in London. Which operates 10 trips on a private jet around the world each year. I decided to apply for a trip this year given my passion for travelling and delivering a good service to our guests. This year, from around 3000 cabin crew, only 160 passed the selection process and 60 got selected to operate these special trips. Chances were that I got selected for one that run this time of the year. Putting me Ina compromised position. Not only I miss being in italy, but I miss my mum's, my twin's and my own birthday. I can't complain though, I got to travel the circumference of the equator in distance across 9 countries in 24 days. So I decided not to kiss this opportunity and take the trip. Which, fair enough, it's been perhaps the best travel experience of my life.
A year ago I was crowned Mr Leather Europe in hamburg. I can't believe time has run so fast since then and so many things have happened on a personal and professional level. Has is been easy? Not at all. Not at least for me. There's been so many changes in both levels that I had to go with along with the title. Has it been rewarding? 100% YES! Although of course, this is not a proper goodbye and perhaps is a new start, I am going back to so many fantastic moment I've lived through the title this year.
Let's start by saying I never expected to land in this world the way it happened. I was fairly new into fetish when November 2011 someone invited me to compete for Mr Leather UK in Manchester, United Kingdom. After winning the contest. My adventures started with Mr Rubber UK Inuki, and Sly Hands, the newly crowned Mr international Rubber. Both based in the UK and whose support has been vital for me to live such an amazing experiences. I believe both are in Chicago for MIR now. Thanks a lot guys for your support.
On a personal level, I can thank enough to my family and friends, who completely understood, liked and support my journey all the way. Specially my parents, brother and sister and my friends in London (very specially Jonathan Carter who supported me way before all this began). And of course, on a very very personal level, my leather daddies. Two of the men who have followed, inspired and helped me specially the last year. Thank you very much guys.
Coming to the title perhaps the most intense experience again was meeting my brothers at IML. Wherever in the world we are, it seems time doesn't go by. Thanks for filling up my whatsapp with so many messages lol. Miss you guys! And specially the European representation of my class, Nick and David. Who did a great job representing Europe at IML 2011.
Millions and millions of thanks to all the team of ECMC who gave me the chance to compete and represent Mr Leather Europe this year. My apologises to all the members and delegates for not being in Padua this weekend. I hope you understand the reason behind. Thanks honestly everyone for giving me the chance and the reason for writing this post today. I've found a family in you. Thanks for following and supporting me along the way. And of course, all the European titleholders that have been there with me this year. There's probably a name to hold the sash, but so many that actually own it. Thank you guys for being there.
What has been the best for me? Meeting so many people all around the world. So many men and women within our community that have always received me in a way words can't even explain. Even if it was the first time they met me, it looked we spent a whole life together. And also making friends for life. A great example, my surprise birthday party at Palm Springs leather pride a year ago organised by payasos LA. Thanks everyone for opening your arms the way you've done.
If all this would start over again, my message would be exactly the same as what I tried to say at IML. The importance of acknowledging the effort of everyone, and not just titleholders. From event organisers, to leather or fetish bar owners, to the first or last individual that forms part of the fetish community. Thanks for making of this such a fantastic place.
I remember Daniel Dumont telling me that a title year is like a process when a boy grows to become a man. So thanks to everyone who's made of this boy, the man and specially the Leatherman I've become today.
OIER "KILKER" ALCARAZ
Mr Leather Europe 2012