Thursday, November 12, 2009
Who's That Queer
Mark Leduc was not a hero, at least not until 1992, when he won a silver medal for Canada at the Olympics in Barcelona. Before that singular accomplishment, he was only a tough kid. To his close friends, he was a hard man who happened to be gay. By the time he was 12 years old, Leduc was certain of only two things: his sexuality and his deep love of boxing. A friend invited him along to a gym in Toronto's east end, and it didn't take long before he was hooked. His parents separated when he was 15 and Leduc went to to live on the streets.
Leduc got into trouble for robbing a jewellery store at gunpoint. He had been told by an accomplice that it was an insurance scam: the owner wanted the place turned over and hired them to make it look real. Leduc grabbed the gold and gems, passed them over, pocketed a cash fee, and was picked up by the police a few weeks later. He was sentenced to over six years in prison.
After about 18 months inside, a guard took a shine to Leduc, and tried to secure him day passes so he could train in a real gym. The first application was rejected by the warden, but Leduc was ultimately awarded 72 hours a month in the outside world. He used his 'free' time sparingly: an hour to train here, a couple of hours to train there, a few more hours for a fight. He began to acquire a smart amateur record.
The 1984 Olympics came and went while Leduc languished in prison. He was released in time for the 1988 Summer Games trials, but failed to earn a spot on the team that was to go to South Korea. Leduc decided to stick with the sport for another four years. After winning both the national championship, and the gold medal at a preliminary international meet, Leduc was on his way to Barcelona, where he won silver.
Leduc turned pro in 1992 and had limited success. He retired in 1993.
Leduc came out as a gay man in 1994 in the TV documentary For the Love of the Game and attended Toronto’s Pride parade in 1999 as grand marshal (with Savoy Howe).
Leduc worked for and volunteered with the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. His final occupation was that of set-builder and construction worker in the film industry.
Leduc died on July 22, 2009 in Toronto. He had collapsed in the sauna of a local hotel, and doctors suggested that his death may have resulted from heat stroke.
Source: Gay for Today
select key words
2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube