The judging panel for International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014, to be held at the Hilton LAX in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, May 17 at 6 PM, have been announced. International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014 will be held in conjunction with DomCon: LA the weekend of May 15-18.
Heading the panel of judges will be Dr. Lawrence Burden who is returning. Joining him will be International Mr. Olympus Leather 2013 Praxxis, International Ms Olympus Leather 2013 Robyn, International Leather Sir 2013 George Saltzman and Ms Sanctuary Leather 2013 Shae Flanagan.
Numerous changes being made will help the contest immensely. The two major ones being that a 90-second speech category has been added and the interviews will be held on Friday instead of the day of the contest. This will make life easier for the contestants as they can focus on the interviews on one day and on rehearsals the next.
Displaying excellent command of the stage during his speech, Bobby Allen was declared Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2014 at that venerable bar in Studio City, CA on Sunday night, February 9. Gareth Chen was the runner-up and David Taylor also competed.
A tribute video to all of he past Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather titleholders prepared by Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2008 Randy Carmenaty entertained.
Sister Buffy was the emcee who handled the contestants quite well - and often. The crowd ate it up.The judges were Bullet Bar owner Michael Lara, International Mr. Leather 2007 and Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2007 Mike Gerle, Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2006 Tim Stake, Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2005 Lou Romano, Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2004 Mark Diamond and Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2013 Jeremy Ranceros. The tally master was Kris Larson.
The audience was blown away by Ranceros step down speech. One Leather community elder was heard afterward saying, "I think we are in good hands with this new generation.
Mr. Hayes Valley Michael Zane
On January 22, Marlena’s Bar in San Francisco, CA hosted the Mr. Hayes Valley Leather competition which was won by Michael Zane, with Robert Soares as runner-up.
The panel of judges included, with Mr. Hayes Valley Leather 2008 Desmond Perrotto acting as head judge, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2011 Darren Bondy, SF Dyke Daddy 2002 Vick Germany, Jacob Richards of Folsom Street Events, American Leatherboy 2011 Tyler Fong and Mark Paladini of Paladini Productions.
Photo of Michael Zane By Rich Stadtmiller
Michael works as one of the clinicians at Magnet men’s sexual health clinic in the Castro where he helps create a space that is non-judgmental, supportive of kink and fetish as well as freedom of sexual expression.
The Mr. Barracks 2014 contest was held on Saturday October 5 at The Barracks bar in Cathedral City, CA and was won by Dominick Owen. The first runner-up was Randy Espinoza and the second runner-up was Mike Trent. There were four contestants.
Dominick will compete at Mr. Palm Springs Leather in November during Palm Springs Leather Pride Week.
The judges were Ray Perea, Jonathan Rosenblatt, DJ Reed, Rheo Bruneo, and Steven Crawford.
The emcee was International Ms Leather 1988 Shan Carr.
The Avatar Club los angeles educational program for Wednesday, August 27 is Fire Play with Orpheus Black at MCC in the Valley, 5730 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601 starting at 8 PM.
Fire Play by Orpheus Black will include discussion on Basic Fire Safety: Preparing private or public fire play scenes, checking tools, fuel storage and transportation, safety equipment and measures, treating burns. Preparing the Sub: Easing fears, outlining safety protocols, negotiating safe words, phrases and gestures, cultivating the head space. Technique: Types of torches brushes and their differences, review of basic torching methods and basic cupping, tips and tricks Advanced Techniques Fire Painting Techniques:How to perform half body trails and full torso transfers Advanced Fire Cupping:Demonstration of horning, using cups as tie points and leads Torching Techniques: Safely combining rope bondage and fire play, safely increasing the heat and intensity of the flame.
The Tom of Finland Foundation held their Holiday Party at the Tom of Finland House in the Echo Park District of los angeles, CA on Saturday night, December 14. The crowd came early an stayed late, even with so many parties that for which LA is known. Santa made a visit, giving lots of Tom of Finland posters, booklets goodies to the many who sat on his lap.
The Desert Fetish Authority (DFA) is a new Palm Springs, CA organization for men into gear and kinky play. The Desert Fetish Authority held its official Launch Party at Hunters on Thursday, February 9. The DFA is a brotherhood of men who are into fetish gear and kinky play and who want to learn more about both. It’s a next-generation organization built around the principles of Brotherhood, Gear, Education, Play, Pride and Fun. Newcomers and curious guys are especially welcome.
“For years now,” said John McBain, one of the group’s founding organizers, “I’ve been hearing from Desert men looking for a fraternal type of organization where they could hang out with friends, have fun and learn about fetish gear and hot play. After a lot of conversation, some of us have decided to step up and create what we’ve been seeking.”
