The Southern California Leather Gathering (SCLG) 2014 will be held on Saturday, June 21 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, CA, from 11 AM - 4 PM.
SCLG is an annual outdoor picnic gathering that is open to all Leather/BDSM/Fetish, kink, motorcycle and bear individuals and/or groups of all genders and orientations. The aim of the Southern California Leather Gathering is to provide an opportunity for these various folk to interact in a relaxed atmosphere, have fun and raise awareness about the size and diversity of the Leather/BDSM groups within Southern California. There will be games and prizes. Several clubs and groups bring tents or umbrellas.
Bring your own food and beverages (non-alcoholic only). Feel free to bring extra food to share. There will be grills heated up and available for anyone that wants to grill food.
The Leather Leadership Conference 2014, to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and the William Way Center in downtown Philadelphia April 11-13, has done an internal inventory of what it has offered, combined with conference feedback forms and with the results of their 2012 community survey, with the result of that inventory being the creation a new Do It Yourself (DIY) program that will debut in Philly with a new delivery system for that program.
LLC has been the offering leadership training for Leather/BDSM/Kink/Fetish and LGBT communities for nearly 18 years. During that time, several changes have taken place and there has been more acceptance for those in alternate lifestyles, including more positive media. The Internet has given endless opportunities for contact, communication, and networking. There are a multitude of groups, munches and events to attend; sometimes so many that one could go to at least one event a week or have to choose where to participate.
On the evening of Thursday, July 24, 2014, the Ottawa Leather/Kink/Pup communities were shocked to learn of the death of Mr. Leather Ottawa 2014 Jon Nizzi. "Nizzi," as he was affectionately called by his many friends, had been a driving force in the various communities since moving from Toronto in 2013. In November of 2013, Jon won the Mr. Leather Ottawa title and went on to compete in the International Mr. Leather contest in May 2014, where he placed in the top 20 of a field of 46.
As news of his death became known late Thursday night, messages of grief, tribute and condolence from friends across North America and in the international Leather community had begun to fill his Facebook profile.
“With a smile from knowing you and quite a few tears I’m headed to bed; glad that you’ll rest well brother. (Pats and scritches) We will make sure Loki’s taken care of,” wrote International Mr. Leather 2012 Woody Woodruff.
A poignant photo of the Leather Pride flag flying at half mast was posted by Ms Leather Toronto 2013 Youkali Youkali.
Capitalizing on the momentum generated at Great Lakes Leather Alliance where two Minnesotans won regional titles, Minnesota Leather Pride announced the first Ms Minnesota Leather Pride contest. The new contest will be part of Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend, which also features the first Minnesota Leather Sir and Minnesota Leather boy contests, to be held April 3-5, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“When we began planning for Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend, we started with Minnesota Leather Sir and Minnesota Leather boy with the expectation additional contests would be added over time,” said Tim Holden, chair of the Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend committee and member of the Minnesota Leather Pride board. “When Tim Hotchkin won Great Lakes Leather boy and Riches won Great Lakes Ms. Leather Pride, the board agreed the timing was right to add the Ms. Minnesota Leather Pride contest to what is already shaping up to be an exciting weekend!”
The winner of the Ms Minnesota Leather Pride contest, along with the winners of Minnesota Leather Sir and Minnesota Leather boy, will go on to compete at Great Lakes Leather Alliance held Oct 1-4, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Contestants for Ms Minnesota Leather Pride must be 21 years old and identify as a woman in the Leather/Kink/BDSM community.
“With the addition of Ms Minnesota Leather Pride to Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend, we feel this event will have something for everyone,” said Holden.
The Second Annual San Francisco Sober Leather contests are moving to a larger and kinkier venue this year, the San Francisco Citadel, located at 181 Eddy Street between Taylor and Mason with the main event scheduled for Saturday, November 15 at 7 PM, followed by a play party beginning at 11 PM.
The party is a new addition, as are two events on the days preceding and following the contest: a meet and greet taking place Friday, November 14, and a victory brunch on November 16.
