There are four confirmed contestants for International Mr. Bootblack this year. With the assistance of Jeremiah Morris we were able to present this to you. Jeremy is the Coordinators for the International Mr. Bootblack Competition. For more about International Mr. Bootblack including judges and rules check out http://www.imrl.com To see our coverage of the 72 men competing for International Mr. Leather go to https://www.theleatherjournal.com/news/regional-news/item/2019-iml-2018-contestants-photos-and-bios
The Centaur Motorcycle Club hosted its Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend the weekend of January 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC with a record crowd in wonderful weather. The features were the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 on Sunday afternoon and Leather Cocktails on Saturday night.
Leather Cocktails celebrated its beginning in Big Apple fashion since the party was founded at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The Centaurs went all-out with the food - roast beef sandwiches, New York cheesecake and the best Manhattan clam chowder west and south of the Hudson River.
Club president Todd White gave a strong speech about the clubs attending the event making Mid Atlantic Leather what it is, after all of the club banners were on stage. Many of the club standard bearers were wiping tears away from their eyes by the time Todd finished. The following day, White was reinstalled as president during the introduction of Centaur MC new officers and all club members.
The Mr. Connecticut Leather 2015 contest was held Saturday, September 5-7 at the 168 York Street Cafe in New Haven with the winner being David Gerard of Norwalk, CT.
The runner-up was Trell Walters of Meriden, CT. Also competing was Jeff Wolf Striker Victoria.
The panel of judges included Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest founder Al Santora, Producer of Mr. New Jersey Leather Sal Susino, Brian Kuerze, Mr. Eagle NYC 2014 Cee Jay, Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 Joe Birdwell, Mr. New England Leather 2014 Steve Dupont, and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2001 JR Ramos.
There was a Friday meet and greet and a Sunday victory brunch.
David will continue on to Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather In January and IML in May.
Tim Starkey, AKA "Tim Bootblack," passed away on November 9, 2013 at UMass Memorial Medical Center after a complicated course of illness and long hospitalization. He was 50 years old.
Tim was a dual titleholder, and he took both jobs very seriously. A native of Worcester, MA, he won the title of Mr. Boston Leather 2009. On May 30, 2010 at IML in Chicago, he went on to win International Mr. Bootblack 2010.
Tim was a member of Mama's Family, "Mama's Boot Masseur," Delta International, and New England Leather Alliance. Through his years of service in the Leather world, he received a FLAG (Fits Like a Glove) Community Service Award and the 2009 Toronto Leather Impact Award. He was also nominated for a Pantheon of Leather Award.
A dedicated Leatherman and BDSM activist, Tim traveled all over the U.S. and Canada to spend time with his Leather and Kink brothers and sisters. He could often be seen leading bootblacking classes or roundtable discussions, volunteering, or just having fun. Among his favorite hangout spots were P-Town, New York City, and of course, the Boston Ramrod.
As many as 2,500 Leatherfolk attended CLAW 18 (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) at the Westin Downtown Cleveland April 26-29. CLAW and its affiliated CLAW Nation events have rung up over $800,000 in donations to charity since its inception in 2001. With fundraising activities everywhere, everyone is having the time of their lives while giving.
By Terry Laupp
Mr. Missouri Leather (MML), celebrated 33 years the weekend of February 26-28 at JJ's Clubhouse Annex in St. Louis Missouri where Ty Portell from St. Louis was sashed the new Mr. Missouri Leather 201. Three men competed. For the first time in three years the weather cooperated with unseasonably warm weather with no snow or ice!
The now defunct Gateway MC founded MML in 1983 and was one of the longest running annual Leather contests nationwide sponsored by a single Leather club. In 2014, Terry Laupp, Mr. Missouri Leather 2010, and Chad Carroll took over the competition. Currently, Mr. Missouri Leather is the only drug-tested Leather contest in the nation.
