IML and IMBB 2017 Contestant Bios and Photos - The Leather Journal

IML and IMBB 2017 Contestant Bios and Photos

 

Revised June 6, 2017 to include all contestants' photos. The Leather Journal has three International Bootblack 2017 and63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants photos and bios for your enjoyment. This is the first year that the IMBB contestants have been included. Undoubtedly the contestant count in both contests will increase between now and IML. See you in Chicago.

 

International Mr. Bootblack 2017 Contestants

Pawlish

Pawlish is passionate about learning and mentorship—fostered by his years at a particularly "fruity" company. After 18 moves across three continents, what he's learned is to stay hungry, and IT for an SF startup fits that bill...for now. That hunger also persists when it comes to Leather and kink, where he loves discussing social impact and challenging others' perspectives. He's found resonance with puppy play, bootblacking, and Sir/Daddy roles. You can find him wagging away while putting a shine to a boot and snacking on whatever he's recently baked. Pawlish lives in Cincinnati with his husband, Bamm-Bamm.

Rhys

Rhys has been learning and practicing boot blacking for the better part of five years. Rhys feels most at home in the interaction between himself and the people who sit in his chair. While bootblacking he feels its his mission to make his clients feel welcome, respected and happy with their boots.

Thudd Thumper

Thudd Thumper, or John Moreau as the muggles know him, hails from Kansas City and claims both Kansas and Missouri as home states. He first found Leather when he came across gear night at a KC bar in 2008. Even before getting his first harness, he considered his ROTC boots to be his first piece of gear. After years of loving on boots in private, a spur of the moment trip to his first IMBB competition inspired Thudd to pursue public boot-blacking. He has been fortunate enough to bootblack for events across the Midwest as well as his home community.

His service to his community extends beyond his stand. He has become an outspoken advocate and organizer within the Kansas City community and beyond. Thudd currently serves as the South Region Officer At-Large for the Titans of the Midwest, supporting Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. He is a pledge member of the KC Pioneers. In addition to bootblacking, Thudd expresses his love of Leather as an apprentice Leather craftsman.

He cites a range of influences on his aesthetic, including World War II American military aviation and the emergence of Leather culture from World War II. His favorite pieces are his Leather apron and the vintage Leather jacket his father gave him.

 

International Mr. Leather 2017 Contestants

 

 

Australian Leatherman 2017 Gerry Ebert

Photo by Skye Bartlett

I am Gerry and I am Australian Leatherman 2017. Coming from Adelaide, I have helped rejuvenate the Leather scene in my adopted city with a bunch of dedicated fetish people. Helping set up the Adelaide Leathermen in early 2016, I also competed in the Mr. Adelaide Leatherman 2016 competition, and after winning, I am the first South Australian Leather title holder in six years.

I've worked hard to grow our community, hosting and organizing events ranging from Puppy barbecues to Leather dance parties. I have been a community representative in the past when I was Mr. Bear SA 2014.

I may have come late to the Leather scene, but have wholeheartedly embraced it, taking on confidence and pride, helping educate people from all walks of life about the Leather community. I have also worked with and on behalf of the broader LGBTIQ community, with close ties with SAMESH and a strong focus on mental health awareness through volunteering and work with Beyond Blue. I am particularly passionate about helping people with mental health issues, using my own experiences with anxiety and depression to raise awareness and encourage dialogue.

Leatherman of Color 2017 Kai Anderson

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Kai Anderson is a 43-year-old Data Science Engineer who currently resides in Washington, DC. A native of Southern California, Kai began his Leather journey in 2015 when he pledged ONYX Mid-Atlantic. Since then he's made it his personal goal to give back to the LGBTQ community through education and mentoring. As the current Leatherman of Color, Kai is passionate about Leather history and the role that people of color have played in the Leather and BDSM communities. He looks forward to competing at IML in May and leaving his mark in history as the first transgender Leatherman of Color.

Mr. Alamo City Leather 2017 Ken “BIG” Johnson

Ken Johnson is the first Mr. Alamo City Leather from San Antonio. Ken started his Leather journey over a decade ago. He was Mr. San Antonio Eagle 2005 and member of IML Class of the same year. Ken is a dominant Sir who prefers Daddy over Master. Ken is very active in the San Antonio community serving as Emperor 12 of the Alamo Empire and Renegade Bears founding member. Ken believes inclusiveness in the GLBT community is a necessity.  “United We Stand, divided they pick us off one by one.”

Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2016 Daddy Rod

Daddy Rod is a native of San Jose, CA and currently lives in the Atlanta area. He has been a part of the Leather and BDSM/Kink Community for over 18 years with the last 15 years in the Atlanta area. He is currently the President of ONYX Southeast, Treasurer of the ONYX National Council and co-founder of the BDSM 101 workshops and intensives held at the Atlanta Eagle. He is also a member of Mama's Family as her "Digital Master.”

His involvement with the Atlanta Leather/BDSM and Kink community, and ONYX in particular, has helped Daddy Rod embrace Leather History, his kinks and to become a more confident man with a passion for education and preserving Leather History. He is going on his third year as founder of BDSM 101 workshops. He is also the executor of the Southeast Annex of the Carter-Johnson Leather Library and Collection.

During and prior to his title year, Daddy Rod has supported charities and worked with many Leather, LGBT, and HIV/AIDS organizations including Leather Heart Foundation, Lost and Found, Positive Impact, and Thrive! He has volunteered annually at IML for many years prior to competing. He finds joy in knowing that he is a part of not only giving back to the community but cultivating new friendships throughout the world of Leather.

 

Mr. Big Easy Leather 2017 Mr. D.A. Durazo

Photo by Ricky Taillon

Mr. D.A. Durazo was selected on October 8 to carry the title of Mr. Big Easy Leather 2017. He is a member and an officer for the Knights D'Orleans Leather Social Club and has been very active in many community events in New Orleans. He has selected True Colors as his beneficiary charity organization. This organization provides housing, clothing, education, and job skills to LGBT Youth who are homeless often as a result of being kicked out of their own family home in a "coming out" process. D.A. Durazo is 37 years-old and a resident of the Gulf Coast Region and has extensive background in the field of Information Technology. He is a huge proponent of Sex Positivity and regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation. He is proud to represent the Greater New Orleans Area and promote this region's Leather Culture.

Mr. Bolt Leather 2017 Fred Colmenares

Although still relatively new to the Leather community since mid 2015, Fred has immersed himself and has become as involved as he can be. He has become a founding member of a new queer Leather group in Sacramento and has used his interest of video games to bring in a new type of crowd to his bar events and get more people involved. He is a aspiring astrophysicist out side of the community but still flags his colors when he can. He flags light grey in both and hunter green on the right.

Mr. Chicago Leather 2017 Jerry Cernak

Photo by Trumbull Photography

The Mr. Chicago Leather 2017 Contest on January 28 at the Leather Archives & Museum was won by Gerald "Daddy G" Cernak. Joining Mr. Chicago Leather 2016 Todd Harris, International Mr. Leather 2016 David “Tigger” Bailey on the judging panel were IML 2016 alumni Mr. 501 Eagle 2016 Eric Masters, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2016 Pup Icarus and International Ms Bootblack Leslie Anderson.

 

Mr. CMEN Leather 2016 Esteban Bartholo

Photo by Trevor Ott Photography

Esteban, originally from Colombia, moved to Los Angeles in 1998 and subsequently found his place in the Leather community. He has become an active leader in los angeles. He is a co-founder and Vice-Chair of the Board of Payasos LA. He also currently serves as Commander in Chief of the Regiment of the Black and Tans. Active member of los angeles Band of Brothers and many other fetish organizations, Esteban is looking forward to representing CMEN at local Leather community events and in International Mr. Leather contest in May 2017.

Mr. Connecticut Leather 2017 Ian “Scooby” Rosman

Photo by Tim White

Scooby is a Delaware native who currently calls New Haven, Connecticut home. He has been active in the local and regional Leather community for seven years, identifying as both boy and puppy. Scooby is a brother of the CT Cruisers, a founding member of the Leather boys of New England, and a member of Mama’s Family. Scooby’s focus is on building events to welcome members into the Leather community and to encourage people to create and establish connections. Outside of Leather, Scooby enjoys bowling and volunteering with other local organizations.

Mr. Dallas Eagle 2016 John Pates

Photo by Hank Henley

John has been a member of the Dallas Leather community since moving there from Virginia. He has served as Vice President of the Leather Knights and can be seen volunteering at various events including ILSb-ICBB and TBRU.  John is a firm believer that our differences are what define us, and our community is a place for everyone to bring something unique to contribute to our growth.

