Derek Paul was named Mr. Sanctuary Leather 2014 and Shae Flanagan was chosen to be Ms Sanctuary Leather, the first in history, at Sanctuary LAX in Lennox, CA on Saturday night, November 2.
The emcee, Sir Gabriel, sparkled as he led the women contestants through an International Ms Leather (IMsL) format including staged fantasy and lone contestant Derek through the International Mr. Leather (IML) format.
The judging panel included head judge Dr. Lawrence Burden of Avatar Club Los Angeles, Genesis from Sanctuary Studios LAX, Sir Ian from Avatar and Mr. Sanctuary Leather 2011 Michael Sol.
Since he will be competing in the Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 contest in March Derek Paul was inducted into the los angeles Band of Brothers after the victory photo shoot.
The dungeon was open for play all evening.
International Mr. Leather 2014 host hotel taking reservations now
Information, such as when major event hotels open their room blocks, is something that The Leather Journal wants its readers to benefit from their loyalty to us. Acting fast, as in today because some of you are reading this on your iPhone or Android, could determine whether you stay International Mr. Leather's host hotel, or being relegated to another hotel where you will have to schlep back and forth to and from all of the action.
The Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile is the host hotel for International Mr. Leather which will be held May 23-26 in Chicago, IL.
los angeles Leather Pride Week was huge and what a production is was, with the main event at Circus Disco in Hollywood being the 15th Annual Mr. LA Leather Contest where Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2014 Eric Paul Leue was best in a field of 10 men vying for the opportunity to represent the City of the Angels at International Mr. Leather in Chicago.
The theme for LA Leather Pride 2014 was Brethern = Blood, Building the Bonds of Brotherhood.
There was a ton of events that started at the ONE Archives Foundation near the USC campus with a motorcycle ride that stopped at several popular Leather businesses while working their way to the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood, Chariots of Fire with the Mr. LA Leather contestants, Payasos LA and followers on Sunday morning, March 22 followed by Odyssey: The Road to Mr. LA Leather the opening party of LA Leather Pride hosted by Avatar Club los angeles put on Odyssey: The Road to Mr. LA Leather – the traditional kick off party to Mr. LA Leather Pride where the contestants for Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 drew their numbers. The Bullet has recently been remodeled and the back room behind the patio was converted to a VIP lounge.
Mr. 501 Eagle Ron Kautz
By Jerry Rosenberry
Ron Kautz was chosen Mr. 501 Eagle 2012 at the 501 Eagle in Indianapolis, during the weekend of January 13-14. Tony Loy was the runner-up. There were three contestants.
The judging panel included Indiana Mr. Olympus 2012 Sir Greg, Mr. 501 Eagle 2011 Daniel Purtha and Indiana Falcons president TIm Barton. To round out the contest we had emcee Jerry Roseberry, den daddy Jamie McKim and tally master John Drago.
On Friday night there was a party for the outgoing Mr. 501 Eagle Daniel Purtha and a meet and greet.
Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2014 is Greg Menzel of Minneapolis, MN.
Twin Cities Leather and Latte presented the Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2014 Contest held the weekend of February 14-16 at The Saloon in downtown Minneapolis.
The weekend included a Kink U event on Saturday hosted by the Titans of the Midwest and Victory Party by DJMF.
The judges were Leathrati.com contributor Tynan Fox, International Leather Sir 2012 Jack Duke, Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2011 Daniel Henniger, Mr. Leatherman of Color 2011 Onyx Rod, Atons of Minneapolis President Andrew Bertke, and Saloon General Manager Tim Balfanz. The tallymaster was Mr. DC Eagle 2011 Michael Kramer and the den daddy was Bud Ingram-Lile.
The contestants were Tim Holden, Cody Marino and Greg Menzel.
Event Sponsors included The Saloon, TCL&L, Lavender Media, CLAW Nation, UberLube, Oxballs, and Little Pig Design.
Greg Menzel will compete at IML in Chicago, IL in May.
James Tyrcha, a trans male, was chosen to be Mr. Leather64TEN 2016 at the Jackhammer in Chicago, IL the night of March 12 and as a result, will compete at International Mr. Leather in May.
First runner-up was Gerald Cernak and second runner-up was Matt Cardoni. Steve Bell and Adam H. filled out the roster of contestants.
Michael Pacas Mr. Leather64Ten 2015 Michael Pacas was the head judge. Joining him on the panel were Justin St. Clair, Tinac Mackay, Will Boyd-Bohaczek and Dan Ronneberg. The tally masters were Pup Scout and Alex Tatum.
Emees Slade Travis and Todd Davidson kept the contest moving at a good pace.
The producers were Leather64TEN store owners Eric Kugelman and Michael Syrjanen.
James Tyrcha transitioned 10 years ago this April, and yet for years after he lived in fear of rejection just for being transgender. Two years ago, that stopped—when he came out to everyone about his transition. According to Ross Forman of the Windy City Times.
Tyrcha told the Windy City Times, "I just needed to be open about my transition and be an advocate" for the transgender community, said Tyrcha, spurred to speak out by bathroom/locker room use debates for transgender and the hoard of trans-bullying and physical attacks, particularly against trans women.
Flash-forward to the present, and Tyrcha is now an award-winning trans male. Click here to see full article in the Windy City Times.
Trans males have fared well at International Mr. Leather with Tyler McCormick winning the title in 2010. Years before, Billy Lane finished in the IML Top 20.
Tyrcha said to The Leather Journal, "My passion in life is creating change through acceptance in our community.
Acceptance is the road to the future of our community, especially for our newest members. I love dogs, the beach, and life!"
There was a VIP party on Friday night at the Jackammer followed by a meet and greet.
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.
This year the IML 36 class is comprised of 46 men, the last time this occurred was in 1992 when the contest was at Park West when Mr. Drummer Luke Daniel took the title. Here is the 2014 IML Class line up:
1. Miguel Torres
2. Kirk Rubén
3. Thomas Hamilton
4. Scottie Tidwell
5. Knut Larsen
6. Scott Bigred Farrell
7. Phoenix Colt Pendragon
8. Master Domenic
9. Tim Leatherboy Perkins
10. A D Kus Supps
11. Chuck MrMichigan-Leather
12. Avi MrleatherUk
13. Michaël Verret
14. Farrell Vajra
15. Steve Dupont
16. Ramien DC Eagle
17. Keith MrNj-Leather
18. Robert Schenberg
19. Adrian Thompson
20. David MrMd-Leather
21. Rocky Joseph Mccombs
22. Michael PupRyker Kaplan
23. David Payne
24. Peter Reid
25. Marc Ransdell Bellenger
26. Jon Nizzi
27. Jordan Stiefel
28. Pup Torq
29. Cee Jay
30. Mrwileather TC Hammond
31. Jason Little
32. Dennis Wood MrTristateleather
33. J Tebias Ares Onyx
34. Omar L Boots
35. Jim Benton
36. Greg DeRushia
37. Eric Paul Leue
38. Joe Mal
39. Gage Fisher
40. Drew Riebhoff
41. Cody Troy
42. Matthew Bunch
43. Bavarianmrleather Ralf Schaffelhofer
44. Gregory Slaven
45. SirRaymond Onyx
46. Greg Menzel
Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish Joe Birdwell bested three other men when he won the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 title at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Sunday afternoon, January 19 in front of a packed house. The runner-up was Thomas Idoux of Baltimore, MD.
The contest was part of the greater Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend produced by the Centaur Motorcycle Club.
Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 1993 and Centaur MC member Frank Nowicki emceed and had the show over before 3:30 PM when the time allotted went up to 4 PM. It is rare for a contest to finish that early. This year's Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest did not have special entertainment as in past years, This helped move the show along.
Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2013 Bryce Caine was the head judge and joining him were International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, American Leatherwoman 2008 Joan Norry, Mr. DC Eagle 2009 John Harris, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 Chandler Bearden, Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2007 John Loesch and Mr. Maryland Leather 2008 Kristopher DeBlase.
The Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend, produced by the Centaur Motorcycle Club, went off without a glitch as a larger crowd than last year saw Matthew Bronson become Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2012, a fabulous Leather Cocktails, more vendors, great food, new club officers installed, and plenty of parties over Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, January 12-15 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Nine men vied for the coveted Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather title with Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish 2012 Matthew Bronson winning, Mr. PW's Leather 2012 Marc Sherkness Carcione taking first runner-up and Mr. Connecticut Leather 2012 Matt Kenney becoming second runner-up on Sunday afternoon.
Centaur member and Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 1993 Frank Nowicki was the emcee for the weekend.
The judges for Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather were: Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2011 Doug Pamplin, International Mr. Leather 2011 Eric Guttierez, International Ms Leather 2011 Sara Vibes, Mr. San Diego Leather 2010 Anthony Rollar, American Leatherman 2000 Dean Ogren, Washington, DC Eagle owner Ted Clements and Mr. Hayes Valley Leather 2005 Jay Harcourt.
Earlier in the day, the following were installed as Centaur MC officers for this year: president Steve Ranger, vice president Todd White, treasurer Patrick Grady, recording secretary John Bonnage, corresponding secretary Tom Buckley, road captain Jeff Klotz, tribune Chaz Dean and centurion Bob Dye.
Leather Cocktails on Saturday night had a spread of food, mostly slider hamburgers, cheeses and dips and desserts that were gobbled up about as quick as Hyatt servers could set them out.
Gone was the pomp and circumstance of introducing each club member by name with grand entrances and the introduction of Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contestants. The traditional presentation of club colors was the main show. The introduction of members, installation of officers and viewing contestants were done on Sunday.
The Men of ONYX had a dance party on Saturday afternoon and there was also a puppy mosh sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Kennel Korps that drew big crowds. MAUL (Mid Atlantic Uniform League) held a Saturday party, too.
You are formally invited to enjoy fun and debauchery in the corn fields of Iowa October 4-6, 2013 in the form of the 25th Annual Iowa Leather Weekend. The titles to be awarded during the weekend will be Mr. Iowa Leather and for the first time, Ms Iowa Leather. Unlike most contests that combine the contests into one day, Iowa Leather will host the Ms Iowa Leather competition on Friday, October 4 and the Mr. Iowa Leather contest on Saturday Oct 5. A continuing tradition is the partnership with Le Chateau Exotique as the official Leather vender and Liberty Gifts as the official lube and toys vendor.
Judges for the Ms Iowa Leather contest will include Elena Franco, owner/producer Heart of America Leather Weekend, & Producer Kink-U Kansas City; Sarha, International Ms Leather 2013; Mike Pagano, cofounder of Titans of the Midwest and Mr. Iowa Leather 2011; His Most Imperial Majesty, Matthew ‘Wait for it’ Aspire, Emperor for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa; and Her Most Imperial Majesty Muffy Rosenberg, Empress for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa. Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013, will be MC for the evening and Pup Itus will be the tally master.
The Blazing Saddle will be the host for the 25th anniversary of the Mr. Iowa Leather contest. The winner of this contest will go on to represent Iowa at International Mister Leather XXXVI competition in Chicago, IL May 2014. The panel of judges for this year's MIAL contest will be Chad Neil, co-founder KC boys of Leather, Chester Munroe, former Mr. Chicago leather, Sir Papa Bear, Great Lakes Leather Sir 2013, Jesse Driscoll, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013, former Mr. Blazing Saddle, executive board member Titans of the Midwest, and Mr. Friendly - Team Iowa co-founder, and Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013 and Top 20 IML XXXV contestant. The emcee will be David Watt, founder of the Mr. Friendly program and former Mr. Michigan Leather. The tally master will be Pup Itus and the den daddy for the evening is John Jack Trujillo.
A Victory Brunch will be held on Sunday, October 6 at the Blazing Saddle at noon. The Iowa Leather travel fund will be the beneficiary for the Victory Beer Bust fundraiser held at the Blazing Saddle at 2 PM.
Anyone interested in competing should contact any Iowa Leather staff member or former title holder for the application. Applications may also be downloaded from the Blazing Saddle website.
