For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and what your titles have.
I am honored to be asked to do this. Thank you. I almost 50, and have the weekend lifestyle of a 20 year old. As a personal trainer, that is a difficult thing to do. I produce National Capital Leather Pride and the four Titles that go on during the weekend: Ottawa Pup, Mr. Rubber, Mr. and Ms National Capital Leather Pride. I do this because it was needed, and I can do it. I traveled across the Continent during my year as Mr. Leather Ottawa 2010, and saw what other people in some other cities were doing, and I was inspired to do some of the same things at home. Most of my Titles have been a surprise to me. My year as MLO 2010 changed my life; I had so much fun that I hoped others who followed could take advantage of the kinds of opportunities I did.
Jaco - For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and your connection with the Leather world.
Dean - I am Dean Ogren and I have been a Leatherman for over 30 years as part of being blessed to live in Chicago all of my life. I have been in the gay scene in Chicago since I was about 17 years old, and touch into Leather at about 20-21…..drinking age in Illinois was 19 when I was that age, but of course if you were young, and knew people well you got in place before your time. I now am the owner of ABW, Inc. and produce American Brotherhood Weekend along with my fellow producers Karen Ultra and George Hester, and countless other supporters in our Leather community.
1. For those who don’t know please tell us about yourself, your titles and how you connected to the Leather community.
I have been a Leather writer, journalist, and photographer since the 1960s, and was the founding San Francisco editor in chief of Drummer magazine, as well as its most frequent contributor during its existence from 1975 to 1999. My titles? By the time the first significant Leather contests of “IML” and “Mr. Drummer” started in 1979, I was forty, and was more suitably a contest judge, not a contestant. Historically, concerning titles, as editor of Drummer, I handpicked the first “Mr Drummer” along with art director A. Jay, and publisher John Embry.
Actually, to a writer, “titles” means book and video titles. To entertain us Leather troops, I’ve authored some twenty books, hundreds of feature articles and short stories, as well as photographs and S&M video features. Some of my Leather-themed books include: Leather Walk of Fame: The Rise and Fall of Drummer Magazine; Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer; Leather Blues; Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982, and the memoir of life with my bi-coastal lover, the Leather photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, titled Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera.
1. For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself & what your titles are.
My name is Kj Nichols. It wasn't always Kj. It's the name I chose for myself upon transitioning. It is actually the initials from my birth name as a way to honor my parents and my past while creating my future. After being called Kj since age 19 years old, I sat down with my dad one night at age 29 and we tried figuring out "male" names with the initials Kj. Neither of us liked any. Finally, he looked at me and said, "I like just Kj." It was perfect. I nodded my head and told him that I agreed. My father named me Kj.
I'm proud to represent the Connecticut Leather Inc. community as Mr. Connecticut Leather 2013, 2nd runner up at Mid Atlantic 2013 and was blessed as a Top 20 contestant representing the class of 35 at International Mr. Leather 2013.