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.
Arizona is home to a brand new organization, Arizona Bootblacks of Leather. The Arizona Bootblacks of Leather organized in spring, 2013 and have based their group after the Phoenix Boys of Leather. Arizona is home to quite a few bootblacks, and they wanted to create a group that would allow them to promote the strong bootblack presence in Arizona. The plans are to offer their services around the region and introduce bootblacking to new people as well as exchanging ideas with other bootblacks. When asked what the purpose of the group was, President slave tabitha arie replied, ‘The Arizona Bootblacks of Leather exists to serve, support, and enrich the Leather community. We gather to support our members and to serve our community with respect and integrity.’
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 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 Leather and Kink community came out in full force to support the Atons of Minneapolis as they hosted Gopher XXI the weekend of July 18-20. This was their first in-town run in over 15 years. Although there were some that missed the traditional outdoor camping experience, it was evident that everyone enjoyed their time together.
Gopher XXI: Tails of the City, was held at the Doubletree by Hilton in the Minneapolis neighboring community of Saint Louis Park. The hotel provided great accommodations and delicious food during the Saturday evening banquet and Sunday morning breakfast.
Many brother/sister clubs from the Twin Cities area, as well clubs from out of town hosted socials and cocktail parties, featuring a wide variety of drinks and some even got into the spirit of the run theme and donned inspirational attire.
The Southern California Leather Gathering (SCLG) 2014 was held on Saturday, June 21 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, CA with a huge crowd of 150 Leather/BDSM/Fetishfolk in attendance.
SCLG, 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, saw perfect weather.
Among the clubs with booths, tables and or tents were Among the clubs with booths, tables and or tents were Threshold Society, Satyrs MC, MDHL, Los Angeles Band of Brothers, LA Girls of Leather, , LADS, Monarchs, Avatar Club los angeles, The 15 Association and Orange County Social.
Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 Eric Paul Leue emceed several games, including a tug of war and a water balloon toss that saw about 30 players bombard Eric with all of the balloons at once.
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.
Financial and health difficulties have contributed to the planned closing of the first and only dungeon to be open in the Inland Empire (Redlands, CA). It was announced by the management of the club that the official closing will be the end of September, 2013. However, there is the possibility of the club staying open if there is an interest by an organization or individual to take it over. The owners of the club are hoping that someone will come forward that can provide the financial backing needed to keep a club such as Le Fleur de Lis open and operating.
Andy CosmicRoo, Mr. Rubber Toronto of Canada, won the Mr. International Rubber 2014 title at Mr. International Rubber XVII (MIR 17) weekend in Chicago, Illinois on November 9.
Andy was one of 10 contestants from across North America and Europe who traveled to Chicago to represent their regions at MIR. The first runner-up was Mr. Midwest Rubber of Des Moines, Iowa Jesse, and the second runner-up was Mr. Fetish Leather Austria of Vienna In Trouble.
Chicago entertainer Teri Yaki was the emcee throughout the weekend.
The contest took place over two nights at the Center on Halsted in Chicago’s Boystown. The first part of the contest on Friday, November 8, included the introduction of contestants; a step down speech by Stephen Perry, the husband of late MIR 16 Jason Lynch; rubber image and fantasy. Saturday’s portion of the contest included speeches; Mystery Bag; and audience vote.
The Folsom Street Fair will take place on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets on Sunday, September 21 from 11 AM - 6 PM.
While the South of Market streets have changed fairly drastically over the last 20 years, the location of Folsom Street Fair hasn't changed at all. In 1995, the fair expanded its footprint to include the block of Folsom between 11th and 12th Streets; however, in all of the years since then, the fair's footprint has remained constant and unwavering. Until this year, that is. For the first time since 1995, Folsom Street Fair will be updating its layout to accommodate the needs of a changing city.
According to Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis, "The Board of Directors agreed to move the fair slightly in order to achieve three major objectives: 1. Improving street traffic around the fair; 2. Minimizing impact on residential side streets; and, 3. Engaging new community businesses. The shift of just one block in our fair footprint means that we can improve traffic flow by opening up 8th Street to live traffic; we can engage fewer residential side streets; and, we can create new or improved relationships with community businesses like The SF Eagle, Sports Authority, and Cat Head's BBQ - all of whom will be able to participate more actively now. Getting the Eagle onto the fairgrounds feels especially relevant for many of us in the Leather community."
Rough House, Toronto’s popular BDSM dungeon party, will hold three Leather parties at Steamworks Baths Toronto, 540 Church Street, Level 2, Toronto, Ontario, Canada between October and February coinciding with Steamworks’ popular Sunday Service party. Also organized by the Rough House gang is the annual twisted Squeal party at Steamworks, which will return in April 2014 as part of Eastern Canada Leather Sir and Leatherboy weekend.
The members of the Atons of Minneapolis elected a new slate of officers for 2014. During the December 2013 business meeting the following individuals were voted into office: President, Andrew Bertke; Vice President, Tim Holden; Secretary, Rob Anderson; and Treasurer, Jayson Glynn.
In addition, Tim Holden will serve as Membership Chair and Rob Anderson will serve as Social Chair.
The Atons would like to thank everyone in the community for helping making the 2013 Atons Holiday Fundraiser a big success. This year the Atons selected Clare Housing as the benefactor for all money raised during the event. Once again, The Aliveness Project received over 450 pounds of food items donated at the door. Thanks to the many donations that were collected for the raffle/auction and photos with the Atons' Sexy Santa, Ryan Brown, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013 Ryan Brown, the Atons were able to present a check to Clare Housing for over $1,450.
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.
For the past 10 years, girls of Leather Chapters have been flourishing across the USA, and many people have asked why our diverse and dynamic Southern California community does not have a Chapter.
In order to fulfill this need, slave Bren, founder of los angeles sisters in service (LAsis; a local support group for those who live female 24/7 sub/slave bottoms hosted in LA for the past 10 years), has begun a los angeles girls of Leather Chapter.