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.
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.
1. Please tell us about yourself, and your connection to the leather world.
I am a 51 year old white male and was till recently the secretary of the SA Leathemen Cape Town chapter. I have been the manager for 5.5 years at the oldest Gay male only guest house in SA until it was sold in April 2013. I also dabble into making small leather products for myself and anyone who might be interested, supplying the local bar and an online sex shop with various small leather products. I try and help create an environment in our community where we can be proud to be out and open about our leather community.
2. How long have you been into leather, what or who got you started?
I was introduced to the leather world by my ex boyfriend in 2000. Whilst we were dating he was working at the local leather bar "Bar-Code" when it was still situated in Hudson street Cape Town. Since he worked nights and I was working days it became clear to me to join him in working at the bar. And what an eye opener that was.
3. Which club or bar are you affiliated with and tell us more about the history?
I did always go to Barcode but the scene has changed so much that I no longer feel that it is the bar for me. We now mostly gather at Lions Corner in Observatory or at Amsterdam bar in Greenpoint. With the community being quite small it is difficult to have a bar that solely caters for the Leather community as a whole.
4. Tell us about your charity involvement and goals.
I personally support "The Gay Pride Shelter" and volunteer there on a permanent basis in doing all their handyman work. I have also together with the Golden Gay foundation raised funds and collected food and clothing for them to be distributed amongst our desperate and in need members of the broader gay and Lesbian community. The Pride shelter is one of the nonprofit organizations that give back to our people. It is time that we start looking after our own.
5. Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
My Mom, she is my hero. She supports and loves me unconditionally and has never made me feel anything less than the most beautiful person she has brought into this world. I am very lucky and happy to enjoy the full support from my whole family.
6. In your mind, what's the biggest misconception of the leather community?
I think the notion out there that we are sexual deviants that it is all about the sex in our community. We are so much more than just a sexual preference.
7. What would you say is the best thing that happened while at a leather function or event?
Experiencing the mindset change amongst an audience when they realize it is not all just about the fetish. When you see that spark in their eyes when they look at you and realize you are way more than their preconceived ideas and perceptions.
8. What does sexual freedom mean to you?
It means I can express myself sexually with whom I want and experiment without the fear of being persecuted, I n an environment of my choice.
9. What do you see for the future of leather in your community and internationally?
It is my strong believe that we as a male only Leather chapter should open up our group to include ALL the Leather brothers and sisters of South Africa. The only identifying criteria should be Leather; not whether we are male or female, gay or straight. It should become a totally inclusive group. At the moment it is just too fragmented to make any impact and that is why we will always be on the fringes of society unless we unite under single umbrella group structure.
10. Tell us what your favorite piece of leather is and why?
Oh that must be my harness......the smell and feel of the leather on my skin is just wow!!
11. You are a very talented man, making leather, what piece of leather can you design, make to represent yourself?
I still want to make the perfect leather waistcoat for myself. With enough well placed inside pockets for your keys and other little tidbits....
12. In your own words, can you tell us how important it is to maintain sexual freedom and how should we continue to making sure we have our rights?
If you can no longer express your sexual freedom we will no doubt land up like our brothers and sisters in Russia. You will be persecuted just for whom you love and care for. And that in the whole will make you as an individual lose your identity to conform to narrow minded bigots idea of what a society must be. We did not choose to be gay; it is whom we are. I was born this way.
13. What are your favorite S&M activities and tell us one you haven't tried yet?
Welllllllll........... Now that would be telling..... Well I like the fisting scene as it is one of the most intense, trust building and intimate scenes I know. Would not mind being introduced to a little bondage....if I can get over the fear of being tied up.
14. What's the funniest safe word you ever heard?
15. What's your favorite meal, and cook us a meal that represent you and what would it be called?
Oh it must be Lamb shank. I make a very nice Beef Curry. The complex spices and taste should just be right. Too little or too much and it is yuk!
16. Tell us your favorite book at this moment.
The Gay man's Kama Sutra
17. We both live in Cape Town, what 5 things would you show me and why?
- Paternoster - the sea, open spaces, beauty and fresh air
- Table Mountain – it is like standing over our beautiful land and looking as far as the eye can see and just take in the majestic view, the creation of a Higher Power.
- The Pride shelter – to highlight the plight of our brothers and sisters in need.
- A beautiful wine farm – to savor the flavours of our wines.
- Blikkies dorp – the most impoverished community that still survives against all odds. Their needs and aspirations, and how we can help.
18. In conclusion, anything you would like to add to this interview for the leather community of South Africa?
Stand-up and stand together all the boys and girls! It does not matter who or what you are; if you love Leather then you are part of this community.
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.
It’s not uncommon for our Leather lives to intersect with more mainstream happenings and hobbies, however, Master Travel and Tours is revolutionizing ‘kink vacationing’ with the offer of a South African adventure tour. The once-in-a-lifetime ‘bucket list’ trip will include both a history-making Leather weekend and a wildlife safari. Leather and Lions will depart on December 2 for a tour of South Africa that will run December 3–12. Hosted by Master Travel and Tours, the South African adventure promises Leatherfolk “our own private customized first-class African experience.”
