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Daniel Dumont – A Memorial


Recently added memories:
+ 48 – Freddy Vanhoyweghen
+ 47 – Matt spike


Compiled by Ian Allan & John O’Brien with memories from those who knew Daniel.

If you would like to add your own memory, please mail it to info@alphatribe.com and we’ll add it to the list below.

Yes, maybe he was grumpy, yes, he was argumentative, yes, he could be difficult and stubborn, yes, he could be very un-PC, but ultimately, he was human. Also, to many of us, ourselves included, he was a great friend and a huge support and the work he did for his beloved MSC Belgium and ECMC (European Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs) was immense and meant a lot to him. He loved encouraging and helping new Clubs from Ireland to Russia and beyond. In many ways he was larger than life and that’s maybe why so many of us around the world remember him and have stories and memories to share.  As Henk Van Tilburg remembers Daniel was active in the fetish scene since forever. He has been active in MSC Belgium since the late 80’s and has been president of the club for more than 20 years. In 2009 he became Secretary of the ECMC in Rome at the same place where he stepped down 10 years later in 2019.

You couldn’t imagine a European fetish event without Daniel Dumont. And everyone knew, if you wanted your event to succeed you had to invite and somehow involve him. He was famous for his satiric humour, and for his whipping technique. How many Misters have we seen with fear in their eyes when Daniel used them to demonstrate his whipping? One thing we can say, he was ¨really¨ good at it.Gathered below are a selection of memories and we hope you enjoy them. Thanks to everyone who contributed and those who shared memories privately. No matter what you say about Daniel, he will never be forgotten.

The Memories:

#1 Jeroen Van Lievenoogen – Organizer Darklands – Publisher Alphatribe Magazine

© John O’Brien

Bearinboots@yahoo.com. An endless list of emails show up in my mailbox when I enter that search phrase.

You were my guide when I took my first steps in our fetish community and rebooted the Mr Leather Belgium title. Your contribution to Darklands has been essential, particularly for the Mr Leather Belgium and European Bootblack elections. Together we wrote the contest rules, invited judges, and took care of the legal issues.

Although communicating with you was sometimes challenging! “I can’t open the file because I’m still running Vista” or “I dropped coffee on my computer and it’s not working anymore” There was always enough drama to keep The Bold and the Beautiful running for another year or two.

You have been a guide to many people around the world. In your own quirky way, you connected people in our community. That has resulted in new clubs, new elections, and new events. You lived for our community, you loved it, you were one with it.

I am grateful to have had such a guide in this world. My only regret is that we never got to have that dinner I promised you. We tried several times, but your health or personal situation prevented it from happening. Now it will never be.

You are missed sweet giant.

#2 Benjamin Beckers – Great Friend & Work Colleague of Daniels

© John O’Brien

I remember the first time I heard about Daniel. That was 15 years ago.

I was a newcomer in the company where I still work today. We used to have this internal magazine, where we had all sort of business news, but also articles from employees, notably a section called "The day I met someone famous". There I see this article from a guy I didn't know, talking about how he met "International Mister Leather 2005", with a picture of them together. I was stunned because, in the previous companies I worked for, being gay was still kind of taboo, and people wouldn't openly talk about it. But there was Daniel, in the internal magazine of the international business bank he worked for, in full leather and smiles, so proud to be on the picture with his leather idol, openly stating this was a gay contest. 

For me as a straight person it was surprising, and this was telling me a lot about the company that had just hired me: here were no questions of equality or diversity. Everybody was accepted for who they were. And Daniel certainly seemed to be a very open and yes, brave person: Fifteen years ago, in Belgium, while already quite open, mentalities were not what they are today...

Sometime later I met Daniel in person, and realised we had actually some friends in common. That was the start of a long friendship.

Recently I talked with the person who used to be the editor of that newsletter. She told me that at the time, there were discussions to see if that article from Daniel was something they could actually publish in the newsletter or not, and they finally decided to go with it. So, Daniel made the lines move there towards a more open company, and society as a whole like he did so many times in his life. That's also who he was. Repose en paix Daniel. See you soon…

#3 Roby Leather – President EvidencE Nice.

© John O’Brien

Daniel, parler de Daniel au passé est une chose à laquelle je ne m'étais pas préparé.Daniel est comme mon père fétiche.Depuis la gay pride de Lille le 4 juin 2016 à Darkland début Mars 2020, nous avons été tout le temps ensembles.

Nous avons créé Evidence ensemble, il nous a soufflé dans l’oreille de créer un événement fétiche à Nice, “Nice so fétiche” voyait le jour 8 mois après. 

