Michael F. "Mike" Guice,55, longtime Ripcord Houston bartender and active Leather/Levi community member passed away on July 7, 2014 with his long-time partner at his side.
Mike was the founder of Spankfest Houston. He was also an active participant in many Leather-oriented demos and activities at the Ripcord.
He also was a volunteer with KPFT public radio Houston as co-host of the Pas-Sale Zydeco music show.
He is survived by his partner of 28 years Roger Rother, his mother Mary, brother John, sister Kelly and favorite Aunt Barbara...as well as his cats Dash and Missy. Mike will be deeply-missed by all whose lives he touched.
The 40th Annual Santa Saturday, produced by Bucks MC, will be held again at the Paradise Nightclub, in Asbury Park, NJ from 12-6 PM on November 30. As in 2012, this year’s Santa Saturday will be a combination of an auction of donated items; entertainment by performers associated with the Bucks and the Paradise; service awards for worthy individuals; photos with the Bucks’ bear Santa Claus; a Leather shop; a 50-50 raffle; and refreshments and drinks.
Paradise Nightclub, 101 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712 732-988-6663.
Santa Saturday originated in New Hope, Pennsylvania and is the the oldest and largest East Coast Leather charity event. The Buck’s Motorcycle Club has been hosting this charitable event for 40 years. Money raised goes to local charities. Santa Saturday is a sanctioned event by the Atlantic Motorcycle Coordinating Council.
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!
Cincinnati Gay Pride 2014 was held May 30-June 1 and for the first time in its history, the Leather/Kink Community played a prominent role in the weekend festivities.
Ron Clemons, Producer of the Mr. Tri-State Leather/Rubber Contest and a founding member of SCORPIUS of Cincinnati, was named a Grand Marshall for this year's Pride Parade. Additionally, the Leather/Kink Community had the honor of being the lead float in the parade. Sponsors of the float were Tri-State Leather, Ruff Pups of CNKY and Titans of the Midwest. The float organizer was Pup Nuzz and Kings CJD provided the truck.
You are formally invited to enjoy fun and debauchery in the corn fields of Iowa October 4-6, 2013 in the form of the 25th Annual Iowa Leather Weekend. The titles to be awarded during the weekend will be Mr. Iowa Leather and for the first time, Ms Iowa Leather. Unlike most contests that combine the contests into one day, Iowa Leather will host the Ms Iowa Leather competition on Friday, October 4 and the Mr. Iowa Leather contest on Saturday Oct 5. A continuing tradition is the partnership with Le Chateau Exotique as the official Leather vender and Liberty Gifts as the official lube and toys vendor.
Judges for the Ms Iowa Leather contest will include Elena Franco, owner/producer Heart of America Leather Weekend, & Producer Kink-U Kansas City; Sarha, International Ms Leather 2013; Mike Pagano, cofounder of Titans of the Midwest and Mr. Iowa Leather 2011; His Most Imperial Majesty, Matthew ‘Wait for it’ Aspire, Emperor for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa; and Her Most Imperial Majesty Muffy Rosenberg, Empress for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa. Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013, will be MC for the evening and Pup Itus will be the tally master.
The Blazing Saddle will be the host for the 25th anniversary of the Mr. Iowa Leather contest. The winner of this contest will go on to represent Iowa at International Mister Leather XXXVI competition in Chicago, IL May 2014. The panel of judges for this year's MIAL contest will be Chad Neil, co-founder KC boys of Leather, Chester Munroe, former Mr. Chicago leather, Sir Papa Bear, Great Lakes Leather Sir 2013, Jesse Driscoll, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013, former Mr. Blazing Saddle, executive board member Titans of the Midwest, and Mr. Friendly - Team Iowa co-founder, and Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013 and Top 20 IML XXXV contestant. The emcee will be David Watt, founder of the Mr. Friendly program and former Mr. Michigan Leather. The tally master will be Pup Itus and the den daddy for the evening is John Jack Trujillo.
