On Wednesday, July 22 former Canadian boxer Mark Leduc passed away in Toronto at the age of 47. He is best known for winning a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He came out in 1994, shortly after his retirement from professional boxing.
I met Mark Leduc during my first semester of university.
I was at this seedy gay bar in Toronto called the Barn. It had three or four levels of dance floors. The place was hopping wall to wall with sweaty gay men of all ages, body types and backgrounds.
I was up there with my friend Mark and his boyfriend Jarrett. None of us drank, but we enjoyed the dancing and faces.
Somehow I ended up dancing with this shirtless blond guy a few years older and a few inches shorter than me.
Mark and Jarrett conveniently disappear to another floor.
My dance partner smiles and grabs a part of my body.
“What’s your name, cutie?” he says.
I’m not sure I it’s exhaustion, dehydration or the influence of booze, but he seemed a little out of it.
“I’m Nathaniel” I boom. “I like your… tattoo… what’s your name?”
“I’m Marc Leduc,” he slurs. “I was a pro boxer and I won a medal for Canada in the 1992 Olympics.”
I run my hands on his biceps. They are much bigger than mine.
I give him a devilish smile.
“Well, you may have won medals in boxing,” I say. “But I bet I could take you out right here and now!’
He gives my person an indulgent glance, leans in and mumbles something to the effect of me having the ability to keep him on his back all day and night.
I didn’t have sex with him, but I probably should have. He was cute, friendly and like myself, he seemed to carry a lot of grief.
It was a brief, but sweet encounter which made me feel powerful, sexually attractive and desired.
Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Our encounter was brief, but Mark Leduc managed to make me feel really good.
He seemed like a nice guy.