It’s been quite a year for Ali Mushtaq. Aside from a year-long reign as Mr. Long Beach Leather 2016, he’s competed in International Mr. Leather in Chicago and graced the pages of the New York Times.
Mushtaq, who is Pakistani and Muslim, might seem an anomaly to what is usually portrayed as the stereotypical leather enthusiast, but he’s made something of a career of challenging norms. His desire for others to find solace in the leather community led Mushtaq to found the Southwest chapter of Onyx, a group for leather daddies of color.
In a chat on INTO’s Zero Feet Away series, Mushtaq talks about how he found liberation in the leather community, shows us some of his whipping equipment and talks about how he’s working to make the community more racially inclusive.