Displaying items by tag: Leather - The Leather Journal



These folks were on hand to accept their Awards.

The Pantheon of Leather 2016 Awards were presented in a huge ceremony on the 21st floor of the Doubltree by Hilton in Dallas, TX during the International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack weekend on Thursday night, September 1.

Some 225 Leatherfolk attended the ceremony which began with presentation of the regional awards. Due to rain delays of flights, many arrived about intermission time.

Attendees were greeted by a huge spread of appetizers which were gobbled up by the hungry throng before the ceremony, during the intermission and afterward.

There were five events on Thursday, the opening reception for the contest, contestant fantasies and a roast of the outgoing ILSLb ICBB 2015 titleholders where Thib Guicherd Callin returned to emcee. Thib also emceed the ILSLb ICBB contest. The main event of the weekend was the International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack contests.

Mama's Family

Christopher Edwards emceed the awards ceremony with ILSLb ICBB board president Jeffrey Payne serving as Vannah. Presenters read lists of nominees in each category, envelopes bearing the name of the recipients were opened and awards were accepted by their recipients or by individuals accepting on their behalf. The ceremony moved at a lightening pace and at no time did it drag on - attendees commented that they preferred a quick show.

As in the first 20 years of Pantheon of Leather the recipients were not informed in advance. In each of those years, many on the production teams knew who the winners were in advance. This was the first year that no one other than Pantheon of Leather founder and producer Dave Rhodes, The Leather Journal and the award engraver knew. ILSLB handled the production of the ceremony and marketing tickets exclusively and no one involved in promoting attendance was in the know as to who would win. The Leather Journal handled the nominations and award selections exclusively.

ILSLb ICBB producers Sergio Saragoca and Jeffrey Payne.

Some 200 individuals, clubs, businesses and organizations were Nominee Finalists. There are 26 categories.

The first Pantheon of Leather was held at the Circus Disco in Hollywood, CA in January 1991. Since then, Pantheon has been held in Los Angeles, Orlando, Houston, Chicago, los angeles, Atlanta and now Dallas. In that time almost 600 Awards have been presented.

2016 is the return to the state of Texas. The Pantheon of Leather 1994 Awards saw commediene and music recording star Lynn Lavner performed on the top floor of the Warwick Hotel in front of about 150 Leatherfolk.

Left, Dave Rhodes takes an Award from emcee Christopher Edwards announcing its recipient.

The Pantheon of Leather 2016 Awards and Recipients:

Man of the Year - Ian Colman

Woman of the Year - Christina K. Court

Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Woman) - Queen Cougar

Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Man) - David Boyer

Non Profit Organization of the Year - IMsL Foundation

Large Club of the Year - Men Of ONYX

Small Club of the Year - Geared Ireland

Large Event of the Year - Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend

Large Event of the Year - Toronto Leather Pride

Large Event of the Year was a tie so the two above awards are correct.

Small Event of the Year - Mr. Michigan Leather Weekend

Business of the Year - Twin Cities Leather & Latte

Business Person of the Year - Enza Silano

International Award - Kevin Murphy, Ireland

Couple of the Year - Lee and Buz Norwood

Canadian Award - Andrea Zanin

Florida Regional Award - Master Bruce M. Ross

Great Lakes Regional - Marta

Mid Atlantic Regional Award - Toni Solenne

Midwest Regional Award - Andrew Bertke

Northeast Regional Award - Remi Graber

NorCal/Northwest Regional Award - Race Bannon

Rocky Mountain Regional Award - Sarah Humble

South Central Regional Award - slave boo

South Central Regional Award - Randal Kinnear

South Central Regional Award was a tie so the two above awards are correct.

Southeast Regional Award - Jennifer Deese

Southern California Regional Award - Tina "Sarge" Maravilla

Community Choice (Woman) - Master Talon Sharpe

Community Choice Award (Man) - Woodie Barnes McWhirter

There are four President's Awards

President's Award - Vonn Tramel

President's Award - Jeffrey Storer

President's Award - Erik Will

President's Award - Sergio Saragoca

The International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack Board of Directors includes CEO and President Jeffrey Payne, Secretary Wayne Davis, Directors Larry Burden, Christopher Edwards and Greg McDowell.

Award Selection Process

There are three ways in which recipients of the Pantheon of Leather Community Service Awards are selected.

First, the vast majority of the award recipients are chosen by a selection panel comprised of individuals who won awards the previous year. Before the panel votes, the Leather community submitted nominations by E-mail. These nominations are compiled and go through a rigorous task of compiling the biographies and verifying addresses is done, ballots are E-mailed to all of the panelists who cast their votes.

The second set of honors are the Community Choice Awards. These are decided solely by write-in vote by the Leather/BDSM community during the nomination process.

The third awards are the President's Awards chosen by the Pantheon of Leather founder Dave Rhodes. There are usually, but not necessarily, four of these each year.

Dr. Larry, Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt and Fred Anderson.

Pantheon of Leather 2016 Selection Panel

The Selection Panel which decided who the recipients of the Pantheon of Leather 2016 Awards would was comprised of individuals who received Pantheon of Leather Awards in 2015. They are:

Eric Paul Leue - Man of the Year
Patty - Woman of the Year and Community Choice Award (Woman)
Mufasa Ali - Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Man)
Leslie J. Anderson - Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Woman)
Joyce Berger - Business Person of the Year
Herman Groenewald, South Africa - International Award
Leo Iriarte and Esteban Bartholo - Couple of the Year
Master Michael and slave angie - Couple of the Year
Tyesha Best - Florida Regional Award
Jeff Gruenberger - Great Lakes Region
Todd White - Mid Atlantic Regional Award
Janet Ryan - Midwest Regional Award
Daddy Ray Tilton - NorCal/Northwest Regional Award
Brent Heinze - Rocky Mountain Regional Award
Tony Mayes - South Central Regional Award
Russ Mortenson Boyd - Southern California Regional Award
Jack Pearce - Community Choice Award (Man)
Bob "Bulldog" Rothwell - President's Award
Daddy Al Santora - President's Award

Pantheon of Leather 2016 Award Recipients' Bios

Man of the Year - Ian Colman

Ian can be described as a Leatherman, military veteran, graphic artist, title holder, contest producer, husband, and friend. He is honored to be International Mr. Transgender Leather 2012/2013 and the owner/co-producer of Women’s International Leather Legacy (WILL), a title that helps promote, archive and collect data to preserve Women’s Leather History. A member of Mama's Family (Mama’s Transformer), Ian maintains the web site Mamas-Family.org He also serves as a year round staff member for International Ms Leather (IMsL) and South Plains Leatherfest (SPLF) and uses his design skills to create graphics, websites, program books and multimedia presentations for various events and groups such as: IMsL, SPLF, DESIRE, Leather Bash, Mama’s Family and WILL. In 2016, Ian was honored to pledge the Charlotte Tradesmen and to become full patch member during the 30th Anniversary Trademark run in May. Ian can be found presenting workshops ranging from gender to blow darts or as a panelist for LGBT discussions hosted by Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University’s Diversity department. He's spent much of his life teaching others in his local and extended communities. Ian’s beliefs on education stem from Malcolm Forbes "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

