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.
The Bolt Bar in Sacramento will host Sacramento Leather Weekend, Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16. The Bolt is located at 2560 Boxwood Street in Sacramento. Sacramento Leather Weekend will feature a Cigar Social, formal Leather Dinner at a popular Sacramento restaurant, and Leather activities and demonstrations.
A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Shriners Hospital and Mama’s Family, the largest Leather family in the world with 1,700 members. Founded in San Francisco by Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt, a stalwart advocate for the LGBT Leather community, Mama's boys and girls each year raise hundreds of thousands for numerous charities, including toy drives to supply holiday presents for needy or sick children. As Mama always says, "Ask yourself, 'What can I do to make a difference?' Then do it from your heart!"
Funds raised will also help send Mr. Bolt Leather 2014 Matt Bunch to represent Sacramento's Leather community at International Mr. Leather in Chicago this May.
Mr. Michigan Leather Weekend, which took place on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Dunes Resort in Saugatuck, Michigan, enjoyed a strong showing of attendees and contestants, and capped off the weekend by selecting Chuck Braidwood as Mr. Michigan Leather 2014.
The runner-up was Mr. Hayloft Leather 2013 Brian Daniels. Also competing were Mr. Campit Leather 2013 Matt Foster and Mr. Leather Cowboy 2013 Paul Robinson.
The judges were outgoing current Mr. Michigan Leather 2013 Steven Teets, International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Minneapolis Leather 2011 Jayson Gylnn, Ms World Leather 2003 Goddess Lakshimi, Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2013 Robert Miller and American Leatherman 2011 Tom Savage. Mr. Michigan Leather was emceed by Mr. Michigan Leather 2009 Dave Watt.
All 63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants wave to the crowd. Soon after, the IML Top 20 Finalists were named. All photos by Dave Rhodes
International Mr. Leather 2017 is Ralph Bruneau who came in as Mr. GNI Leather 2016; his first runner-up is Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017 Geoff Millard, second runner-up is Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King; International Mr. Bootblack 2017 is Ryan "Pawlish" Garner-Carpenter and first runner-up is Rhys.
Extreme cold and snow failed to deter a huge turnout in Chicago that saw Miguel Torres win the 2014 Mr. Chicago Leather Contest January 25 at Touché.
The contest on Saturday night featured six men going for the title. Joining Miguel at the contest’s end was first runner-up Jonathan Saidler and second runner-up Clint Sabin.
Miguel will now compete at Mr. International Leather 2014 in May. Miguel is originally from Venezuela and has called Chicago his home since 2000. He remains active in fundraising for local charities and this past summer participated in Ride for AIDS, a two-day, 200-mile bicycling event for Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).
The judges for Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 were International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Midwest Leather 2012 Matt Hengle, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013 Jesse Driscoll, videographer and editor for the Leather Archives and Museum’s Leather Preservation and Conservation Project Christina Court, and Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko.
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.
By 10 PM on Saturday night February 1, the Providence Eagle was packed with Leathermen, Rubbermen, and Drag queens - all filed in from as far away as Phoenix AZ for Jocktion, a fundraiser to benefit Aids Care Ocean State, Rhode Island’s largest HIV case management and outreach program.
At any given point in time one may have seen a sexy jock -strapped boy on his knees selling raffle tickets for prizes ranging from three packs of DVDs provided by Titan Men Media to jock straps provided by Full Kit Gear in Provincetown, all the way up to a weekend package for IML 2014 taking place in Chicago this coming May.
At 11 PM, Kitty Litter and Mr. New England Leather 2014 Steve Dupont took the stage and the fun started. There were 18 “previously loved” jock straps up for auction, all donated by the International Mr. Leather Class of 2014 as well as a very special jock from International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross.
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.
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The holidays are here. The Leather/Levi/Fetish/Kink/Gear/Rubber/Puppy/Motorcyle community knows how to party and fund raise during this special time of year and you will see the tip of the iceberg as far as events to attend and support. Some are of the ages and some are new - all for a good cause. If you have an event coming soon, make sure to capitalize on the publicity offered here. If your event has just completed, please send a brief write-up and a few photos. See the writer guidelines at the bottom of this post. I started this Hump Day weekly in August with 15 short stories - this week there are 40 - and 23 photos. Share it with your friends.
The Mr. Phoenix Leather Contest was held on January 4 at Anvil Bar in Phoenix, Arizona. Four men competed for the title with Robert Schenberg being named Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014, and Mark Christiansen being named runner-up. Cody Millinger and Dorian Flores also competed. The winner of Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014 will advance to compete for International Mr. Leather this May in Chicago, Illinois.
