CODE: Dress Rehearsal
CODE: Dress Rehearsal - MAL Discount Tix Night will be hosted by CODE at the Glorious Health Club on Saturday, January 6 at 9 PM. With MAL just around the corner, try out your best gear at CODE - it's "dress rehearsal" time! Harnesses, chaps and jocks, oh my! Don't be caught by surprise - it's always best to have a Dress Rehearsal. Glorious Health Club, 2120 West Virginia Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002. https://www.facebook.com/codedc/
The Leather Archives & Museum has announced a documentary film about the history of the LA&M to be released in 2016. Christina Court, producer and director of the documentary High Shine: 15 Years Of International Ms Bootblack (High Moo Production, 2015), has teamed up with the Leather Archives & Museum to produce a documentary short that celebrates the communal effort that made LA&M the institution it is today. Court will use materials from the LA&M archives and film new interviews that will help bring the history and LA&M’s collections to life. While showing the current and evolving state of LA&M, she also hopes to provide a glimpse of what members and visitors could see from and in the LA&M into the next quarter century.
Eleven years after the first known reported case of AIDS and less than one year after artists Etienne (Dom Orejudos) and Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen) passed away, Leather history was forever changed. During the 1992 International Mr. Leather contest, IML owner and co-founder Chuck Renslow took the microphone. Within his remarks, Renslow announced that he and other community organizers had met and agreed it was time to establish the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M). Renslow defined the organization as a way to ensure Leather history and the names of the thousands of Leather folk that the community had lost over the years, especially to AIDS, HIV and cancer, were not forgotten. Renslow’s announcement was immediately met with long and loud applause. Four months later, the LA&M opened a checking account with a $1,000 check donation from International Mr. Leather, Inc.
Over the past 25 years the LA&M has experienced nonstop growth. The museum and archives has resided in two locales on the north-side of Chicago. The organization has shifted from a sub-cultural destination spot for Leatherfolk to a cutting-edge community-based research institution, a well-renowned museum that appears on Chicagoist’s Ten Best Museums In Chicago, and an institution that is home to the largest collection of Leather, kink, alternative sexuality and BDSM historical objects and documentation in the world.
For more information on the Leather Archives & Museum check out http://www.leatherarchives.org
Scene from Southwest Leather Conference 2017. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Southwest Leather Conference - Take the Plunge
Southwest Leather Conference 2018 - Take the Plunge will highlight the annual Southwest Master/slave Contest and Southwest Bootblack Contest in gorgeous Phoenix, Arizona. Southwest Leather Conference also includes Dance of Souls hook pull ceremony, keynote brunch, play parties, a large number of classes and workshops, Leather Tribe Revival and other socials. http://www.southwestleather.org/content/registration NOLA Leather to Geaux 2018 March 16 - 18, 2018 hosted by NOLA Leather to Geaux March 16-18 at 6 PM at the Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117-8535.
The Pantheon of Leather Awards will be held during the International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack weekend in Dallas, TX.
The Awards will be presented on Thursday night, September 1 in a Formal Reception.
The Nomination process began on April 5 and runs through May 31.
The winners will all be announced on stage during the International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack weekend.
The Selection Panel is comprised of individuals who received Pantheon of Leather Awards in 2015.
Eric Paul Leue - Man of the Year
Patty - Woman of the Year and Community Choice Award (Woman)
Mufasa Ali - Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Man)
Leslie J. Anderson - Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Woman)
Joyce Berger - Business Person of the Year
Herman Groenewald, South Africa - International Award
Leo Iriarte and Esteban Bartolo - Couple of the Year
Master Michael and slave angie - Couple of the Year
Tyesha Best - Florida Regional Award
Jeff Gruenberger - Great Lakes Region
Todd White - Mid Atlantic Regional Award
Janet Ryan - Midwest Regional Award
Daddy Ray Tilton - NorCal/Northwest Regional Award
Brent Heinze - Rocky Mountain Regional Award
Tony Mayes - South Central Regional Award
Russ Mortenson Boyd - Southern California Regional Award
Jack Pearce - Community Choice Award (Man)
Bob "Bulldog" Rothwell - President's Award
Daddy Al Santora - President's Award
Make your nominations by clicking here.
The Nominations for the Pantheon of Leather Awards 2017 are in.
You will have the opportunity to vote on who the award recipients will be in all of these categories. Voting runs July 3-31
ILSLb ICBB 2017 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas Near the Galleria.