Woman of the Year - Christina K. Court

Christina K. Court is the Vice President of Leather Archives & Museum--she is the first female-identified individual to be elected to an officer position on the LA&M Board of Directors. She is also the IML Contest Video Producer, and a Leather and LGBTQIA filmmaker/documentarian via High Moo Production. Christina is the producer and director of the internationally award-winning “High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack," and she is currently at work on the LA&M 25th Anniversary documentary. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Woman) - Queen Cougar

Ms San Francisco Leather 93 Queen Cougar has touched many lives in her 23 years of BDSM activism. An emcee of IML, IMsL, Drummer and ILSB just to name a few - she has produced, judged, and presented workshops at major contest events throughout the USA and Canada. A beloved vocalist, her performance credits include being a video interviewee and/or subject in Bloodsisters, Kink Crusader’s and AIDS-Light in the Grove film projects. Cougar has received numerous awards and commendations and in 2013 was honored for 20 years community service by SF Supervisors. March 13, 2013 was Queen Cougar day in SF! Her familial devotion to Mr. Marcus Hernandez was legendary. She co-produced his memorial in 2009 and produced his Remembrance and special internment, beside Jose Sarria in 2016. A fierce scene player – her deep friendships and mentoring of many in the BDSM scene include Leathermen and women from all corners of the BDSM World. Ms Cougar is an associate or an honorary member of The Exiles, Onyx, COMMAND, TULSA and Mama’s Family. The Queen’s Leather resume is mind boggling.

Mr. Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement (Man) - David Boyer

Born and raised in Ohio, David came to Chicago in 1976 and began his long career in Chicago’s gay nightlife. By 1978 David was slinging drinks at Touché in the bar’s original Lincoln Avenue location and has worked as bartender, manager or DJ at some of Chicago’s most notorious nightspots. David has also been heavily involved in Chicago's LGBT and Leather community from early gay rights lobbying efforts, community fundraising, police/LGBT relations and supporting many local AIDS organizations. On the Leather scene, David has worked with numerous Leather clubs in Chicago and across the Midwest. He is proud to be called a friend of Chicago Hellfire Club, ONYX and Trident International Windy City and helps organize the Leather/Fetish club contingent at Chicago's Gay Pride Parade. David is also no stranger to Chicago’s rubber community, as manager of Cell Block, he organized the first Rubber Blowout Weekend that evolved into Mr. International Rubber. In 2004, David returned to manage Touché where he reestablished Mr. Chicago Leather and initiated the Mr. Midwest Rubber title. He continues to work with and for Chicago’s Leather community while overseeing Chicago’s premiere Leather/Fetish bar.

Non Profit Organization of the Year - IMsL Foundation

The IMsL Foundation, established in 2014, supports the development of sex-positive communities, provides education on alternative sexuality and sexual freedom, and enables leaders in our diverse communities. Our current board members are: Pat Baillie, Board President; Julie Spanks, Secretary; Beckie Bowen, Treasurer; Tony Mayes, Education; Deb Starnes, Development; Jay Dahm, Spencer Bergstedt, and our 2015 stepping down titleholders, Sarge and slave tabitha. To date, the Foundation established comprehensive review and selection processes for workshops submitted at the 2015/2016 IMsL/IMsBB weekend. We have also provided honorariums to top instructors for their work and created the 12T (12-minute talk) workshop to encourage new presenters. To encourage more women leaders, the Foundation provides grants for local communities establishing or re-starting women's contests. We also thank the communities where our IMsL/IMsBB titleholders have come from with the home town matching donation program for fundraising events in their last quarter. We have also achieved parity in travel fund and recognition for both titleholders. On digitizing Leatherwomen’s history, the Foundation led the effort this year for celebrating the 30 years of IMsL history by scanning and posting all past programs and compiling contestant lists for our class reunion this last April.

Large Club of the Year - Men Of ONYX

ONYX is an organization formed and operated by Men of Color who enjoy the Leather lifestyle. ONYX sets as its goal, to provide an informational and social organization to address issues specific to People of Color who chose to project the positive aspects of the Leather lifestyle and support our community and economic initiatives. Support, spirituality, safety and saneness are keys to attaining our goals. Toward this end, it is the principle aim of ONYX to develop in its members the highest standards of loyalty to the laws and established code of ONYX and to treat all in society with honor, unselfishness and tolerance. It is the responsibility of each member to uphold the traditions,standards and practices of this organization as well as the time-honored principles of democracy on which this country was built. It is the fundamental belief of this organization that no finer means is offered for the achievement of these aims than the brotherly association of persons with similar tastes, inclinations and goals. ONYX was founded in 1995 to provide education, fraternization and serve as a bridge for Men of Color to the greater Leather community. Mufasa organized the founding members. The charter members of ONYX were: Mufasa Ali (Founder), David M., Steve B., Nate G. and Wes G. They formed the first Board of Officers with Mufasa (president), Nate (VP), David (Pledge Master), Wes (secretary) and Steve (treasurer). ONYX’s first pledge was Bill H. and the colors were designed by ONYX brother Charles C. of Caliber Leathers.

Small Club of the Year - Geared Ireland

Fetish club in Ireland raising funds for charity and keeping fetish alive in this small country. Facilitator of the Mr. Leather Ireland contest.

Large Event of the Year - Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend

Centaur MC presented the 1984 Leather Cocktails at the Exile and have since worked hard to continue sharing the sense of pride and brotherhood, adding in the following year the Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest instituted by Tony Bachrach, Jim Mantis and Al Santora, making the party into a full weekend of celebration. Known now as Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, participants now number in the thousands and the event still includes Leather Cocktails (the heart of all weekend events) – Sunday brunch and Mr. MAL Contest, a Leather Exhibit Hall and the official closing party, REACTION. Entering their 47th year in 2017, the members of Centaur MC wish to thank all the people who have faithfully shown up over the years and for their efforts to sustain this celebration together with the Washington community and a multitude of Leather/Levi clubs and supporters from all over the world. Centaur Motorcycle Club (Centaur MC) consists of a group of men with an enthusiastic interest in motorcycles, Leather and other men. The club sponsors Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL) and the Mr. Mid-
Atlantic Leather Contest (Mr. MAL). The Club takes both a serious and irreverent approach to designing events for the amusement and enjoyment of the greater Leather Community. Centaur MC also participates in a wide variety of philanthropic and social fundraising event.

