Featuring: Chuck Renslow
- For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and what your titles are.
I started the first leather bar in the United States and have been an advocate for the leather and gay community since then. I have been a Mason, photographer, psychologist, accredited hypnotist and many more. In the Leather community I’m referred as “Sir,” Daddy or Master.
- You got an amazing story to tell and I think so many of us consider you a pioneer, if you would, tell us who got you started in the leather community and what prompted the decision to start a contest called International Mr. Leather?
My lover in the early sixties was Dom Orejudos, also known as the artist "Etienne.” One evening I went to a park in Chicago called bug house square I picked up a gentleman, I took him home and told him: “I want to fuck you.” He said: “you will have to fight me for it!” Fighting him until he got submissive was a great turn on. From that point on I was aggressive in my sexual activity.
I started the Mr. Gold Coast Contest. It became so popular the bar couldn’t handle the crowd so we decided to move somewhere else but the Mr. Gold Coast could not be held out of the bar so we moved it out to a hotel and renamed it International Mr. Leather. In order to promote it I had posters made up and mailed to every leather bar in the world that I could locate. I even translated one into German and sent it to the German leather bars.
- You have received just about every award in the gay and lesbian, leather community, can you perhaps narrow it down, some of your favorite awards that stand out and mean the most to you?
I have received many awards. And all of them are at the Leather Archives and Museum. three of the awards that stand out are: the one from the gay and lesbian task force because they have done so much good for the entire gay community, the one by the Metropolitan Community Church, because they helped so many people that needed religion in their lives and could not find acceptance in the mainstream churches. And the third one was the leather man of the century.
- Family is important, you've been a Daddy to many, and trust is earned and very important, can you tell us about your family who are at your side now?
I consider the entire gay community as my family. Right now my lover Juan is at my side and I am surrounded by people who had been around me for decades.
- Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
I was basically raised by my grandmother since my mother worked and my dad had left us. I consider most of my attributes to my grandmother: she was practical, smart and very logical. She became a very successful business woman after my grandfather died.
- In your mind, what’s the biggest misconception of the leather community?
People think that the leather man just is into beating each other up etc. They don’t realize there is a great deal of love and compassion in the leather community.
- What does unity in leather mean to you?
We have to do away with all the prejudices and jealousy and other negative forces in the BDSM community.
- What do you see for the future of leather in your community and internationally?
I think the future will show more acceptances between the men's leather community and the women's leather community and the general public.
- Tell us what your favorite piece of leather is and why?
A vest that have my name and the International Mr. Leather logo all in studs, made by Studworks in San Francisco.
- You have done countless opening, closing and key note speeches; can you tell us some of your favorite or perhaps a funniest moment?
In so many of my speeches I have advocated that which I felt was beneficial to our community. Most of them, the community listens and follows through.
- For someone who never attended IML (International Mr. Leather), what would you say to him or her, why they should attend the event in Chicago?
IML is the largest leather gathering in the world. It is a lifetime experience and if you attend you will feel camaraderie with a great leather community. We are all brothers and sisters. One big loving family!
- In your own words, can you tell us the difference between BDSM and Leather?
Leather is merely a symbol. Some people are into different aspects of BDSM, such as just bondage, or the masculine image of leather.
- What’s the funniest safe word you ever heard?
“Little purple prunes”
- You have said that you enjoy cooking, and don’t particularly like the cleaning part, please can you cook us a meal that represent you and what would it be called?
That's easy! Prime Rib with whipped sweet potatoes and cream corn. And for dessert Pecan Pie.
- Away from Leather, would you tell us what one of your guilty pleasures are?
Watching Spanish Soap Operas... I don't understand a word they say yet. But the men are so handsome! I also like to watch men getting fucked.
- Tell us your favorite book at this moment.
Easy: “Steel and Velvet: a soldier's story” by Juan Cordoba. It kind of reminds my other favorite book “The Persian Boy.”
- In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the leather community of South Africa?
Keep unity. We are all in the fraternity of leather. We are family, we may not like everyone but we will support every single one because they are part of who we are.