The contest has grown into three titles, all serving the broader objective of fostering sober leadership, outreach and expression within the kink community. The San Francisco Sober Kinkster is open to any individual who feels like they either don’t identify with the male or female gender model or that they shouldn’t have to choose a gender. The other two titles are Mr. San Francisco Sober Leather, which is a feeder into the Mr. San Francisco Leather 2015 contest, and Ms San Francisco Sober Leather 2015, which is a feeder into the Ms San Francisco Leather 2015 contest.
While all will take place simultaneously, each will have its own panel of three judges. The contests are open to individuals 21 and over residing within the Greater Bay Area and Sacramento. Applications for entry are available on the organization’s Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/SFSoberLeathercontest They are due by October 21.
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.
Avatar's 35th Anniversary Celebration and Exposition
By Tommy Trafelet
Avatar Club Los Angeles will present an exhibition of erotic art at Highways Performance Space on February 17. A celebratory gala will be hosted by International Mr. Leather 2017 Ralph Bruneau, featuring his live performances. A new metal sculpture by Wim Griffith is available as a commemorative for the occasion. On display will be exclusive erotic art from noted artists Wim Griffith, Drubskin, Dean Cameron, Turk McNanty, B.B., Leo Garcia, Don Tingling, Joe Rodriguez and Michael Kirwan, and pieces never seen before. Two no-host bars, a silent auction, and Master of Ceremonies International Mister Leather Ralph Bruneau! Special dinner catered by Layne Sanden and special guest chefs. Tickets for the gala are $40 and all information is available at http://www.avatarla.org/35
ILSLb ICBB winners from 2016 and 2017. Photos by Dave Rhodes
The International Leather Sir 2017 sash, patch and medal went to Major Ty from the Florida Region, International Leatherboy 2017 hardware went to boy Kaz from the Great Lakes Region and the International Community Bootblack version was won by boy John Urso from the Atlantic States Region at the DoubleTree Hilton near the Galleria on Saturday night, September 2 in front of about 200 cheering spectators.
The contests were emceed by Pantheon of Leather Man of the Year Thib Guicherd-Callin the weekend of August 31 - September 3.
ILSLb judges were Dr. Larry, MarKus Leath, Master Olivier Pratt, Sir Don, Sir Tug, Cowboi Jen, boy Dan and Tim ASH!. The ICBB judges were Briar, Cobi, Pony, Rylee Spire, Shahrazad, Sir Greg and Stephen Palaschak.
Leather Sir runner-up was Sir Mitch of the Great Lakes Region, Leatherboy runner-up was boy Michael May of the Southwest Region and the Community Bootblack runner-up was Garret Rodriguez-Snook of the Southwest Region.
The Golden Flogger winner was Sir Robert of Eastern Canada, Golden Paddle winner was Pup Napoleon from the Florida Region and the Golden Brush winner was Garret Rodriguez-Snook from the Southwest Region. The recipients of these honors were decided by the 16 contestants.
The Pantheon of Leather Awards ceremony was on Thursday night with Thib Guicherd Callin taking. Man of the Year honor while Woman of the Year was Patty Patty. Christopher Edwards emceed while Texas Governor-to-be played the role of Vannah.
Contestants performed fantasies after the Awards and that was followed by a roast of the outgoing titleholders.
No rest for the wicked, contestants had to pry their eyes open very early on Friday for interviews.
Registration was in full force all day Friday and the vendor market opened with about double the amount of vendors from 2016. Wolfstryker Leather, which saw one of its artisans win Business Person of the Year on Thursday night, was new to ILSLb ICBB.
The weekend included a Family Welcome Cocktail Party, workshops, cigar socials by the pool, a Grand Casino night, daily activities, bootblack stands, puppy mosh pits and culminated with two nights of contests.
ILSLb ICBB President Jeffrey Payne announced that he is stepping down form the board since his run for the governorship of Texas will require his full attention. His replacement is yet to be named.
Many would-be attendees did not make it to Dallas due to Hurricane Harry. Many roads leading out of the Houston and New Orleans area were closed and it was anyone's guess as to which were open.
One of the defining characteristics of ILSLb ICBB is the up front philosophy that Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack are about sex. These contests and titles are about the representation of the sexual side of the Leather community. Our goals include networking and outreach to help educate the community about Leatherfolk, our erotic expression, traditions and history - and of course, hot Leather sex.
