By Sandro Corsero (Mr Leather Belgium 2017)
Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, known for the canals and the beautiful museums. Like the Van Gogh Museum, that houses the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and letters and The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is an international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design. You can visit Rembrandt’s most famous work, the Nightwatch, at the Rijks Museum. All close to eachother at the Museum Square.
Everybody knows the sad story of Anne Frank, the Jewish victim of the Holocaust. Anne Frank documented her experiences during her life during the German occupation in World War 2 in a diary when she was hiding in Amsterdam for 2 years from 1942 till 1944. Her diary is known all over the world and has been translated in many languages.
Pride in Amsterdam is special. It is a parade of 80 different boats of large variety on the first Saturday of August. The festival attracts hundred-thousands of visitors each year and is one of the largest publicly held annual events in the Netherlands. This year was my first time that I experienced the pride on a boat (Mister B boat, dedicated to leather) as Mister Leather Belgium 2017 and it was by far the best pride of 2017!! The feeling you get when you come out from under a bridge is incredible. The people, the joy, the positive vibes, the emotions were pretty overwhelming. I can assure you THE LOVE WAS THERE!!
And last but not least and a very important aspect of The Netherlands. They were the very first country to approve same-sex marriage in 2001. This was a historical moment for every member of LGBTIQ. Belgium came in second in 2003. Australia will probably be the 25th country where same-sex marriage is approved.
Friday 27th of October
After weeks of chatting with the other misters on Facebook and after lots of mail traffic between Chuck Wendling and Arthur Peremans (President of MSA) the day has finally come. Friday, October 27th, a very special day for the fetish fans from Amsterdam but also for all the misters around Europe. The 21st edition of the Leatherpride Amsterdam has begun.
Nerves were kicking in earlier that week because not everything went according to plan, but that didn’t stop me to do my best and go for the title of Mister Leather Europe 2017.
During my reigning year as MLB 2017 I have visited lots of elections, but of none of them were so “full” of activities as this weekend. I knew it was going to be a hard, yet unforgettable weekend amongst us leather brothers.
The preparations of the election started on Friday. We had to go Getto Food and drinks for registration and the interview with the jury. This was a bit overwhelming because there were 12 people in the jury all staring at you and listening to what you had to say. I have to admit I was sweating underneath my leather gear, but the interview went well. After the interviews, each of us had the time to talk with Thorsten Buhl (MLE 2015). He was there to prepare us for the interview on stage and to guide us, because he had been there and he knew what we were going through.
Then came the moment the contestants were all been waiting for. The order of appearance on stage. We had to pick out an envelope and in that envelope was a number. I became contestant number 2.
After this part, it was time to go out and have fun!! Later that night it was a very special moment because XXX – Leather presented the very first Mister Netherlands 2018 competition. Evert Leerson won the title of Mister Leather Netherlands 2018 with his sexy act and amazing visuals on the background of Tom of Finland.
Saturday 28th of October
On Saturday the 28th we had a very busy schedule. The day started at 10 AM in de Meervaart were we had first a moment of silence, a gesture of respect for some friends we have lost in the last year. After this the ECMC AGM started. While the board had their meeting, all the contestants went for a relaxing walk in beautiful Amsterdam to take some group pictures.
After the official presentation to the board and the nice walk through the city, most of us were so hungry that we decided to have a lunch together. As the day was passing by, my nerves started to kick in again so I couldn’t eat that much. After the lunch, we all went back to our accommodation to get some rest because it was going to be a long night.
At 4PM we had to gather at Starbucks to go to the general rehearsal. Once we arrived we got to meet the technical team who would help us during our acts. And then it was time for the final rehearsal!! I worked so many hours on my video and it was time to see the result. I made a video of Madonna (Die another day) / Sia (elastic heart) / Tom of Finland / and pictures of me mixed with a personal message. I couldn’t be happier!! The hours of work paid off and it was exactly what I was hoping for. The beats, the images, the sound…it was great to watch!
In the evening there was an ECMC – MSA gala dinner for the delegates, observers, candidates, and guests. Here we had the chance to introduce ourselves and to mingle with the people and the representatives from the ECMC clubs.
THE BIG MOMENT HAD ARRIVED!!!
The show started a bit later as expected but once it started it went smoothly and before we knew it the show was over. Then came the voting round. All the contestants had to stand on stage for 15 minutes (but I can assure it looked like it took forever!!!) and behind us was a box with our picture on it. The people had to put their tickets in the boxes to vote.
The time had come to announce the winners. Second runner-up was Thomas Wucherer (Mister Leather Austria 2017). I must say that his act was so funny and hilarious. I think the song “Edelweis” will hunt him for the rest of his life!! After the announcement of the second runner-up it all started to get really excited! Who would be the new Mister Leather Europe 2017? I, Sandro (Mister Leather Belgium 2017) got the price for first runner-up. First place went to Raymond Timmer (Mister Leather Amsterdam 2016). This was a very special moment for him because he was sashless for a day and now he got the honour the receive his new sash from Mister Leather Europe 2016, Joe King.
Was I disappointed? Well, I think that each and every one of us had done the best they could. Raymond is a great guy with a big smile and a very nice personality. I am sure that he will do his absolute best to fill in the big footsteps of his 2 big predecessors Thorsten Buhl and Joe King.
Sunday 29th of October
Sunday morning, the sun rays shining on my face and I’m waking up slowly. Still half asleep while I am looking at my phone which is loaded with messages. This was the final part of this amazing weekend: the MSA – ECMC farewell brunch. Here we had the chance to say goodbye and share some last memories together. Well we all know that it’s not really goodbye because in a few weeks (end of November 2017) we are going to Nice for the Nice So Fetish #2. After the brunch everybody went his own way, packing his bags and going back home.
As Mister Leather Belgium 2017, I would love to thank ALL THE PEOPLE that have made this weekend so unforgettable!!! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
Special Thanks to MSC Belgium, ECMC and MSA.
And thank you Georges (MLB 2016) for helping me during my reigning period, your help means a lot to me!!
Mister Leather Belgium 2017
Sandro Cossero & Elmo
More about Mister Leather Belgium 2017 on Facebook and instagram : darco_s_sorenso