The weekend kicked off with a meet and greet on Friday evening with the Leather tribe gathered to renew friendships and acquire new ones. The evening culminated with the introduction of the judges and the three contestants choosing their numbers. The judges for the weekend were: Mr. Tri State Leather 2014 Brian “Pup Bolt” Donner, Mr. Midwest Leather 2014 Jay Johnson, Mr. Chicago Leather 2015 Luis Tipantasig, Mr. Heartland Leather 2015 Russell McDaris and Mr. Missouri Leather 2015 Andy Struckhoff.
Saturday started early with a Morning of Service and Fellowship at Food Outreach, a St. Louis area organization providing nutritional support to low-income men, women, and children with HIV/AIDS and cancer. Over 20 Leathermen volunteered, packing over 5,500 meals in just under three hours!
While the contestants were being interviewed at Attitude’s Nightclub, the Titans of the Midwest presented Kink U at JJ’s clubhouse. Topics included Rope You Can Use by Elton Davis, Sensations by Mr. Colorado Leather 2016 Ric Poston and Don't Stick Your Dick In Crazy by Karen Ultra.
The contest kicked off at 10:30 PM in the Annex at JJ’s Clubhouse with Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2003 Richie Johnson presenting a powerful version of our National Anthem. Emcees for the evening, Oklahoma Leatherboy Chad Neal and Miss Continental Plus 2000 Tumara Mahorning entertained over 200 Leathermen in attendance with their onstage chemistry and humor. The tally masters were Mr. Missouri Leather 2003 Mark Bozif and Mama’s Kinky Educator Aaron Laxton. Den Daddies, O. John Groebl and Mr. Missouri Leather 2013 John Metzner assisted our contestants back stage. Mr. Pride St. Louis 2007 Jimmy Walsh interpreted. DJ TimmyB dazzled the crowd with his lighting and music, Pup Wolfe-Cybrus, a well-rounded puppy, was the judge’s runner, and Boy Ashley was the bootblack.
CLAW donated a CLAW weekend package as a door prize and presented each of the contestants with a CLAW package. A silent auction ran during the entire evening and an army of current titleholders roamed the crowd selling raffle tickets and shots,
The constants were judged in Cruise Wear, Pecs and Personality, Image in Leather and delivered a two-minute speech on a topic of their choice. During intermission Mr. Missouri Leather 2011 DJ Kaiser organized the Mama’s Family photo and introduced a new member to the family, Mike Lunter, Mama’s Kinky Specialist.
While the final scores were being tallied the informal Gateway Guy contest, consisted of 10 hot men from the audience, where the winner was chosen by audience applause. The Gateway Guy contest has been a staple of the MML contest and strives to actively involve more people in the event while fostering interest in future contestants. Tumara Mahorning brought the house down and turned back the hands of time with her rendition of Cher classics. Almost 20 clubs, organizations and titleholders were recognized with a Parade of Colors.
Mr. Missouri Leather 2015 Andy Struckoff gave a heartfelt step aside speech, thanking everyone who was instrumental during his title year and ended by encouraging all in attendance to let his or her voice be heard during this election year.
Ty Portell is a full member of Blue Max CC, a member of the St. Louis Balloon Brigade and Team Friendly-St. Louis. He competed at Mr. Missouri Leather 2015. Ty will go on to compete at International Mr. Leather in May.
The weekend concluded with the Mr. Missouri Leather Victory Brunch presented by Chef Elizabeth Schuster and her Tenacious Eats crew and was held at Food Outreach. All in attendance congratulated Ty and no one left hungry.
Boom Magazine at www.boom.lgbt videoed the entire contest it can be viewed at http://www.Vimeo.com Simply search for Mr. Missouri Leather 2016.
Mr. Missouri Leather Weekend 2017 will be held February 24-16 when Leather collides with Mardi Gras!
Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish Joe Birdwell bested three other men when he won the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 title at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Sunday afternoon, January 19 in front of a packed house. The runner-up was Thomas Idoux of Baltimore, MD.
The contest was part of the greater Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend produced by the Centaur Motorcycle Club.
Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 1993 and Centaur MC member Frank Nowicki emceed and had the show over before 3:30 PM when the time allotted went up to 4 PM. It is rare for a contest to finish that early. This year's Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest did not have special entertainment as in past years, This helped move the show along.
Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2013 Bryce Caine was the head judge and joining him were International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, American Leatherwoman 2008 Joan Norry, Mr. DC Eagle 2009 John Harris, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 Chandler Bearden, Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2007 John Loesch and Mr. Maryland Leather 2008 Kristopher DeBlase.
Mufasa Ali is Great Lakes Leather Alliance keynote speaker
By Christina K. Court
Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) announced that Mufasa Ali will serve as the GLLA 2018 keynote speaker. Mufasa Ali, a member of the Leather community for over 20 years and the inaugural Mr. World Leather 2006/2007, is the founder of ONYX, an international club supporting Leathermen of Color and the recipient of the 2013, 2016 and 2017 Pantheon of Leather Large Club of the Year Award. He currently serves as the Chair of the ONYX National Council, and he is the founder and primary facilitator of the People of Color Leather Caucus seminars at IML and Black Beat, Inc. GLLA 2018 will occur September 6-9 in the same Indianapolis, Indiana host hotel as GLLA 2017. Event registration will open January 1.
Featuring: Chuck Renslow
- For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and what your titles are.
I started the first leather bar in the United States and have been an advocate for the leather and gay community since then. I have been a Mason, photographer, psychologist, accredited hypnotist and many more. In the Leather community I’m referred as “Sir,” Daddy or Master.
- You got an amazing story to tell and I think so many of us consider you a pioneer, if you would, tell us who got you started in the leather community and what prompted the decision to start a contest called International Mr. Leather?
My lover in the early sixties was Dom Orejudos, also known as the artist "Etienne.” One evening I went to a park in Chicago called bug house square I picked up a gentleman, I took him home and told him: “I want to fuck you.” He said: “you will have to fight me for it!” Fighting him until he got submissive was a great turn on. From that point on I was aggressive in my sexual activity.
I started the Mr. Gold Coast Contest. It became so popular the bar couldn’t handle the crowd so we decided to move somewhere else but the Mr. Gold Coast could not be held out of the bar so we moved it out to a hotel and renamed it International Mr. Leather. In order to promote it I had posters made up and mailed to every leather bar in the world that I could locate. I even translated one into German and sent it to the German leather bars.
- You have received just about every award in the gay and lesbian, leather community, can you perhaps narrow it down, some of your favorite awards that stand out and mean the most to you?
I have received many awards. And all of them are at the Leather Archives and Museum. three of the awards that stand out are: the one from the gay and lesbian task force because they have done so much good for the entire gay community, the one by the Metropolitan Community Church, because they helped so many people that needed religion in their lives and could not find acceptance in the mainstream churches. And the third one was the leather man of the century.
- Family is important, you've been a Daddy to many, and trust is earned and very important, can you tell us about your family who are at your side now?
I consider the entire gay community as my family. Right now my lover Juan is at my side and I am surrounded by people who had been around me for decades.
- Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
I was basically raised by my grandmother since my mother worked and my dad had left us. I consider most of my attributes to my grandmother: she was practical, smart and very logical. She became a very successful business woman after my grandfather died.
- In your mind, what’s the biggest misconception of the leather community?
People think that the leather man just is into beating each other up etc. They don’t realize there is a great deal of love and compassion in the leather community.
- What does unity in leather mean to you?
We have to do away with all the prejudices and jealousy and other negative forces in the BDSM community.
- What do you see for the future of leather in your community and internationally?
I think the future will show more acceptances between the men's leather community and the women's leather community and the general public.
- Tell us what your favorite piece of leather is and why?
A vest that have my name and the International Mr. Leather logo all in studs, made by Studworks in San Francisco.
- You have done countless opening, closing and key note speeches; can you tell us some of your favorite or perhaps a funniest moment?
