For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself, your Leather titles and how you are connected to the community.
Hey there, my name is Joey McDonald. I’m 57 years old and a native Chicagoan, but have also lived in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia and Key West, Florida. I am a US Navy Veteran who served as an openly gay sailor (long, long before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). I was lucky enough traveled around the world by the time I was honorably discharged, having visited 32 countries. In the mid-80s, I owned a catering and event planning business. I am a trained master weaver, and spent 15 years in the interior design industry designing and weaving luxury/high-end upholstery fabrics.
I worked for LGBT equality in Illinois until April 2013. I currently work as a Community Health Advocate, serving the homeless, recovering/addicted and HIV/AIDS impacted people and am going to school to get certified as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Although I never won a Leather title, I competed for and was a runner-up for Mr. Windy City 1981. I am a member of the Executive Committee of International Mr. Leather, Inc. (IML). I have served as the IML Den Daddy for the past eight years, working with the men who compete each year. I have the distinction of having volunteered at every IML since its beginning in 1979.
Jeremy Morris won the Mr. Iowa Leather contest at the Blazing Saddle in downtown Des Moines, IA, on October 15 and will be Iowa's representative at International Mr. Leather in Chicago. Two men vied for the title.
The judges were IML 2008 Gary Iriza, American Leatherman 2008 Randy Carmenaty, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2011 Jayson Glynn and Sheri Kutsch-Stanton who is a member of the Corn Haulers LL Club. The tally master was Bryan Smith, longtime manager of the Blazing Saddle.
Mr. Iowa Leather 2011 Mike Pagano emceed the contest, which also featured performances by porn stars Michael Brandon and Lance Navarro and several local entertainers.
Jeremy Morris is a founding member of the Titans of the Midwest, and produced Des Moines' Leather and Lace Kink Carnival in March.
On Saturday October 19 at 9 PM, Los Angeles based uniform club The Regiment of the Black and Tans, will hold its Mr. Regiment 2014 contest at the Eagle LA bar in the Silver Lake District of los angeles, CA.
The Regiment is one of the oldest uniform clubs in the United States and still amongst the most active. As apart of their 40th Anniversary's year-long celebration, The Regiment will be producing Searching for Mr. Regiment 2014: Anniversary Edition.
Three men vied for the title of Mr. Long Beach Leather 2014 at the Mineshaft in the gay district of Long Beach, California with Douglas J. Dick walking out onto Broadway street wearing the sash and medal. For good measure, Douglas was voted audience favorite from funds collected during the intermission on Saturday, September 13.
Although there were three contestants, second and first runner-up were announced. First runner-up was Ray Ellington and second runner-up was Michael Butler.
The Mineshaft was packed to the rafters as the local house of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence opened the show with one of their infamous blessings.Emcees Gabriel Green and Carlease Burke worked the stage, contestants and crowd from beginning to end. It was high octane all night. The ASL interpreter was Tom O'Malley.
CLAW Hotel Rooms Going Fast
The Westin is fully booked and the other three CLAW hotels are more than 50-percent sold. The other hotels are the Hampton Inn, Aloft Cleveland and the Marriott at Key Tower. Room rates start at $134/night for single and double occupancy ($139 for triple and quadruple occupancy) and include $20-$40/day in breakfast vouchers. CLAW Packages include more than 209 different events and exhibitors and the best cigar deck in all of Leather. CLAW XIX is April 25-28 in downtown Cleveland. CLAW is a convention that many consider the best Leather event of the year.
West Coast Rubber - Rubber New Year
Thanks to all the awesome rubberists, about 30 of them, who came out and helped kick start the new West Coast Rubber at Rubber New Year on Sunday afternoon, January 6 in los angeles, CA. Much thanks to our generous host Jon Wright, the unexpected fundraising by Alan Gamrican, los angeles Rubber Company, Spunk Lube, our volunteers Esteban Bartholo and John Carreon, and Dusti Cunningham for the photography, some of which will be at the bottom of this Hump Day as well as above. The Mr. West Coast Rubber contest weekend will be April 12-14 at Eagle 562 in Long Beach, CA.
International Mr. Leather 2014 host hotel taking reservations now
Information, such as when major event hotels open their room blocks, is something that The Leather Journal wants its readers to benefit from their loyalty to us. Acting fast, as in today because some of you are reading this on your iPhone or Android, could determine whether you stay International Mr. Leather's host hotel, or being relegated to another hotel where you will have to schlep back and forth to and from all of the action.
The Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile is the host hotel for International Mr. Leather which will be held May 23-26 in Chicago, IL.
All 63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants wave to the crowd. Soon after, the IML Top 20 Finalists were named. All photos by Dave Rhodes
International Mr. Leather 2017 is Ralph Bruneau who came in as Mr. GNI Leather 2016; his first runner-up is Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017 Geoff Millard, second runner-up is Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King; International Mr. Bootblack 2017 is Ryan "Pawlish" Garner-Carpenter and first runner-up is Rhys.
