In the Ask and Tell feature of HIV Plus’ May/June issue, they talk with 2009’s International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne, who also happens to be based in Dallas. Payne gives props to the Dallas leather community as well as talks about his role as the 2009 IML in speaking about HIV to the masses.
Here’s a snippet from the q&a:
So what’s been the crowd reaction in general to your candidness about your life with HIV?
It’s been terrific! In fact, at one conference where I gave a speech about being HIV-positive, one of the MCs also came out of the “HIV closet” and said he’d been positive for eight years but never felt comfortable telling anyone before. I know that if I continue to share my journey, others like him may draw strength and be able to free themselves of those invisible chains that HIV has wrapped around them.
Payne will surrender the title May 30 at this year’s IML in Chicago. All of our eyes are, of course, on Jack Duke, the current Mr. Texas Leather. We’re hoping he can pull off a clean sweep of leather titles just like Payne did in 2009.