In so many of my speeches I have advocated that which I felt was beneficial to our community. Most of them, the community listens and follows through.
- For someone who never attended IML (International Mr. Leather), what would you say to him or her, why they should attend the event in Chicago?
IML is the largest leather gathering in the world. It is a lifetime experience and if you attend you will feel camaraderie with a great leather community. We are all brothers and sisters. One big loving family!
- In your own words, can you tell us the difference between BDSM and Leather?
Leather is merely a symbol. Some people are into different aspects of BDSM, such as just bondage, or the masculine image of leather.
- What’s the funniest safe word you ever heard?
“Little purple prunes”
- You have said that you enjoy cooking, and don’t particularly like the cleaning part, please can you cook us a meal that represent you and what would it be called?
That's easy! Prime Rib with whipped sweet potatoes and cream corn. And for dessert Pecan Pie.
- Away from Leather, would you tell us what one of your guilty pleasures are?
Watching Spanish Soap Operas... I don't understand a word they say yet. But the men are so handsome! I also like to watch men getting fucked.
- Tell us your favorite book at this moment.
Easy: “Steel and Velvet: a soldier's story” by Juan Cordoba. It kind of reminds my other favorite book “The Persian Boy.”
- In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the leather community of South Africa?
Keep unity. We are all in the fraternity of leather. We are family, we may not like everyone but we will support every single one because they are part of who we are.
James Tyrcha, a trans male, was chosen to be Mr. Leather64TEN 2016 at the Jackhammer in Chicago, IL the night of March 12 and as a result, will compete at International Mr. Leather in May.
First runner-up was Gerald Cernak and second runner-up was Matt Cardoni. Steve Bell and Adam H. filled out the roster of contestants.
Michael Pacas Mr. Leather64Ten 2015 Michael Pacas was the head judge. Joining him on the panel were Justin St. Clair, Tinac Mackay, Will Boyd-Bohaczek and Dan Ronneberg. The tally masters were Pup Scout and Alex Tatum.
Emees Slade Travis and Todd Davidson kept the contest moving at a good pace.
The producers were Leather64TEN store owners Eric Kugelman and Michael Syrjanen.
James Tyrcha transitioned 10 years ago this April, and yet for years after he lived in fear of rejection just for being transgender. Two years ago, that stopped—when he came out to everyone about his transition. According to Ross Forman of the Windy City Times.
Tyrcha told the Windy City Times, "I just needed to be open about my transition and be an advocate" for the transgender community, said Tyrcha, spurred to speak out by bathroom/locker room use debates for transgender and the hoard of trans-bullying and physical attacks, particularly against trans women.
Flash-forward to the present, and Tyrcha is now an award-winning trans male. Click here to see full article in the Windy City Times.
Trans males have fared well at International Mr. Leather with Tyler McCormick winning the title in 2010. Years before, Billy Lane finished in the IML Top 20.
Tyrcha said to The Leather Journal, "My passion in life is creating change through acceptance in our community.
Acceptance is the road to the future of our community, especially for our newest members. I love dogs, the beach, and life!"
There was a VIP party on Friday night at the Jackammer followed by a meet and greet.
Omar L. Boots was chosen to be Mr. Connecticut Leather 2014 on September 7 at the York Street Cafe' in New Haven, CT.
Leatherman, friends and family from all over came together to celebrate the year of Mr. Connecticut Leather 2013 KJ Nichols and to choose the next Mr. Connecticut Leather.
Mr. Connecticut Leather 2013 KJ Nichols, Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2013 Bryce Mr. New Jersey Leather 2013 Paul Maffei, Mr. Boston Leather 2013 Matthew Morse (aka pup Coby), Mr. Eagle NYC 2013 Arsenio Amadis, Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko and Robin P. McHaelen who is the Executive Director of True Colors.
For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself, your Leather titles and how you are connected to the community.