For more information including hotel and weekend packages check out http://www.ilsb-icbb.com/
Master Dr. David Cook
Master William Oakman
Daddy Al Santora
Sir John Krikorian
Mama Sandy Reinhardt
Master William Oakman
Woman of The Year
Alexandra St. James
Couple of the Year
Charles and Greg King
Master Todd and slave Elizabeth
Master Oakman and slave diamond
Olga and blu
Master Bella and slave brooks
Community Choice Award (Male)
Justin St. Clair
Pup Adam Vino
Community Choice Award (Female)
Large Event of the Year
Northwest Leather Celebration
International Puppy Contest
Iowa Leather Weekend
International Ms Leather
Small Event of the Year
Behind Closed Doors
Florida Leather SIR/boy and Florida Community Bootblack
The M/s Gathering
Esprit des Corps
Large Club of the Year
Titans of The Midwest
Small Club of The Year
Women of Leather FLA.
Atons of Minneapolis
Onyx Lone Star
Lonestar Boys of Leather: Dallas
SF Community 10
Business of the Year
House of MarKus
The Bullet Bar
Rough Trade Gear
Business Person of the Year
Non Profit Organization of The Year
Team Friendly DFW
Sharon St. Cyr Fund
Amsterdam Kink Academy
Shahrazad Alchemical- Dom
Florida Regional Award
Daddy Al Santora
Great Lakes Regional Award
Bob Behr ( Sir Poppa Bear)
Ryan Garner- Carpenter
Stephan Schulze (Germany)
Fiona Horsely ( South Africa)
Joe King ( UK)
Alter Cuero (Spain)
Daniel Benjamin Ferencz (Hungary)
Mid Atlantic Regional Award
Sir John Krikorian
Midwest Regional Award
Pap Woof Roth
Northeast Regional Award
Northern California/Northwest Regional Award
Scarlett Singletail Sin
Rocky Mountain Regional Award
Southern California Regional Award
John Jay Heimbach
South Central Regional Award
Southeast Regional Award
The Leather Hall of Fame honors and preserves the legacy of the extraordinary people and organizations that have significantly shaped the history of the Leather/BDSM communities worldwide since 1950. We are pleased to announce the 2018 inductees: International Mr. Leather (IML), Black Leather in Color, The Society of Janus (SoJ).
Leatherman Of Color 2018 Dax Volpe Partner Luar
Leatherman of Color 2018 Dax Volpe
Leatherman of Color 2018 is Dax Volpe who won his title on December 9 at the DC Eagle in Washington, DC 20019. Leatherman of Color 2017 Kai Anderson passed the title to his successor. https://www.facebook.com/loc2018/
All 63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants wave to the crowd. Soon after, the IML Top 20 Finalists were named. All photos by Dave Rhodes
International Mr. Leather 2017 is Ralph Bruneau who came in as Mr. GNI Leather 2016; his first runner-up is Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017 Geoff Millard, second runner-up is Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King; International Mr. Bootblack 2017 is Ryan "Pawlish" Garner-Carpenter and first runner-up is Rhys.
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.
By Jaco Lourens
1. For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and your connection with the Leather world.
I’m a queer futch (femme-butch) Leather woman. I’m married to an amazing man, named Cobi and we are part of an awesome leather family called the House of AndOr. I live and breathe this lifestyle. Leather is at my core.
2. Please tell us who got you started in the Leather community and for how long?
Cobi, my husband, introduced me to the Leather community four years ago.
3. Which club or bar are you affiliated with and tell us more about the history?
I’m affiliate with quite a few! We’re very lucky in San Diego to have a large community with lots of options! I am the president of The Stomping Ground San Diego, San Diego’s first sex-positive community center. We just opened our doors on March 6, 2015. I’ve been a member of Club X, a pansexual BDSM education group, for 4 years which has been around for over 20 years. I’m a San Diego girl of Leather, a member of the Southland Title Sisters and of course my favorite group, the Gang Bang Girls, all of which were started in the last two to three years. I think what I’m most proud of is being a part of the history of amazing Leatherwomen. International Ms Leather is such an honor to have as a title, and as my year continues and I interview past IMsLs, producers and VIPs, I learn more and more about the history of this great legacy.
4. What made you enter your first Leather contest and who was the person that stood by you all the way?
I entered because it looked like a lot of fun! It became much more than that as the contest neared. In preparing for the contest I was required to answer a lot of questions about my part and identity in the community. Self-reflection helped me to know myself and my beliefs better. I learned history and imagined how I might make my community better. Cobi, my husband, stood by me the entire way. As a matter of fact, when he first met me, he told me I’d be IMsL one day. I didn’t even know what that was then!