Mr. DC Eagle 2017 Grey Owl

Photo by Flash Onyx

Grey Owl, Born in San Diego, had his first taste of the Leather community in 2006. Since that amazing day in January he never looked back. Grey Owl Is a proud member of Onyx Mid-Atlantic since 2014 where he learned the value of brotherhood and the strength in the community. His mission is to share the love of the Leather and kink community with those who find interest or want understanding so it continues to grow.

Mr. Fetish Finland 2016 Holter Finn

I am Holter Finn, 44 years old fetish man from MSC Finland Tom’s Club. I live in the capital of Finland, Helsinki and I have been active club member almost six years. During my title year I have  participated in 10 international events, our Tom’s Club monthly nights and events and Mister Leather Europe 2016 Competition. I was one of the organizers of AGM Finlandization 30 here in Helsinki. I am also in Tom of Finland the movie as a supporting actor.

Mr. Fetish Jackhammer 2016 Slade

Photo by DS Trumbull Photography

Slade has been part of the Leather/Fetish scene for over 10 years. He is know him for tricks with rope he learned in Tokyo Japan at a fetish bar called The Gate.

Slade holds the title for Mr. Fetish Jackhammer 2016, on the planning committee for CLAW Party and Bar coordinator, emcee for Mr. Campit Leather, a member for WCBC (Windy City Bondage Club, and The Leather Advisor for the Windy City Imperial Court, a member of Titans of the Midwest, and has done fundraisers for Felines and Canines and POZ Pets.

Mr. GNI Leather 2016 Ralph Bruneau

Photo by Vincent Keith, Mascular Studio

Ralph Bruneau is pleased to represent Gay Naturists International, the largest naturist organization in the world, as Mr. GNI Leather. He is a member of Avatar Club los angeles and the Southern California Bondage Club. Dr. Bruneau has a sex-positive, kink-positive practice in LA. Nationally recognized for his contributions to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy in California, he has taught and lectured about intimacy and sexual expression for over two decades. He is actively involved in the campaign to end Conversion Therapy and, as a titleholder, has raised over $5,000 for #BornPerfect. He flags black, grey and houndstooth on the left.

Mr. Harbor Room 2016 Chad Barr

Chad Barr, Mr. Harbor Room 2016, is currently a student for Software Development at Gateway Tech and graduates in December of 2017. He is engaged to be married to his fiancé Jeffrey Frommelt in June 2017. Currently Chad lives in Racine, WI with his fiancé and three dogs (aka: his kids) that he’s adopted from the Humane Society.  He’s an active member in the Castaways MC, a Leather/Levi motorcycle club in Milwaukee, WI. Chad enjoys spending his free time working around the house, playing his guitar, and spending time with friends and family.

Mr. ICON Detroit Leather 2017 Joe Dinello

My name is Joe Dinello. I am the current Mr. ICON Detroit Leather 2017. I reside in Rochester Hills, Michigan. I am a cosmetic executive by trade and Leatherman at heart. My interests include working out, yoga, hiking, cycling, kayaking, dinner parties, and etc. I also enjoy flogging, light BDSM and puppy play. I flag red, yellow, and black in my left pocket.

Mr. Indiana Leather 2017 Liam Matthews

Mr. Indiana Leather 2017 is Liam Matthews who won he revived title at Greg's Indy in Indianapolis, IN the weekend of January 6-8. There was a Meet and Greet;, Kink Classes, Can U Knot by Bryan Bolt Donner, Food Play by Shane Achenbach and Giovonnte Tate, Playing Around with Rubber by Jeffrey Basile and Good Touch Games by Zak Rittenhouse, the MIL 2017 Contest and Victory Party, and a Sunday Victory Brunch.

Mr. Iowa Leather Mike O'Donnell

Photo by Ryan Coit of Minneapolis

Daddy Mike is a member of the Delta Brotherhood, Gay Naturists International (GNI), Body Electric, and past 2015-16 President of Titans of the Midwest. Mike has taught classes at Kink U, CLAW, GNI, Delta and LeatherWerks in flogging, paddling, electrostim, catheter play and sounding, the latter of which meshes well with his career as a board-certified urologist. When he is not out riding his Harley or snowboarding in the Rockies, Mike is dedicated to sharing knowledge, experience and passion in the community and uplifting boys as they begin their journey in Leather. He strongly supports the Leather Heart Foundation.

