GLLA 2017 Sir and boy contestants with auction baskets. Photo by Indy
By Christina Court
With a Mardi Gras theme Great Lakes Leather Alliance 2017 in Indianapolis, IN (September 28-October 1) was a weekend filled with parties, events and play that left all in attendance earning and tossing beads at one another and shouting, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
Spirits flowed in the hospitality suite, the Littles held a talent show; Pups held a meet and greet, a mosh pit, and hosted the cookout during the GLLA auction; and Bootblack Alley had a host of guest Bootblacks.
After hours parties included A Masked Affair, a masked lip sync and karaoke party; Friday night Ash Bash cigar, boots, and bourbon party; and a Saturday Victory disco party with Chicago’s DJ Milty that capped off the contest and left all the dancing Leatherfolk deliciously sweaty and ripe.
The NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) is inviting Leather / BDSM / Kinkfolk to take its Mental Health Survey. They would like to know more about your BDSM practices, mental health and relational violence experiences.
The NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will compare our responses to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT-identified.
The NCSF will use these results to help with its advocacy, benefiting both existing and developing programs. Specifically, the study's results will assist in educating law enforcement, legal and psychological professionals about the practices and mental health of BDSM practitioners.
The survey will take approximately 35 minutes of one's time.
This survey is anonymous. Neither the NCSF nor outside researchers have access to any identifying information about participants.
The NCSF's (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) Consent Counts project is holding discussions around the country to gather input on their Consent Statement so they can move forward to change laws and and perceptions of BDSM. Kinky people still have significant legal, political and societal issues facing them. The majority fears the very real threat of being prosecuted or losing our jobs or families. To change the assault laws, the world needs to know what we think of consent. What is ethical consent? What are the gray areas? Are there things people shouldn't be able to consent to in a BDSM context?
Registration for TES Fest 2014, to be held July 3-6 in Piscataway, NJ, is now open.
TES Fest is the annual gathering for the BDSM and sex-positive communities to celebrate the steps TES’s founders took in 1971: the opportunity to find our freedom. TES Fest is an event in the NYC Metro region for everyone (from amateurs to seasoned veterans) to socialize, learn new skills and simply have a great time.
With classes and special events covering the gamut of topics and special interests, TES Fest allows people to explore, educate and entertain themselves in a healthy, safe and sane environment. TES Fest will take place at a 3.5-star hotel in Piscataway, New Jersey.
TES Fest is produced by The Eulenspiegel Society.
Capitalizing on the momentum generated at Great Lakes Leather Alliance where two Minnesotans won regional titles, Minnesota Leather Pride announced the first Ms Minnesota Leather Pride contest. The new contest will be part of Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend, which also features the first Minnesota Leather Sir and Minnesota Leather boy contests, to be held April 3-5, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“When we began planning for Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend, we started with Minnesota Leather Sir and Minnesota Leather boy with the expectation additional contests would be added over time,” said Tim Holden, chair of the Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend committee and member of the Minnesota Leather Pride board. “When Tim Hotchkin won Great Lakes Leather boy and Riches won Great Lakes Ms. Leather Pride, the board agreed the timing was right to add the Ms. Minnesota Leather Pride contest to what is already shaping up to be an exciting weekend!”
The winner of the Ms Minnesota Leather Pride contest, along with the winners of Minnesota Leather Sir and Minnesota Leather boy, will go on to compete at Great Lakes Leather Alliance held Oct 1-4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Contestants for Ms Minnesota Leather Pride must be 21 years old and identify as a woman in the Leather/Kink/BDSM community.
“With the addition of Ms Minnesota Leather Pride to Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend, we feel this event will have something for everyone,” said Holden.
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.
Amazon Video Direct is banning Robert Dante's bullwhip instructional video Bullwhip - Art of the Single Tail Whip. Amazon.com has been selling the hour and seven-minute long single tail instructional video for $19.99 for 8 years. They continue to sell the DVD released through Amazon in February of 2008, and at least 6 other similar titles, while simultaneously banning it on the re-seller giant's own digital services.