Tim Starkey, AKA "Tim Bootblack," passed away on November 9, 2013 at UMass Memorial Medical Center after a complicated course of illness and long hospitalization. He was 50 years old.
Tim was a dual titleholder, and he took both jobs very seriously. A native of Worcester, MA, he won the title of Mr. Boston Leather 2009. On May 30, 2010 at IML in Chicago, he went on to win International Mr. Bootblack 2010.
Tim was a member of Mama's Family, "Mama's Boot Masseur," Delta International, and New England Leather Alliance. Through his years of service in the Leather world, he received a FLAG (Fits Like a Glove) Community Service Award and the 2009 Toronto Leather Impact Award. He was also nominated for a Pantheon of Leather Award.
A dedicated Leatherman and BDSM activist, Tim traveled all over the U.S. and Canada to spend time with his Leather and Kink brothers and sisters. He could often be seen leading bootblacking classes or roundtable discussions, volunteering, or just having fun. Among his favorite hangout spots were P-Town, New York City, and of course, the Boston Ramrod.
1. For those who don’t know you, please tell us about yourself & what your titles are.
First the easy part: As far as titles are concerned, all mine have been given to me as honorary titles.
1999 Man of the Year from National Leather Association International
2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from National Leather Association International
2010 Recipient of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leather Leadership Award
2012 Presidents Award - Pantheon of Leather
Now the hard part: I am a native Texan and have been active in the LGBT community since the early 1970's. I became fascinated with Leather in the late 1970's and stepped into my first Leather bar sometime around 1978. Since that fateful day I have continued on my Leather journey and am a former member of the Dallas Motorcycle Club, Leather Rose Society, National Leather Association, Discipline Corps and a founding member of Inquisition Dallas.
I have written many articles on Leather/BDSM topics and am the author of four books currently in circulation including "Family Jewels, a Guide to Male Genitortureand Torment "and” Soul of a Second Skin-Memoirs of a Gay Christian Leatherman."
I have also directed a few films on Leather/BDSM subjects including "Leather" a short film-poem about the gay male Leather experience and "Out of the Darkness, the Reality of SM" a documentary on the critical difference between SM and abuse.
Professionally I am a Marketing Specialist and I live in Dallas with my boy/partner of 18 years Patrick and our feline mistress, Elvira.
2. What or who got you started in the leather community and for how long?
What drew me to Leather was the hyper-masculinity of it. I never considered myself feminine; nor was I attracted to feminine men. Leather just pushed all the right buttons for me and once I got involved I fund that I really liked rough sex and SM.
The community, as such, didn't really exist when I came in, but the subsequent AIDS crisis pulled us together and gave us a real sense of purpose. We, in Dallas, started educating our community to the many ways sex could be hot and kinky and still be safer-sex.
3. Which club or bar are you affiliated with and tell us more about the history?
Currently I am a member of NLA: Dallas and Discipline Corps. NLA: Dallas is a pan-sexual organization with a mission to educate and network Leather/Fetish/BDSM folk of all sexual orientations and genders.
Discipline Corps is a men-only social and play group whose primary focus is monthly dungeon parties and having a good time!
When I go to a bar it is the Dallas Eagle, our local Leather bar, though I am not officially affiliated with it the owners, Mark Frasier and Jeffery Payne are close friends of mine.
4. How did you enjoy being one of the judges at IML XXX5 and what were your favorite moments?
Judging at IML was an amazing experience. I was worn out form the long days, but energized by the great men I met during the experience. I knew most of the judges before the contest, though I did make new friends since a couple of the judges were new faces to me. We all bonded immediately and the contestants were all outstanding. The final choice was very hard, since any of the Top 20 could have easily been a wonderful IML.
My favorite moments were getting to meet so many folks from outside the US, and the South African delegation was a particular joy!
5. Tell us about your charity involvement and goals.
As far as charity work I have several. My contributions to my church, Cathedral of Hope are an ongoing passion of mine. We even have a full pew of Leather folk wearing their colors every Sunday. I also work with Kiva, a micro loan organization that funds small businesses and individuals across the world.