 

Mr. Israel Leather 2016 Tzachee Groupper

I was born in Kiryat Gat Israel, south of Tel Aviv. I am the fourth out of six children. I served the required three years full-time army service followed by 20-plus years reserve service. I am a medaled Gaza War Veteran. I now work in acquisitions. My first exposure to Leather was watching Glenn Hughes in "Can't Stop the Music." He became my role model; followed by Billy Idol. When Leather and BDSM porn became readily available in the 90s I learned IML existed. It became a fantasy of mine to participate. Now that I am actually a contestant I feel overwhelmed. My aim in Chicago is to listen, share, learn and fall in love with my brothers, the Class of IML 39.

Mr. Kentucky Leather 2016 Jody Corbett

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Jody began exploring Leather in 2013, and soon found friends and family who continue to help him grow and learn. He has a passion for social justice, challenging oneself, and showing the world kindness with a smile and awkward hug. Known as Sister Cordelia of the Derby City Sisters, he is an avid guilt expiator and believes everyone should embrace their interests and passions freely. He believes the best things in life include rope bondage, a houndstooth hanky, episodes of Naruto, and too much pizza, all at once. He is honored to be named Mr. Kentucky Leather 2016.

Mr. los angeles Leather 2017 Jeff Wilcox

Photo by Dave Rhodes

The highlight of los angeles Leather Pride 2017 CODE: was the Mr. los angeles Leather 2017 contest won by Jeff Wilcox on Saturday night, April 1 at the Globe Theater in downtown los angeles.

My goal for this year is to bring a new sense of excitement and fascination for the Leather community to those who have always wanted to partake but were too afraid to join in or didn’t know where to begin. I want to show anyone interested in any aspect of the Leather community that they are welcomed and we are excited to accept them whatever their kink, fetish, or enjoyment of sex may be. I know I was one of those people who wanted to enter the community without knowing how and ended up dancing around the outside for years and years until I was finally able to come in thanks to the Eagle LA Mr. Leather contest.

Mr. Leather Belgium 2016 Georges "The Mountain" Peeters

Photo by Philoulouis Courtage

Mr. Leather Belgium 2016 Georges "The Mountain" Peeters was first runner-up at Mister Leather Europe 2017.

I am 45 years old, live in Antwerp, am a member of MSC-Belgium and have a degree as an industrial engineer in construction. I am a proud Leatherman working for over 13 years as a mounted cop in the Belgian police force and I am a member of the Royal Guard. I committed myself this year to bring hate crimes to attention and worked with Sensoa, an organization which raises awareness around HIV, STD'S, PEP and PrEP.

 

Mr. Leather Brasil 2017 Luiz Krasner

Photo by Ronaldo Donizeti e Marcio Mattos

Mr. Leather Brazil 2017 Luiz Krasner is a man in love with Leather and the first representative chosen in Brazil. More than just clothes, Leather is his second skin - a lifestyle.

The Leather culture in Brazil has been gaining strength and visibility, even though incipient, already has its representatives, parties and groups that organize themselves, having Mr. Leather as one of its main exponents.

The Brazilian is also adept at BDSM and has a website with more than 300 men that were photographed in fetishist practice and initiated in the Leather culture.  His site is www.dombarbudo.com

Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King

Photo by D81

Joe became Mr. Leather UK in early 2016, going on to win the title of Mister Leather Europe in Tom’s home club in Finland.

Joe is an active member of the European community and has been a judge of numerous title contests and loves nothing more than getting an opportunity to spend time with international clubs and meeting new Leathermen and women around the world.

A huge champion of promoting diversity within the Leather community, Joe believes strongly in the need for Leather culture to adapt with the times, to remain relevant to each new generation, whilst safeguarding our heritage.

Mr. Leather Ireland 2016 Cathal Mulvany

Photo by Karl Hayden

When Cathal Mulvany was chosen Mr. Leather Ireland in January 2016. Acceptance of LGBTIQ had evolved within Irish society following the previous year’s historical passing of the Marriage Equality Referendum. But what about the Leather and Fetish community within that? Over his title year, Cathal was instrumental in securing Geared Ireland’s membership to the ECMC, which proved Ireland, had indeed, a proud fetish community. We are an evolving, young community, from a small country on the outskirts of Europe, but we are not afraid to shout about it on an international stage – Irish Fetish Stands Proud The evolution continues!

