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.
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.
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.
Plans are underway for the 18th Annual Mates Leather Weekend October 2-5 as 600-700 people are expected to attend this four-night celebration of and for the Leather/Fetish community. Events include Boot Camp, Opening Reception, Uniforms and Cigars, Leather Market, First Mate Contest, Rubber Ball and the infamous Fetish Party, a military theme for 2014.
Steve DuPont has been quite the busy man since winning First Mate 2013. Just a few weeks after MLW, he competed in and won Mr. New England Leather 2014 right here in Provincetown. He then went on to compete in the 2014 International Mr. Leather Contest and was chosen first runner-up.
Steve was just named the recipient of the Pantheon of Leather 2014 New England Regional Award.
Purchase an Event Pass which gets one into every event, food at the Opening Reception and Cookout and a Mates Leather Weekend 2014 T-shirt; or attend the events individually pay the cover charge at the door. Not all events have a cover.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Leatherman Of Color 2018 Dax Volpe Partner Luar
Leatherman of Color 2018 Dax Volpe
Leatherman of Color 2018 is Dax Volpe who won his title on December 9 at the DC Eagle in Washington, DC 20019. Leatherman of Color 2017 Kai Anderson passed the title to his successor. https://www.facebook.com/loc2018/
West Coast Rubber - Rubber New Year
Thanks to all the awesome rubberists, about 30 of them, who came out and helped kick start the new West Coast Rubber at Rubber New Year on Sunday afternoon, January 6 in los angeles, CA. Much thanks to our generous host Jon Wright, the unexpected fundraising by Alan Gamrican, los angeles Rubber Company, Spunk Lube, our volunteers Esteban Bartholo and John Carreon, and Dusti Cunningham for the photography, some of which will be at the bottom of this Hump Day as well as above. The Mr. West Coast Rubber contest weekend will be April 12-14 at Eagle 562 in Long Beach, CA.
CLAW Hotel Rooms Going Fast
The Westin is fully booked and the other three CLAW hotels are more than 50-percent sold. The other hotels are the Hampton Inn, Aloft Cleveland and the Marriott at Key Tower. Room rates start at $134/night for single and double occupancy ($139 for triple and quadruple occupancy) and include $20-$40/day in breakfast vouchers. CLAW Packages include more than 209 different events and exhibitors and the best cigar deck in all of Leather. CLAW XIX is April 25-28 in downtown Cleveland. CLAW is a convention that many consider the best Leather event of the year.
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.
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.