Large Event of the Year - Toronto Leather Pride

Toronto Leather Pride celebrations included 14 different events this year. VIP passes sold out shortly after the week’s festivities began. Leatherfolk attended several other events including bar events, play parties and also featured a series of Leather/Kink workshops presented by experienced and respected members of the local, national and international Leather community. Participants enjoyed the dance music of DJ John Caffery at Leather Ball 21 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Saturday night, which was preceded by the Toronto Leather Pride
contests for the Mr. Leatherman Toronto, Ms Leather Toronto and Puppy Toronto 2016 titles. The week’s events concluded with the Victory Leather Brunch, the annual Leather Pride March lead by 2015 Grand Marshals Ezna Silano from Northbound Leather and Ray Tilton from Santa Rosa, CA, and the Farewell After Party at the Black Eagle Toronto. Toronto Leather Pride, under the corporate banner of Heart of the Flag Federation Inc., is a member-based, not-for-profit corporation/club that is dedicated to producing events that celebrate Leather/Kink/Fetish culture while promoting our community and our city.

(Large Event of the Year was a tie so the two above awards are correct.)

Small Event of the Year - Mr. Michigan Leather Weekend

MML celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015, and moves into its second decade Michigan’s premiere leather event. It has a long tradition of creating titleholders who maintain strong ties to their Leather community and Michigan years after their title year is complete. MML strives to make the weekend fun and informative for everyone - for those just getting their feet wet in the Leather scene to those who have been around for many years. Education is an important piece of the weekend, as they have classes and presentation made by members of Chicago Hellfire Club. MML raises funds each year to donate to organizations that help our communities on a national and local level. Put all the pieces together, and you have a Midwest Leather event, steeped in history and tradition, current in education and issues, and full of brotherhood, family, and camaraderie that makes Mr. Michigan Leather an event not to be missed.

Business of the Year - Twin Cities Leather & Latte

We’re more than a retail label or a café or another contest – and that’s why our company motto is: “Community First!” We provide meeting space for small groups, have supported the sober communities and trans communities, provided contributions to CLAW, the North Star Kennel Club, Twin Cities Boys of Leather and girls of Leather, Titans of the Midwest, we are the official vendor for Inferno (the annual run of the CHC), and we proudly hang the club colors of the Atons of Minneapolis and Knights of Leather, the only non-bar establishment to ever do so. This year, we were also one of the largest donors for the annual Dining Out for Life event, proudly joining the “100% Club” and donating an entire day's revenue. Meanwhile, we also create our signature Leather fashion line, including harnesses, toys, and accessories, women’s wear, provide alteration and repair services, designed and sewed the title sashes for Alaska State Bootblack, Mr. Nebraska Leather, Mr. Tri-State Leather, and donated the founding club colors for LORE. Side by side with our titleholder, Mr. Twin Cities Leather Steven Patton, we raised thousands of dollars for YouthlinkMN, to provide resources, clothing, and shelter for GLBT youth in need.

Business Person of the Year - Enza Silano

My introduction into the Leather community started appropriately on February 14, 1991. As the “Controller” of Northbound Leather, the title is appropriate. (insert BDSM reference here) Thou I do not refer to myself as a polyamorist, I have 34 Leatherman husbands and 5 sister wives. I have been attending Leather events such as Mid Atlantic Leather, Mr. Leather Toronto and International Mr. Leatherman for the past 16 years. My journey and acceptance into the Leather community has been the most monumental event of my life. The sense of community, love and family has contributed to my drive to build, support and fight for the rights of my LGBQT, Leather and alternate lifestyle brothers and sisters. My favorite memory is during the Pride Trans March religious fanatics with loud speakers were shaming the attendees of the parade. We emptied the store of about 100 people, surrounded them chanting “Love is Louder” until they left. Recipient of: Mama’s Canadian Enza, Mr. Leather Toronto Titleholder Impact Award 2011, Community Woman of the Year 2011 - Heart of The Flag Federation. Proudly judged: Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2013, 2015, Toronto Pup 2014, 2015, Ms. Leather Toronto 2015. Grand Marshall: Toronto Leather Pride Parade 2015.

International Award - Kevin Murphy

Mr. Leather Ireland 2015 and 1st Runner-Up IML 2015. Working in mental health for more than 10 years, my every day focus is the instilling of resilience and improving well-being at both an individual and societal level. This is evident through both my profession and personal involvement with fundraisers, e.g. with Geared Ireland, my local club. While there's nothing I take pride in more than encouraging confidence in others, promoting our self-identities, and making new members feel like they fit in, over the last 18 months I have visited communities around the world at different kink events trying to increase the global ties that bind us-bringing us all closer together. Currently, I sit on an LGBTI Community Action Group on HIV- addressing the large increase in new diagnoses here in Ireland. I'm also linking in with Team Friendly in bringing their campaign across the Atlantic to challenge the stigma which impacts so many here. Further, I'm involved in developing mental health and educational supports, aimed at the LGBT community, through my private practice. These will link in with local community groups to provide services to those at-risk, vulnerable, and in financial difficulty.

Couple of the Year - Lee and Buz Norwood

The Norwoods have been together 26 years and got married in 2013. Their Girl, Margaret Irene, has been with them for six years, and all three live together in a committed relationship. Lee and Buz are original and active members of FIST, one of the East Coast’s oldest women's backpatch club. They are associate members of COMMAND, Hooker and Boys, and active with Women of Drummer. They judged, stage managed, presented, mentored, served as panelists, and on boards of many Leather events and organizations since 1995. The Norwoods have been interviewed for the LA&M Women's History Project and the Mr. Maryland Leather 2015's Maryland Leather History Project: https://youtu.be/AW3cxc0lSeQ Buz..., Ms Baltimore Eagle 1999, Co-producer of the Baltimore Eagle Contests 2001-2004, GLCCB Board 2004-2006. Centaur's Mid Atlantic Leather judge 2004, BOD Leather Heart Foundation 2012-16 (Chair 13-16), Mr. Maryland Leather judge (early 2000's), Mid Atlantic Leather Woman judge 2015, LHF Advisory Board 2016-present. Lee: FIST Chairperson 2012-current, Mr. Maryland Leather judge (early 2000's), Mid-Atlantic Leather Women first runner-up 2010. Contestant mentor and Daddy to many in our community.