 

Mr. Leather UK 2017 Jamie Wake

Photo by Matt Spike

Jamie Wake is humbled to be Mr Leather UK 2017. He's a single Bid Manager and lives in Reading with his King Charles Cavalier. He's a proud member of London Leathermen, Manchester Leathermen, BLUF and has recently founded Thames Valley Leathermen in an effort to build a Leather community outside of the big cities. He organizes Hate Crime Awareness events and is involved with a number of UK Pride events as well as attending up to 14 pride parades in the UK throughout the year. His mantra is "Dare to be Different, Be happy in the Skin you're in and even though Leather may be on the outside, its the Leatherman on the inside that counts."

Mr. Leather64TEN 2017 Tj Howard

Photo by Ed Negron

Originally from Jacksonville Fl, Tj moved to Chicago in 2011. In Florida he was peripherally-involved with the kink community but dove into the Chicago community two years ago. A bi poly switch, he basically enjoys anything that can be construed as libidinous: Leather, gear, impact play, knock out play, sensory deprivation, electro, torture, wax, groups, exhibitionism/public play, and good ole' fashioned sex.

He's a coordinator for CLAW, taught multiple seminars, volunteer for CLCO, works to promote Team Friendly as often as possible. He’s a member of Titans of the Midwest and Chicago Band of Brothers.

Leatherman Italy 2016 Neri

Photo by Flavia Di Vincenzo

Neri is a 45 year-old Italian from Naples. He was also second runner-up at Mister Leather Europe 2016. He is a member of Leather Club Roma, Leather Friends Italia and Leather and Fetish Milano. Since 2016, he took part in 13 international Leather events and 11 Italian events. Neri was a board member of Arcigay Napoli, President of Campania Rainbow and member of the LGBT standing committee of the Municipality of  Naples, managing many social projects and HIV research. He will be the first Italian contestant at IML since 2006.

 

Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2017 Randy Boyd

Photo by Paul Argo

Randy Boyd is Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2017. He has been a member of SPEARHEAD Leather Denim Social Club (Toronto) Inc. since 2011. Randy was Mr. SPEARHEAD 2016 and Mr. SPEARHEAD 2013. Randy is also a past President of SPEARHEAD LDSC. He is also a member of Heart of The Flag Federation (HOTFF), Totally Naked Toronto Men Enjoying Nudity (TNTMEN), and The Imperial Court of Toronto (TICOT). Randy is also a member of Mama’s Family as Mama’s Canadian Ambassador.

Mr. Long Beach Leather 2016 Ali Mushtaq

​Ali Mushtaq is a founding member of ONYX South West and current Vice President. As such, he has helped raise money for multiple charities including APLA, Minority AIDS project, and Bienestar. In cooperation with the LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Long Beach Imperial Court, Ali has produced successful events that have funded AIDS Lifecycle (attended by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia) and the Center of Long Beach. In addition to working with the Leather community, Ali bridges non-Leather/Leather adjacent groups into the Leather community. For example, his outreach includes Leather workshops that serve as an introduction to the Leather and kink community for college students. He also represented Long Beach Leather in various publications, such as the LA Times, GED Magazine, Instinct, Queerty, Fight Magazine, The Leather Journal, and Playbear. In addition, he has appeared on KFI AM 640's radio show to promote Leather and BDSM.

Mr. Louisiana Leather 2017 Ross Ransom

Photo By Dusti Cunningham

Ross is pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Tulane University. When he's not in the lab trying to discover a new synthetic route for amyl nitrite, he stays active with the Mystic Krewe of Lords of Leather and the Allways Poppers Softball team. Ross is an avid supporter of NOLA Leather to Geaux, Friday Night Before Mardi Gras, and BreakOUT!, and hosts kink-themed queer parties in the great city of New Orleans. He is honored to be representing the state of Louisiana and can usually be found upstairs in the dark room at his home bar, the Phoenix.

 

Mr. Maryland Leather 2017 Peter Pup Orpheus

Photo by Rob Clatterbuck

Peter Pup Orpheus is a classical composer, boy, and pup. Young at heart, in body, and within the Leather scene, Peter brings energy and enthusiasm to his various activities, including fundraising for Maryland-based charities, composing and promoting his music, exercise, and his #PartOfThePack project, which fosters conversations that increase understanding and inclusion across subgroups of the community. Peter is a proud member of COMMAND MC.

