By Vonn Tramel
Mr. Chicago Leather Weekend was held January 22-24. Hosted at the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, IL and was produced by David Boyer of Touché Chicago. Six Contestants, #1 Jonathan, #2 Achilles, #3 Rod, #4 Todd, #5 Steve, #6 Stitch competed to represent The Windy City’s Leathermen as Mr. Chicago Leather 2016. In the end it was Contestant 4, Todd Harris whose scores won Mr. Chicago Leather 2016.
Contest Judges were IML 2015 Patrick Smith, International Mr. Rubber 2015 Jeffrey GummiBarchen Basile, Mr Tri State Leather Brian Bolt Donner, DC Eagle 2015 & American Leatherman 2015 Dan Ronnenburg, Mr. Chicago Leather Luis Tipantasig (He’s single and looking). Tally Masters were Josh Fortuna and Ron Moser, Den Daddy was Rob Czar, and Judges’ boy was Sara Beth. Bootblacking at the bar for the event was by Great Lakes Bootblack Meghan and Sparkie.
The show itself was skillfully conducted with playfully slick and appropriately dirty humor delivered via John Pendal’s jocular tongue and its vigorous Leather base.
Mr. Chicago Leather Weekend unofficially kicked off with the Opening Night Gala of Leslie Anderson Naked Leather Exhibit in the LA&M Gallery downstairs. Officially it started at Touché with The Welcome Party at 10 PM and the Roast of Mr. Chicago Leather 2015 Luis at Midnight. Saturday was a busy day of Flea Marketing and Kink U classes hosted by Titans of the Midwest, followed at 8 PM by the contest at the Leather Archives and Museum.
This year’s recipient of the Chuck Windemuth Mr. Chicago Leather Mentorship Award went to “Founding Father of Onyx Mufassa," for 20 years of service and mentorship to the men of Chicago.
2016 marked was the first live webcast from LA&M. It was sent to Touché for the overflow crowd to enjoy the contest at the bar. The webcast was made possible by Touché and The Leather Journal.
Sunday’s Brunch was held at Andersonville Brewing Company followed by a Beer Bust and Black T Dance at Touché.
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 Leather and Kink community came out in full force to support the Atons of Minneapolis as they hosted Gopher XXI the weekend of July 18-20. This was their first in-town run in over 15 years. Although there were some that missed the traditional outdoor camping experience, it was evident that everyone enjoyed their time together.
Gopher XXI: Tails of the City, was held at the Doubletree by Hilton in the Minneapolis neighboring community of Saint Louis Park. The hotel provided great accommodations and delicious food during the Saturday evening banquet and Sunday morning breakfast.
Many brother/sister clubs from the Twin Cities area, as well clubs from out of town hosted socials and cocktail parties, featuring a wide variety of drinks and some even got into the spirit of the run theme and donned inspirational attire.
Rough House, Toronto’s popular BDSM dungeon party, will hold three Leather parties at Steamworks Baths Toronto, 540 Church Street, Level 2, Toronto, Ontario, Canada between October and February coinciding with Steamworks’ popular Sunday Service party. Also organized by the Rough House gang is the annual twisted Squeal party at Steamworks, which will return in April 2014 as part of Eastern Canada Leather Sir and Leatherboy weekend.
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.
Folsom Street Events announced charitable giving in the amount of $330,745 on December 15 in San Francisco, CA. With this, Folsom Street Events cleared the $4.6 Million Mark in its 28-year giving history.
Board president Jacob Richards said, “2011 was a solid year for Folsom Street Events and our charities. We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, beneficiaries, beverage partners, and the leather/fetish community for the ongoing support. This check represents an increase from our $326,161 in charitable giving for 2010. Particularly given the depressed economy, we feel that this check is a total success.”
According to executive director Demetri Moshoyannis, “Given that we had a less-than-stellar year with respect to the weather at both Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair, we relied much more heavily on the successes of our Magnitude and DEVIANTS parties. The size of our check proves the potency and spirit of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community. The vast share of the check will support our 16 Major and Supporting Beneficiaries, including AIDS Emergency Fund, Castro Country Club, Central City Hospitality House, Frameline, Project Open Hand, and Transgender Law Center, among others. Given what has been happening locally with other community organizations that distribute funds from special events, we feel particularly proud of our efforts. Combined, we are supporting over 70 great charities in San Francisco and around the U.S.”
Folsom Street Events hosted a special evening to honor its beneficiaries, sponsors, and nonprofit partners with a check ceremony at The Armory, 1500 Mission Street, well known in the Leather/BBSM/Fetish community as the home of Kink.com. Special invited guests included Supervisor Jane Kim (District 6), Supervisor Scott Weiner (District 8), and many others.