Dante applied to have the video streamed on Amazon Video Direct. It was rejected. They refused to give any reason - perhaps it was because it is about consensual BDSM, but whatever their reasons, this video scared them. Want to see the video? Well lucky for you Dante quickly found another, friendlier provider, to www.bullwhip.xxx and see what the hullabaloo is all about (or just a topless chick getting her titties bullwhipped cause...Dante's work is hawt!!!).
The interesting thing is that Amazon has been selling Dante's video for 14 years with no problems. It was vetted by the Ontario Film Board in 1995 and approved. The instructional video received only positive reviews, including in Adult Video News.
"I must assume it is being rejected not for its content, but for what it actually is: a factual, educational DVD about consensual BDSM, with no sex, no nudity, no injury, no humiliation, no degradation. This is from the same company that brings the execrable "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Secretary" to its audiences." Dante ruminated in his letter to us.
Dante sent TLJ the full Orwellian exchange, in chronological order, after it had been rejected at lower executive levels:
On November 2 The Threshold Society will present its annual Bizarre Bazaar. In addition to numerous vendors, there will be sampler booths, food, and entertainment.
This event is open to the entire community, with the doors opening at 1 PM and the fun winding down at 7 PM. Admission is $10. There will be vendors from around the country and locally who will be selling some of the finest and most interesting wares in town. Here is an opportunity to handle and size those "special" items for which one has been looking.
The sampler booths will give Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Gearfolk a chance to try some activities they may only have been fantasizing about. Try out the violet wand, or a flogger, or a needle or two. What does a cane feel like? Here is a chance to get a small taste in a safe and fun atmosphere.
Join Threshold on the night of November 1 for the club's version of Dia De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, play party. It is the night the "spirits," so get closest to the land of the living and celebrate the night away. This party is open to the community and admission is $20.
The Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M) has announced that Bob Behr has assumed the duties as President of the Board of Directors in light of Jon Krongaard’s announcement he is stepping down as President, effective September 27. Krongaard will retain his position on the Board of Directors, of which he has been a member of the last 17 years. Krongaard said, “It has been an honor to serve as President of the Board, but after relocating to New York, my focus and energies must now be directed towards my career pursuits. The Archives is in great hands under the leadership of our outstanding professional staff, dedicated volunteers and passionate board.” Krongaard added, “I have complete confidence in Bob to lead the institution into the future and he has my total support."
Behr is a longstanding member of the leather, kink, BDSM, and fetish communities. He joined the Leather Archives and Museum Board of Directors in October of 2016 and quickly took on leadership roles serving as Chairperson of the Governance and Board Development Committee. “I am humbled and honored to lead the board during this important time in LA&M’s history, said Behr.
Longtime member of the LA&M Board Member, Randall “Bear Man” Klett noted, “Bob has a solid understanding of what it takes to lead both an organization and a board. His passion and excitement impresses me and I look forward to him leading the Board’s strategic planning session next month."
If you would like to meet or reconnect with Bob to informally share your ideas and perspectives related to the LA&M, he will be hosting an informal lunch conversation Saturday, October 7 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM at the Etienne Auditorium of the Leather Archives and Museum located at 6418 North Greenview Avenue.
Learn more about Leather Archives and Museum at https://www.leatherarchives.
Founded in 1991, in just 26 years the Leather Archives & Museum has become recognized worldwide as a significant center dedicated to the compilation, preservation, and maintenance of primary materials on the leather, kink, BDSM and fetish communities and their cultures in both physical and electronic formats. Our museum galleries serve to present educational and historical material that highlights the silent histories of marginalized and under-represented communities.
The Archives is located on Greenview Avenue in Chicago near Loyola University. The building houses the Teri Rose Library with holdings of over 3,000 books and 12,600 journals and periodicals, searchable by an online catalog, 1425 square feet archival storage space, and eight exhibit galleries. Among its ongoing endeavors are the Women’s Leather History Program, a gallery with rotating exhibits that celebrate contemporary artists who inspire dialogues related to Leather, kink, BDSM and fetish and a community space used for programming and special events. The LA&M is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charity under the 501 c (3) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Nearly all income is derived from the generous support of member organizations within the Leather/kink/BDSM/fetish communities.
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.