Mr. Mayhem Leather 2016 Asahel Ash Duncan

Photo by Petrichor Images

Asahel “Ash” Duncan is Mr. Mayhem Leather 2016 and lives in Washington, DC with his partner Tony Daverso (Mr. Deaf California 1993), and their dogs Smokey and Ollie. A lifetime devotee to Leather, Ash joined the DC Leather community in 2008. He is a current member of Potomac Motorcycle Club and a lifetime member of the DC boys of Leather. When not bound in a dank basement, Ash enjoys bodybuilding, scuba diving, hiking and canoeing. He believes that inclusion is the key to a strong and vibrant Leather community.

Mr. Michigan Leather 2017 Kenn Kennedy

Photo by Bryon Hayes

As for Kenn, you certainly hear him before you see him. Kenn is a straight-talking, fun-loving, sexual outlaw who uses his passion, energy and zeal to spread excitement and DNA everywhere he goes. He considers himself to be Inclusive with a capital “I” and strives to bring that principle to every event he attends. Kenn has a passion for sharing his experiences as a Leatherman on the autism spectrum and hopes to increase visibility for those in the community with cognitive disorders by encouraging dialogue.

 

Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2017 Martel Brown

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend saw at least 3,000 Leatherfolk converge on the host Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC January 12-15 where Martel Brown was chosen Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather and Todd White installed as Centaur Motorcycle Club President.

Martel Brown entered the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest as Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish 2017 and is from Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Midwest Leather 2016 Daddy Jeff Henken

Photo by DS Trumbull Photography

Daddy Jeff Henken is a native of Kentucky. He first stumbled on Leather in 2004 and has spent many years supporting the community through fundraising, service, and education. He sees Leather through the eyes of a daddy – a chance to help each individual find what makes them special. He is a member of the Kentucky Leather Brotherhood, Titans of the Midwest, Derby City Bears, and Mr. Friendly – Team Louisville; and has volunteered as the Vendor/Venue coordinator for Tri-State Leather Weekend. He believes that we are all better when we #Leathertogether (yes, that’s a verb).

Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2017 Eric "Pup Omega" Stafford

Photo by Ryan Coit of Minneapolis

Eric has a great love for pizza and food in general, as well as quoting RuPaul’s Drag Race sensuously while having sex. Eric is an easily-distracted pup-next-door who’s looking for a good bone, er, a good home. A proud member of the North Star Kennel Club and the Titans of the Midwest, he loves being in a community that appreciates his affinity for Leather, jockstraps, and silver lamé (hey Patrick Smith). Whether helping fund raise for local LGBTQ charities or making sure his date orgasms first, Eric feels happiest when helping others; no matter what situation arises.

Mr. Missouri Leather 2017 Brian Lambert

Brian won the Mr. Missouri Leather 2017 title at the end of February at JJ's Clubhouse and Bar in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mr. National Capital Leather Pride 2016 Mark Martin

Photo by Perry Kirkpatrick

Mr. National Capital Leather Pride 2016, Mark Martin was born in Ottawa and continues to call it home.  Volunteering and community service has always been part of who he is; supporting causes and groups that have an impact on his life and community.

Mark's Leather journey began in 2000 with his partner;  harnesses were purchased to attend local bar nights. He was hocked and his gear collection grew. At that point he thought of Leather as sex and fun. He soon learned that Leather is community – about giving back and doing more.

Mr. New England Leather 2017 Russell Sweeney

Russell is from Boston, Massachusetts where he lives with his partner of 23 years. He first got into Leather while attending Catholic grade school in Connecticut. Outerwear was the only expression of self! We all had to wear uniforms but it was the older boys who wore Leather jackets. Russell has been into Leather ever since. Always in the shadows it wasn’t until he attended his first major Leather event in Provincetown, MA, Mates Leather Weekend, that he received the title of First Mate. From there he went on to compete in and win Mr. New England Leather 2017.

Russell is a versatile man who tirelessly explores the world of Leather, fetish and kink. He is a collector of vintage Leather and gear.

In his title year, he has helped AIDS Care Ocean State, Team Friendly and has donated time to the History Project. He has also hosted BLUF at the Providence Eagle and volunteered at Snowbound in Provincetown, MA.

Mr. New Jersey Leather 2017 Rich Farias

Rich Farias is Mr. New Jersey Leather 2017, a biologist, a Leather bear, a massive nerd, and a lifelong resident of New Jersey.  While he only joined the New Jersey Leather community about four years ago, he’s been a kinky [redacted] for far longer.  He and his husband are Sir and Daddy respectively to their two collared boys: Allan (Pup Data), and Kiefer (Pup Beexouu).