I serve as Chairman of the Board for the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance in Washington, DC and work raising funds to support it and its many programs.
6. Tell us about your leather family.
My leather family is small, just me and my boy/partner. My extended Leather family is larger. About 8-10 close friends who I think of as family. Beyond that I have a large circle of friends who I have met at events and contests all over the continent and they too, are like family. I consider them my Leather cousins.
7. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
I have to say my father. He taught me a lot as far as values and how to treat other people. He was authentic and honest and I try to emulate that. He loved his work and his family. He was intellectually curious and being a scientist, he never stopped learning, and that is something I think I got from him.
8. In your mind, what’s the biggest misconception of the leather community?
The biggest misconception I see about the Leather community is that we are some sort of homogenous group with a written code of conduct and values. No such thing. We are as varied as the general population, except for our love of kink and Leather. As a whole I have found our community does communicate more than the average vanilla folk, and I attribute that to the fellowship of our organizations and to the need for communication when we play.
9. What would you say are the most important strengths to have as a Leather man?
Honesty, authenticity and a good bull-shit detector.
10. What does leather mean to you?
I could prattle on about this topic forever but I would sound like I was doing a canned speech for a title contest. In reality leather means as many different things as there are people involved in it. Some simply are drawn to the fetish. Leather clothes and gear are sensual, organic and arousing. Some are drawn to the BDSM aspect of it. That was part of my attraction.
Leather folk, the energetic and intense encounters that SM play offers. I went into it thinking I would be a "grey Hankie" guy. Only into bondage and light SM but quickly realized that bondage was really not very interesting to me and more hard-core SM was my thing. Changed my hankie to black and never looked back.
11. What do you see for the future of leather in your community and internationally?
It is in a state of flux. Leather always changes, as sexual pioneers we are on the edges of what is possible physically and sexually and so there will always be something different and new. I see a disturbing trend to try to turn back the clock and relive the glory days of Leather in the 1970's, but surprisingly the people who are trying to do that are predominately straight. They have adopted the Leatherman look as though it was a codified uniform and remind me of " Renfair" folks, donning period costumes and role playing at Leather.
12. What does sexual freedom mean to you?
As someone who came of age I the late 1960's sexual freedom means being able to define my sexuality on my own terms Being able to enjoy consensual activities with other adults and not have to conform to any rigid rules. I have begin to think of myself more as "Queer" than gay, not because I do not have an affectional orientation toward men, but because I enjoy playing with anyone so long as we click and our goals are the same. Sexual freedom is a basic human right, it is up to us to define it and express it and celebrate it.
13. Whats your view on the huge anti-gay wave that is happening in certain states in America? What do you think people can do to protect their rights and help others retain it?
What you mentioned as the "anti-gay wave" sweeping parts of the country is not a massive display of anti-gay sentiment in my opinion. It is the last gasp of the hard core bigoted right. Their attitudes are dying out. Public opinion polls show most Americans believe in equality for LGBT citizens. What these anti-gay laws are is an attempt by the right to change the framing of the issue from "equality" to "religious freedom" or as I call it the freedom to hate.
All of these attempt have failed and even in far-right leaning states like Arizona. Even there the Governor recognized it's not a religious freedom issue it is equal rights. The laws are clumsily crafted and over reaching to begin with and would not withstand judicial scrutiny, so I have o believe its just politics and its not working.
14. We all have so many issues we want to highlight, please tell us what cause is close to your heart right now and how are you involved?
The issue closest to my heart is the cause of sexual freedom. I believe sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and as such it needs to be protected and nourished. To that end, I work with the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, a human rights group with the focus on sexual freedom. In fact I am chairperson of the board. That's how involved I am and how important it is.
We work to affect policy concerning sex education, freedom of speech, sex workers and gender and sexual inequality. It's a great organization that has made a real difference for our country. Woodhull holds the gender and sexuality seat on the US Human Rights Network, the group which monitors our country's adherence to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
15. What advice can you give a future title holder?
Be authentic, approachable and honest. Bull-shitters stick out like sore thumbs. The title holders I know and admire are all down to earth folks who try to use their titles to benefit the community not themselves.
