The stage was set for the Mr. LA Leather 2014 Contest when Matthew Mullins was named Mr. Bullet Leather 2014 at the time last call was announced at the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood, Ca on Saturday night, February 15. The runner-up was Eric Gilfand and there were three contestants.
10 men will vie for the coveted Mr. Los Angles Leather title which has produced one International Mr. Leather titleholder, Mike Gerle in 2007, and usually places in the IML Top 20. Mr. Los Angles Leather 20124 will be at Circus Dance Club on March 29 and is the huge diamond on the ring that will be LA Leather Pride Week which will run from March 23-30.
Past Mr. Sister Leather Robert Blackmon was the emcee. Robert has worked the Bullet stage before and was right at home.
The Bullet Bar has had major renovations over the past year with three main sections to the bar - the front main barroom, back patio and an outer area behind that with a small gift shop in an alcove between the patio and back. High tech has taken over as there are several flat television screens.
The judging panel included Mr. Los Angelws Leather 2011 Leo Iriarte, Mr. Bullet Leather 2011 Joey Tarin, Kevin Cowger, Payosos LA president Esteban Jimenez and Mr. San Diego Eagle Leather 2013 Eli Corea.
The centerpiece of New York-based Excelsior Motorcycle Club’s 39th Anniversary Weekend Run, from May 16 to 18 in Cherry Grove, Fire Island, New York, and bawdily billed as “Uranus Needs Men,” was the 14th annual Mr. Fire Island Leather contest, at the Ice Palace nightclub in the Grove Hotel on May 17, and Excelsior Treasurer Victor “Vic” Skolnik, besting two other contenders, was chosen as Mr. Fire Island Leather 2014 by a panel of four judges.
Island Breeze restaurant bartender Stevie Rich, as audience favorite, won the title of Mr. Meat Rack, and singer Edd, the third contestant, was awarded a $25 Ice Palace bar tab.
Entertainer Ariel Sinclair, celebrating 14 years as contest co-host, and porn star and former Mr. FI Leather Collin Stone served as emcees. DJ Chuck McTague was responsible for music, lights, and sound.
During the weekend of March 21-23, San Antonio, TX will be host to its first weekend-long Leather and Fetish event. The Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend is a continuation of the Alamo City Leather and Fetish Ball, which occurred last March. The prior event was an evening-long party and show which took place at the Silver Dollar Saloon, and included several demonstrations by local and visiting kinksters, including hook suspension and stapling, as well as individual performances.
The Ball was so successful that it seemed only fitting to expand the event to encompass an entire weekend, while adding contests, classes, more vendors, and a Sunday brunch to the itinerary. The host hotel is the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel next to the San Antonio Airport. For early arrivals, the hospitality suite will be open in the afternoon, and there will be an unofficial “meet-n-greet” and early check-in held that evening at The Annex. Check-in will also be held throughout the day on Friday in the hospitality suite.
The real Alamo City Leather and Fetish Weekend fun begins Friday evening with a Fetish Contest at Silver Dollar Saloon. The contest is open to any contestant, regardless of gender or orientation. The competition will include best fetish representation within the community and a live fantasy acted out on stage.
On October 5, CeeJay, from ONYX, was chosen as Mr. Eagle NYC 2014, besting seven other contenders at the annual contest held at the Eagle NYC Leather bar on West 28th Street. Rico and Keith are the runners-up. Vern Stewart was the contest coordinator, Mr. Eagle 2004 Brian Kent hosted, and Susan Weinstein, from Mama’s Magic Fingers, interpreted proceedings for the hearing impaired. Rico, a “tantric shaman Leatherman,” and hairy, pierced Keith were first and second runners-up respectively. DJ Oscar was responsible for music.
Blond, bearded, and tattooed Ken; Montana Vasquez and Buddy, who also ran in last year’s contest; Team Eagle’s Barry, an audience favorite; and Stephan were the other contestants.
Mr. Eagle NYC 2013 Arsenio Amadis, who stepped down with a speech about his experience being an openly HIV-positive Leatherman; Mr. D.C. Eagle 2013 Nigel Williams; Onyx’s John John; Scott Hamm; and Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko were judges. Former Mr. Eagle NYC Christophe André was tally judge.
Contestants were judged on introductory walk, Q and A with appearance in jockstrap, speech on a subject of their choice and appearance in formal leather, and one-on-one with the judges earlier.
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 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.
The Mr. SoCal Leather 2014 contest will be held at the Eagle LA on Friday, February 14, starting at 9 PM.
Mr. SoCal Leather 2012 Shad Cruz will lead the judging panel and will be assisted by recently-elected Christopher Street West co-chair Steve Ganzell, Mr. los angeles Leather 2012 Leo Iriarte, American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke, and Mr. LA Leather Bear 2010 Howie Ramirez.