Hey there, my name is Joey McDonald. I’m 57 years old and a native Chicagoan, but have also lived in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia and Key West, Florida. I am a US Navy Veteran who served as an openly gay sailor (long, long before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). I was lucky enough traveled around the world by the time I was honorably discharged, having visited 32 countries. In the mid-80s, I owned a catering and event planning business. I am a trained master weaver, and spent 15 years in the interior design industry designing and weaving luxury/high-end upholstery fabrics.
I worked for LGBT equality in Illinois until April 2013. I currently work as a Community Health Advocate, serving the homeless, recovering/addicted and HIV/AIDS impacted people and am going to school to get certified as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Although I never won a Leather title, I competed for and was a runner-up for Mr. Windy City 1981. I am a member of the Executive Committee of International Mr. Leather, Inc. (IML). I have served as the IML Den Daddy for the past eight years, working with the men who compete each year. I have the distinction of having volunteered at every IML since its beginning in 1979.
Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2003 Paul Ciantar and Canadian Leather Man 2004, has been named as a Judge for International Mr. Leather 2014, replacing Carlos Filetti of who withdrew due to a pressing family matter out of the country. Both gentlemen are from Toronto, Canada.
“We wish nothing but the very best to Carlos and his family and we look forward to having him join us in Chicago in the future,” said Executive Producer Chuck Renslow.
Other judges on the panel are International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 Chandler Bearden, American Leatherwoman 2002 Tobin Britton, Northeast Mr. Drummer 1997 Will Clark, Mr. Leather Colorado 2006 Mike Maez, Mr. Iowa Leather 2012 Jeremy Morris, Mr. Maryland Leather 2010 Justin Terry Smith and Chairman of Leather Friends Italia Andrea Zanella.
This year the IML 36 class is comprised of 46 men, the last time this occurred was in 1992 when the contest was at Park West when Mr. Drummer Luke Daniel took the title. Here is the 2014 IML Class line up:
1. Miguel Torres
2. Kirk Rubén
3. Thomas Hamilton
4. Scottie Tidwell
5. Knut Larsen
6. Scott Bigred Farrell
7. Phoenix Colt Pendragon
8. Master Domenic
9. Tim Leatherboy Perkins
10. A D Kus Supps
11. Chuck MrMichigan-Leather
12. Avi MrleatherUk
13. Michaël Verret
14. Farrell Vajra
15. Steve Dupont
16. Ramien DC Eagle
17. Keith MrNj-Leather
18. Robert Schenberg
19. Adrian Thompson
20. David MrMd-Leather
21. Rocky Joseph Mccombs
22. Michael PupRyker Kaplan
23. David Payne
24. Peter Reid
25. Marc Ransdell Bellenger
26. Jon Nizzi
27. Jordan Stiefel
28. Pup Torq
29. Cee Jay
30. Mrwileather TC Hammond
31. Jason Little
32. Dennis Wood MrTristateleather
33. J Tebias Ares Onyx
34. Omar L Boots
35. Jim Benton
36. Greg DeRushia
37. Eric Paul Leue
38. Joe Mal
39. Gage Fisher
40. Drew Riebhoff
41. Cody Troy
42. Matthew Bunch
43. Bavarianmrleather Ralf Schaffelhofer
44. Gregory Slaven
45. SirRaymond Onyx
46. Greg Menzel
The judges for International Mr. Leather 2014 were announced on Saturday, January 18 in the Congressional Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, DC during Mid Atlantic Leather weekend by IML Executive Coordinator Jon Krongaard.
The panel includes Internatonal Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 Chandler Bearden, American Leatherwoman 2002 Tobin Britton, Northeast Mr. Drummer 1997 Will Clark, Co-Owner of the Black Eagle Toronto Carlos Filetti, Mr. Leather Colorado 2006 Mike Maez, Mr. Iowa Leather 2012 Jeremy Morris, Mr. Maryland Leather 2010 Justin Terry Smith and Chairman of Leather Friends Italia Andrea Zanella.
The tallymasters will be International Ms Leather 1993 Amy Marie Meek and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2012 Danny Tamez.