International Ms Leather 2013 is Sarha Shaubach, from Meadow Lakes, AK, sponsored by The Last Frontier Men's Club of Anchorage; having won the title at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco, CA on Saturday night, April 20. The new International Ms Bootblack 2013 is Bella, hailing from Kentucky and sponsored by the Great Lakes Leather Alliance. Bella also won the heart and Soul Award by a vote of her sister competitors. Minion from Pittsburgh was voted the winner of the IMsL contest Heart and Soul Award. Youkali Youkali from Toronto was the runner-up for International Ms Leather.
In front of a sold out crowd, the 27th annual International Ms Leather Contest and 15th annual International Ms. Bootblack Contest was emceed by the outrageous Karen Ultra. Eight IMsL and two IMsBB contestants made for a busy weekend. The contests were both split over two days with in-depth interviews, inspiring speeches, pop questions that centered around super heroes and television shows, the high energy opening number, sexy on-stage fantasies and the sashing of two new titleholders.
This year, International Ms Bootblack celebrated its 15th Anniversary. Many of the IMs-bubba, as it is affectionately labeled, were on hand. Each of those presented coins totaling 15 in number to individuals that they believed were most instrumental in the formation and development of IMsB.
High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack is a documentary that was filmed during this year's contest and will include footage from past years.
Sarha was back for a second try, energized by her hometown folks in Alaska to return. She proudly made it clear that she did not buy her Leather, she went out and caught and tanned it - something that Alaskans would expect. The idea resonated with the crowd and judges.
The International Ms Leather 2013 contestants were Sarha Shaubach, Ces Williams, Christy Ford, Minion, Ms Charries Jubalie, Nyx, Toni Solenne, and Youkali Youkali
Read the interview that Vonn Tramel did with Sarha Shaubach before she competed.
The IMsL judging panel included Sarah Lashes, International Ms Leather 2011 Sara Vibes, International Mr. Leather 2012 Woody Woodruff, Miranda, sex blogger Sinclair Sexsmith and Tilly King of Vancouver, Canada, owner of Pittsburgh Leather Central Mike Zuhl.
The International Ms Bootblack 2013 contestants were Bella and Foxfire.
Read Vonn Tramel's interview with Bella, done before the IMsBB 2013 contest.
The International Ms Bootblack judges were International Ms Bootblack 2011 kd, International Mr. Bootblack 2012 Nick Elliot, International Community Bootblack 2012 Ruin and a secret judge, Lenny Earl, who was introduced with the other judges at the beginning of the contest.
The Sunday brunch keynote speaker was Lolita Wolf from New York, NY. Lolita told her story of coming out As Leather, her growth, apprehensions and fears, her progress and even of her online magazine, Lolita's Predictions and Predilections. She had a profound effect in the Big Apple, but through her writing she may be more influential and loved than she realizes.
IMsL included Inside Leather History, A Fireside Chat in its event line up this year. Douglas O'Keeffe conducted a two-part Fireside Chat with Leatherwomen Audrey Joseph and Amy Marie Meek. Audrey Joseph vividly depicted her attendance at Woodstock, her work in the music industry producing Sister Sledge, and Chic, and her production work for IMsL's first eight years. Audrey also produced the International Drummer contest for several years, and IML in its early years, sharing intimate details of both event.
Amy Marie Meek discussed her production of IMsL, the changes she made to the contest when she assumed ownership, her political involvement and rumors she's heard about herself over the years. The Chats were filmed for historical preservation at the Leather Archives and Museum. Inside Leather History, A Fireside Chat is a coproduction of Mistress Joanne Gaddy and Douglas O'Keeffe.
Douglas hosts the live-on-stage Chats. Future Chats for 2013-14 will appear at GLLA, Chicago's Center on Halsted, Master/slave Conference, and Mid Atlantic Leather.
The hospitality suite on the seventh floor of the Holiday Inn is one of the big attractions that makes IMsL special. It was most of the same party sponsors, and why not, as some of these have been terrific. Of particular note was the chocolates and champagne party hosted by the Exiles. Tracy Wolf made all of the candy which was plentiful and went as fast as volunteers could place it on the table.
The Alameda County Leather Corps and Mama's party was a meal that she spent the previous two days preparing. Always hot was the Stompers Boots and Cigar party following the contest. The contest went way over its expected end time, so attendance at the party was limited. American Brotherhood Weekend, DUC Uniform, Boys/Bois in Leather Service, DESIRE and WILL, Society of Janus, Littles and Bevies with Beavers - Canadian Style held bashes as well.
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There were numerous workshops and educational intensives. Play parties included separate women's men's and pansexual dungeons that were open every hour.