Canadian Award - Andrea Zanin

Andrea Zanin has been writing and teaching internationally about Leather/BDSM/power dynamics, non-monogamy and queer sexuality since 2001. Andrea blogs at https://sexgeek.wordpress.com. She often makes media appearances to demystify consensual BDSM, and was a prominent national commentator on the Jian Ghomeshi sexual assault allegations in 2014, which raised major questions about BDSM and consent. She was named Toronto Leather Pride’s Woman of the Year 2014. Andrea co-founded Canada’s only annual Leatherdyke weekend,
An Unholy Harvest, in 2007, and the annual queer all-genders event Queering Power in 2013. She founded The Leather Bindings Society, her pervy book club, in 2008. She is pursuing a women’s studies PhD at York University, focusing on Canadian Leatherdyke history, and has a forthcoming scholarly publication on how Canada Customs censorship influenced the production of Canadian SM dyke porn in the 1990s (November 2016, UBC Press). Andrea has judged major Leather contests including IML 2012, MLT 2010, and IMsL 2009, has published BDSM and Leather erotic short stories and essays in numerous award-winning anthologies, and is a member of MAsT: Toronto. In Montreal, she co-organized Leatherdyke group the Unholy Army of the Night (2003-2007) and ran CinéKink, a BDSM film and discussion series (2004-2006).

Florida Regional Award - Master Bruce M. Ross

I have been in the Jacksonville Leather community for over 25 years. I've worked for over 15 years helping with an event called Holiday Helpers. I helped spearhead the Leather social and a worked to bring together local community. Carrying on the traditions of Leather and creating new connections and friendships. I am never at a loss for assisting any organization to help our community. It's vital and advantageous to reach outside of our boxes to our greater community when there is a need. I'm not one to talk a lot about myself. It's about the people. It's about unity in the community and building resources to continue to do the work. I have one many awards including the Pantheon of Leather award for Florida back in 2005. I prefer doing my best work behind the scenes. Assisting others really allows me a great opportunity to see things in a different light. I was Mr. North Florida Drummer 2000 and Mr. Suncoast Eagle 2001. My greatest gift has been assisting children with HIV and AIDS for over 15 years providing them a party. The name of that event is called Holiday Helpers. That truly is my baby.I did not start that organization it came from a group of individuals who got together many years before 25 years in fact. First as stilettos Santa pals and then David Simmons Santa pals. My volunteers are the ones that deserve the awards. I also been present in the First Coast Leather society for eight years. I am currently serving as Pledge Master for the last year. I have close to 30 years of service to the community.

Great Lakes Regional - Marta

Marta came out to Indianapolis' kink community in 2007, found Leather in 2011, and began bootblacking in 2012. She's built relationships since as presenter, judge, judges' girl, and bootblack at events such as ABW, GLLA, Indiana Leather Pride, LHC, Mr 501 Eagle, Mr Chicago, M . Kentucky, SINergy, SPLF, SWLC, and Tri-State. Some of Marta's most fulfilling service experiences include working as handler for family members during state, regional and international title runs; as IML contestant handler/shine team member; CLAW bootblack; and contestant coordinator for International Olympus Leather. Marta served as first runner-up International Ms Bootblack 2015, Great Lakes Bootblack 2014 and Indiana Bootblack 2014. While she continues to travel extensively since her regional stepdown, Marta also takes every opportunity to invest time locally: as co-founder of CIQ: Central Indiana Queers; group bootblack for Indianapolis Kink Society; co-founder of Indianapolis Bootblacks' Laboratory skillshare; member of NLA: Indianapolis and Andromeda, a group for women and non-binary folk. She felt thrilled to bootblack and teach recently during the 30th Anniversary weekend of her home bar, the 501 Eagle. Marta shares her life with her large poly Leather family. Central within it: spouse Walter, Daddy Tony, boyfriend/handler Andi, and siblings Lynn and Tracy.

Mid Atlantic Regional Award - Toni Solenne

Toni Solenne, Mid Atlantic Leatherwoman 2012, is a proud Leatherdyke that enjoys connecting with kindred spirits. Toni lives a Leather lifestyle 24/7 as the Head of her Household consisting of her partner Jess and three slaves. She is a member of Females Investigating Sexual Terrain (FIST), MAsT, MTTA Master Academy Alumni and Women in Leather International (WILL). Toni is the owner and producer of House of Dove Productions which facilitates regional spiritual retreats for Leatherfolk, the Mid Atlantic Women's campout, as well as local
events such as Kink D’Soleil and A Night of a Thousand Kinks raising over $10,000 for local charities and scholarships to regional events. She regularly volunteers as a workshop presenter, judge and tally master. This year, she led leadership presentations at IMsL in San Jose, California and the Leather Leadership Conference in Atlanta, facilitated power dynamic discussions for MAsT: Hampton Roads, held Leatherwomen's roundtables at Drummer in Vegas and tallied at the Mid Atlantic Drummer contest. Most notably, she held a roundtable for 50 women in Virginia, developed monthly events and is helping them create a new Leatherwomen's backpatch club. Toni consistently gives back to the Leather, Women’s and M/s communities that she feels has given her so much.

Midwest Regional Award - Andrew Bertke

Andrew Bertke has served the Leather communities as a leader, artist, and photographer. He is passionate about capturing the faces of our Leather culture for our history. Andrew joined the Minnesota Leather community in the mid-1990s. After being independent for several years, Andrew joined the Atons of Minneapolis in 2002 and has proudly served as president, vice-president, editor, pledge master, and webmaster. He has represented the club at events across the country. In 2015, Andrew began two projects for Minnesota Leather Pride (MNLP) to capture and display our Minnesota Leather history. He created a 13-poster history display to show the growth and depth of our local community. When Andrew discovered that so much of our history is unrecorded, he started the American Leather Story project to capture the visual, oral, and written histories of our local people. An award-winning photographer, Andrew donates his time to capture local Leather events and contests, such as Mr. Minneapolis Eagle and Iowa Leather Weekend, and he has created portraits of several local and international titleholders. Andrew also volunteers his design and web services to local Leather/Kink community groups. He has been a contributing artist to MNLP since 2007, creating unique dog tags and T-shirts.

Northeast Regional Award - Remi Graber

Remi is the current QFLAG 2015 titleholder, Founder of ProNE Leather Pride Night, founding member and Production Manager of Philadelphia Leather Pride Night, and a 2015 Northeast Pantheon of Leather Award Finalist. They’re a poly, non-binary, and queer paramedic who has dedicated their life’s work to the pursuit of selfless-service, volunteerism, and charity. Since 2007, Remi has worked hard in their communities as an advocate for educational opportunities as well as advancing LGBTQ issues. They have provided medical support for numerous events and organizations across the United States including The Floating World (Medical Coordinator), Leather Leadership Conference 2014 (Medical Coordinator), PolyCamp (Medical Coordinator), Center for Sex Positive Culture events, Alter Ego Studios, The Society, Wicked Women, Bound in Boston, and the NELA Fetish Flea Market. They have served as the VP of Philadelphia TNG, VP of Bellevue College Gay Straight Alliance and Assistant Director of the Bellevue College LGBTQ Resource Center. Remi has also presented classes
on rough body play, grappling, pony play, safety and first aid, and participated in panels on gender and sexuality. Remi has raised over $75,000 for LGBTQ charities, was pinned Mama’s Occupy Medic and received the 2014 David Peters Award for their community service.