A Victory Brunch will be held on Sunday, October 6 at the Blazing Saddle at noon. The Iowa Leather travel fund will be the beneficiary for the Victory Beer Bust fundraiser held at the Blazing Saddle at 2 PM.
Anyone interested in competing should contact any Iowa Leather staff member or former title holder for the application. Applications may also be downloaded from the Blazing Saddle website.
By Anthony Harmon
January 26-29 Drummer North America held its Third Annual Drummer, Drummer Boy, and Drummer Bootblack contest at the re-known Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, NV with the winners being Drummer - Jack MacCullum, Drummer Boy - Pup Cruze and Drummer Bootblack - Boy Tig. The annual Brotherhood Award, voted on by the contestants, went to Boy Tig.
As in every year, there are stories that define a year, mark a change for the better or worse, establish the end or beginning of an era, lend recognition to achievement, or just simply make a statement that cannot be forgotten. Here are ours.
The Leather Journal's Top Story of 2013
US Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8 - Marriage-ban states fall like dominoes
Not long after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs who sued to have Proposition 8 reinstated had no standing, enabling same sex marriages to resume in California, marriages resumed.
Only a handful of states allowed same-sex marriage at the beginning of 2013. By the end of the year, 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, permitted same-sex marriage, with a few more likely to change. The last of the bunch, Utah on December 20 because a court judge ruled their same-sex marriage ban that was voter-approved in 2004 is unconstitutional. This was the biggest surprise of all. A dagger was struck into one of the main arteries of the devil that has fought against same-sex marriage.
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.
By Vonn Tramel
Mr. Chicago Leather Weekend was held January 22-24. Hosted at the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, IL and was produced by David Boyer of Touché Chicago. Six Contestants, #1 Jonathan, #2 Achilles, #3 Rod, #4 Todd, #5 Steve, #6 Stitch competed to represent The Windy City’s Leathermen as Mr. Chicago Leather 2016. In the end it was Contestant 4, Todd Harris whose scores won Mr. Chicago Leather 2016.
Contest Judges were IML 2015 Patrick Smith, International Mr. Rubber 2015 Jeffrey GummiBarchen Basile, Mr Tri State Leather Brian Bolt Donner, DC Eagle 2015 & American Leatherman 2015 Dan Ronnenburg, Mr. Chicago Leather Luis Tipantasig (He’s single and looking). Tally Masters were Josh Fortuna and Ron Moser, Den Daddy was Rob Czar, and Judges’ boy was Sara Beth. Bootblacking at the bar for the event was by Great Lakes Bootblack Meghan and Sparkie.
The show itself was skillfully conducted with playfully slick and appropriately dirty humor delivered via John Pendal’s jocular tongue and its vigorous Leather base.
Mr. Chicago Leather Weekend unofficially kicked off with the Opening Night Gala of Leslie Anderson Naked Leather Exhibit in the LA&M Gallery downstairs. Officially it started at Touché with The Welcome Party at 10 PM and the Roast of Mr. Chicago Leather 2015 Luis at Midnight. Saturday was a busy day of Flea Marketing and Kink U classes hosted by Titans of the Midwest, followed at 8 PM by the contest at the Leather Archives and Museum.
This year’s recipient of the Chuck Windemuth Mr. Chicago Leather Mentorship Award went to “Founding Father of Onyx Mufassa," for 20 years of service and mentorship to the men of Chicago.
2016 marked was the first live webcast from LA&M. It was sent to Touché for the overflow crowd to enjoy the contest at the bar. The webcast was made possible by Touché and The Leather Journal.
Sunday’s Brunch was held at Andersonville Brewing Company followed by a Beer Bust and Black T Dance at Touché.
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.
VT-TLJ: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Please tell me about your Sponsor(feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.
