Who is Andy Cross?

  • by Scott Brogan
  • Tuesday June 11, 2013
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Robert Miller (2nd Runner-Up), Andy Cross (IML 2013), and<br>Thib Guicherd-Callin (1st Runner-Up) after winning their titles at IML in<br>Chicago. <br>Photo: International Mr. Leather
Robert Miller (2nd Runner-Up), Andy Cross (IML 2013), and
Thib Guicherd-Callin (1st Runner-Up) after winning their titles at IML in
Photo: International Mr. Leather

Two weeks ago, Andy Cross brought the title of International Mister Leather (IML) home to San Francisco. The Bay Area rocked that Memorial Day weekend, across the board.

Cross' First Runner-Up is our Mr. Santa Clara County Leather 2012, Thib Guicherd-Callin. IML 1996 Joe Gallagher, owner of Joe's Barbershop at Church & Market, announced the top 20 finalists. Skeeter and Squish of Mr. S Leather made the IML sash, and it's the first time they pre-signed the back.

This was also the first year Lenny Broberg emceed the contest. Prior to Cross, Broberg was the last IML from SF. To put it in perspective, that was in 1992, when Cross was a mere 11 years old.

Yes, I got some selfish glee enlightening Broberg to that factoid! "The Curse of the Broberg is lifted," I jokingly told him. Lucky for me he has a great sense of humor!

Cross was sponsored by the SF Bay Area Leather Alliance, the Powerhouse bar, and Troy Anicete Designs. Anicete's designs for Cross created a sensation at IML, especially the red and black leather pants. Check him out at www.anicetedesigns.com.

Cross is a California native, hailing from Santa Maria. He moved to San Francisco 11 years ago to attend SF State. He was curious about the leather community, but like many 20somethings, was unsure how to express it. He's come a long way in a short time, hasn't he? Last week I sat down with Cross at the Pilsner.

I wanted to get to know him better, outside all of the hoopla. The following are the highlights of our chat.

ML 2013 Andy Cross in his "bar wear" by Anicete Designs.  (Source: Courtesy Troy Anicete)

Scott Brogan: Andy, what is your best memory of IML? What stands out?
Andy Cross: IML was at a different hotel this year, so the contest was held in different venues. There was a very old theater for Saturday night called "The Vic." It was small, there weren't many places for us to change and get ready. Most of us were stuck in the basement waiting to go on, so we started joking around, poking fun at each other. The bonding backstage all weekend was great.

Who do you look up to?
Lance Holman, Race Bannon, Patrick Mulcahey, and Lenny Broberg.

What was your progression into the scene?
I first came into the scene from a sex story online that took place at the Powerhouse, and after I moved here I found out there really is a Powerhouse bar. I got up the nerve to go with a friend of mine. It was 4 p.m. on a Tuesday! Carlton [now his partner] was bartending. He told me to come back that weekend. I did. I also started going to the Leathermen's Discussion Group meetings.

When you're a titleholder everyone gives you advice, whether you want it or not. What was the strangest advice anyone gave you?
"Don't wave below your shoulder." I thought it was strange at the time, but then [after competing], I realized it wasn't that strange after all!

Do you feel any pressure as IML?
Are you kidding me? Woody [IML 2012] is a tough act to follow!

What first attracted you to the leather scene?
My uncle had a motorcycle. To me, that was hot. Not my uncle, but the motorcycle and the leather he wore.

What are you "into?"
Water sports. Top and bottom.

At the end of the year, what do you want to be remembered for?
I would like to be an IML that brought people with similar interests together. What's the point of meeting people if you can't get them together? I have something great planned for the end of the year that will be fun, but I can't talk about it yet.

Favorite part of the city?
Union Square. I used to work downtown, and would take lunch there and sit and people-watch.

If you could have dinner with any three people, alive or dead, who would it be?
Chad Douglas. He's an '80s porn star who had a big cock. Queen Elizabeth II. Steve Jobs.

During our chat, a drunken guy sat down next to Cross, giving him the "remember me?" bit. Cross handled the situation like a pro, coaxing him into leaving without being insulting. In that moment, I saw what the judges at IML obviously saw: a young kinkster so genuinely nice and humble he's able to handle any situation.

If you want to know what the adage of someone having "It" means, spend some time with Andy Cross. He's got "It." And Andy, don't forget our chat about dungeon chatter!