For more on the contests go to http://www.ilsb-icbb.com
To see who received Pantheon of Leather Awards see https://www.theleatherjournal.com/news/national-news/item/1953-pantheon-of-leather-2017-award-recipients
Nestled within the Leather subculture are smaller stripes like hypnotists, foot fetishists, floggers, superheroes and, of course, pups. Matt Baume for Rolling Stone
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, August 23, 2017. This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com
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Chuck Renslow Memorial
A memorial for Chuck Renslow was held on Sunday, August 27 at Metro in Chicago. Leatherfolk and friends from all over North America and beyond attended. The Renslow Family hosted its 36th and final White Party celebrating Renslow.
Inside the Changing Leather Scene
Inside the Changing Leather Scene, by Rolling Stone Magazine, As the stigma against BDSM and kink subsides, how does a long-underground culture move into a new era? "At the time that the community formed, being discovered as queer was enough to ruin a person's life...." This is a must-see. Full article at http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/bdsm-inside-changing-leather-kink-scene-w496283 See photo above.
Women's International Leather Legacy 2017
Renee Beckman was best in a field of five contestants in winning the Women's International Leather Legacy 2017 title in Dallas, TX in early August. This was the largest WILL class to date. WILL titleholders compile women's Leather history by video interviewing them The first WILL Tracy Wolf set the tone with interviews nearly every week she held the title. http://www.internationalleatherlegacy.com/index.html See photo below.
ONYX: Superiority Complex in San Francisco
ONYX: Superiority Complex is a party for kinky men of color and will be at the Powerhouse in San Francisco on Saturday night, August 26 from 6-9. Special guest of honor and super-supporter of the kinky men's community, International Ms Leather 2017 Girl Complex will be in the house.
Mr. and Ms Alameda County Leather
Mr. and Ms Alameda County Leather are Steve Geist and Jeni Finch who won their titles on Saturday, August 19 the Hayward Veteran's Memorial Hall in Hayward, CA.
Steve, also known as “Ox”, has been a member of the Leather community since 1989, starting with the Fire Keepers of Indiana. He moved west and made his first several hundred cockrings at Image Leather in San Francisco. In 1993, he moved to Sacramento to work Leatherworks and also run his own company.
Minxy Jeni is a newbie queer in chronology but an old soul in Leather. As an acupuncture student, she dipped her toe into the scene six months ago with a class on pressure points and somehow found herself free diving in the depths almost immediately.
The titles are produced by the Alameda County Leather Corps. http://www.acleather.org See photo below.
Lady Katerina and her boy Sebastian wed
Lady Katerina and her boy Sebastian were wed Saturday, August 19 at the Women's Building in San Francisco CA. They were joined by their family, friends and communities. See photo below.
Mr. Bear LA
Bears LA hosted the Mr. Bear LA contest on Saturday night, August 19 at the Eagle LA where Art Berkowitz won the title he will compete at Mr. SoCal Bear. Berkowitz was the lone contestant.
The emcees were the team of Don Mike and Jeremy Ronceros and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence gave one of their zany blessing. See photo below.
Dynamics of a BDSM Scene
Dynamics of a BDSM Scene with Mistress Cyan hosted by Cyan St. James on Wednesday, August 30 at 7:30 PM at Sanctuary LAX Studios, 10914 South La Cienega Blvd, Inglewood, California 90304. https://www.facebook.com/mysanctuaryla
The Drummer North America Northeast region welcomed new additions to their title family, Drummer Bootblack Jimmy Basset and Drummerboy Kenneth Sautter on August 19 at the Providence Eagle in Providence, RI. See photo below.
Leather Archives through Amazon
Shop Amazon.com and support the Leather Archives & Museum through Amazon's charitable giving program, Amazon Smile. For every qualifying purchase, Amazon will donate a percentage to the Leather Archives & Museum. It's that simple! https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-3841874
Mr. California Leather
The first Mr. California Leather contest will be held at the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood on Saturday, September 9 at 9 PM. Winner may got to IML, ABW, ILSLb or IPOL to compete. http://mrcaleather.com/
San Diego AIDS Walk XXV
The San Diego Leather community is participating in this year's AIDS Walk and Run San Diego on Saturday, September 27 because HIV and AIDS have touched our lives and affected the people we love. This is an opportunity to be visible in the support for those living with HIV and AIDS while raising much needed funds for critical support services in the community. http://events.thecentersd.org/goto/BeWhoYouNeeded
Mr. Bolt Leather 2018 Contest Weekend
Mr. Bolt Leather 2018 Contest Weekend will be September 8-10 at the Bolt in Sacramento, CA. The contest is on Saturday night, meet and greet on Friday and victory barbecue and beer bust on Sunday. http://sacbolt.com
CineKink at the Leather Archives in November
CineKink returns to the Leather Archives & Museum November 10-11 in Chicago, IL.
