Mr SA Leather 2011 Gerrie Vorster

The winner of Mr SA Leather 2011 not only scooped the title last weekend but also proposed to his boyfriend of almost nine years.

On Saturday 26 March, 49 year old Capetonian Gerrie Vorster was chosen as this year’s Mr SA Leather, and will represent the country in the International Mr Leather competition being held soon in the US.

The 1st runner up was Eugene Taljaard, who also walked away with the Image Award, while the 2nd runner up at the ceremony at The Venue in De Waterkant was Trevayne van Niekerk.

Vorster, who is mortgage originator, told Mambaonline that he was overwhelmed and humbled at having won. “Any one of the contenders could have taken the title as they are all fantastic candidates.”

He said that he was initially hesitant about entering the competition. “Some of the members in our community initially asked me to enter but I’d never done anything like this in my life. But after reading the application form and looking at the criteria set out, I realised I can actually do this. I then decided it’s either go big or go home – and it seems to have paid off.”

According to the organisers, the eight contestants were judged firstly for “Leather Identity and how they presented themselves with pride, personality and confidence”. A stringent Q&A session made up for another third and finally all the contestants had to address the crowd to explain what the Leather culture means to him and his own vision for the community.

Vorster explained that he intends to use his title “to break down the negative stereotypes associated with leather and show the world we are a close knit brotherhood, who cares and supports one another”.

He added: “I hope, as Leathermen, we can add our voice to supporting positive initiatives and also speak out publically against social injustice of which the focus right now falls on the so-called correctional rape happening in this country.”

Immediately after winning the title, Vorster took another bold step by asking his partner Ralf to be his husband. “I called Ralf on stage and went down on one knee… I’m a romantic at heart… and asked him to finally marry me on the 11th of the 11th, 2011 at precisely 11.11am, to which he agreed.”

When asked what about the leather community appeals to him, Vorster replied: “We’re a bunch of like-minded individuals sharing a common goal. The sense of belonging – the sense of caring and support – the giving back to our own that the greater community out there… and, of course, the leather sex!”

The International Mr Leather competition takes place in Chicago from 27 to 30 May 2011. Vorster will follow last year’s winner, Jaco Lourens, as only the second South African to ever participate in the event.

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