Folsom Street Events is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that produces seven annual fetish events: The San Francisco Party at IML, Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley®, SF Leather Week Formal Dinner, Magnitude®, Folsom Street Fair®, and DEVIANTS™. Its mission is to create volunteer-driven Leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self expression while raising funds to benefit charity. In 2011, an estimated 250,000-plus event attendees raised money for charitable donations.
David Muller - January 4, 2012
By Jim Neuman
I have the very sad duty to report the passing of a dear friend to many of you.....as well as an enthusiastic friend of mine....and loyal supporter of the California B&B Corps for many years. "Cowboy Dave" Muller....passed from this life on Wednesday, January 4 after suffering a massive heart attack in Los Angeles, CA. Dave was a very special person and friend to us all. He was as much a part of the spirit of the B&B Corps as if he had been a member himself.
His partner Chris Bahls and I were both with him at the hospital when he passed.
A private memorial was held in Van Nuys.
VT-TLJ: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Please tell me about your Sponsor:
PB: Sin in the City is an official sponsor and travel fundraiser of Mr. SouthWest Olympus Leather 2014. I have served as SiTC’s Technical Engineer for the past two years and look forward to more work and fun with them February 27 – March 2, 2015.
VT-TLJ: Tell me about your favorite charity.
PB: The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (“The Center”), here in Las Vegas is an amazing resource for all aspects of our community. The Center supports and promotes activities directed at furthering the well-being, positive image, and human rights of the LGBTQ community and its allies in Southern Nevada. From HIV and STI testing, to education and employment resources for those in need, to a community recreation center for young LGBTQ, to community meeting space and even to an extensive library, all of the services provided by The Center benefit our community greatly as a whole.
VT-TLJ: Tell me in your own words how you feel about service.
PB: Service to community is a guiding principle in my life. I truly believe that we can only keep what we have by giving it away; what better way to give it away than by helping out in our home: in our community? Regardless of role or identification, I believe EVERY person in a community should be looking at how they can serve and give back.
VT-TLJ: What makes you a Leather Man or Woman and/or Bootblack?
PB: I am a Leather Man because that is my path. Leather’s core values of honor, integrity, honesty, respect, doing the right thing, and community service are principles that guide my daily life. This is who I am at root: leather will forever be a part of me.
VT-TLJ: Who is your favorite Olympus Title Holder and in 100 words or less…Why?
PB: How cruel to ask this when I have two current International Olympus Leather titleholders on the judging panel at IOL this year! While I greatly appreciate both Praxxis and Robyn, I’d have to say that Mr. Andrew Love immediately comes to mind as one of my favorite Olympus Titleholders through the history of the contest. He has used his title to help further the education and activities in his home community of Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as to reach out and educate far beyond his local city or state.
VT-TLJ: What do you feel is the most dangerous mis-information passed through traditional & social media affecting our community today, and how would you combat it should the opportunity arise?
PB: Even with more mainstream media exposure, there is a dearth of accurate information about what it is that we do that actually being distributed to the public at large. This leaves our community constantly engaged in a battle against the misconception that the practice of BDSM and/or power imbalanced or authority transferred relationships is abusive and unhealthy. I feel that the best way to combat these misapprehensions is via transparency and open communication (education). The more that people are allowed to see our healthy lives, the more they can understand at least something about how we live, the less they have to misunderstand. Using the S.S.C. platform as the catchphrase it was created to be for those outside of our way of life and practicing R.A.C.K. in our interactions with each other can only help to manage the flow of misinformation.
VT-TLJ: What makes you feel you can represent the Olympus Leather Community, even the folks who you may not identify with?
PB: The Olympus title celebrates those people who can transcend roles and identifications to find the common ground between all members of our vast and diverse Leather community and present a positive Leather image. I believe myself to be a Leather Man of integrity and honor, and have yet to find someone who has chosen this way of life with whom I did not share some amount of common ground. I find the free-exchange of ideas that comes from diversity in experience exceedingly valuable. I do not believe that I need to be a carbon copy of an individual or group to represent them; instead, I need to be a skilled listener. How can I represent aspects of the Olympus Leather Community who I may not identify with? By taking the time to create the bonds of fellowship and by being humble enough to learn where it is that they are coming from.
VT-TLJ: What makes you most nervous about becoming International Ms or Mr. Olympus Leather?
PB: I find myself a bit nervous about all that I’m going to miss in the time I’ll spend away from my home community. I know, however, that the Las Vegas and the SouthWest communities will be in good hands while I’m traveling on a larger scale.
