Mr. Leather Bear LA 2011
Terry is a free range musclebear who enjoys grazing many habitats. Terry knew he was a Leatherman when, as a young horseman, he had an unseemly attraction to tack, boots, rope and the men who used them. As a teenager he explored early Drummer contests and bars like the Brig in SF.
Terry is an LA native, born and raised. He has a special awareness and firsthand knowledge of Los Angeles and California gay and leather history and an appreciation for standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. Terry enjoys community building. And he loves surprising people by being against type.
Terry formerly served as the highest ranking openly gay elected officer of the California Democratic Party where he rewrote the platform plank on gay rights. Even then he proudly appeared on Leather Pride floats at Pride parades alongside his then-partner, also a leatherman.
A longtime activist, Terry successfully fought for anti-discrimination ordinances, began an AIDS emergency fund and created a foundation to fund scholarships for gay students, many of whom face rejection due to their sexual orientation. He has volunteered at a variety of leather, bear and rodeo events. And he served on non-profit boards including Being Alive LA (not affiliated with Being Alive Long Beach), a gay business group and local neighborhood preservation groups.
A long-term HIV survivor for 28 years, Terry believes the life experience of survivors (all survivors) should be valued.
He says he wants to "get to know my tribe better and let my tribe get to know me better.