Eric Masters, Mr. 501 Eagle 2016 and co-owner/producer of Mr. Indiana Leather was born and raised in Lafayette, IN and has been a resident of Indianapolis, IN since 2009. He is an active musician & singer that has traveled on both the national and international platforms. His introduction to the leather community occurred in his early twenties when he ventured into his very first gay bar, the 501 Eagle in Indianapolis. From that moment forward, Eric has been mesmerized by the leather community.
Eric earned the title of Mr. 501 Eagle 2016 on January 9, 2016 in Indianapolis, IN. He believes in bringing the community together, putting aside our differences, and working together for the greater good of our communities. Throughout his title year, and beyond, Eric has brought together the greater LGBTQ community to celebrate leather & encourage self-expression. He actively encourages those that want to explore their leather kinks & fetishes to come out and be who they truly are without any shame.
Eric was saddened by the closing of the 501 Eagle in October of 2016, but wanted to continue to see growth within the Indiana leather community. He & his partner Luis brought back the Mr. Indiana Leather contest title, and have worked diligently to ensure that the leather community continues to have an outlet within their state.
Upon the passing of Sir Greg Slaven, Eric had a desire to continue the work of Sir Greg as the Executive Director for Team Friendly Indiana. Re-vitalized, Team Friendly Indiana has grown under Eric’s leadership with the addition of a board of directors, an active 501(c)3 status, and a prominent educational & advocacy grass-roots organization that is highly sought after in the State of Indiana. TFI is under the umbrella of the Mr. Friendly campaign formed by Dave Watts.
Eric actively pushes to stamp out the stigma of HIV and is passionate about taking that message with him wherever he goes. He believes in bridging the gap between the various groups within the LGBT community and is a champion for mutual respect amongst one another. He is deeply in love with his husband, Luis Tipantasig, Mr. Chicago Leather 2015!