NorCal/Northwest Regional Award - Race Bannon

Race Bannon has been an organizer, writer, educator, speaker and activist in the LGBT, Leather/Kink, polyamory and HIV/STI prevention realms since 1973. He’s authored two books, been published extensively, spoken to hundreds of audiences, created the world's largest kink-friendly psychotherapist and medical referral service, was a leader of The DSM Project that led to a beneficial change in the way psychotherapy views BDSM, founded a groundbreaking alternative sexuality publishing company, been an internet radio sex talk show host, received national and local awards, appeared in numerous documentaries, and currently also writes for the Bay Area Reporter. His blog is www.bannon.com

Rocky Mountain Regional Award - Sarah Humble

Since the late 80's Sarah Humble's accomplishments include: 1992 Co-Founder Females Investigating Sexual Terrain (FIST) women's backpatch club, 1994 Won Ms Baltimore Eagle contest, 1994 Won the first American Leatherwoman contest. 1996-2001 Leather Editor Baltimore Gay Paper-inspired by Mr. Marcus, 1996-2004 co-owner Play House Studios and Gallery, the first public play space in the Mid-Atlantic region. 2010 cofounder Women's Leather History Program (WLHP) at the LA&M. 2011-2016 LA&M Board of Directors. 2016-present Reclaiming Our Leather History Board of Directors. Three Pantheons: Woman of the Year, Readers Choice and Business of the Year. She has judged 150-plus local, state and international contests including IMsL (Head Judge six years), IML, International Mr. Drummer, International Deaf Leather, International Master/slave and Head Judge Emeritus WILL. Sarah's emceed contests including IMsL, Ms New York and Ms LA Leather. A member of FIST, associate of COMMAND (one of first two women), Low Country Leather, and WILI. Sarah has raised money for many causes and groups including the LA&M, WLHP, NCSF, Carter/Johnson Library. Sarah's devotion to preserving Leather history also includes the 85-plus interviews she has personally recorded for the WLHP and is the interviewer for the Inside the Leather Jacket interview series at IMsL and WILL.

South Central Regional Award - slave boo

boo has been interested in Leather for over 27 years. She started in the BDSM community in her early 20s. At that time she was taught by listening to the story telling, watching play and experiencing. Watch one, do one, teach one. Her Leather journey can best be described as winding like the yellow brick road. Always looking for the Mighty Oz. It was not until 18 years into her marriage that she finally allowed her Leather submissive side to emerge. It was truly a revelation that saved her marriage and started her intense Leather journey with her husband, as her Sir, by her side. As Ms Great Plains Olympus Leather, and now International Ms Olympus Leather she promotes no hate, diversity and acceptance. She teaches negotiations classes. Co Founder of the Household Wulfes Den, a household dedicated to service. Current Great Plains Olympus Leather 2016. Current International Ms Olympus Leather 2016. My goals were to extend my service-minded person at each event. Events i have volunteered in 2016 South West Leather Conference, IMsL April, Mr. Houston Leather, Bondage Expo Dallas, South Plains Leather Fest, International Leather Sir, Leather boy and Community Bootblack. I have judged Oklahoma Ms Leather, Ms Houston Leather, South Central Leather Sir, Leather boy and Community Bootblack, I have attended Great Lakes Olympus. I organized Friday family dinners for Youth first almost monthly, marched in the Pride Parade for Youth First and are currently working on a float for them, yearly fundraisers on my birthday, of art supplies, school supplies and food supplies for youth first. This year was the inaugural Boots and Bikes fundraiser at the Underground Cigar shop fundraiser supporting 22 Until None, a suicide prevention organization for veterans. We had over 25 motorcycles, over 100 people came in the four hours we were open, we raised over $1,000.

South Central Regional Award - Randal Kinnear

International Leather Sir 2006, first alternate International Drummer 2000, Drummer Golden Whip Award, Mr. Gulf Coast Drummer 2000, South Central Leather Sir 2006, President, Vice Pres. ILSb-ICBB, owner ILSBICBB 2007-2011, President - Tulsa Uniform and Leather Seekers Association, Director-Producer OK Mr. Leather, OK Drummer contests. Vice President and Board member - Ms World Leather org. former owner of the Dallas Eagle, fundraising and charities, Director of South Plains Leather Fest, Chief Judge International Community
Bootblack contest, Pantheon Man of the Year Award, Pantheon South Central Regional Award, Flesh and Fantasy Man of the Year. Thunder in the Mountains Talent Contest Winner, Secretary - Dallas Tavern Guild, Secretary - United Court of the Lone Star Empire. Have taught seminars and classes in all areas of Bondage play, Rope play and Body play. Fundraiser for many charities and organizations. Fought for the recognition of Bootblacks in our community.

(South Central Regional Award was a tie so the two above awards are correct.)

Southeast Regional Award - Jennifer Deese

Current: Jennifer calls North Carolina home. She is pledge master for Appalachian Women of Leather, 2015 Ms Southeast LeatherFest, event staff for Women International Leather Legacy, founder of the grassroots charity event Carnival of Madness: a Night of Burlesque which has raised around $8,000 in four years for various other Leather 501 (c)  organizations including LA&M, WLHP, Sharon St. Cyr foundation, Leather Leadership Conference for videotaping and online education access, Leather History conference for videotaping and preservation of stories. She is also a presenter across the country on topics such as rope, bloodplay and switching in dynamics. In her free time, Jennifer supports other Leather clubs and charity events either through donating goods and services or by providing women spaces. During travel she connects to women with the Sisterhood of The Traveling Boots, created by Blue Bradley to connect women and remind us of our cohesiveness. She is also an associate member of Low Country Leather, Columbia Leather Order and proud to be Mama’s Little Rebel with Mama's Family. Previous: co-founder Charlotte Traveling Munch 2008, co-facilitator North Carolina Interrogation group 2011-2013, Staff Leather History Conference 2015, Volunteer Coordinator Leather Leadership Conference 2014. Volunteer at multiple events 200 - present.