Kink and the Community - There are many tastes and predilections that make up the world of kink. Here, a sampling of just a few; and the Museum that strives to keep track of them all on Friday November 10 at 7 PM, followed by The Best of CineKink - A collection of award-winning shorts deemed the year’s best from CineKink, “the kinky film festival." at 9 PM.
As we ready ourselves for new political realities, these shorts stake a claim for female agency and the power of speaking one’s desires on Saturday November 11, 8 PM. http://cinekink.com/
CODE Eighth Anniversary
CODE Presents CODE Eighth Anniversary Party on Saturday, September 2 at The Glorious Health Club in Baltimore, MD. Sports gear, jocks, skins, uniforms, Leather, rubber and pups are welcome.
Mr. Leather64TEN will be March 8-11
The third Annual Mr. Leather64TEN Contest will be held in Chicago on March 10, 2018. The Mr. Leather64TEN contest and events were created to help the Chicagoland Leather community explore, celebrate, and showcase their Leather pride. http://www.leather64ten.com/mrleather64ten/
Tom of Finland
Tom of Finland was introduced in Stockholm, Sweden through a diverse program August 24-26. In the center of Stockholm almost 300 artists performed during a street party; in addition to music, stand-up comedy, children's theater, circus arts and meetings with writers were seen on stage. The City of Turku was invited to Stockholm because of their long shared history and close collaborations. http://www.tomoffinlandfoundation.org See photo below.
International Mr./Mx/Ms Olympus Leather room block open
International Mr./Mx/Ms Olympus Leather will be held at the Crowne Plaza - San Diego Mission Valley the weekend of May 3-6. International Mx Olympus Leather will make its debut there.
Go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScoUJnyIE9rBrbZUSklqYD-pCMoqaBS7zF9j-58KIG6RUnruA/viewform?usp=send_form to make a reservation.
Great Lakes Leather Alliance XVI
Great Lakes Leather Alliance XVI (GLLA) is all set to go the weekend of September 28 - October 1 at an unnamed hotel in Indianapolis, IN. The keynote speaker will be International Mr. Leather 2016 Patrick Smith and the Carter Johnson Leather Library will be there. Plenty of workshops and classes, play parties and socials, and a few Leather contests too. http://greatlakesleather.org/
Palm Springs Leather Pride 2017
Palm Springs Leather Pride 2017 will be held October 26-29 in Palm Springs, CA. The big news is the Friday night Parking Lot Party will return to lot behind the Tool Shed. Tom of Finland will have an exhibit and there will be a Saturday afternoon pool party. And oh, the Mr. Palm Springs Leather contest will be held in the newest hangar at the Palm Springs Air Museum. https://www.palmspringsleatherpride.org/
You can help make Dave Rhodes' Hump Day better by sending dates and basic information on new events, club information such as new officers and runs, obituaries and wedding announcements. This is designed for the web site and less so for print, so there is no 45 days-in-advance deadline. If your event is happening on August 27, make sure I have it by Monday afternoon, August 21. Make sure to add your events to the Leather Community Calendar by clicking on Calendar above - follow the directions.
You had a contest over the weekend - send us the names of the winners and a photo and a brief bit about it. We have it by mid-Monday and it will appear on Wednesday. Your events hotel room block opens - that is news. Send the link and a brief. Someone passes, let us know - photo please if available, but do not let lack of an immediate photo stop you from sending. This is news shorts.
Please share us on Facebook and on other social media.