Rich is using his title year to promote youth and community outreach, kink education, and public health through fundraising for the Newark LGBTQ Community Center, the Carter-Johnson Leather Library, and Project REAL of Asbury Park.

Mr. Northwoods Wesley LaCount

Wesley LaCount was born and raised in the Green Bay area and currently lives in Milwaukee where he is a special education teacher. Within the Leather community, Wesley is a member of the Castaways MC of Milwaukee and currently serves as the club's treasurer. Wesley is also an associate with the Argonauts of Wisconsin. He enjoys camping and riding motorcycles.

As a member of the Castaways, Wesley participates in the club's monthly fund raisers and actively participates with the club in selecting causes to support within the LGBTQ community, advocating for education programs, food banks, and programs to assist homeless gay youth. His proudest achievement as Mr. Northwoods was organizing and co-hosting with Chad Barr (Mr. Harbor Room 2016) and Joe Montoya (Mr. Wisconsin Daddy's Boy 2016), a fundraising event in Milwaukee for the ARCW during the weekend following World AIDS Day in December.

Mr. Oregon State Leather 2015 Cole V.S. Miner

Photo by Matthew Booster

Born in Hawaii, raised in northern Michigan, Cole calls Portland, OR home. Collared several times over the years, they just didn't take and led him to run for and win the Mr. Oregon State 2015 title. Now, he hosts several educational fetish events and does erotic stage and film.

 

Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2017 Jimmy Hicks

Photo by Dave Rhodes

The Mr. Palm Springs Leather contest took place on Saturday night, October 29 in a hangar at the Palm Springs Air Museum in which Mr. Off Ramp Leather Jimmy Hicks won the title of Mr. Palm Springs Leather
2017. The runner-up was Steven Crawford.

The judges were David “Tigger” Bailey, Christopher Durbin, Shae Flanigan, Lance Holman, Adam Latham, Ray Tilton and Bob Weber.

Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2016 Rudy Flesher

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Rudy Flesher is Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2016 and currently serves on the board of Folsom Street East. He also chairs the political action committee for Pennsylvania's first openly-gay legislator. He juggles his time between performing, politics, philanthropy, and of course, Leather! He is also the human companion to an eight-year old rescued pit bull named Sister Patterson Grace.

Mr. Phoenix Leather 2017 Jerry Heitman

Photo by Scotty Kirby

Jerry has been involved in the Leather community since his junior year at Kansas State University. With a strong sense of self and a passion for his Leather community, Jerry has dedicated his year to fundraising and education focusing on Continuing Marriage Equality. He is a member of the Arizona Men of Leather, Phoenix Boys of Leather, and the Imperial Court of Arizona. He has previously served his community as SW Leather Boy 2010, and as Emperor VI of the Imperial Court of Arizona. Jerry’s service heart and dedication to his community are the hallmarks of his current Leather title year.

Mr. Prime Choice 2017 Robert Conn

Photo by Waytru Photography

Robert is a native of Houston Texas. He has been an active member of the Houston LGBT community for 29 years and began his Leather journey in 1989. In addition to serving as Treasurer of National Leather Association: Houston, he serves as an advisory member to Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of GLBT History, and a lifetime member of Houston Bears. When not serving the community, he enjoys time with his partner of 32 years and their five grandchildren.

Mr. Ramrod 2016 David Richwine

Photo by Scott Portugal

David Richwine is the current Mr. Ramrod, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A U.S. Army Veteran, at 61 years of age he is very proud of his long personal and professional history working with and for the HIV community as a Nurse, Treatment Educator and Healthcare Policy Advocate. Most recently he helped organize The ReUnion Project for HIV positive and negative long-term survivors of the epidemic. Diagnosed with PTSD in 2010, now sometimes referred to as AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS), competing for Mr. Ramrod and International Mister Leather are part of his personal recovery. He is openly on PrEP and openly sober. An Associate Member of the South Florida Minotaurs, he flags light blue, left pocket.

His favorite quote is, “Inspiration happens, but it has to find you working.” – Pablo Picasso

Mr. Route 66 Leather 2017 Paul Dorman

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Mr. Route 66 Leather 2017 Paul Dorman has been a part of the Leather community for five years and a member of the Tulsa Uniform and Leather Seekers Association for three years where he is the current Treasurer and a former Secretary. Paul won his first Leather title, Tulsa Mr. Leather 2016, in March of 2016 and went on to compete at Kink Weekend in July winning the Mr. Route 66 Leather title. Paul made his year about fundraising for his favorite non-profits, Paul hosted or participated in countless benefits and fundraisers in Tulsa raising just short of $10,000.  