Southern California Regional Award - Tina "Sarge" Maravilla

Sarge, a Leather "futch" (Femme-Butch) from Southern California, loves blood play, energy play, foot play, and fisting. She is a founding member of the Gang Bang Girls; an all female group that helps women to live out their gang bang fantasies. Sarge volunteers for various Leather clubs, production companies, events and organizations. She is a co-founder of a Leather family called the House of AndOr, which focuses on fundamentals of Leather life and volunteering. She has a passion for teaching and learning and is in service to her community. In 2015 she kicked off a community mental health awareness campaign, called You Are Not Alone, with Leather dog tags. Wearers of the tags know they can talk to others wearing them, about mental health. She hopes that suicide rates will decrease with this awareness. During her IMsL year she traveled over 93k miles to five countries. Her work surrounding the campaign, her teachings and community spirit was seen on a large international level. The You Are Not Alone Campaign has gone beyond the Leather community and is even being worn by troops as part of their uniform. She is Ms San Diego Leather 2014-15 and International Ms Leather 2015.

Community Choice (Woman) - Master Talon Sharpe

From the start of his journey as a boi nearly two decades ago to the presentation of his Master’s cover in 2008 at SELF, Master Talon’s path evolved into becoming a dedicated member of the Leather Community. Past EC board member of NLA-CFL, his unique sense of humor allows him the ability to connect with others through fundraising, presenting PE relationship constructs and skill based interactive classes. Through this service, he discovered his true passion lies in sharing his knowledge with members of our communities, ultimately leading
to the development of his story in A Master's Journey. In 2015, Master Talon was honored to have been welcomed into Mama's Family as Mama's Talon Sharpe. Chosen to serve the sunshine state as 2015’s Florida Power Exchange Titleholder with his girl kathy, he was later selected to be International Power Exchange 2016. Talon’s appreciation for our history has built an ongoing quest for fostering strength within our communities through education and support. While his Leather family remains rooted in Florida, Master Talon considers himself fortunate for the opportunity to reach out and serve on a broader scale, remaining committed towards the growth and evolution of our communities across international boundaries.

Community Choice Award (Man) - Woodie Barnes McWhirter

Boy woodie has been very active in the Leather/Fetish community since 1990. He help play a major role that started the Leather boy movement. During his Title year as International drummer boy, it was paramount for him to reach out and educate the gay and heterosexual communities, about the rights and lifestyle of the Leather boy-boi community. On his title journey he won Pa drummerboy 1999, Mid-Atlantic drummerboy 1999, International Drummerboy 1999 and Mr. Code Florida Leather 2014 titles. Boy woodie co/founded-co/promoted 12
Days of Christmas fundraiser with Hooker and boys production since 1999. He has raised thousands of dollars since 1990 and still to this day for many animal, LGBT and straight charity-organizations. He was a co-promoter of the Tampa Bay LeatherSir/boy- North Florida Leather Sir/boy contest for six years, and also North Florida. Drummer for one year. He co-hosted an Internet Leather show called Leather It Up for three years about the Leather/BDSM community internationally. Boy woodie has judged around 100 contest for the Leather community
and the Mr. and Miss Gay entertainment community since 1990. Boy woodie is a proud member of Mama's Family as Mama's boy woodie.

There are four President's Awards

President's Award - Vonn Tramel

“I am just me, nothing more nothing less. I LOVE well-performed tasks, and charitable adults. I feel that there is little you cannot accomplish if you just set your mind to it. TOGETHER...we can conquer the world…one fantasy, one dream at a time…until each and every one becomes reality." Vonn Tramel is a bustling bi-coastal business professional by day, calling San Diego, CA her primary home and Atlanta, GA her second home. She is a mostly dominant switchy bitch with a penchant for boots, fire, well-performed “tasks” by good ponies and
pups. Vonn has a special place in her big black Leather heart for other charitable adults. She is especially interested in individuals who are willing to trust in her ability to teach in unconventional ways. There should always be an interest in service to your community, as a member of Pup’s Pack she does her best to keep in line with that philosophy. She is an active Leather woman who identifies as a queer low maintenance femme. She has judged several local and international events including regional Olympus Leather contests, LA Leather Bear and North American Pony & Trainer. On February 29, 2016 she purchased Olympus Leather Weekend and the International Olympus Leather Circuit from its founder Dave Rhodes. Miss Vonn is also The Leather Journal’s Webmaster and Executive Producer for all of its live and prerecorded broadcasts. She is Mama’s Webn8rx (Webinatrix) and spends her free time helping community business owners improve their websites and volunteering as a board member and media director for The Leather Foundation.

President's Award - Jeffrey Storer

Jeffrey Storer, a Chicago native, started volunteering for the Leather Archives & Museum in 2001. In 2003, Jeff gave up his own construction and home improvement/inspection business to become the Director of Operations of the LA&M. Jeff travels to many fetish events with the LA&M Road Show and is very active in the Chicago Leather community. In addition to maintaining the facilities, Jeff also maintains the LA&M’s computer systems and websites. He catalogs and maintains specific LA&M collections and is responsible for the digitization of the LA&M’s Multi Media Collection and the processing of new Acquisitions to the collections. Additionally, he maintains the Teri Rose Memorial Library and the many LA&M Social Networking sites. Jeff is our guru of all things technology-related at the LA&M and has played an integral role in the development of the LA&M as an active community center. Jeff’s unique problem-solving skills make him an invaluable asset to the Leather Archives & Museum. In his off time, Jeff enjoys working on his home in Evanston where he lives with his husband Rick, his boy Shane and their Sun Conure Huey.

President's Award - Erik Will

Erik came to SF Leathermen's Discussion Group in 2011, becoming Chairman in 2012. During his tenure, he's created a national audience for LDG with social media, improved website, and live/on demand video of all programming; transitioned LDG to a 501(c)(3); increased org treasury by over 1200-percent; facilitated LDG's ongoing Mentoring Program (designed by Richard Sprott, PhD) serving over 100 men. A few notable recent LDG programs Erik produced Tom of Finland Art Auction and Reception (San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance Best Community Event 2015), Richtrove/Rich Stadtmiller's 10th Anniversary (SFBA Leather Alliance Best Anniversary Event 2015), Retrospective of Up Your Alley Fair with Gayle Rubin (SFBA Leather Alliance Best Education Event 2015), Retrospective of Folsom Street Fair with Gayle Rubin (SFBA Leather Alliance Best Education Event 2014), Townhall: Should Leather March With SF Pride, The San Francisco Dungeon Tour. Erik’s work as SFBA Leather Alliance Weekend co-chair included creating the SF Leather mobile app and producing educational programs. Erik designed programming for GearUp Men’s Weekend 2011-2016, is an associate member of The 15 Association, Leather Alliance Man of the Year 2014, PrEP advocate, and GearUp enthusiast. His supportive family includes Daddy Robert and their pup Rascal.

President's Award - Sergio Saragoca

Sergio Saragoca is the Executive Producer and co-owner of the International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack contest which is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization based in Dallas, Texas. He is the partner of International Mr. Leather 2009 Jeffrey Payne and is a member of the Dallas Bears and is a Viscount in the United Court of the Lone Star Empire under Emperor 41 Larry Finch. He is co-owner of Notarius Reporting, Inc., Dallas Eagle, The Eagle Outpost.




