The title of Mr. Long Beach Leather was given to Ali Mushtaq this past fall. The 27-year-old is the son of Pakistani immigrants and has lived with his grandparents in Anaheim since he was 11. At the age of 15, he came out as gay.
At first, his grandfather was concerned for his grandson, afraid he would receive harsh prejudice for his sexual orientation. But Mastaq has thrived with the continuous support of his family.
On a Facebook post, Mushtaq said, “I couldn’t be the out and proud leatherman I am today without the support of my family!”
Mushtaq was first introduced to the gay leather community while he was studying for his degree at UC San Francisco.
The gay leather community is a type of ‘subculture’ welcoming all genders and sexualities that wear leather clothing and accessories such as leather boots, vests and harnesses to ‘signify sexual interests.’
Mushtaq strives to be a leader and role model in that community and wants people like himself to become a part of it.
As a leatherman, Mushtaq teaches a sociology class at Long Beach City College and is also the vice president of a local chapter of ONYX called ONYX Southwest, which is an organization recognized nationwide for men of color in the leather community.
Mushtaq is currently prepping to give his full thesis for his PhD in sociology and training for the International Mr. Leather competition which is taking place in May.
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