Women's International Leather Legacy 2017 Renee Beckman
Tom of Finland was introduced in Stockholm, Sweden through a diverse program. Art provided by the Tom of Finland Foundation
Mr. and Ms Alameda County Leather are Steve Geist and Jeni Finch. Photo by Rich Stadtmiller
Lady Katerina and her boy Sebastian wed in San Francisco, CA.
The Drummer North America Northeast regional at the Providence Eagle in Providence, RI.
Dynamics of a BDSM Scene with Mistress Cyan at Sanctuary LAX Studios
Mr. Bear LA Art Berkowitz won his title at Eagle LA. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Beyond Vanilla will be held September 26-28 in Dallas, Texas, celebrating almost a quarter of a century on fun in the Lone Star State. Hotel Rooms are going fast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Reserve yours in the Beyond Vanilla block to get the lowest rate. In addition to discounts in overnight parking.
The fun begins Thursday evening at 6 PM at The Dallas Eagle for the Beyond Vanilla Kick-Off. A complimentary shuttle bus will be running to and from the Crowne Plaza and The Dallas Eagle from 5:30 PM to 2 AM. Early Check-In will be available at The Eagle so you can avoid the lines on Friday.
Friday registration opens at 10 AM, with Vending, and Silent Auction opening at 12:30 PM. Workshops run from 1-6:30 PM. The night's entertainment starts at 7 PM.
Saturday will pry eyes open at at 8:30 AM when Vending, and Silent Auction opens. Workshops start at 9 AM and run all day with a break for lunch.
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 November 2 The Threshold Society will present its annual Bizarre Bazaar. In addition to numerous vendors, there will be sampler booths, food, and entertainment.
This event is open to the entire community, with the doors opening at 1 PM and the fun winding down at 7 PM. Admission is $10. There will be vendors from around the country and locally who will be selling some of the finest and most interesting wares in town. Here is an opportunity to handle and size those "special" items for which one has been looking.
The sampler booths will give Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Gearfolk a chance to try some activities they may only have been fantasizing about. Try out the violet wand, or a flogger, or a needle or two. What does a cane feel like? Here is a chance to get a small taste in a safe and fun atmosphere.
Join Threshold on the night of November 1 for the club's version of Dia De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, play party. It is the night the "spirits," so get closest to the land of the living and celebrate the night away. This party is open to the community and admission is $20.
ONYX: Southern California's Second Second Anniversary. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, September 13, 2017
This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com
ILSLb ICBB 2017 results
The International Leather Sir 2017, International Leatherboy 2017 and International Community Bootblack were held in Dallas, TX on Saturday night, September 2 in front of about 200 cheering spectators. The contests were emceed by Pantheon of Leather Man of the Year Thib Guicherd-Callin the weekend of August 31 - September 3. See photo below. See the results at https://www.theleatherjournal.com/news/international-news/item/1954-ilslb-icbb-winners-in-dallas
The Mr. San Diego Eagle 2014 contest will be bigger than ever. “It will be a 4-day event for the entire Leather community,” says Robb Rodriguez the current Mr. San Diego Eagle. The event runs from February 20 to 23.
The main contest activities will be moved from the San Diego Eagle bar to the nearby Sunset Temple auditorium. “We’re moving the venue of the contest to the Sunset Temple because we’re expecting a large crowd to attend. Already we’ve heard from people from as far away as Phoenix that they’re going to attend. And one of our judges is from Minnesota while another is from Georgia.”
The seven judges are an all-star group of titleholders. The head judge will be International Mr. Leather Andy Cross. Other judges are: American Leatherman Aaron Duke, Mr. International Deaf Leather boy Richard, Mr. San Diego Leather2013/Mr. San Diego Eagle 2012 Eli Correa, Ms San Diego Leather 2013 Colt Everyday, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2013 Bill Robertroy and Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013 Ryan Brown.
The Folsom Street Fair on Sunday, September 29 was the crown jewel of San Francisco Leather Pride Week which ran from Sunday, September 22 through Sunday, September 29. The Fair was packed as usual, the weather was great although overcast in the early hours. The late wind that usually hits around 5 PM did not show up until 5:45 PM. It seemed that the mix of kinky people and vanilla leaned significantly more toward kinky, an upturn from the tend in recent years and something that was commented on favorably by several Leatherfolk who came from about 50 different countries on five continents.