Sisterhood of the Sash: IMsL at 25 is a film telling about the largest Leatherwomen's contest in the world. International Ms Leather upholds the sexiness and strength of Leatherwomen, their accomplishments and acts of service. IMsL recently celebrated its 25th year and to commemorate that milestone, former IMsL titleholders gathered to cheer on the 2011 contestants and share their memories about the event’s history and reflect on the diversity, evolution and progress of its community.
Conceived by Glenda Rider and filmed, directed and edited by Princess Kali and Graydancer for Kink Academy (with special editorial assistance from Christina), Sisterhood of the Sash: International Ms Leather at 25 documents the IMsL 2011 contest, its sexy events and performances (think Seduction)and titleholders talking about the titleholding experience. When asked about the film, Christina said, "Overall, the film celebrates Leatherwomen’s historical journey and evolution, and it shows how our badassery is most often balanced by community service, support and outreach."
Sisterhood of the Sash: IMsL at 25 is currently taking part in the CineKink road show with screenings scheduled in Portland,OR on August 5 and Chicago,IL on November 16-17 with more cities being added soon.
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.
Brent Gannetta was selected as Mr. Powerhouse Leather 2012 on Saturday night at the Powerhouse in San Francisco on Saturday night, January 28.
Brent competed at Mr. San Francisco Leather in March.
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.
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.
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 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.
Andre Chambers won the Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2012 title on Saturday night, January 21 at the Eagle LA in los angeles, CA. The runner-up was Dan Lovell and there were four men competing.
Eagle LA Mr. Leather was emceed by Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2010 Jasun Mark
On Sunday there was a victory brunch honoring the new Eagle LA Mr. Leather at the French Quarter in West Hollywood and concluded with a victory beer bust at Eagle LA. The judges were head judge Kevin
Casey, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2011 Joey Lopez, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2006 Jeff Sekido, los angeles Mr. Leather 2010 Brad Taylor and LA Leather Coalition co-founder Brent Sweer.
Eagle LA Mr. Leather is a preliminary for Mr. los angeles Leather 2012.
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).
The SF Eagle will be holding the Mr. SF Eagle 2014 contest on Saturday, December 14 at The SF Eagle, 398 12th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 at 3 PM.
The Mr. SF Eagle 2014 contest will be hosted by Mr. San Francisco Leather 2010 Lance Holman.
The judging panel will be past Mr. SF Eagle winners Lenny Broberg, 1992, Mr. San Francisco Leather 1992, International Mr. Leather 1992, Gary Kenyon, 2009; and current Mr. SF Eagle who will be stepping down, Marcus Alston, 2013. Other judges will be Ava Schmidt of the San Francisco Girls of Leather as well as San Francisco Leather Daddy XXIIII Richard Sprott.
The winner will go on to compete at Mr. San Francisco Leather the weekend of February 28 - March 3. For more information or interest in competing, please contact Mike and Alex at the SF Eagle or Desmond Perrotto
The Threshold Society held their annual Bizarre Bazaar on Sunday, November 3 at the Threshold Clubhouse, 11300 Hartland Street in North Hollywood CA 91605 with about 400 Leatherfolk attending to see demos, sample play and shop.
Taster booths were set up so that guests could try on all those kinky delights they have always been curious about but never got around to experimenting. These included Flogging, Wax, Littles, Whips, Spanking, Violet Wand, Fire Cupping and Canes.
Approximately 20 vendors were on hand including The Leather Journal.
There was a Silent Auction, Smoking Lounge, Entertainment and Food. One entertainer was a woman working in a suspended hoop that stopped the crowd each time she performed.
Xavier Espejo won the Mr. Southern California Leather 2014 at the Eagle LA in los angeles, CA on Friday night, February 14 with Jim Pelky finishing runner-up.
Mr. Southern California Leather 2012 Shad Cruz held the title for two years and that was by design as contest producer William Schindler asked Cruz to serve two years as the titleholder at the beginning of his term. The Mr. Southern California Leather Contest will be held annually.
Shad Cruz headed the judging panel which included Howie Ramirez, American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke, Christopher Street West cochair Steve Ganzel and Mr. los angeles Leather 2011 Leo Iriarte. The tally master was Mr. Christopher Street West 2007 Tom Wang who was able to tabulate the scores with his system designs for an iPhone.
Sister Unity was as shocking as usual with her constant humor. Sharp as a tack all night, Sister Unity never lost the idea that it was all about the contestants.
Xavier Espejo is a 32 year-old program manager who used to be a go go dancer. He is Mr. Gay Long Beach 2008 and will compete for Mr. Los Angles Leather 2014 at Circus Dance Club in Hollywood, CA on Saturday night, March 29.
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 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 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.