Published in Pantheon of Leather



By Vonn Tramel, Photos by Rich Stadtmiller and Muffin
IMsL Weekend 2016 the “Dirty 30" Celebration was held in San Jose, CA, April 14-17. Seven contestants competed for the titles of IMsBB and IMsL 2016, but Saturday night it was Bootblack Meghan and Lascivious
Jane who came out on top of each class.

The weekend was a culmination of a year of travel for slave Tabitha and her Master who were only separated on three trips and over 93,000 miles of travel for IMsL 2015 Sarge – travel which included Northern Alaska and the southern most tip of Africa, four continents and over 10,000 selfies.

Tabitha’s “last shine” opened the festivities, followed by Queer happy hour and the opening reception. However, Thursday night’s Seduction was again the highlight of the weekend for me. With performances by hot butches and super femmes, and of course the eternally-hot Peggy Sue. Who would choose to miss this IMsBB and IMsL travel “fun”rasier? The runway was longer, the lights were darker, and the women hotter than ever, dancing their way into the attendees' wettest dreams.

Friday was chock-full of amazing classes and intensives, receptions and hot bootblacking.

New this year was a Jamberry nail salon, hosted by IMsBB 2009 pony girl with a percentage of proceeds for the entire month of April benefiting the IMsL Foundation.

The vendor and auction spaces were open and chock full of delicious and devious devices and duds for dolly’s and Daddy’s to do with as they please.

Friday and Saturday night’s show’s were judged by a panel of firsts … the first Ms World Leather Annie Romano, first American Leather Woman Sara Humble, International Mr. Bootblack Pasken Burrel, Producer Gen 1 Sky Renfro, and Metis Black owner of the first sex toy company to mainstream silicone sex toys ensuring industry material safety, IMsL judges were joined by Head Judge IMsL 2014 Patty.

IMsBB judges were first IMsL Judy Tallwing McCarthy, International Mr. Bootblack Bamm Bamm, International Ms Bootblack 2014 Dara Bryant.

The Contest nights were simulcast to the contestant’s hometowns by The Leather Journal for IMsL and recordings of all four ballroom events will be donated to the IMsL Foundation for historical record. Friday’s show featured roll call for all four generations of contestants.

Saturday night, an announcement of all IMsL’s and IMsBB alumni was presented during the Contest Finale. The Mama's Family photo included over 100 members, including two new members: IMsL Staff member Oliver Clothes Off is now Mama’s Left Shark and Ms San Diego Leather 2016 Jae Marie is now Mama’s Cold Hands.

Saturday Night's contest featured fantasies and formality. Bubblinsugare performance as Emcee was downright sassy. Each contestant brought fantasies, which reflected their own brand of kink and desire. IMsL runner-up Aurora Lee’s musical tribute to back-alley gang-bangs and Lascivious Jane’s Victory Girl domination of Uncle Sam brought down the house.

The bootblacks spoke with a common conviction and clarity of purpose during their speeches. The Leather Archives & Museum and The Carter/Johnson Leather Library were on hand each displaying special pieces that had not been out of private collection in almost 10 years. The Carter Johnson Leather Library’s centerpiece was a Bootblack quilt with boot patches chronicling titleholder names through 2005. The quilt was acquired in 2005, during an auction. IMsL Weekend was the first time it had been seen since then.

Reuniting many titleholders with a piece of their history, each IMsL and IMsBB wore their sashes Saturday night during Alumni introduction.

Emcees Tristan Taormino and Bubblinsugare kept the stage alive throughout the weekend, each with their own special brand of wit, snark and sexy stamina.

Hospitality was hoppin’ as usual and was hosted by Portland Bad Girls, SFgoL, ACLC and Mama’s Family, The Exiles, The Canadian’s Bevies with Beavers, Dragon Tear Tribe hosting the Cigars and Boots Social on Saturday Night, a Disney Social hosted by The Little Scouts, and the Pajama Party in lieu of the traditional Afterglow party. Bootblack Scout was on hand with pancakes and peanut butter to supplement a wonderful continental Saturday morning spread during the SFgoL’s Brunch. Mama’s family pinning’s and Volunon patching by Rich during which my partner PuP~ and I were patched by Rich Stadtmiller during the ACLC and Mama’s family reception.

Master George and slave bren also took the opportunity to appoint Teagan as the 2016 Southern California Leather Bootblack during Mama’s reception.

Sunday morning, Mama Vi’s keynote was told in storyteller fashion. With her “grand children” gathered at her feet. She spoke about the history present in the room, giving us a taste, but skillfully, leaving us wanting to know more about each of the hero’s she spoke of. After her keynote, the applause continued until Emcee Tristan Taromino called her back to the stage and she pulled a tearful Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt with her, for a full 120 seconds of thunderous applause for the two women.

Sunday afternoon I was lucky enough to be the only press at the meet the titleholders press conference, scoring some much unexpected one-on-one time.

Meghan hopes to continue working to elevate Bootblack status and Jane will continue to bring the men’s, women’s and queer communities together. Meghan looks forward to traveling outside the US and meeting bootblacks from other countries and Jane wants to learn more about bootblacking and the care of her Leathers. Something tells me this dynamic duo will make some memorable moments and bring some great stories to share next April 20-24 in San Jose, CA.

Read more about this years contestants, winners, parties and see video highlights online at https://www.theleatherjournal.com/home/imsl-news



Published in International Leather

images/articles/news/regional/2013_Events/Folsom_Street_Fair_2013_Story/IMG_5611 Web.jpgThe 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."


Published in Regional Leather
Friday, 11 April 2014 00:48

Meet The Contestants IMsL 2014: Mel

VT-TLJ: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Please tell me about your Sponsor(feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.
MS:    I am honored to have the following sponsors;
1)    Alameda County Leather Corps (ACLC) is a a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the East Bay community. The club is composed mostly of residents from San Francisco’s East and South Bays. Our purpose is to promote educational and charitable activities through social interaction among people with an interest in leather, Levi’s, uniforms, and latex. I am proud to serve as the current Ms. Alameda County Leather, a Board member and a very proud member. Website: aclcweb.org
2)    The Bolt Sacramento- Sacramento’s only real Leather/Cowboy/Bear bar- Located in Sacramento this bar is a great hangout the staff is amazing. Next time you are in Sacramento please swing by. Website: sacbolt.com
3)    Leather Masters- Is a unique shop that sells amazing products. Their website states fulfilling fantasies all over the world since 1989. I have purchased amazing leather clothing from them. Please visit their website you will not be disappointed. Website: leathermaster.com

Published in International Leather
Monday, 29 July 2013 03:06

The Times, They Are A' Changin'

Marcus Hopkins In RubberAs a former Leather titleholder, I have a vested interest in ensuring that the Leather culture continues in perpetuity.  Over the past few decades, what that "means" has continually been reshaped to best suit the needs of the current crop of Leather enthusiasts and the times in which they live.  One thing, however, has remained consistent: the outgoing generation reviles the changes brought about by their incoming replacements.