MS: I am honored to have the following sponsors;
1) Alameda County Leather Corps (ACLC) is a a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the East Bay community. The club is composed mostly of residents from San Francisco’s East and South Bays. Our purpose is to promote educational and charitable activities through social interaction among people with an interest in leather, Levi’s, uniforms, and latex. I am proud to serve as the current Ms. Alameda County Leather, a Board member and a very proud member. Website: aclcweb.org
2) The Bolt Sacramento- Sacramento’s only real Leather/Cowboy/Bear bar- Located in Sacramento this bar is a great hangout the staff is amazing. Next time you are in Sacramento please swing by. Website: sacbolt.com
3) Leather Masters- Is a unique shop that sells amazing products. Their website states fulfilling fantasies all over the world since 1989. I have purchased amazing leather clothing from them. Please visit their website you will not be disappointed. Website: leathermaster.com
Starting on November 9 and running through January 26, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, presents Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland, the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Bob Mizer (1922–1992) and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland” (1920–1991), two of the most significant figures of Twentieth Century erotic art and forefathers of an emergent post-war gay culture. The exhibition features a selection of Tom of Finland’s masterful drawings and collages, alongside Mizer’s rarely seen photo-collage “catalogue boards” and films, as well as a comprehensive collection of his groundbreaking magazine Physique Pictorial, where drawings by Tom were first published in 1957. Organized by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and guest co-curator Richard Hawkins, the exhibition is presented with the full collaboration of the Bob Mizer Foundation, El Cerrito, and the Tom of Finland Foundation, los angeles and is made possible by David Kordansky Gallery, los angeles and The City of West Hollywood .
On Saturday, February 1, The Care Bears International Daddy Bear 2009 Joe Mannetti and Mr. North American Bear 2012 Jed Ryan presented Forever Fierce, a benefit for the New York City-based organization FIERCE at the West Village Bear/Leather hotspot.
The fundraiser was organized with the participation of John Blasco who is President of ONYX Northeast and Lead Organizer of FIERCE. Forever Fierce featured live performances by Mr. Eagle 2013 Arsenio
Amadis, Justice LaBoy who is the lead singer of modern rock band Mad for Justice and popular drag diva Candy Samples.
Also in attendance were The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, celebrity/fashion photographer Mr. Paddles NYC 2013 Rob Ordonez and the men of ONYX, the national Leather fraternity of Men of Color.
On the evening of Thursday, July 24, 2014, the Ottawa Leather/Kink/Pup communities were shocked to learn of the death of Mr. Leather Ottawa 2014 Jon Nizzi. "Nizzi," as he was affectionately called by his many friends, had been a driving force in the various communities since moving from Toronto in 2013. In November of 2013, Jon won the Mr. Leather Ottawa title and went on to compete in the International Mr. Leather contest in May 2014, where he placed in the top 20 of a field of 46.
As news of his death became known late Thursday night, messages of grief, tribute and condolence from friends across North America and in the international Leather community had begun to fill his Facebook profile.
“With a smile from knowing you and quite a few tears I’m headed to bed; glad that you’ll rest well brother. (Pats and scritches) We will make sure Loki’s taken care of,” wrote International Mr. Leather 2012 Woody Woodruff.
A poignant photo of the Leather Pride flag flying at half mast was posted by Ms Leather Toronto 2013 Youkali Youkali.
Martine Ling Chu (aka BadSchoolgirl on Fetlife), the current Ms Central Canada Olympus Leather, has become the first female pledge to The Ottawa Knights, a formerly all-male, Leather and Denim club located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
In November of 2013 the Ottawa Knights amended their constitution to allow all people who reached the age of 21 and who had a common interest in the mandate of the club to apply for membership. Given that Martine had received much support from the club as Ms Central Canada Olympus Leather, and was volunteering at the club's bar nights, she felt that it would be appropriate for her to seek membership. She submitted her application in late March of 2014 and at the club meeting on June 19 she became their first female pledge. Martine's husband, Jeff, joined the Ottawa Knights in 2012. With her appointment, they are the first heterosexual married couple to be members. Martine and Jeff were also the first married couple to compete in the International Olympus Leather contest in 2012.