The Bolt Bar in Sacramento will host Sacramento Leather Weekend, Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16. The Bolt is located at 2560 Boxwood Street in Sacramento. Sacramento Leather Weekend will feature a Cigar Social, formal Leather Dinner at a popular Sacramento restaurant, and Leather activities and demonstrations.
A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Shriners Hospital and Mama’s Family, the largest Leather family in the world with 1,700 members. Founded in San Francisco by Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt, a stalwart advocate for the LGBT Leather community, Mama's boys and girls each year raise hundreds of thousands for numerous charities, including toy drives to supply holiday presents for needy or sick children. As Mama always says, "Ask yourself, 'What can I do to make a difference?' Then do it from your heart!"
Funds raised will also help send Mr. Bolt Leather 2014 Matt Bunch to represent Sacramento's Leather community at International Mr. Leather in Chicago this May.
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The holidays are here. The Leather/Levi/Fetish/Kink/Gear/Rubber/Puppy/Motorcyle community knows how to party and fund raise during this special time of year and you will see the tip of the iceberg as far as events to attend and support. Some are of the ages and some are new - all for a good cause. If you have an event coming soon, make sure to capitalize on the publicity offered here. If your event has just completed, please send a brief write-up and a few photos. See the writer guidelines at the bottom of this post. I started this Hump Day weekly in August with 15 short stories - this week there are 40 - and 23 photos. Share it with your friends.
The Mr. Bolt Leather 2015 Contest Weekend will be held October 17-19 at the Bolt in Sacramento, California and is a preliminary for International Mr. Leather which will be held next May.
The weekend starts with a contestants and judges Meet and Greet on Friday night at 9 PM; the Mr. Bolt Leather 2015 Contest will be on Saturday starting at 8 PM and a Victory barbecue rounds things out at 5 PM on Sunday.
All events will be at the Bolt, 2560 Boxwood Street, Sacramento, California 95815.
The Mr. Bolt Leather 2015 judges will be American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke who will serve as the head judge, Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2014 Scott "Big Red" Farrell, Ms Alameda County Leather 2013 Girlmel Sparkles, Northern California Leather Sir 2008 Thomas Pupp.
The Mr. Connecticut Leather 2015 contest was held Saturday, September 5-7 at the 168 York Street Cafe in New Haven with the winner being David Gerard of Norwalk, CT.
The runner-up was Trell Walters of Meriden, CT. Also competing was Jeff Wolf Striker Victoria.
The panel of judges included Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest founder Al Santora, Producer of Mr. New Jersey Leather Sal Susino, Brian Kuerze, Mr. Eagle NYC 2014 Cee Jay, Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 Joe Birdwell, Mr. New England Leather 2014 Steve Dupont, and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2001 JR Ramos.
There was a Friday meet and greet and a Sunday victory brunch.
David will continue on to Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather In January and IML in May.
Extreme cold and snow failed to deter a huge turnout in Chicago that saw Miguel Torres win the 2014 Mr. Chicago Leather Contest January 25 at Touché.
The contest on Saturday night featured six men going for the title. Joining Miguel at the contest’s end was first runner-up Jonathan Saidler and second runner-up Clint Sabin.
Miguel will now compete at Mr. International Leather 2014 in May. Miguel is originally from Venezuela and has called Chicago his home since 2000. He remains active in fundraising for local charities and this past summer participated in Ride for AIDS, a two-day, 200-mile bicycling event for Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).
The judges for Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 were International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Midwest Leather 2012 Matt Hengle, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013 Jesse Driscoll, videographer and editor for the Leather Archives and Museum’s Leather Preservation and Conservation Project Christina Court, and Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko.
The Mr. Phoenix Leather Contest was held on January 4 at Anvil Bar in Phoenix, Arizona. Four men competed for the title with Robert Schenberg being named Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014, and Mark Christiansen being named runner-up. Cody Millinger and Dorian Flores also competed. The winner of Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014 will advance to compete for International Mr. Leather this May in Chicago, Illinois.
The judges were Mr. Phoenix Leather 2013 Michael Parra, International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, International Leather Sir 2013 George Saltzman, International Drummer boy 2000 Richie Black, Southwest Leather boy 2010 Jerry Heitman, Southwest Leather boy 2008 Stephen Palaschek, and Master Lady LJ.
Mr. Phoenix Leather 2009 Bob Weber and Shawn Kyle White served as the Masters of Ceremonies.
Contestants were judged on their On-Stage presence at Friday’s Meet and Greet, Interviews, Speech and Formal Wear, Skin-wear and On-Stage Question, and Overall Weekend Attitude and Interactions.
As many as 2,500 Leatherfolk attended CLAW 18 (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) at the Westin Downtown Cleveland April 26-29. CLAW and its affiliated CLAW Nation events have rung up over $800,000 in donations to charity since its inception in 2001. With fundraising activities everywhere, everyone is having the time of their lives while giving.