J’ai connu Daniel sérieux pendant les AG de l’ECMC et en sous vêtement en train de dormir à côté de nous à l'hôtel. J’ai connu les messages sur scène fraternels et engagés de Daniel, ainsi que ses fous rires autour d’une table…

Papa smurph, je pourrais en écrire des pages des moments passés avec lui, mais le cœur n’y est pas encore. C’est trop tôt.

Je voudrai juste vous demander de ne pas l’oublier, d’honorer sa mémoire, de se réjouir de tous les moments passés avec lui, d’y penser avec un sentiment de joie.Je pense bien connaitre Daniel, et il n’aurait pas voulu qu’on soit triste.

On pourra lui rendre l'hommage qu’il mérite une fois cette crise passée.

#strongertogether.

Daniel – To speak about Daniel in the past is something I have not prepared myself for, Daniel was like my Fetish Father. From Gay pride in Lille on June 4th 2016 to Darklands in Antwerp in March of this year we were always together at many Events.

We founded EvidencE together, he whispered in our ears to create an event in Nice, « Nice So Fetiche » was born 8 months later…

I have known Daniel both serious during the General Assembly of ECMC and in pyjama`s sleeping near us at our Hotel. I have known both the fraternal committed Speeches on stage and the `giggles` around the table. 

Papa Smurf, I could write books about moments spent together, but my heart is not there yet. It is too early…

I want to ask you not to forget him, I just want to ask you to honour his memory, to remember all the happy moments spent with him with joy and happiness. I think I knew him quite well and he would not have wished us to be sad.

We will pay him the tribute he deserves once this crisis is over.

#strongertogether.

#4 Esa Yykooȁn – Former President MSC Finland – Tom’s Club.

© John O’Brien

The best memory I have of Daniel is how delighted he was that the ECMC AGM in Helsinki was going to be held on the 40th Anniversary of MSC Finland – Tom’s Club. He felt it was very fitting and he really enjoyed that weekend in 2016. The weekend was a great success and Daniel was in his element. After that year he recommended that I should be the European Judge at IML. I am very grateful to Daniel and I will miss him at the many events we used to meet at. 

Rest well Daniel.

#5 Jorge Doal – Mr Rubber Spain 2018

  © Edgar Cabral Fotografia

I have quite a few interesting memories with Daniel Dumont, who I met during my title year, in 2018, and who I had the chance to see many times since at many fetish events across Europe.

One of the memories that I cherish the most took place in September 2018 when attending Lisbon Meets Fetish. Although Daniel always had an open smile and a warm bear hug every time we met, in Lisbon, I got to show him some parts of my lovely capital, and he talked to me about his passion for the Portuguese culture and language. In the past, he had close ties to Portugal, and the one he described in a touching way was his love for a Cat he had and who he named Branquinha (Little white in Portuguese).

When he was talking about her, the sparkle in his eyes was heartfelt. I couldn't hide my surprise, watching that big butch leather man getting all emotional and not being afraid to share those emotions with me. His bravery in doing so, revealed to me a kinder and softer side of him, that I think was unknown to most. When I think of Daniel, that's the image that I see. That smile and the warm hearted leatherman who wasn't afraid to own and share what he felt.

#6 Raymond Timmer – Mr Leather Europe 2017

© John O’Brien   © Raymond Timmer

Daniel will always be in my memory as a warm and compassionate person with silly humour which connected us. Making Belgian-Dutch jokes was standard and created many funny moments. Whenever we spoke Dutch, which he would preferred not, he would always start with in his opinion the most typical Dutch thing: “broodje gezond”… which means “sandwich healthy”. This to him was so typically Dutch as it is not healthy at all and we would always laugh about it.

When I met Daniel in Nice for the first time one of my most memorable and fun moments was in the little train on the Sunday. We were all in a very silly and fun mood and Daniel started waving at the people with his middle finger, like in the Mr Bean movie. The entire train of leathermen were laughing so much that we had tears in our eyes. Daniel has been an inspiration and a motivator to the community and to me as well, especially during my Mr Leather Europe title year. Daniel will be missed, but his legacy remains.         

#7 Christian Schreiber – Former President LMC Vienna

© John O’Brien

The first time I met Daniel Dumont was 2009 at the AGM in Rome. I had just become President of LMC Vienna a few month and it was my first trip to such a big fetish meeting like this.