The alternate judge is Tommy Trafelet, and the tally master will be Tom Wang.
Mr. SoCal Leather producer Ashram West revived the legacy of Mr. SoCal Leather, a title that was claimed for the first time in 15 years on Saturday, February 4, 2012 by Shad Cruz, Mr. SoCal Leather 2012-13. The winner of the title gets a one-year term as Mr. SoCal Leather, a title patch to attach to his vest, and a medallion.
The Mr. Long Beach Leather contest will be held on the weekend of September 12-13 at the Mineshaft When the location was announced last year it was about generating new interest in the contest.
Although the producers of the contest received a lot of polite smiles and some out right discontent within the general Leather community, the contest went on to justify the change by attracting the curios who would not normally go to such an event as well as Leatherfolk and the locals who had not worn their Leather in many years. It will be interesting to see if the buzz generated last year from guys wanting to enter the contest will carry over to this year as the contest is still open to anyone who loves Leather and lives or supports the Long Beach community.
Again this year a bar run is planned for the weekend before the contest on Friday the September 6 to promote the contest and Leather pride. Over 40 people participated in the first bar run held for the 2013 contest. The bus will travel to various locations in and around Long Beach with the contestants, emcees and friends to help promote the MrLBL 2014 contest.
Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2014 is Greg Menzel of Minneapolis, MN.
Twin Cities Leather and Latte presented the Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2014 Contest held the weekend of February 14-16 at The Saloon in downtown Minneapolis.
The weekend included a Kink U event on Saturday hosted by the Titans of the Midwest and Victory Party by DJMF.
The judges were Leathrati.com contributor Tynan Fox, International Leather Sir 2012 Jack Duke, Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2011 Daniel Henniger, Mr. Leatherman of Color 2011 Onyx Rod, Atons of Minneapolis President Andrew Bertke, and Saloon General Manager Tim Balfanz. The tallymaster was Mr. DC Eagle 2011 Michael Kramer and the den daddy was Bud Ingram-Lile.
The contestants were Tim Holden, Cody Marino and Greg Menzel.
Event Sponsors included The Saloon, TCL&L, Lavender Media, CLAW Nation, UberLube, Oxballs, and Little Pig Design.
Greg Menzel will compete at IML in Chicago, IL in May.
VT-TLJ: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Please tell me about your Sponsor:
PB: Sin in the City is an official sponsor and travel fundraiser of Mr. SouthWest Olympus Leather 2014. I have served as SiTC’s Technical Engineer for the past two years and look forward to more work and fun with them February 27 – March 2, 2015.
VT-TLJ: Tell me about your favorite charity.
PB: The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (“The Center”), here in Las Vegas is an amazing resource for all aspects of our community. The Center supports and promotes activities directed at furthering the well-being, positive image, and human rights of the LGBTQ community and its allies in Southern Nevada. From HIV and STI testing, to education and employment resources for those in need, to a community recreation center for young LGBTQ, to community meeting space and even to an extensive library, all of the services provided by The Center benefit our community greatly as a whole.
VT-TLJ: Tell me in your own words how you feel about service.
PB: Service to community is a guiding principle in my life. I truly believe that we can only keep what we have by giving it away; what better way to give it away than by helping out in our home: in our community? Regardless of role or identification, I believe EVERY person in a community should be looking at how they can serve and give back.
VT-TLJ: What makes you a Leather Man or Woman and/or Bootblack?
PB: I am a Leather Man because that is my path. Leather’s core values of honor, integrity, honesty, respect, doing the right thing, and community service are principles that guide my daily life. This is who I am at root: leather will forever be a part of me.
VT-TLJ: Who is your favorite Olympus Title Holder and in 100 words or less…Why?
PB: How cruel to ask this when I have two current International Olympus Leather titleholders on the judging panel at IOL this year! While I greatly appreciate both Praxxis and Robyn, I’d have to say that Mr. Andrew Love immediately comes to mind as one of my favorite Olympus Titleholders through the history of the contest. He has used his title to help further the education and activities in his home community of Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as to reach out and educate far beyond his local city or state.
VT-TLJ: What do you feel is the most dangerous mis-information passed through traditional & social media affecting our community today, and how would you combat it should the opportunity arise?
PB: Even with more mainstream media exposure, there is a dearth of accurate information about what it is that we do that actually being distributed to the public at large. This leaves our community constantly engaged in a battle against the misconception that the practice of BDSM and/or power imbalanced or authority transferred relationships is abusive and unhealthy. I feel that the best way to combat these misapprehensions is via transparency and open communication (education). The more that people are allowed to see our healthy lives, the more they can understand at least something about how we live, the less they have to misunderstand. Using the S.S.C. platform as the catchphrase it was created to be for those outside of our way of life and practicing R.A.C.K. in our interactions with each other can only help to manage the flow of misinformation.
