Mr Leather 2018
Steven Quick, originates from Cornwall but moved to the South East to attend Theatre School in his early twenties. He has lived in Surrey for the last 14 years, where he ran a thriving garden design and maintenance business. However, he is relocating this summer to the shores of Brighton to be with his long term partner, Darren.
Steven’s lifelong leather obsession began in his early teens, when he received a vintage leather jacket from a family friend, sparking off a and an ever-expanding collection of gear. When he first discovered the gay clubbing scene in Cornwall in the mid-nineties, he made every attempt to wear leather whenever possible. His persistence paid off and he soon met other guys with similar interests who mentored him and introduced him to the new and exciting world of leather and brotherhood.
Now as Mr Leather UK a new phase in Steven’s leather journey has begun. He has described the title as a great ambassadorial role and an opportunity to travel, meet other members of our worldwide community.
Drawing on his own experiences of sexual abuse, Steven is using his time as Mr Leather UK to help prevent the same happening to other minors and vulnerable young men. His work to support his chosen charity Survivors, is helping to give them the confidence to speak out against this kind of abuse. See his fundraising page here or click the button below to donate now.
During his title year, Stephen travelled extensively across the UK and Europe to promote his message of inclusion, support and openness.
CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING ELECTED AS MR LEATHER UK 2018. HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
The election was an amazing night, one I won’t forget! It was incredible to stand with my amazing fellow contestants on stage and very humbling to be judged by my peers. I am so grateful for all the support I received and I still can’t believe it.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO ENTER?
I have been part of the leather community for almost two decades and I have received a huge amount of support and encouragement from my leather brothers over that time. This has helped me to become a proud and confident Leatherman and I feel now was an appropriate time for me to reciprocate and represent our incredible part of the LGBTQI community.
It is my desire to become an ambassador to promote and support the tireless work of others who have preceded me, in order to provide a safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment for Leathermen to wear their leather with pride and without fear or prejudice.
WHAT IS IT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE AS MR LEATHER UK 2018?
There are a great many things I want achieve as Mr Leather UK. As a teenager I experienced sexual abuse and I would like to be open and honest about my experiences to encourage more men to seek help and support. I believe by talking about these issues more, members of our community will feel they are able to talk more openly. I’m hoping that this will go some way to preventing further cases of sexual abuse and mental health issues that go unreported so often within our society. I would like the title of Mr Leather UK to help to further promote my charity work for SurvivorsUK (a charity that supports men who have been raped, sexually abused and assaulted). I am so proud of the people that have generously contributed and supported my efforts so far. To date, we’ve raised over £2500 in just over four months.
Also, as a gay man, and now one who has the responsibilities of being a titleholder, I feel it is my duty to educate and raise awareness of safer sexual practices. This is especially important for younger guys and those who are discovering their sexuality. It’s an exciting time of discovery and experimentation but also a time when we need to help people make informed choices. I would like to be involved with initiatives to promote the safe use of PrEP, whilst reminding people that other ‘more traditional’ methods still work and shouldn’t be disregarded.
I would also like to use my title year to encourage a greater presence of Leathermen throughout LGBTQI and the wider community. I feel that greater representation will encourage our further acceptance within society. I am hoping that with the title I can try and help those less fortunate to create change and move towards achieving the sexual equality that we are blessed with here in the UK.
WHAT ROLE DOES A TITLEHOLDER HAVE THESE DAYS? ARE THEY STILL AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR COMMUNITY?
Of course, no one needs a sash to help support our community – anyone can volunteer to help out at local events, or support others. However, having a title does enable guys to have a platform on which to draw attention to particular issues and hopefully encourage others to get involved.
For example, I often hear how newcomers to the scene find it daunting. I know I did I in my early days, but I soon realised that my fears were all in my head. Over the years, I have met the most friendly and welcoming people that I feel proud to call my leather brothers. I would like to share this with anyone who has a passion for leather and has not yet found the confidence to approach the scene. I hope I can help to make the leather scene even more welcoming to newcomers and be available to answer questions or put people at their ease.
We need to remember that it’s not just guys new to the scene that sometimes need our support. There are those who are no longer visible within our community – perhaps due to age or illness. One thing that I have done for many years is volunteered to support and care for elderly gay men in my local area. I would like to encourage others to do the same. This experience not only brought joy to their lives but enriched mine beyond all expectations.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT LEATHER THAT YOU LOVE?
Initially, leather was a welcomed addition to my sex life. I loved the sound, smell, look, feel and taste – and still do! However, over the years, this love for leather has gradually become much more than that – it’s become part of who I am; how I identify myself. As well as the confidence I get from wearing my gear, I realise it stands for something far deeper. Leather has given me the sense of belonging and fraternity I have always desired. It’s also encouraged me to travel, socialise and meet some of the most important people in my life.
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT THE LEATHER COMMUNITY COULD BE DOING BETTER?
Communication. I feel that as a community, we need to work together to encourage a sense of cohesion and inclusion of all societies and organisations. Many people work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we enjoy social events and occasions. Unfortunately, this hard work is often overlooked. We need to pull together as a whole to support these hard working individuals and encourage each and every organisation and event within our community. If we can communicate better by coordinating events and creating set standards, we can move one step closer to forming a much greater union.
I also think greater representation of the leather community both within the LGBTQI family and across society will encourage our further acceptance. With acceptance, comes equality. In the UK, we are so incredibly lucky to have the freedom to express our sexuality quite freely, whereas other members of our community, in other parts of the world, do not.
SO WHAT CAN GUYS EXPECT FROM YOU IN THE YEAR AHEAD?
I am hoping people will want to come and tell me about what leather means to them and what is going on in their local leather scene. I know I have been handed a wonderful opportunity and I am going to work as hard as I can to make a difference for guys. So I encourage people to follow me on social media – I can be found on Twitter and Facebook as well as the official Mr Leather UK channels. Also check out my calendar here where I will be sharing what events I will be attending.
MR LEATHER UK 2018’S PLEDGE
During my time in office, I will work to:
- Continue to raise awareness of the charity Survivors in order to encourage male victims of sexual abuse and rape to report these crimes and seek help and guidance.
- Raise more funds in order to support my chosen charity Survivors
- Provide advice and support to new members of the leather and fetish community.
- Attend both UK and international events to promote and strengthen the leather and fetish community.
- Work to promote and support the local leather and fetish community in my new home town of Brighton.
MR LEATHER UK 2018’S ACHIEVEMENTS
- Attended and helped judge Mr Rubber UK 2018 contest
- Attended, marched and supported Birmingham Pride 2018
- Attended and supported Vienna Fetish Spring event
- Attended and supported Dublin Pride
- Attended, marched and supported London Pride
- Attended and supported Mr Leather Wales Weekend
- Attended, supported and judged Mr Puppy UK 2019
- Attended and supported Manchester Leather Weekend
- Promoted UK Leather Scene at Maspalomas Fetish Week
- Attended and supported London Leathermen Weekend
- Supported, attended and judged Mr Leather Spain 2019