The Beginning of Austin Gears
Inspired by Gear Nights in Berlin, on July 9, 2011, a group of 12 men gathered at Austin's only leather bar, The Chain Drive. They had a great time celebrating in gear with cigars and beer out on the back patio. It was such a great party that they decided to make it a regular thing. From that genesis, Gear Night and the Austin Gears was born. The Austin Gears Council established our by-laws and charter in August, 2012.
We are the first and oldest, regular Gear Night in the United States. As bars have closed, we have successfully made the transition to others. We have held our celebration at Chain Drive, Badlands, and now Iron Bear. It's always a great crowd.
Mr Austin Gears Contest
Starting in 2014, we held a Mr. Austin Leather contest and a Mr. Ausin Gears contest. Open to men of all kinds, the contest is modeled after IML structure. 5-7 judges review an essay application and conduct a private interview followed by on-stage presence including bar wear, sexy wear, and high gear wear. Contestants also answer questions at one stage as well as give a 90-second speech of their choosing. The man selected represents Austin Gears throughout the year at Gear Night and various charity events and is encouraged to be visible in the community at events or wherever travel takes them. In 2016, we decided that Mr. Austin Gears could serve for both and put Mr. Austin Leather title on hold. The winner may take the Gear title to IML, MIR, IPAHA, or whatever gear contest they wish. We have had 5 of the winners take the title of International Mr. Leather (IML) joining other international title holders representing other countries, states, cities, and organizations from all over the world.