5. Tell us about your charity involvement and goals for your title year.
My time and energy are spent within the Leather community. So I have become a FIRM believer in keeping the Leather community’s funds within it as well. The Leather Foundation helps many of the groups in San Diego and beyond to grow. It is a parent organization and 501(c)(3) umbrella organization for many Leather groups in the community. My goal this title year is to promote the peer to peer network of mental health awareness and support through the Leather dog tags, the “You are Not alone” campaign. I’ve also begun to work on the 30th Anniversary of IMsL history book. That’s a HUGE undertaking and not an easy task.
6. Also tell us about the “you are not alone” campaign, and how can we get involved or support this cause?
Depression and suicide is a great concern in our community. People who commit suicide usually do so because they feel alone and that needs to not be an option. Our community is typically very supportive of one another. We are everywhere and often come to the aid of community members in need. After seeing so many posts online about people struggling to deal with their feelings, some without resources to get help, I thought there should be some way to connect to one another and offer support. I created Leather dog tags with the phrase “You Are Not Alone” on them as a way for people to “flag” to others that they are open to talking and listening to anyone who may be struggling with feeling alone. Letting people know that there is always someone willing to help them is a start to creating stronger, more positive and mentally healthy communities. Purchasing dog tags for yourself lets people know you are their ally. Purchasing one for someone else reminds them that they are not alone. Each tag that your purchase covers the cost of two more being made. As the network expands, so does the support system. Visit https://squareup.com/market/imsl2015 to get your dog tags!
7. Tell us about your Leather family.
The House of AndOr is such an amazing support system. We started with four of us and now, three and a half years later, there are 10 of us in the family. We have traveled to many different conferences together, we learn together, we play together, have family dinners together but above all, we love together. Half of us are on at least one board within our local leather communities. So the core values of Leather are practiced daily within our family.
8. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
My grandfather, who I call Papa, is most influential in my life. He is a calm, loving and patient human being. I aspire to be half as great as he was. He put Neil Armstrong on the moon! I have a favorite picture of him sitting at a computer the size of my house, with Neil Armstrong leaning over his shoulder, while my Papa taught him how to use the equipment that he engineered.
9. South Africa woke up at 3 AM every morning when IMsL was broadcasted live, and one of our favorite moments was seeing your fantasy, because of copyrights we could not hear any audio but we all went nuts! Please tell us your inspiration and the thoughts behind the awesome fantasy?
OMG I love hearing this!! SA is so dedicated! My inspiration was of course the Gang Bang Girls (a group that I am a co-founder of) and my love for Disney. As a child I did theater a lot, so I knew I wanted something epic, a little difficult to choreograph and something that was entertaining, funny and reflected my personality. I’ll bring the fantasy video, with music, to SA for you all to see. It really is better with music!
The fantasy was created for my run for the Ms. San Diego title. Although it is usually frowned upon to repeat fantasies, Judy Tallwing McCarthy (a judge for the SD contest and IMsL #1) loved it so much she suggested I do it for IMsL. I had so much positive feedback about it I decided to make some modifications and perfected it for the IMsL stage. Each princess’ song used denoted their part in the bathroom scene. It was choreographed down to every last beat. I even used Cobi as my understudy, so that I could watch it from the audience myself and perfect each movement. We practiced it for seven months!
10. In your mind, what does Leather mean to you, and what is the glue that keeps us together?
Leather to me is the heart and drive to make a subculture succeed. The glue is love. We love each other, we respect each other, and sometimes we even play with each other! I think that a lot of us forget that the reason we came into this community is to radically alter our sex lives. It’s easy to lose sight in that with all the fundraising and bake sales we do.
11. If you can be anyone dead or alive (not yourself) who would you be and why?
I would be Aubry Hepburn. Her life seemed so amazing and rare. A famous movie star, a beautiful and confident woman, but above all, she was diverse.
12. What do you see for the future of Leather in your community and internationally?
In my community I see a great coming together. It’s a large but very segregated community (which is not a bad thing). But there are some who are very serious about making sure there is a community center for all to enjoy and I think that will bring a lot of people together to make sure that succeeds.
Internationally, I think that there will be a lot of cross cultural pollination, if you will. I hear that Leather in Germany is very different than Leather in San Francisco. I enjoy the differences that I experience within and around all the communities I visit; some of which I want to bring home!
13. Tell us what your favorite piece of Leather is and why?
My favorite piece of Leather is a Leather flower that my very vanilla best friend gifted me before I ran for Ms San Diego Leather. She says to me as she hands me the flower, “Good luck with your contest, I know you’ll be the Queen of the Leathers.” I almost died laughing, but I was crying so much as well!
