If you ever wondered what kind of Leather titleholder makes a community proud, look at David Kloss--the very first International Mr. Leather titleholder. Since his title year in1979, Dave has worked in advocacy, fund-raising, and community promotion without stop.
After graduating from the US Merchant Marine Academy, he began a career in oil exploration that took him to Africa,and South America, working on oil rigs as a Rig Manager, Rig Mover, and Port Captain. In 1991, he took disability leave to promote and direct the work of HIV/AIDS assistance organizations in Austin and Houston, Texas, and what is now called Folsom Events. He served as Treasurer, Administrator, Bare Chest Calendar Men organizer and parade float designer, helping to raise $1.5 million for those in need. David has lost two partners to AIDS.
Eventually settling in Toronto, he organized the first Church Street Fetish Fair in 2004 with the goal of helping local businesses and the Toronto community at large. He co-owned Leather and Bear Tours, also called Beef Dip.
With his partner Remy, David became a frequent voice in debates to promote marriage equality. He was interviewed in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Reason Magazine, the Toronto Star, Omni television, Global News and PBS. The 2004 documentary “Gloriously Free” featured David, Remi and four others from around the world now living in Canada, aired internationally in six languages and was awarded the Canadian Broadcasters Association Red Ribbon Award.
David's work has earned honors, awards and commendations from Houston, Austin, Washington state, San Francisco, Toronto, the State of Calilfornia, the Pantheon of Leather, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Today he continues to judge and emcee leather contests, works in project management, and cruises Lake Ontario in summer (on a boat, that is). He is excited about his first trip to Israel!