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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
On Saturday, January 11, Sir Greg Slaven was chosen Mr. 501 Eagle contest at the 501 Eagle, 501 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN. The runner-up was Michael Fetter.
Due to the effect of weather earlier in the week, the judging panel was reduced to three people. They were Tom Vester who is co-owner of the 501 Eagle, Ron Clemons from Cincinnati Ohio and part of Scorpius Leather Cincinnati, and International Ms Olympus Leather 2013 Robyn Fisher. Others helping with the contest were emcee Jerry Roseberry, tally master Pup Spaz, judges' boy Pup Spike, and contestant handler Jamie McKim.
The contestants were, in order of appearance, Sir Greg Slaven, Michael Fetters, Tom Fleetwood and Greg Otto.
Sir Greg Slaven will compete at International Mr. Leather (IML) in May. Greg is International Mr. Olympus Leather 2012.
Seattle Men in Leather (SML) is sponsoring the 25th Annual Seattle Leather Daddy and Daddy's boy Contest Saturday, November 30, at 7 PM at The Cuff Complex, 1533 13th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. SML membership is not required to be a contestant.
SML will also host a meet and greet on Friday, November 29 7-10 PM at Doghouse Leathers, 1312 East Pike Street and a Victory Brunch on Sunday, December 1, 11 AM - 2 PM at CC's, 1701 East Olive Way.
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 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.
There will be 11 contestants for the International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014 Contest that will be held on Saturday, May 17 in the los angeles Ballroom of the Hilton LAX. Doors open at 5 PM and the International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014 contest will begin at 6 PM. Eight men and three women will vie for the two titles, coming from the United States and Canada. International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather will be held during DomCon: los angeles May 15-18.
Dr. Lawrence Burden heads the judging panel that includes International Ms Olympus Leather 2013 robyn and International Mr. Olympus Leather 2013 Praxxis, International Leather Sir 2013 George Saltzman and Ms Sanctuary Leather 2014 Shae Flanigan. Alan Stroik will return as the emcee.
The staged portion of the contest will include 90-second speeches and staged fantasies that depict at least one fetish each.
The International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014 Contestants' bios and photos appear on the next page.*EDIT: Shae Flanigan's title was correct from Southern California Leatherwoman 2014 S to Ms Sanctuary Leather 2014
The Mr. Bear San Diego 2014 contest was held on Saturday 29, 2014 at The Hole. Three contestants vied for the opportunity to represent the Bears San Diego this year: David Ferguson, Jeff Breeze, and Phil Leggitt. Contestants withstood a private interview with a panel of judges at 6 PM.
The four-judge panel consisted of Everardo Aguilar, Mr. San Diego Bear 2001; Sister Ghana Maria from the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence or The Asylum of the Tortured Heart; Ben Hernandez, Mr. SoCal Bear 2013; and this author.
Emceed by the wonderful and entertaining Empress XXV Roxie Bleau, the contest also drew many Sisters and one fearless Guard from the Asylum of the Tortured Heart, who showered the venue with blessings, songs, sass, and naturally…glitter.
On working with the Sisters, contest producer and Bears San Diego Treasurer Jeff Rosenfeld said, “The Sisters have truly been our partners in our fundraising endeavors throughout this year. We could not accomplish what we do without them.”The contestants were introduced to the audience in Casual Wear (everyday clothes). After a break, the three men took turns on stage in Bear Wear (what makes them feel sexy).
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.
The Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2014 will be held at that venerable los angeles Leather bar, Eagle LA, 4219 Santa Monica Blvd. on Saturday February 1 at 9 PM. Friday, January 31 will see a meet and greet starting at 9 PM at the Eagle LA. A Sunday Victory Brunch will start at 12 PM at the French Quarter Restaurant and a Victory Beer Bust at the Eagle LA at 4.
Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2014 will compete for the Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 sash on Saturday night, March 29. The venue and starting time has not been announced yet.
The judges will be head judge Kevin Casey - head judge, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2013 Bill Robertroy, The Leather Journal publisher and editor Dave Rhodes, PSLOD member Dave Murdock and Mr. DC Eagle 2005 Daddy Scott.
This was a make or break year for the International Mr. and Ms Olympus Leather 2014 Contest. With the Mr. title going to Mr. West Coast Olympus Leather Dave Faunce and the Ms sash presented to Ms Great Plains Olympus Leather Shy in the los angeles Ballroom of the Hilton LAX on Saturday night, May 17 this would be a great year!
The Contest was held during DomCon: los angeles which itself reported a 30 percent increase in full registrations from 2013, its 10th Anniversary. Mistress Cyan was elated to share the news earlier during DomCon: LA. DomCon: los angeles featured vendors, workshops, classes, demos, socials, a Mistress' High Tea, play parties and its crown jewel, the Fetish Ball on Saturday night at the Sanctuary LAX which had about 1,000 pass through its doors throughout the evening.