Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Thoughts from Preston So, current MIR20

It is with the utmost grief and shock that I share the sad news of the passing of our dear friend Sly Hands, Mr. International Rubber 15 (#MIR15, 2012) and founder of the Manchester Rubber Weekend and the Manchester Rubbermen. He was 33. My heart aches for his partner Alex, his family and friends, and the entire Mancunian and British rubber community.

Sly was one of the most exuberant exponents of the rubber community, both at home in Manchester and worldwide. He worked tirelessly and generously to welcome and mentor new people in our community and to represent our fetish to the world.

He donated countless hours of his time for missions as large as one of the best-known gay fetish events in the world and as small as taking professional photos for those without the resources to afford them.

When we judged Mr. Rubber Spain together, he argued passionately for allowing candidates to have interpreters. He felt strongly from his position of privilege that enforcing English-speaking skills in any contest was exclusionary. He embodied the spirit of #rubberizetheworld. That's the kind of man Sly was.

Soon after I won Mr. International Rubber 20, I asked him for advice from one MIR to another. His response guides me to this day and will always stay with me well after I step down.

"Stay humble. I always told people that I wasn't any better or more worthy than anyone doing their bit."

Thank you, Sly. You've done more than your bit by empowering us to do ours. And you will be with us forever. XX

#MIR20 #MIRXX #MIR2017

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