14. What’s the funniest thing that happened to you in Leather?
The night that the GBG’s (Gang Bang Girls) started has to be the funniest. IMsL 2013 Sarha, was at a conference we were all at. She had heard about our long night of gang banging each other (there were four women in total) and seemed interested so the next night we invited her to our room. One of the four of us, Nerissa, was not in the room when the shenanigans began, but immediately jumped in when she arrived. So Nerissa is elbow deep in Sarha, and looks over at me and mouths, “Who is this?” I laughed a little and just picked up her title vest off the back of the chair and held it up for Nerissa to see. The look of panic and embarrassment set in and Nerissa turned fifty shades of red!
15. What’s the funniest safe word you ever heard?
Refrigerator. After hearing it I said, “that’s a good one! As a fat girl it’s my safe base, so that’d be a great safe word!”
16. What’s your favorite drink? And design a drink or cocktail that represents you and what would it be called?
I have been sober for almost two years, so I’ll design a Mocktail: Let’s call it the Dirty MarTina it would be cherry 7-Up (my favorite drink), mint and sugar, shaken and poured into a martini glass (cause they’re pretty)
17. What was the last meal you cooked just for yourself?
Dino-Shaped chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. It’s my ultimate comfort food.
18. You’re on an airplane and get stranded on an abandoned island with five other people. Who will be doing the cooking, who is your personal massage therapist, who do you push into the water to keep the hungry sharks at bay, who builds a bonfire to attract the ship in the distance and who is in charge of building that raft?
Guy Fieri would be the cook.
Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) is my massage therapist (with happy endings).
Donald Trump will keep the sharks at bay.
Cobi will build the bonfire.
Tom Hanks is building the raft (he has lots of experience).
19. What’s your home town and what five non-touristy things would you show me and why?
My home town is San Diego, one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, so it’d be hard to show you non-touristy things since it’s a tourist trap! But here goes:
1. I’d take you to S&M (Sausage and Meat) restaurant- and we’d look up the safe word on their Facebook page for a free sample of any of the special bacons!
2. Game night with my Leather family- they’re epic, and everyone leaves having had an amazing time
3. We’d go to a little place I like to call secret beach - a small hidden patch of sand tucked away in the Cays of Coronado. We can bring my dogs and watch them run around like crazy and swim in the water!
4. Sailing on the Glorietta Bay - and if we can do it on the Duke of Pudding’s boat called Las Palabras, it can be a kinky adventure! once a year he puts on an event called Jello wrestling on the Bay where he builds a platform and blows up a kiddie pool and fills it with Jello, and the competition is to see who can get the ankle bracelets off the other first. Just last weekend he did an event that involved rope on the water, where people were tied to the bow and dangled over the water form the boom. He’s very creative.
5. I’d have to show you the kink clubs and hotspots! There are only a few, but all are great - so I can’t choose just one.
20. In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the Leather community globally?
It has been such an amazing year so far, with so many more amazing things to come! If anyone is wanting to run for IMsL, I would say go for it! you don’t need a title to run, and all women of all types are welcome to run as well. No limits on race, gender expression (as long as you’re comfortable with a women’s title), sexual orientation or religion. It was such a great experience for me, and I cherish the memories I have with everyone from my class.
Concluding a multi-month search process, an experienced library director and administrator will lead the next chapter of the Leather Archives and Museum. Gary Wasdin received unanimous support of all nine board members present at the Sunday afternoon meeting. He will assume his new position on January 2.
These are the Pantheon of Leather 2017 Award recipients who made it to Dallas to receive their honors. Photo by Dave Rhodes
The Pantheon of Leather Awards 2017 were held at the DoubleTree Hilton near the Galleria during International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack weekend on Thursday night, August 31 in front of approximately 150-175 Leatherfolk from the United States and Canada. Some 30 Awards were presented.
Christopher Edwards returned as emcee for the Awards which celebrated its 27th year and second connected to ILSLb ICBB. Serving as Vannah the award presenter was International Mr. Leather 2009 and ILSLb ICBB President Jeffrey Payne.
By George Cameron
Leather activists George Whiting, passed away on November 20 at the age of 92.
Whiting founded Vancouver Activists in SM (VASM) in 1982 and was presented Pantheon of Leather Award in 1992 and 1999. VASM was modeled after New York's GMS/MA (Gay Male S/M Activists).
George Edward Saunders Whiting was born on June 10, 1923, in Wool, Dorset, England and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.
After living in Australia, he moved to Vancouver, Canada for the rest of his life.
A celebration of Whiting’s life will take place in January.
Excerpt and photo from Xtra Daily of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada