A new catalog published by the LA&M, Leather Archives & Museum : 25 Years, celebrates a milestone anniversary for the community institution which is located in Chicago and serving the world.
As tradition has had it for many years, the introduction of judges for the International Mr. Leather 2017 contest was done during Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, DC. Jon Krongaard of the IML Executive
Committee made the announcement and added several important pieces of information.
From 15-20 February 2017, the eighth edition of Leather and Fetish Pride Belgium will take place at Darklands in Antwerp.
The 2017 edition marks a milestone in the event’s history. Doubling it’s space to over 5,000 square meters, Leather and Fetish Pride Belgium becomes the biggest gay fetish production in Europe.
Current hotel bookings and ticket sales indicate visitor numbers of between 5,000 and 7,500 for the weekend.
Darklands main events will be Mr. Leather Belgium, Mr. Puppy Europe election, Mr. Superhero Fetish, Mr. Sportswear, X-Awards show, Lars Deike Exposition, More Pixx (Fetish photography contest), Dress Code dinners, screenings and various live acts.
In the first ever overseas Chat, Inside Leather History, a Fireside Chat was a hit in Amsterdam during Amsterdam Leather Pride. Chat host and co-producer Douglas O’Keeffe enjoyed the privilege of interviewing Martijn Bakker, owner of Rob Amsterdam, and former owner of Drummer Magazine and The Argos Leather bar. Held at Amsterdam’s Club Church the Chat was co-produced by LeatherHistory.eu, and was the first Fireside Chat to be broadcast live on the internet.
“The Chat was amazing” enthused O’Keeffe “I was so honored to be able to include European Leather history in the Chat series!” Pieter Claeys of Leatherhistory.eu organized the Chat on Saturday afternoon October 29th during Leather Pride Amsterdam. Martijn Bakker, a long time Dutch Leatherman was candid in his interview. When asked to depict the differences between the North American and European Leather scenes Bakker depicted a different social construct. In Europe the Leather scene isn’t as stratified as in North America Bakker explained. Over the years Bakker saw the growth of gay liberation in Holland, the expansion of civil rights like gay marriage, and the devastation caused when HIV/AIDS decimated the community. When HIV/AIDS struck the Dutch Leather community Rob Amsterdam (Amsterdam’s premier Leather, fetish store) saw a dramatic drop in the sale of Muir caps. “The community was solely focused on survival” Bakker explained.
The Dutch audience was receptive and appreciative, “but when I called for audience questions following the formal interview they fell flat” O’Keeffe said with a chuckle! Dutch culture isn’t as loquacious as North American audiences! The Amsterdam Chat is the first in what O’Keeffe hopes will be future Chats in cooperation with other European Leather groups. Already Manchester Leathermen is talking about a Chat in the UK next year!
O’Keeffe co-produces the Fireside Chat series with Christina Court and Mistress Joanne Gaddy, with technical direction from Vonn Tramel. In Amsterdam O’Keeffe was assisted by Pieter Claeys of LeatherHistory.eu, and Mr. Leather Europe 2009, Arnaud Housenard, Mr Leather Europe 2014, and Michael Roks, manager of the Eagle Amsterdam, all of whom were instrumental not only in organizing this historical Fireside Chat but also in affording critical technological capabilities.