Great commentary, Mr. Savage, and I agree with your perspective wholeheartedly! Thanks.
Now, the following comment has nothing to do with the point of your editorial, but just for the record I would like to point out, that IML technically is NOT "a gay leather/fetish contest and convention." At least, not by IML's contestant criteria. It IS a men's leather contest, to be sure, and both the contest and weekend is most definitely vastly populated by gay men. But it is not a gay contest. Straight men, bi men, trans men, gay men -- all may compete and the contest has always been open to such (that being said, trans men might be a newer admission... I'm not sure about that).
If you want to cite a strictly gay contest, I'll point you to American Brotherhood Weekend (ABW) and the titles of American Leatherman and American Leatherwoman. www.americanbrotherhood.com
In order to compete for those titles, you must identify and operate as gay/homosexual/lesbian. And be biologically male (American Leatherman) or female (American Leatherwoman). Contestants for the American Leatherboy title, which rounds out the American Leather Family, can be any gender, but must identify as a boy. That event happens in October.