Mr. Santa Clara County Leather 2016 Guy Johnson

Photo by Ruben Jimenez

A 20-year survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Guy spent his title year raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He graduated from San Jose State University in 1985 and moved to los angeles where he got his first taste of BDSM attending Avatar meetings. Guy has a passion for fundraising and education and this June will be launching the newly-formed Santa Clara County Leather Associations Education Forum in Silicon Valley.

 

Mr. SF Leather 2017 Geoff Millard

Photo by Breathless Exposure Studios

Geoff Millard, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017, is that bear you see in all brown Leather. He is a disabled Iraq war veteran, bootblack, and Leatherman originally from Buffalo, NY. Look for him flagging hunter green on the left, light pink on right, and can switch his light blue, navy blue, black, or grey. Despite living most of his life in the closet, Geoff learned to love boots in the Army, knowing he was a queer pervert from his earliest memories. He is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor in Oakland, where he now lives with his husband/sub.

Mr. Tri-State Tyler Fig

Photo by Dozer Photography

A Leatherman from Cincinnati Ohio who is active in his community, Tyler is known mostly for his work with homeless LGBTQ+ kids as Mr. Cincinnati Leather through Safe and Supported, an organization dedicated to such a cause. Self-described nerdy ginger pig, Tyler enjoys the finer things in life like: cigars, piss, fisting, domination and roleplay.

Tyler is an avid traveler and is always excited to meet new people as he makes his way across the nation representing OINKY (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky) an acronym that he says fits him perfectly.

Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2017 Ryan Coit

Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2017 Ryan Coit lives in Minneapolis, where he bar tends at the Saloon, a staple establishment of the local LGBTQ and Leather communities. Ryan revived The Tank two years ago, bringing back Minneapolis' premier Leather cruising night. He is a photographer and uses his skills to raise funds for local organizations including the MN Transgender Health Coalition, YouthLink and The Aliveness Project. He strongly believes "we are beautiful" and is passionate about using his photography to help people find and feel their unique beauty.

Mr. XXX Leather Amsterdam 2015 Nick Dawson

Founder of CALM Leather socials, Leather model and passionately-involved volunteer in Amsterdam, Nick is a familiar face in the Leather community. He is an openly gay college teacher and responsible for the LGBT policy within his organization. Obsessed with Leather from a young age, he has continuously been inspiring and mentoring gay Leathermen around the world. Nick believes that in order to strengthen the unique Leather bonds, we need to work together as one. By standing united, our Leather brotherhood can help to challenge perceptions, break down barriers and promote tolerance of all cultures. His motto is follow your Leather instinct!

Mr. Wisconsin Leather 2017 Chad ‘Pup Chomper’ Schuld

Mr. Wisconsin Leather 2017 Chad ‘Pup Chomper’ Schuld is a rural Wisconsin native who focuses his time working with homeless youth and suicide prevention. Chomper created the Road Otters, a recognized non-profit, which works across the North American Continent focusing on Paying it Forward and Saying Hi. Chomper has helped save dozens of people from suicide and taken them to shelters personally or indirectly both in and outside the U.S. He has taken community service to a whole new standard and will not let up on his mission of "saying hi."

Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2017 Tyler Thulin

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Tyler is a kinky, versatile, switch open to experiencing many fetishes at least once. He is very active both in and out of the gay community serving on the board of TULSA for the past three years, singing and hosting various organization's fundraisers, and volunteering at the food bank. He also is a QPR Gatekeeper (suicide prevention training). As a survivor of abuse, Tyler is committed to domestic violence awareness in the gay community, so that no one ever has to be a victim again.

Mr. Classic Leather 2017 John Brittain

Photo by Dave Rhodes

John is from Cleveland, OH and has worked on CLAW for many years, serving as XXX. He enters IML at 73 years-old

Mr. Nebraska Leather 2017 Bill Dudley

Photo by Dave Rhodes

Bavarian Mr. Leather 2017 Manfred Herbst

Laird Leatherman 2016 Brad Redmond

Mr. Alameda County Leather 2016 Ray "12 Volt" Anthony

Mr. Texas Eagle 2017 Shane Adams

Mr. Cuir Montreal 2016 Christian Genereaux

 

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