Mikel ‘Mike’ Gerle (born April 20, 1965) is an American leather titleholder, writer, heretic and LGBT community activist from West Hollywood, California. He is the 29th International Mr. Leather after winning the 2007 Mr. Los Angeles Leather title. Mike recently published a collection of short stories, A View From The Podium, in advance of his memoir.
Mike has written for Instigator, Letherati, Savage Love, and been featured on the NPR affiliate, KCRW Strangers podcast. He created TRIBE – WeHo Gay Men’s Discussion Group and the LA Band of Brothers. He lives in West Hollywood with his husband Garrett McClure, teaches yoga in his spare time, and knows the proper crew complement of a Galaxy-class starship.
You can learn more and follow Mike at his website, MikelGerle.com.
Early Life and Education
Mike grew up with a Mormon family in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho; then moved to San Diego in 1985 hoping to become a professional ballet dancer. AIDS and drug addiction derailed those plans and landed him in West Hollywood in 1991 where he’s lived here ever since.
At West Hollywood City Hall, Councilmember D’Amico’s office sponsored his idea to start a gay men’s discussion group. It is called it “TRIBE.” February 9, 2011 was the first meeting and have met monthly ever since.
Mike met his husband, Garrett McClure, on an AIDS/LifeCycle training ride. On a hike up Runyon Canyon in February 2013 I proposed, he accepted, and were married on March 30, 2014 on the Great Lawn of West Hollywood Park.