The judges were Mr. Phoenix Leather 2013 Michael Parra, International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, International Leather Sir 2013 George Saltzman, International Drummer boy 2000 Richie Black, Southwest Leather boy 2010 Jerry Heitman, Southwest Leather boy 2008 Stephen Palaschek, and Master Lady LJ.
Mr. Phoenix Leather 2009 Bob Weber and Shawn Kyle White served as the Masters of Ceremonies.
Contestants were judged on their On-Stage presence at Friday’s Meet and Greet, Interviews, Speech and Formal Wear, Skin-wear and On-Stage Question, and Overall Weekend Attitude and Interactions.
For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself, your Leather titles and how you are connected to the community.
Hey there, my name is Joey McDonald. I’m 57 years old and a native Chicagoan, but have also lived in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia and Key West, Florida. I am a US Navy Veteran who served as an openly gay sailor (long, long before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). I was lucky enough traveled around the world by the time I was honorably discharged, having visited 32 countries. In the mid-80s, I owned a catering and event planning business. I am a trained master weaver, and spent 15 years in the interior design industry designing and weaving luxury/high-end upholstery fabrics.
I worked for LGBT equality in Illinois until April 2013. I currently work as a Community Health Advocate, serving the homeless, recovering/addicted and HIV/AIDS impacted people and am going to school to get certified as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Although I never won a Leather title, I competed for and was a runner-up for Mr. Windy City 1981. I am a member of the Executive Committee of International Mr. Leather, Inc. (IML). I have served as the IML Den Daddy for the past eight years, working with the men who compete each year. I have the distinction of having volunteered at every IML since its beginning in 1979.
Gabe Sims became Mr. Texas Leather 2012 on January 28 at the Rose Room in Dallas, TX. Sims competed at International Mr. Leather in Chicago in May.
Mr. Texas Leather was a full weekend of fun including meet and greet at the Dallas Eagle on Friday, the Mr. Texas Leather contest at the Rose Room, a celebration at the Dallas Eagle and a men’s play party following the contest on Saturday, and on Sunday there was a victory brunch and roast of Mr. Texas Leather 2011 Roger Triche followed a bingo party at the Dallas Eagle.
The first runner-up was Major Jiminez and the second runner-up was Jason Kloss.
The judges were Mr. Texas Leather 2010 Jack Duke, Mr. Colorado Leather 2011 Brent Heinze, David Roy, Ted Black, Jimmie Tucker, Mr. Houston Leather 2010 Don Cook and International Leather Sir 2007 Olivier Pratt .
The emcee was International Mir. Leather 2009 Jeffrey Payne.
The judges' boy was boy adam, den daddy was American Leatherboy 2006 ed kosary, and the tally masters were Todd Jones and Justin Blanco.
Eric Leue bested three others in winning the Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2014 title at that bar on Saturday night, February 1 in Los Angeles, CA. The runner-up was Brian Holt. Emcee Pup Don Mike made the announcement to what may have been the largest crowd in Eagle LA history a few minutes after 1 AM.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence: los angeles House opened the show with a raunchy blessing that had the crowd in stitches and the judges were the victim of an banana prank that was a riot. It involved and insertion then force feeding. Beyond that is too much information.
The judges were head judge California Leatherman 2003 Kevin Casey, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2013 Bill Robertroy, The Leather Journal publisher and editor Dave Rhodes, International Mr. Leather 2007 Mike Gerle and Mr. DC Eagle 2005 Daddy Scott.
The judges' boy was Boy Bill and the contestant handler will be Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2008 Jasun Mark. The tally master was Avatar Club los angeles member Carlos Deviez.
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.
Centaur MC named the judging panel for the 30th Anniversary of the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather Contest, to be held in Washington, DC January 16-19. The winner will compete at International Mr. Leather in Chicago next May.
The judges will be Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 Joe Birdwell, International Mr. Leather 2014 Ramien Pierre, International Leather Sir 2011 Sir Alan Penrod, Lady Justice, Laird Leatherman 2011 Luke Moon, International Mr. Leather den daddy Joey McDonald and Maryland Mr. Drummer 2001 Rodney Burger.
The tally masters will be International Puppy 2014 Rick “Pup Tripp” Hutchings and International Leatherboy 2011 Bryson “Pup Nitro” Hankinson.