VT-TLJ: What makes you feel you can represent the Olympus Leather Community, even the folks who you may not identify with?
PB: The Olympus title celebrates those people who can transcend roles and identifications to find the common ground between all members of our vast and diverse Leather community and present a positive Leather image. I believe myself to be a Leather Man of integrity and honor, and have yet to find someone who has chosen this way of life with whom I did not share some amount of common ground. I find the free-exchange of ideas that comes from diversity in experience exceedingly valuable. I do not believe that I need to be a carbon copy of an individual or group to represent them; instead, I need to be a skilled listener. How can I represent aspects of the Olympus Leather Community who I may not identify with? By taking the time to create the bonds of fellowship and by being humble enough to learn where it is that they are coming from.
VT-TLJ: What makes you most nervous about becoming International Ms or Mr. Olympus Leather?
PB: I find myself a bit nervous about all that I’m going to miss in the time I’ll spend away from my home community. I know, however, that the Las Vegas and the SouthWest communities will be in good hands while I’m traveling on a larger scale.
Now the basics:
Name: Papa Bear
Current Title: Mr. Southwest Olympus Leather 2014
City, State: Las Vegas, NV
VT-TLJ: What regular community events that you produce or participate in:
- Leather Church
- Sin City D/s Society Meet and Greet
- Vegas Valley TNG meet and greet
VT-TLJ: Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear:
VT-TLJ: 100 words about what you will do as International Olympus Leather:
If I am selected to represent as International Mr. Olympus Leather 2014, I will use the opportunity to employ education as a means of bringing together all of the diverse aspects of our community. Community education is my greatest passion, and I believe that educational opportunities are often overlooked as the valuable bonding tool they can represent. I look forward to maintaining a presenting a positive leather image through education and fellowshipping at as many events across the globe as I can possibly attend.
Other stories of interest:
Mr. 501 Eagle Ron Kautz
By Jerry Rosenberry
Ron Kautz was chosen Mr. 501 Eagle 2012 at the 501 Eagle in Indianapolis, during the weekend of January 13-14. Tony Loy was the runner-up. There were three contestants.
The judging panel included Indiana Mr. Olympus 2012 Sir Greg, Mr. 501 Eagle 2011 Daniel Purtha and Indiana Falcons president TIm Barton. To round out the contest we had emcee Jerry Roseberry, den daddy Jamie McKim and tally master John Drago.
On Friday night there was a party for the outgoing Mr. 501 Eagle Daniel Purtha and a meet and greet.
The Mr. San Diego Eagle 2014 contest will be bigger than ever. “It will be a 4-day event for the entire Leather community,” says Robb Rodriguez the current Mr. San Diego Eagle. The event runs from February 20 to 23.
The main contest activities will be moved from the San Diego Eagle bar to the nearby Sunset Temple auditorium. “We’re moving the venue of the contest to the Sunset Temple because we’re expecting a large crowd to attend. Already we’ve heard from people from as far away as Phoenix that they’re going to attend. And one of our judges is from Minnesota while another is from Georgia.”
The seven judges are an all-star group of titleholders. The head judge will be International Mr. Leather Andy Cross. Other judges are: American Leatherman Aaron Duke, Mr. International Deaf Leather boy Richard, Mr. San Diego Leather2013/Mr. San Diego Eagle 2012 Eli Correa, Ms San Diego Leather 2013 Colt Everyday, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2013 Bill Robertroy and Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013 Ryan Brown.
Mark your calendars for April 24-27 when International Ms Leather 2014, which is under new ownership, will be held at the recently-remodeled Doubletree San Jose Hotel, CA.
The new owners are International Ms Leather 1994 Pat Baillie and Sharrin Spector.
International Ms Leather 2014 will include a large and well-equipped play space open more hours; new Friday all-day and half-day intensive courses that will challenge and help build one's skills; more classes; as well as an expanded vendor market and lots of space to network and hook up with friends old and new.
The San Diego Eagle was packed to capacity as Eli Correa won the Mr. San Diego Eagle Leather contest on Saturday night, February 18 with Pup Beep being named runner-up. Five men competed as emcee Roxy Bleau ran the show with her affectionate humor.
The judges were International Leather Sir 2003 Mike Russell, Mr. San Diego Eagle 2009 Ray Busby, Ms San Diego Leather 2004 Karen Yew, “Mama’s Rebel Wolf Cub” Chris Owen, Matriarch of the Ink Family Sandra McFarland, Mr. San Diego Leather 2011 Kurt Wendelborg, Mr. San Diego Eagle 2010 David Palmer and and owner or the Eagle LA Charlie Matula.
Both winners are members of Fetish Men San Diego.
The 2015 Southern California Leather Woman Contest's judging panel was comprised of all past SCLW titleholders. Caught on video here is their performance prior to the final segment of the contest.