I didn’t know anything about meetings like this and I remember it was a big chaos. Lots of discussions, the bookkeeping was a mess, and talks went on for hours…

On that day Daniel Dumont was elected as the new ECMC Secretary. He brought back structure to the ECMC, had new visions for the leather community and tried to promote new clubs in regions where no new leather clubs were especially in the eastern bloc countries.

Over the last 10 years we became friends and I will always remember him as a great leather friend who was always there to provide me with help and advice.

#8 Doug O’Keeffe – The Fireside Chats

  ©John O’Brien   

Daniel Dumont was an exceptional person!  In 2016 I had the privilege of meeting Daniel at Manchester Leather weekend. At the time I was preparing to interview Daniel live on stage, at Darklands in Antwerp, in February 2017, so I wanted to meet him in person and see his whipping skills live so we could discuss them in his upcoming interview. Daniel was gracious, thoughtful, and considerate when we met.  I picked Daniel's brain about his community history, his personal motivations, and how he developed his incredible whipping skills. On the Saturday afternoon of Manchester Leather weekend Daniel amazed me by whipping a cigarette held in a man's hand! 

When Daniel and I took the stage at Darklands for his Inside Leather History; A Fireside Chat interview I knew I was capturing something special!  For about 50 minutes Daniel shared with me intimate details about his life and work. I'm grateful I did the interview with Daniel. Today that interview stands in tribute to him, a well-deserved tribute to a great Leatherman!

Daniel Dumont was a definitive personality in the European Leather scene.  I was honoured to have known him.  Thank you for sharing your amazing Leather power Daniel!  

#9 Tyrone Rontganger – German Mr Leather 2013 & 2014

© John O’Brien   

I met Daniel in 2012 on the weekend of the Mr. Leather Berlin contest. It was a time when Berlin's fetish clubs were badly at war with each other, and despite his arbitrary leadership function within the ECMC, Daniel made it clear whose side he was on: the others! Of course, 'political' conflicts within any community are always going to lead to personal clashes amongst its members, but Daniel and I nonetheless hit it off immediately and we always got along. We used to talk on the phone, discuss our jobs and personal lives, chat online and meet up for dinner à deux (he was once wearing a Smurf T-shirt!), and did all those things that you only do with a small number of people when you live in a city like Berlin. That's why I called him a friend. We were often on opposing sides and there was a lot of disagreement between us, but that never impaired or undermined our personal connection.  This was one thing I like about Daniel: he wasn't afraid of confrontation. And he always gave as good as he got! Daniel may have had the reputation of being a whip-wielding sadist but, even without his leather whip, his tongue was also good at dishing out many lashes - I suppose that's why he had little reason to harbour long grudges.

 

Our best moments together, however, were those whenever we got the chance to dance! Daniel was a really good dancer and always enjoyed a groove on a dancefloor. He knew how to move, too! When he was dancing, you could tell that he didn't care what people thought of him - as neither do I - so it was the one place where we were always completely connected and free of any club stuff. While we were once really grooving and laughing in full leather on a podium in the Metropol at Nollendorfplatz, I can clearly remember him telling me: "Let them look! Let them see the other side!"

 

I'm very sorry to hear of his death, but I have absolutely no doubt that his legacy will live on amongst those who knew him personally. I know there were many people who didn't like him, and I can understand that too, but I don't think he'd want anyone to remember him as being perfect or as innocent, but instead as a man with a few rough edges and an equal number of flaws. And that's precisely what made him special.

#10 Eric Gutierrez – IML (International Mister Leather) 2011

© John O’Brien    

There are few landmarks in a man's life. Daniel Dumont was a landmark in my Leather Life, a full member of my Leather family.

He entered my life before I even took part in any Mister Leather contest. Because he was already a well-known member in our community. When we heard a special crack in the noise of the crowd? We knew it was his whip!

His laugh, his humour, his composure sometimes, did not hide the depth of the commitment of this man so surrounded by people, and sometimes very alone. He was always together with those who are trying to make the Fetish Community live throughout Europe, Daniel also meant a lot to everyone in the many Mister Leather competitions held across the continent.

Always looking for representatives who could play a dignified role in Europe on the IML Stage in Chicago, where he was an honoured and respected reference.

Just like a parent and child we met at every family party; Daniel will miss all of us. At his Club, the MSC Belgium, at the ECMC but more simply at each of the meetings of the community where we were used to meeting him.

I'm going to miss him. I miss him. In his last card (we liked to write to each other, just like old ladies!) he arranged an appointment with me soon. I'll be there even though I know he will not. Repose en paix mon ami.

Written by Jeroen Van Lievenoogen

Jeroen is publisher of Alphatribe magazine

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