The tour will include five nights in Cape Town, one night in Johannesburg, and four nights at a private game reserve in Greater Kruger Park, including meals, and morning and nighttime game drives. Alongside this safari adventure, Leather and Lions will include the Mr. and first Ms South Africa Leather 2014 contest weekend, with a meet and greet barbeque, Friday night beer bust, after party and Leather brunch.
The ShipMates Club of Baltimore, Maryland’s oldest Leather club, will celebrate 40 years of brotherhood and community service on the weekend of April 11-13 at the Wyndham Peabody Court Hotel in Baltimore.
The weekend’s activities will include a Leather dance at Grand Central Station, a bar crawl, a Fetish Ball at Club Orpheus, a Sunday brunch, and a formal Leather dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s in the beautiful Inner Harbor area of Baltimore.
There will also be cocktail parties at the host hotel as well as a council meeting of the AMCC (Atlantic Motorcycle Coordinating Council).
For tickets and more information visit http://www.shipmatesclub.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.
Starting on November 9 and running through January 26, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, presents Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland, the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Bob Mizer (1922–1992) and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland” (1920–1991), two of the most significant figures of Twentieth Century erotic art and forefathers of an emergent post-war gay culture. The exhibition features a selection of Tom of Finland’s masterful drawings and collages, alongside Mizer’s rarely seen photo-collage “catalogue boards” and films, as well as a comprehensive collection of his groundbreaking magazine Physique Pictorial, where drawings by Tom were first published in 1957. Organized by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and guest co-curator Richard Hawkins, the exhibition is presented with the full collaboration of the Bob Mizer Foundation, El Cerrito, and the Tom of Finland Foundation, los angeles and is made possible by David Kordansky Gallery, los angeles and The City of West Hollywood .
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.
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."
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.
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!
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.
Bears, Bikers and Mayhem is planning its fourth combined, Bear, Leather and Fetish run for March 27-30. For the second year, the run will be held in historic Gettysburg, PA.
In its fourth year, BBM just keeps getting bigger, better and more unique. As always, BBM brings together Bears, Leathermen and Fetish Lovers to share in the fun with men from all over the United States and quite a few international guests.
The weekend features PanDEMONium, a Leather and fetish dance party on Friday night and Boots to Briefs, a bear party on Saturday. We have a pool party Saturday afternoon, a welcome cocktail party, Gettysburg Battlefield tours, go-carts, laser tag, a breakfast, a dinner, Sunday brunch and much more. Our vendor market features many first class Leather and toy vendors as well as former Mr. Tom of Finland, Barber Pete. For entertainment the weekend delivers Comedian Peter C. Bisuito, performance artist Kendall Kelly and Porn Star Michael Brandon along with three DJ's to keep you on your feet. The fun and play goes on each night with an after party featuring free drinks for VIP pass holders.
By Tynan Fox
Twin Cities Leather Weekend 2016 concluded this year with attendance of just under 2,000 people over three days of events.
The weekend kicked off with a great Meet and Greet, which included a raffle, contestant number draw, and Twin Cities Leather & Latte’s unveiling of their new logo and plans for the future. This was followed by a women and men’s kink/Leather night. Flogging, bondage, and paddling were clearly represented.
The contest judges this year included: Head Judge Andrew Bertke of The Atons of Minneapolis, Mr. Tristate Leather 2015 Bolt Donner, Mr. Ireland Leather 2015 Kevin Murphy, Mr. Phoenix Leather 2015 Pup Tugger, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2015 Trevor Black, Ms Iowa Leather 2014 Lucket Kiche, International Leatherboy 2015 ASH! and Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2014 Greg Menzel.
The Tallymaster was Mr. DC Eagle 2011 Michael Kramer. Assisting Mr. Kramer and the ASL Interpreter for the weekend was Great Lakes Leatherboy 2015 Boy Woody.
Four contestants ran for Mr. TCL; Steven Sinclair of Minneapolis, MN, Anthony S. of Iowa City, IA, Justin Anderson of Minneapolis, MN and Emerson Kellogg of Minneapolis, MN. Emerson Kellogg emerged the winner and was sashed Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2016.
The event included featured bootblack Erick, the first and current Alaska State Bootblack.
Sunday Brunch sponsored by Nicollet Diner was hugely popular, where TCL&L presented the 2016 Bobbie Smith Community First! Award to John Bigger for his selfless donations of his time and energy.
The weekend closed with the Sunday Saloon Shower contest where a number of the weekend attendees jumped in the shower to win a chance at $500.
The event sponsors include Twin Cities Leather and Latte, The Saloon MN, Uberlube, Si Novelties, Nicollet Diner, Smitten Kitten, Everett Allen Photography, Ox Balls, Slam Dunk Lube, Leatherstock, Nasty Pig,
Instigator Magazine, Coit Photography, Twin Cities girls of Leather, CLAW, IML, ILW, and BearSKN Underwear.
The winner receives $1,000 in custom Leather from Twin Cities Leather and all travel and accommodations to IML, CLAW, and MAL. Twin Cities Leather, in partnership with the other contest sponsors, takes great pride in strongly supporting their titleholder.