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.
This is the emotional reality of outliving the AIDS epidemic
IML 2017 Ralph Bruneau reflects on the impact of losing loved ones to HIV
By Ralph Brunueau, appearing in Gay Star News
"My recent FB post got picked up for publication today, National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Means the world to be able to tell this story on this day." "Walking the dog in Griffith Park. So beautiful. Love the day. Love my dog. Love my life. I see a bruise on my leg. An irregular shape, small, purple with a bit of black. How did that happen? I don’t remember hitting it on anything. Time stops. I’m in Manhattan. I’m walking into the hospital room to see my ex for the first time since he broke us off and I moved to Los Angeles. I walk in the room, shaking,, scared. I have been warned about what I will see..." Read all of what Ralph Bruneau has to say at
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).
Photo by Denis Largeron Photographie
The National LGBTQ Task Force presented its 10th Leather Leadership Award to Durk Dehner at the opening plenary of the organization's 30th Annual Creating Change Conference in Washington, DC on January 25. Durk co-founded the Tom of Finland Foundation in 1984 and was also first runner-up of the first IML competition in 1979. The award was presented by IML 1996 Joe Gallagher and Annina Aalto, Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Finland. In accepting the award, Durk told the audience of over 2,000, mainly young people, "Be willing to try on different clothes of life. We are explorers and always remember that!" Many of Tom of Finland's drawings were projected on the ballroom's large screens, including the famous 2014 Finnish stamp in his honor..
By Bob Miller
CLAW XVII will be held April 27-30 at the Westin Downtown Cleveland. The bulk of the CLAW schedule will be at the Westin, including the vendor mart, banquets, speed dating, cigar deck and most of the Skills and Education sessions, with some events at the nearby Hampton Inn, bars Leather Stallion Saloon and Mean Bull, FLEX Spa and Hotel and the brand new Academy Dungeon, a 6,500 square feet well-equipped facility that hosts the Men’s BDSM Play parties and hardcore skills sessions Both the Westin and Hampton are sold out, but CLAW has big blocks of rooms at the nearby Double Tree and the Kimpton Schofield hotels. More than 2,000 Leather men are expected at CLAW 17.
CLAW (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) has rented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHoF) for a private party on Thursday night from 8 PM - Midnight. Located two blocks from the Westin and the Double Tree, the Museum will be staffed with all exhibits and bars open. Want to say you’ve sung at the RRHoF? Pick your song for Inductee Karaoke on the main stage. All songs must be by artists that are in the RRHoF. Reserve a spot by writing
CLAW will have 100 skills and education sessions – a 30 percent increase over CLAW 16. Most of the skills sessions are participatory, including: Kinky Tech: A Pervert's Guide to Internet-enabled Play presented by Brian Bolt Donner; Caning and Birching - a British vice, presented by Derek Cohen and David Williams from London, and Human Pup Play Skills by Dr. George Forgan-Smith, from Melbourne, Australia.
Returning are Bootblack Apprenticeships, from one of CLAW’s more than 20 volunteer bootblacks and Entrepreneurial Internships with Square Peg Toys mastermind Scott Douglas. A schedule of CLAW 17 Skills and Education is available on the CLAW website.
Also new are Naked Pool Parties at FLEX Spa (Men only) on Friday and Saturday afternoon, including OINK.
The CLAW Vendor Mart is bigger, with 45 vendors including CLAW sponsors Mr-S-Leather, Leatherwerks, LeathermanNYC, Torso, and Le Chateau Exotique.
Friday night’s highlight is Strip Bingo!! with hot male strippers and special performances, vendor-sponsored games and prizes, and more. Sunday night finale is Kinky Kabaret, an amazing show of singers and comics, hosted by CLAW’s hilarious emcees Larry Golubski and Lulu Belle.
New will be an urban Boots and Cigar Deck, open 24 hours a day.
The Pup Events at CLAW are sponsored by CLAW’s first Kennel Master and newest Master Sponsor, Twisted Headz Smokeshops, and include a huge pup mosh pit party, LEASHED; five pup/handler education sessions, pup/Handler Speed Dating, and a pup’s luncheon at the Leather Stallion Saloon.
CLAW Speed Dating expands to 11 sessions. Meet 10 guys who like what you like in less than an hour. New sessions include Couples and Thirds and Looking for LTR; Back for more - Meet and Beat; Leather and Boots; Assplay; and Smokers’ Speed Dating. Advance registration strongly recommended.
