Henk Van Tilburg – Secretary of SLFC (43/89)

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First, I was surprised when I was asked to write a short memoir about Daniel Dumont. Everyone who knew us both knew that we were not the best friends. So, why me?

Maybe it’s because I’ve known Daniel a good half of my life. We didn’t always get along – in fact, I suppose we had more conflicts than times of harmony. We are both two headstrong persons, and we both always think we are right. We just simply marched to a different beat, but we respected each other for our dedication to the fetish community. 

We met first on October 21st, 1995 when my Bar (Hanky Code) organized the first ever Mr. Leather Belgium contest. Daniel was there in the crowd as the representant of MSC Belgium observing carefully, what we were doing. He stayed quite serious up till the moment one of the candidates rode into the bar on his own Harley. You could see in Daniel’s eyes that this was the moment when he started to believe that something interesting was going to happen. But he was still not smiling. But when the candidates were started to dance to YMCA as the Village People, Daniel just couldn’t stop laughing. So that is my first memory with Daniel.

In 1996 we asked him to become a member of the jury of the new election, and in the following years through the intercession of Daniel, the election was moved to Brussels. As we all know the election returned to its origin these last few years.Most of us met him 4-5 times a year at different events, but except that he loved cats, we didn’t know too much about his personal life. If you asked; how things are at home, he said: ¨Why have a sandwich, when you can go out and have an open buffet? 

By putting on his leather gear, he not only changed his clothes, but he also became a person much younger in spirit. Daniel was a person who loved and enjoyed life; a man who lived for his community.

We had a love/hate relation, (despite what people think, we always talked a lot in private). Most of the times we had different ideas how to run things in the fetish world, but I can’t deny that Daniel lived for this community. And in his own way he wanted the best for the community. And when I remember him, I won’t remember the discussions, but the young Daniel Dumont who was crying of laughter at the first Mr. Leather Belgium election from 1995.  R.I.P

Written by Jeroen Van Lievenoogen

Jeroen is publisher of Alphatribe magazine

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