Attendees can look forward to a casual, social atmosphere filled with sexy, geared-up guys and fun, kinky demos. They will also be able to learn more about the DFA’s mission and help shape its future activities.
The group is “unabashedly recruiting,” according to McBain. “If you want to be part of the Next Guard of fetish and kink, then we want you!”
Sign up for news about DFA at http://www.desertfetishauthority.com
The Desert Fetish Authority is a New Guard group of guys who are striving to create the Next Guard: one that respects the knowledge and foundations laid by our forebears, but applies them in ways that are more meaningful to our generation. We’re men for whom trust, honor and respect are important, but excessive protocol is not. We believe in the value of living a disciplined life, but not without having a lot of fun too!"
The judging panel for International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014, to be held at the Hilton LAX in los angeles, CA on Saturday, May 17 at 6 PM, have been announced. International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014 will be held in conjunction with DomCon: LA the weekend of May 15-18.
Head Judge - Dr. Lawrence Burden aka Dr. Larry
Dr. Larry has been in the Leather scene starting at age 16 in New York City, a total of 50 years now. He is a practicing physician in los angeles and is often called upon to care for members of the LGBT community.
He was the Vice President of Avatar Club los angeles in 2003, was its President from 2003-2005, and was its Secretary from 2005-2007 and again in 2008. He was the Secretary for the los angeles Leather Coalition from 2005-2008 and is also a member of The 15 Association based in San Francisco.
He received the Green Star of Excellence Award 2003 from the LA boys of Leather and was made their official Den Daddy in 2004.
He has been awarded the Mentor of the Year, the Fundraiser of the Year, and the Individual of the Year from the los angeles Leather Coalition and was made a Satyrs’ Motorcycle Club Hellenic Fellow.
Fawna, the recently-elected Coordinator of The Threshold Society in los angeles, CA, passed away suddenly on July 22, 2014.
She was a lovely face, passionate advocate, a delightful laugh and a helping hand. She left us too soon. Fawna also used the names aka FawnaLemon, Fawnasaurus, The Fawnanator.
She joined the Southern California community in 2009 and quickly became active by volunteering, including being elected to the Threshold Society, Inc. Board of Directors on more than one occasion, most recently to the position of Coordinator. She was also the founder and leader of the Domme Scouts Troop 96 (a kinky scout troop with a "twist," which is in its fourth year).
Fawna was a wonderful educator, a supporter of dreams and ambitions, and a real friend to many. The Southland Honors group honored her recently with a nomination for the 2014 Jeff Burnam Community Service Award for her devotion and hard work on behalf of the community. Her laugh, her energy and her heart will be sorely missed. Be at peace, Fawna.
Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that produces the annual LA Pride celebration in West Hollywood, CA, announced its 2014 officers. At CSW's annual Board retreat, Co-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer were elected for the upcoming Pride season and will assume their roles beginning December 1.
Leading the Board of Directors, Co-Presidents, Patti DiLuigi and Steve Ganzell will share the responsibilities formerly overseen by Rodney Scott. DiLuigi has been on the Board since 2003 most recently serving as VP of Festival Operations while Ganzell joined the Board in 2006 and has served as VP of Administration and chair of Erotic City.
The all-volunteer Board of Directors of CSW has been helmed by Board President Rodney Scott for the past 12 years. During Scott's tenure, the organization has increased its efforts to bring more diversity and inclusion within the celebration and offer something for everyone. Under Scott's leadership, the organization created Latino Carnival, the Friday Night Purple Celebration of Women and Momentum, the Art and Culture Pavilion.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony for Bob Tomasino, famed founder and sole owner of Oil Can Harry's bar in Studio City, CA, will be held at the West Hollywood Auditorium on Sunday, January 19 from 2-5 PM.
Eulogies will be given by Charlie Matula and Hunter Fox Long of the Eagle LA, International Mr. Leather 2007 Mike Gerle and Avatar Club los angeles Secretary Nick Drance.
Formal Leather/Fetish attire is requested. A parade of flags led by several los angeles clubs will start the memorial.
Bob Tomasino, owner of Oil Can Harry’s which is the oldest gay bar west of the Mississippi River at 47 years, was killed in an auto accident while returning home from work in the realy hours of November 23 in not far from his Lake Balboa residence in the Studio City area of los angeles, CA. He was 66 years old and was born in Rochester, NY.
Tomasino also ran the Country Dance Pavilion during the Festival at los angeles LGBT Pride in West Hollywood. He received many honors for his generous community service inculding when Christopher Street West Association honored Tomasino with its Sheldon Andelson Award in 2007.