Also on schedule at the Westin: three silent auctions, Rubber Lovers Social, BLUF at CLAW social and the Man on Man Wedding Reception, in-room coffee service by pups and boys, a raffle, the CLAW store and wheel of fortune, Leather Community Circle of Life, Leather Archives exhibits, the Titleholders Cocktail Party, and Bound and Beautiful - a gallery of bondage and hot muscle.
Shuttles will run between hotels and parties at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Leather Stallion Saloon and Hot Ass in Cleveland Party, Mean Bull's Kinky Muscle Boy Party, and Super Villians Gear and Grind Party.
CLAW 17 packages include men’s play parties at the Academy and the party at the Rock Hall, more than 170 events. Packages are $169/advance ($189 at the door. Or join the CLAW Volunteer Corp and get a package for free in exchange for eight hours volunteering. Volunteers have access to a Volunteer Hospitality Suite all weekends.
Separate tickets are required for a few things at CLAW: Square Peg Toys celebrates their 20th Anniversary as sponsor of The International Leather Family Dinner ($100) on Saturday, featuring food from Urban Farmer’s executive chef and keynote speech, On Masculinity, by Guy Baldwin..
The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and Brunch ($50) is Sunday and honors Durk Dehner, Peter Fiske and MSC Hamburg.
For late night pig sex, three FLEXXX ASYLUM parties ($40/each or 3/$100 feature kinky adult film stars in a special warehouse space above Mean Bull. A small VIP party Man Meet kicks off ASYLUM’s Friday night and is limited to the first 20 tickets sold.
CLAW is a 501 (c)(3) charity of, by and for the Leather Community. CLAW has donated more than $700,000 to community charities.
For more information, to reserve a room and get a package, go to http://www.clawinfo.orgg
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.
There are four confirmed contestants for International Mr. Bootblack this year. With the assistance of Jeremiah Morris we were able to present this to you. Jeremy is the Coordinators for the International Mr. Bootblack Competition. For more about International Mr. Bootblack including judges and rules check out http://www.imrl.com To see our coverage of the 72 men competing for International Mr. Leather go to https://www.theleatherjournal.com/news/regional-news/item/2019-iml-2018-contestants-photos-and-bios
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/
Photo by Brian Mincey
American Brotherhood Weekend announces 2017 titleholders
By Sarah Sloane
The American Leatherman 2017 title was awarded to Rod McCoy, who hails from the great state of Maryland. Rod held the title of Leatherman of Color 2011, and is a Full Brother of ONYX. Joining Rod as the American Leatherwoman 2017 is Jackie Thompson, who also resides in Maryland. Jackie also held the title of Ms Capital Pride Leather 2009, and is a member of Highwaymen TNT.
Joining Rod on the American Leatherman podium were BJAPRIES as first runner-up and Rob “Papa Bear” Anderson as second runner-up. They were joined in competition by Daddy Don and Shannon O’Feral. Jackie ran unopposed for the title of American Leatherwoman.
Saturday, February 11, was the 50th Anniversary of The Black Cat Demonstration in which Avatar Club los angeles founding member and long time activist, Alexei Romanoff, participated as did many other Leatherfolk.
On Friday night, February 10, producers of LA A Queer History, screened films including the trailer for the film that includes an interview with Alexei.
The big event on February 11 saw gay los angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, cast members from Queer As Folk (Peter Paige, Michelle Clunie, Scott Lowell), Proposition 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, Wilson Cruz, LAPD Deputy Police Chief Bea Girmala, Alec Mapa and more speak as did Alexei Romanoff.
All events were at The Black Cat located at 3909 Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake and an area nearby including a bar then-owned by Romanoff, New Faces.
The los angeles Times reported the story in detail including an on-site interview with Alexei Romanoff - http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-black-cat-anniversary-20170210-story.htmll
How does this relate to today? one might ask. LA City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who helped organize the Black Cat Demonstration Anniversary, told the los angeles Times, "'...there were similarities in what’s happening today and what happened the night of the protest in Silver Lake.'"
"'They demonstrated in an organized fashion in an unprecedented way in 1967, and I feel there’s a real parallel to the current resistance' said O’Farrell, who represents Silver Lake and is gay. 'Fifty years ago, there was a resistance to authoritarian rule at the local level from the police … and there are parallels to what we’re feeling today with this administration.'"
Photos - PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) led hundreds in protest when police raided the Black Cat bar in los angeles and brutally beat patrons and the bartender. February 11, 1967. Photos supplied by the University of Southern California Libraries/ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives
My name is Gary Wasdin, and I am the new Executive Director of the Leather Archives & Museum. I am humbled to have been chosen to lead this organization and to continue the work that so many have contributed to over the past 26-plus years. While I am only in my third week, your passion and commitment to the LA&M and its work is evident. Thank you for your support.