Now the basics:
Name: Papa Bear
Current Title: Mr. Southwest Olympus Leather 2014
City, State: Las Vegas, NV
VT-TLJ: What regular community events that you produce or participate in:
- Leather Church
- Sin City D/s Society Meet and Greet
- Vegas Valley TNG meet and greet
VT-TLJ: Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear:
VT-TLJ: 100 words about what you will do as International Olympus Leather:
If I am selected to represent as International Mr. Olympus Leather 2014, I will use the opportunity to employ education as a means of bringing together all of the diverse aspects of our community. Community education is my greatest passion, and I believe that educational opportunities are often overlooked as the valuable bonding tool they can represent. I look forward to maintaining a presenting a positive leather image through education and fellowshipping at as many events across the globe as I can possibly attend.
Other stories of interest:
Avatar Club los angeles is known for its annual Holiday Party, and the one held on Saturday night, December 14 in Glendale, CA was no exception as about 100 attended on a clear night which was chilly enough to wear plenty of Leather.
Arizona is home to a brand new organization, Arizona Bootblacks of Leather. The Arizona Bootblacks of Leather organized in spring, 2013 and have based their group after the Phoenix Boys of Leather. Arizona is home to quite a few bootblacks, and they wanted to create a group that would allow them to promote the strong bootblack presence in Arizona. The plans are to offer their services around the region and introduce bootblacking to new people as well as exchanging ideas with other bootblacks. When asked what the purpose of the group was, President slave tabitha arie replied, ‘The Arizona Bootblacks of Leather exists to serve, support, and enrich the Leather community. We gather to support our members and to serve our community with respect and integrity.’
On October 5, CeeJay, from ONYX, was chosen as Mr. Eagle NYC 2014, besting seven other contenders at the annual contest held at the Eagle NYC Leather bar on West 28th Street. Rico and Keith are the runners-up. Vern Stewart was the contest coordinator, Mr. Eagle 2004 Brian Kent hosted, and Susan Weinstein, from Mama’s Magic Fingers, interpreted proceedings for the hearing impaired. Rico, a “tantric shaman Leatherman,” and hairy, pierced Keith were first and second runners-up respectively. DJ Oscar was responsible for music.
Blond, bearded, and tattooed Ken; Montana Vasquez and Buddy, who also ran in last year’s contest; Team Eagle’s Barry, an audience favorite; and Stephan were the other contestants.
Mr. Eagle NYC 2013 Arsenio Amadis, who stepped down with a speech about his experience being an openly HIV-positive Leatherman; Mr. D.C. Eagle 2013 Nigel Williams; Onyx’s John John; Scott Hamm; and Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko were judges. Former Mr. Eagle NYC Christophe André was tally judge.
Contestants were judged on introductory walk, Q and A with appearance in jockstrap, speech on a subject of their choice and appearance in formal leather, and one-on-one with the judges earlier.
Beyond the Sash is a new Bear/Leather/Gear fundraising calendar, produced by Mr. Rawhide NYC 2011 and Mr. North American Bear 2012 Jed Ryan. The all-new calendar features 12 months of testosterone-soaked portraits by acclaimed male erotic photographer Richard Yates. The result is a searing combination of unapologetic, raw masculine sexuality and intimate male sensuality. From wrestling gear, to harnesses and boots, to jockstraps, right on down to men in just their Bear skin, Beyond the Sash is guaranteed to get one's temperature rising.
All the men in Beyond the Sash are dedicated community activists who "live the life," working hard and definitely playing hard. As its name suggests, Beyond the Sash features Leather and Bear titleholders and some outstanding members of the Leather/Bear/GLBT community in all their hot and hairy glory. And, for the first time, the Calendar adds a dash of searing estrogen into this mens' only after-hours party: Lady Kim Justice. Here's a rare lady with that same unapologetic, raw sexuality mentioned before. She can defintiely handle a cigar and a whip as well as any of her Leather brothers.
My name is Gary Wasdin, and I am the new Executive Director of the Leather Archives & Museum. I am humbled to have been chosen to lead this organization and to continue the work that so many have contributed to over the past 26-plus years. While I am only in my third week, your passion and commitment to the LA&M and its work is evident. Thank you for your support.
The NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) is inviting Leather / BDSM / Kinkfolk to take its Mental Health Survey. They would like to know more about your BDSM practices, mental health and relational violence experiences.
The NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will compare our responses to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT-identified.
The NCSF will use these results to help with its advocacy, benefiting both existing and developing programs. Specifically, the study's results will assist in educating law enforcement, legal and psychological professionals about the practices and mental health of BDSM practitioners.
The survey will take approximately 35 minutes of one's time.
This survey is anonymous. Neither the NCSF nor outside researchers have access to any identifying information about participants.