Prominent San Francisco Leather community activist Race Bannon will begin writing a new leather column for the Bay Area Reporter, the nation’s longest continually published LGBT newspaper, on January 23, 2014.
Bannon’s first column, penned while attending the annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, DC, continues the traditions started by the preeminent gay news weekly.
In his first column, Bannon wrote:
“San Francisco and the overall Bay Area has one of the most vibrant leather and kink scenes in the United States and indeed the world. Yes, it’s changed and morphed as various factors have influenced how LGBT kinky folk live and express their alternative erotic identities and sexualities. But the scene is still rather awesome here, and I’m comfortable saying it’s in pretty good shape nationally as well.
“Thus all the more reason I am honored to have been asked to carry on the legacy of the original writer of this column, Mr. Marcus (Marcus Hernandez), who established the Bay Area Reporter’s leather column as one of the preeminent leather news and information sources in the world. Upon Mr. Marcus’ passing, Scott Brogan took over this column and truly did justice to Mr. Marcus’ memory. I promise to always try to live up to both men’s history as I embark on being the caretaker of this important piece of journalistic real estate.”
July 17th through July 20th, 2014 will be Northern Exposure 5 a truly mind-blowing, eye-opening event!
For the 5th year in a row FoxFinder Productions, in collaboration with the Alaskan Community, is planning the 5th installment of Northern Exposure. Alaska’s only BDSM/Leather Educational Conference!
The three day weekend will be jammed packed with On-Site Play Parties, Delicious Meals, Stage Shows plus the best in Fetish, Sex, BDSM and Leather education taught by educators, authors and kinksters from all over North America. If you have never attended Northern Exposure here are a few things you may want to know:
The weekend kicks off Thursday, July 17th at 7pm at The Raven, in Anchorage, with a presenter potlatch! Come out and say hi to the 15 presenters from all over North America! Past presenters include: Midori, slave Jazz, redwarrior, Master ShibariPyro, mare, Lee Harrington and Sinclair Sexsmith among many many other talented kinky folks.
In 2014 the world's largest Leather/BDSM/Fetish event, the Folsom Street Fair, will take place on Sunday, September 21 from 11 AM to 6 PM. The Folsom Street Fair is usually held on the last Sunday of September.
Things get back to normal in 2015 with the Folsom Street Fair on Sunday, September 27.
According to Jacob Richards, outgoing Board President, “The decision to move the fair date this year was not taken lightly. When we have a conflict with Sales Force or Oracle Open World, the entire inventory of hotel rooms for the city is sold out. To avoid conflicts with other important events that bring visitors and revenue into San Francisco, we must look at the last two weekends in September. We hope that this announcement will give everyone with plenty of advance notice."
Click here for more information on Folsom Street Events.
The Southern California Leather Gathering (SCLG) 2014 will be held on Saturday, June 21 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, CA, from 11 AM - 4 PM.
SCLG is an annual outdoor picnic gathering that is open to all Leather/BDSM/Fetish, kink, motorcycle and bear individuals and/or groups of all genders and orientations. The aim of the Southern California Leather Gathering is to provide an opportunity for these various folk to interact in a relaxed atmosphere, have fun and raise awareness about the size and diversity of the Leather/BDSM groups within Southern California. There will be games and prizes. Several clubs and groups bring tents or umbrellas.
Bring your own food and beverages (non-alcoholic only). Feel free to bring extra food to share. There will be grills heated up and available for anyone that wants to grill food.
The Red Dragons Riding Club inducted their newest club, the Lagniappe Chapter based in Louisiana, with a Friday night, January 24 ceremony on the outdoor patio of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, host of the Southwest Leather Conference of which the Red Dragons are a sponsor of the Southwest Leather Conference Bootblack Lounge.
Approximately 40 members and many onlookers shared the ceremony which featured a Native American blessing.The Red Dragons Riding Club is a national BDSM/Leather motorcycle riding club dedicated to serving the BDSM and Leather communities..
There are five chapters with one in each in Southern California (the Mother chapter), as well as in Arizona (Centennial Chapter), Washington State (Evergreen Chapter), Canada and Louisiana (Lagniappe Chapter).