Jaco: For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and your connection with the Leather world.
Race: I’ve been active in the Leather scene since 1973. Initially, apart from being a bartender in a sleazy kinky bar, I was essentially a lone maverick player. Then around 1980 I got deeply involved with various clubs, organizations and projects that changed that lone wolf status. Since then I’ve been an organizer, writer, educator, speaker and activist in the LGBT, leather/kink, polyamory and HIV/STI prevention realms. I’ve authored a well-known BDSM book, been published extensively, spoken to hundreds of audiences, created the world's largest kink-friendly psychotherapist and medical referral service (Kink Aware Professionals), was a leader of The DSM Project that led to a beneficial change in the way psychotherapy views BDSM, founded a groundbreaking alternative sexuality publishing company (Daedalus Publishing Company), been an internet radio sex talk show host, received national and local awards, appeared in numerous documentaries, and currently am the Leather/kink columnist for the Bay Area Reporter http://www.ebar.comwww.ebar.com I also have a blog at http://www.bannon.com and there’s more information about me there for those who might be interested.
Members of the IML Class of 2018 who appeared at Mid Atlantic Leather in January.
A record 71 men have officially registered by the early May deadline as contestants for IML 40 or International Mr. Leather 2018. IML contestant coordinator Jeff Tucker, an IML 1994 titleholder himself, greatly assisted in compiling this information. Contestants were given the opportunity to submit decent photos and brief bios. We have photos of all 71 and three-fourths of the supplied bios.Take a look and pick your favorites. One might pick their own Top 20 and compare it later to the list announced on stage at The Auditorium in Chicago, IL on Sunday night, May 27. This article originally had 72 contestants. One dropped out a few days before the contest due to a medical emergency. Find out more about IML at http://www.imrl.com
South Plains Leatherfest and International Master/slave Weekend 2016 will be held at the Doubletree Dallas Near the Galleria, March 11-13 in Dallas, Texas.
South Plains will see great workshops, hot pansexual, men’s and women’s play parties, Sunday Brunch with this year’s keynote Ms Kendra, the South Plains Coffee House, a great vendor mart, the International Master/slave Contest, and the South Plains Living Room.
The theme of South Plains Leatherfest and International Master/slave Weekend is We Will Not Forget. During the weekend guests and staff will remember its history and traditions, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future.
The South Plains Traditional Sunday Brunch tickets are $30 and are available through on-line registration. The keynote speaker will be Ms Kendra who is the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Leather Alliance.
There will be over 40 workshops and classes with the following South Plains 2016 M/s presenters: Master Jim and slave marsha, Master Obsidian and slave namaste, Master Michael and slave angie, Master Kevin and slave feyrie, Master David Walker Master Dan and slave dawn, subHaven, Raven Kaldera and slaveboy joshua, slave Melissa, Master T’Hayla and Gillian, Ms Brenda, Ms Kendra, Master George and slave bren, Master Neko and koneko, Ranell, Aren and Ms WillowKat, Reggie, kasi and evie Alexander; South Plains 2016 SM/Leather Presenters: Sir Cougar, boy alex, Wayner Brawner, Hardy Haberman, Sarah Sloane, Mark Frazier, Sean Grey, Cecelia, Daddy Rose and Pup Rylee, Keith aka “Beast," MizLilly and Zap, boy dave, Andrew Love, Mason Alexander, Master Konraad, Tifany and Stephen.
The International Master/slave 2016 contest will be held on Saturday night.
Play Parties are set for Friday and Saturday nights from 9 PM to 2 AM. As always, the on-site play space will feature separate pansexual, women only, and men only spaces. Admission to the parties is sold as a package, rather than as individual party tickets. A play party admission package, which entitles one to attend both of South Plains’ play parties, is $30.
The Doubletree Dallas Near the Galleria is located at 4099 Valley View Lane, Dallas, TX 75244. Phone (972) 385-9000. Standard rooms are available at a special rate $99, which will secure a room for up to four people. Parking is free and in addition to hotel dining, there are plenty of restaurants nearby. To register or to book online to get the South Plains rate so just go to http://www.southplainsleatherfest.com
Compiled by Dave Rhodes, Dr. Larry and William Burden
It is no secret that there were 71 International Mr. Leather 2018 or IML 40 contestants - your preference - 19 of them came from outside the United States, it is known that significant changes were being made in the International Mr. Bootblack contest and that IML founder Chuck Renslow would be remembered with class. What was to-be-determined was the winners of the contests.