16. Tell us what your favorite piece of Leather is and why?
Other than my hat, my favorite piece of Leather is my flogger. It was made by Janet Hartwood and designed to fit me perfectly. The falls are longer than most folks like, but they balance perfectly with the handle and the flogger becomes an extension of my body when I play. I have several floggers and all were custom made for me. I believe if you invest in quality your toys will live as long as you do.
17. In your own words, can you tell us the difference between BDSM and Leather?
Hard to say. I used to think of them as the same, but apparently there are folk who see a big distinction. Leather does not imply SM, it can simply be a fetish. It is also a different kind of community and that is what sets it apart nowadays. To some folks Leather can only be gay men and BDSM is pan-sexual. There is another word that is loaded with nuance. Pan-sexual was a word coined by the Leather community to describe its inclusion of all sexual orientations, but has been co-opted by the straight community to mean "heterosexual" sexual orientation with some lesbians thrown in for spice. If I sound cynical, that's because I have seen this in practice. Play space where two women playing together was acceptable if they were playing in ways that the men enjoyed, but men playing together got stares and snide comments.
Personally I don't have problems playing in the newly defined "pan-sexual" spaces, I think a Leather person can define their own Leather-space and create a scene wherever it works.
18. Please tell us exactly what is beyond vanilla & what are your favorite activities you indulge in?
I would think anything that goes beyond plain sex would qualify as beyond vanilla. Spankings, role play, bondage, SM all of it moves beyond vanilla for me. My favorite activities are floggings and clothespins and CBT, but most often these are woven into some kind of erotic experience. I think all SM is better with an element of Eros. It doesn't have to be penetrative sex, but without a sexual aspect it has less appeal for me.
19. What’s the funniest safe word that you have heard?
Then comes the safe word. I have heard lots of strange ones from "aardvark" to "Pontiac". Personally, I like this system. I tell my bottom or sub to call me "Sir" as long as he or she is having fun, and to call me "Hardy" if they need to talk. It keeps the communication going and has never failed me.
20. What’s your favorite drink? And if you could invent a cocktail for the Leather community and what would you call it?
Well I stopped drinking in 1986 so my favorite drink is sparkling mineral water. My drink for the community would be just that, mineral water with a chaser of mouthwash, cause I love kissing and detest bad breath!
18. We would love to have you visit South Africa in the future, what classes do you think we could benefit from?
I do a lot of classes, but my favorites are a workshop I call "Putting Sex Back in SM." The pan-sexual dungeons in the US are notoriously tepid when it comes to palpable eroticism. Many do not allow sexual activities for legal reasons and some just are uncomfortable with sex. This workshop is intended to put that spark of the erotic back into the play in the dungeon and discusses and demonstrates how scenes can become erotic encounters with no "traditional sex" happening.
My "Family Jewels" workshop is always fun. Concentrating on CBT and how it can become part of a scene. I explain the use of toys, safety and exploration of various aspects of genitorture.
I have a complete list of classes I present I can provide you.
19. In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the Leather community of South Africa?
I would add that the Leather community in South Africa seems to be vibrant and growing and I encourage you to continue to explore, share what you learn and nurture the next generation of Leatherfolk. To them you will become the "Old Guard" and with that is the heavy responsibility of knowing you are setting an example for future generations. Play hard, play safe, have fun!
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!
The Centaur Motorcycle Club hosted its Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend the weekend of January 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC with a record crowd in wonderful weather. The features were the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 on Sunday afternoon and Leather Cocktails on Saturday night.
Leather Cocktails celebrated its beginning in Big Apple fashion since the party was founded at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The Centaurs went all-out with the food - roast beef sandwiches, New York cheesecake and the best Manhattan clam chowder west and south of the Hudson River.
Club president Todd White gave a strong speech about the clubs attending the event making Mid Atlantic Leather what it is, after all of the club banners were on stage. Many of the club standard bearers were wiping tears away from their eyes by the time Todd finished. The following day, White was reinstalled as president during the introduction of Centaur MC new officers and all club members.