Touché, located at 6412 North Clark Street, will host the 2014 Mr. Chicago Leather Contest Weekend, January 24-26.
International Mr Leather 2013 Andy Cross will serve on the judging panel along with Mr. Midwest Leather 2013 Matt Hengle, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013 Jesse Driscoll, Ms Christina Court and Nick Zuko, Mr. Chicago Leather 2013.
Once again returning from London, England to host the contest will be International Mr Leather 2003 John Pendal.
The contest will be held on Saturday January 25 at 10 PM with additional events scheduled Friday and Sunday. A complete weekend schedule of events will be announced soon and posted online at http://www.touchechicago.com
The man selected Mr Chicago Leather 2014 will receive a title vest and $500 gift certificate from Leather 64TEN, plus additional prizes. Contestant entry forms are available at Touché and online at http://www.touchechicago.com
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.
The judges for International Mr. Leather 2014 were announced on Saturday, January 18 in the Congressional Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, DC during Mid Atlantic Leather weekend by IML Executive Coordinator Jon Krongaard.
The panel includes Internatonal Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 Chandler Bearden, American Leatherwoman 2002 Tobin Britton, Northeast Mr. Drummer 1997 Will Clark, Co-Owner of the Black Eagle Toronto Carlos Filetti, Mr. Leather Colorado 2006 Mike Maez, Mr. Iowa Leather 2012 Jeremy Morris, Mr. Maryland Leather 2010 Justin Terry Smith and Chairman of Leather Friends Italia Andrea Zanella.
The tallymasters will be International Ms Leather 1993 Amy Marie Meek and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2012 Danny Tamez.
On Saturday, January 11, Sir Greg Slaven was chosen Mr. 501 Eagle contest at the 501 Eagle, 501 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN. The runner-up was Michael Fetter.
Due to the effect of weather earlier in the week, the judging panel was reduced to three people. They were Tom Vester who is co-owner of the 501 Eagle, Ron Clemons from Cincinnati Ohio and part of Scorpius Leather Cincinnati, and International Ms Olympus Leather 2013 Robyn Fisher. Others helping with the contest were emcee Jerry Roseberry, tally master Pup Spaz, judges' boy Pup Spike, and contestant handler Jamie McKim.
The contestants were, in order of appearance, Sir Greg Slaven, Michael Fetters, Tom Fleetwood and Greg Otto.
Sir Greg Slaven will compete at International Mr. Leather (IML) in May. Greg is International Mr. Olympus Leather 2012.
By Leo Newcomb
Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend began with a great loss and sorrow for many of us on the eve of our 22nd annual celebration. On October 17, 2016, a week before our kickoff, we were struck with the hardest of blows with the unexpected passing of our beloved club brother, David Murdock, of natural causes. David was one of Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert’s pillars and for decades had become proficient in every facet of our weekend. In his memory, we honored him both at the formal Leather dinner and the contest with a video tribute by Randy Carmenaty, narrated by Larry Golubski. It was with a heavy heart that in his honor and in the spirit of who he was, we forged ahead, as David would often say, “the show must go on.."
David must have been watching over us because we take great pleasure and tremendous pride in having hosted one of our highest attended Leather pride events in over a decade. This year we decided to practically overhaul the entire weekend. The theme and namesake, TOPGUN: Desert Opps, began with Hawkers and Vendors: Cruise Alley, which was held on Arenas Road with LA DJ, Manuelito. Over 2,500 Leatherfolk passed through the gate in the Spurline parking lot on Arenas Road as several vendors marketed their wares.
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!
Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2003 Paul Ciantar and Canadian Leather Man 2004, has been named as a Judge for International Mr. Leather 2014, replacing Carlos Filetti of who withdrew due to a pressing family matter out of the country. Both gentlemen are from Toronto, Canada.
“We wish nothing but the very best to Carlos and his family and we look forward to having him join us in Chicago in the future,” said Executive Producer Chuck Renslow.
Other judges on the panel are International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 Chandler Bearden, American Leatherwoman 2002 Tobin Britton, Northeast Mr. Drummer 1997 Will Clark, Mr. Leather Colorado 2006 Mike Maez, Mr. Iowa Leather 2012 Jeremy Morris, Mr. Maryland Leather 2010 Justin Terry Smith and Chairman of Leather Friends Italia Andrea Zanella.
CLAW XIV will be held April 24-27 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Leather-friendly Cleveland, Ohio. Shuttle buses will meet every CLAW air-travel attendee — day or night — for their one-minute ride to the lobby door.
Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend (CLAW) has seen a growth rate of about 15 percent each of the past several years. CLAW’s biggest Vendor Mart will feature more than 25 merchants, including CLAW sponsors Leatherwerks, Mr. S Leather, Leatherman NYC, Torso, and Stompers Boots; three Recon Reflex dungeon parties in the warehouse attached to FLEX Spas in downtown Cleveland; and more than 40 skills workshops and other educational offerings, including 25 Years Later, a discussion featuring Guy Baldwin and Brian Dawson, the renowned and groundbreaking Leather titleholders who were International Mr. Leather and International Mr. Drummer, respectively, in 1989.
Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend saw at least 3,000 Leatherfolk and kinsters converge on the host Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC the weekend of January 12-15 where Martel Brown was chosen to be Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather ans Todd White was installed as Centaur Motorcycle Club president.
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.
On Saturday October 19 at 9 PM, Los Angeles based uniform club The Regiment of the Black and Tans, will hold its Mr. Regiment 2014 contest at the Eagle LA bar in the Silver Lake District of los angeles, CA.
The Regiment is one of the oldest uniform clubs in the United States and still amongst the most active. As apart of their 40th Anniversary's year-long celebration, The Regiment will be producing Searching for Mr. Regiment 2014: Anniversary Edition.
Mr. and Ms Iowa Leather 2014 will be held the weekend of October 10-12 at the Blazing Saddle in Des Moines, Iowa. A full weekend of events will entertain Friday through Monday.
all events will take place at The Blazing Saddle, located on East 5th Avenue in the Historic East Village; Wooly's, located just around the comer at 504 East Locust; and Club Red Light, located adjacent to Le Boi Dar at 508 Indianola Avenue. For the fourth consecutive year, Le Chateau Exotique from New Hope, PA is the official Leather vendor.
The events kick off with the Smoke Out/Grill Out at the Blazing Saddle on Friday, October 10 at 7 PM. The fun continues at l PM on Saturday, October 11 with the Titans of the Midwest presenting Kink U at Iowa Leather Weekend. The first of many great demos will be presented for the second year by North Star Kennel Club including a puppy mosh.
The Mr. Connecticut Leather 2015 contest was held Saturday, September 5-7 at the 168 York Street Cafe in New Haven with the winner being David Gerard of Norwalk, CT.
The runner-up was Trell Walters of Meriden, CT. Also competing was Jeff Wolf Striker Victoria.
The panel of judges included Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest founder Al Santora, Producer of Mr. New Jersey Leather Sal Susino, Brian Kuerze, Mr. Eagle NYC 2014 Cee Jay, Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 Joe Birdwell, Mr. New England Leather 2014 Steve Dupont, and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2001 JR Ramos.
There was a Friday meet and greet and a Sunday victory brunch.
David will continue on to Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather In January and IML in May.
Jeremy Morris won the Mr. Iowa Leather contest at the Blazing Saddle in downtown Des Moines, IA, on October 15 and will be Iowa's representative at International Mr. Leather in Chicago. Two men vied for the title.
The judges were IML 2008 Gary Iriza, American Leatherman 2008 Randy Carmenaty, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2011 Jayson Glynn and Sheri Kutsch-Stanton who is a member of the Corn Haulers LL Club. The tally master was Bryan Smith, longtime manager of the Blazing Saddle.
Mr. Iowa Leather 2011 Mike Pagano emceed the contest, which also featured performances by porn stars Michael Brandon and Lance Navarro and several local entertainers.
Jeremy Morris is a founding member of the Titans of the Midwest, and produced Des Moines' Leather and Lace Kink Carnival in March.