Country Western music and dancing helped Oil Can Harry's to continue as one of the hottest night clubs in the San Fernando Valley. Before Country, Oil Can Harry's was a popular disco.
Folsom Street Events announced charitable giving in the amount of $330,745 on December 15 in San Francisco, CA. With this, Folsom Street Events cleared the $4.6 Million Mark in its 28-year giving history.
Board president Jacob Richards said, “2011 was a solid year for Folsom Street Events and our charities. We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, beneficiaries, beverage partners, and the leather/fetish community for the ongoing support. This check represents an increase from our $326,161 in charitable giving for 2010. Particularly given the depressed economy, we feel that this check is a total success.”
According to executive director Demetri Moshoyannis, “Given that we had a less-than-stellar year with respect to the weather at both Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair, we relied much more heavily on the successes of our Magnitude and DEVIANTS parties. The size of our check proves the potency and spirit of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community. The vast share of the check will support our 16 Major and Supporting Beneficiaries, including AIDS Emergency Fund, Castro Country Club, Central City Hospitality House, Frameline, Project Open Hand, and Transgender Law Center, among others. Given what has been happening locally with other community organizations that distribute funds from special events, we feel particularly proud of our efforts. Combined, we are supporting over 70 great charities in San Francisco and around the U.S.”
Folsom Street Events hosted a special evening to honor its beneficiaries, sponsors, and nonprofit partners with a check ceremony at The Armory, 1500 Mission Street, well known in the Leather/BBSM/Fetish community as the home of Kink.com. Special invited guests included Supervisor Jane Kim (District 6), Supervisor Scott Weiner (District 8), and many others.
Folsom Street Events is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that produces seven annual fetish events: The San Francisco Party at IML, Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley®, SF Leather Week Formal Dinner, Magnitude®, Folsom Street Fair®, and DEVIANTS™. Its mission is to create volunteer-driven Leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self expression while raising funds to benefit charity. In 2011, an estimated 250,000-plus event attendees raised money for charitable donations.
The Tom of Finland Art Fair returns to TOM House the weekend of October 3-5, the iconic property where it has been held in earlier years in los angeles, CA. The Art Fair’s tagline, Art in Residence, reflects its staging at a residence of much significance to art lovers.
Situated on a quiet street in the los angeles neighborhood of Echo Park, TOM House is the site where the artist Tom of Finland lived and worked for the last decade of his life, producing the erotic drawings for which he was internationally renowned. Preserved in homage to Tom, the house is visited by fans from around the world. The house also remains a home for the operations of the Tom of Finland Foundation, whose archives comprise the world’s largest repository of erotic art.
The art fair will showcase more than 30 artists, both emerging and established, from the USA and beyond. Workshops and panel discussions will be held, and artwork – spanning sculpture, photography, paintings, sketches, digital renderings and more – will be for sale. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour TOM House, including the attic space that served as Tom of Finland’s bedroom and studio.
The Tom of Finland Foundation, based in los angeles, CA announced that Helsinki-filmi, the innovative Finnish production company, has asked it to do a feature about Tom of Finland. Helsinki-filmi has demonstrated enormous respect for the artist who started the Foundation that bears his name.
The Helsinki-filmi biopic will be the first feature-length portrait of Tom of Finland's influential life and career, and everyone involved has committed to crafting it the way that would make Tom proud.
"Every project we've seen from this esteemed company has consistently impressed us with its creativity. The production team has a full grasp of the layers of the subject matter they take on," says Durk Dehner, president and cofounder of Tom of Finland Foundation.
Tom's real name is Touko Laaksonen, he was born on May 8th, 1920 and "May" in Finnish is "Toukokuu." He lived and worked in Helsinki and later los angeles. He died in 1991 and was involved in two documentaries made about him during his lifetime (Boots, Biceps and Bulges: The Life and Works of Tom of Finland, 1988 and Daddy and the Muscle Academy, 1991).
Los Angeles’ Gay Community is mourning the death of one of their most beloved members, Bob Tomasino, owner of the popular Country Western dance club, Oil Can Harry’s, located in Studio City, CA. The club is the oldest gay bar west of the Mississippi and has been in business continuously for 47 years. Mr. Tomasino has received awards and recognition for his generosity many times over the years.
An unprecedented number of local Business leaders, family and members of the Gay community in los angeles are coming together in a virtual gathering for a moment of reflection scheduled for 8 PM, Wednesday November 26th. This moment of meditation is being lead by Reverend Les Demarco of North Hollywood Church of Religious Science, in the closing Benediction of their Wednesday evening service at 8 PM.