Perhaps the one stable meeting place for those in the Leather community has been the ubiquitous "Leather bar" - that often dingy, dimly lit bastille where the local Leather denizens gather to preen as much as their restrictive clothing (or lack thereof) will allow.  Beneath the layers of posturing and displaying, however, there are turbulent conversations being had about the future of these bastions of our culture, and what that future may mean for the community.

Before I delve into the content of these conversations, I should take a moment to describe my own experience.  I have moved a grand total of 43 times, the most recent in April from los angeles, CA to Morgantown, WV.  As someone who was raised on the outskirts of the Leather community in New York City in the late 80s, only to be transplanted into the rural South in my teen years, I was lucky enough to experience a variety of different "scenes" along my journey to my current state of being.  When I first started going out to bars, the only options around were of the "small-town gay bar" variety - a hodgepodge of every social type, gender, and sexual proclivity.  It is largely due to these vastly different experiences that I am so open to change.  The decor and clientelle aside, these bars are the most similar to Leather bars that I have found in that they provide patrons both with a sense of belonging to a community and of being on the outskirts as an anomaly within that community.

These things having been established, please allow me to begin:

When I first moved to los angeles, I found myself voluntarily thrust into the middle of the Leather titleholder community, and by way of my then-partner, the Avatar education non-profit.  As an educator, myself, I have always been concerned with ensuring that whenever people engage in any type of sexual activity, they're smart (and educated) about it.  At one of my first educational sessions (on the subject of fisting), I entered into a rather heated debate with a very prominent figure in the LA Leather community over the current state of Leather bars.

"I don't even like to go out to (redacted) on a Friday night!  How is it that I'm the one being given the stink eye over my attire in my own goddamned bar?"

Flip flops, tennis shoes, outsiders, and, worst of all, women - no irritant was too small for my friend, each of them more of an affront to his sensibilities than the last.

"I miss the days of enforced dress codes," was his, and the most common, refrain when arguing that the Leather bars just "aren't what they used to be," and to some degree, I agree with him.  When I made my first (legal) forays into the Leather bar scene, it was so I could find for myself a sense that I was not the outsider standing on the sidelines while the rest of my peers played in the big game.  That I was into BDSM and fetish gear happened to be my Scarlet Letter in the small-town gay bars; it was in these Leather bars that I sought acceptance and, most horrifying to me, now, admittance - a feeling that I had been allowed into a special event to which few were ever invited.

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I played the part and donned the drag of my Leather compatriots, but still, there was something missing from my experience.  While I had all but forced my way into this exclusive brotherhood, the reality was that, even though I get on famously with the 40-plus crowd, I still found their approach to enjoying their scene still too conservative for my tastes.  So many rules; so many protocols; so much bullshit.

Over time, I began to realize that, while after a few (dozen) drinks I could find myself having a good time, I always felt like the Leather bar scene was such a compartmentalized part of my life.  I was cut off from the friends I held dearest because, as my friend so vehemently pointed out, they were not welcome on this field of play.  My female, straight, bisexual, and "normal" friends often found themselves on the receiving end of distasteful and inartful signals that they had wandered into the wrong part of town; that they'd better get off the old man's lawn.

It was at this time that I began to notice the existence of those to whom I refer as "The Gerontocracy" - a group of gay men over the age of 40 who played a very vital roll in the late 80s and early 90s in helping to ensure that LGBT rights and causes were advance, but who, in their (as my friend put it) "senescence," have come to find themselves being not-so-gently shoved out of the spotlight only to be replaced by those whom they feel to be either too incapable or too incompetent to take up the mantle they so publically bore.  

"The younger generation doesn't care about our traditions; they don't respect us," my friend averred, as I sat across from him wearing my title vest and medallion at the tender age of 28, the four pieces of Leather I could afford clinging to my form as I endured his tirade.  Was I so dismissive of our Leather heritage?  Was I really the cause of the downfall of the Leather bar?

In a word, "No."  Economically speaking, the times had to change.  The Leather bar faces a unique challenge ahead of them because, if this is the attitude of those in our community who are supposed to be leading and teaching the new generation, they are not replacing themselves at their rate of expiration.  Younger people have fewer economic advantages than their elders, and have had to make some not-so-tough choices: $250 for a pair of Leather pants or rent?  I'll go with rent.  And so they go to the Leather bars in what they have, more often because they are the bars where they are ostensibly less likely to wind up on the receiving end of shady pretty boys because they can't afford to wear high-end clothing and get into the VIP lounge.  What they often find, however, is an older generation no more forgiving of their status than their A-Gay peers.

And so, I posit this:

Rather than bitch about how the Leather bars are falling from grace and devolving from dens of iniquity into just another gay bar, why not welcome all comers into the fold and educate them about what we find so damn wonderful about our culture and our community.  The days of the oft-mourned Leather bar are gone, and I say, "Good riddance."  We have to realize that the Leather community is no longer the only game in town, and if the newer generations can't find acceptance for the sexual deviances with us, they will most assuredly find it elsewhere.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 20:18

New Bootblack organization comes to Arizona

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.’

Published in Local Leather
Thursday, 04 January 2018 12:13

Dave Rhodes Hump Day January 3, 2018



Mid-Atlantic Leather judges named

By Patrick Grady
The judges for Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather were named. They are Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2017 Martel Brown, International Mr. Leather 2017 Ralph Bruneau, International Mr. Leather 1992 Lenny Broberg, Mr. Eagle NYC 2016 Darkqwolf, American Leatherwoman 2012 Doc, Mr. Leather Europe Joe King and Sister Tiny Bubbles. The scores will be added up by Mark Branson of COMMAND MC and International Leather Sir 2015 Tug Whitehead. Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend will be held January 12-14 in Washington, DC. Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2018 will be a contestant in the International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago, IL, Memorial Day Weekend. Go to http://www.leatherweekend.com/ for details.

Published in Editorial



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!


Published in Regional Leather
Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:49

NCSF conducting Mental Health Survey

NCSF 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.


Published in Society & Arts
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 15:15

The top Leather community stories of 2013

Proposition 8 Overturned Marc Watrel By Dave RhodesAs 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.

Published in National Leather
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 17:40

CeeJay, from ONYX, is Mr. Eagle NYC 2014

Eagle NYC 2014 CeeJayOn 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.


Published in Local Leather
Thursday, 02 February 2017 14:16

Drummer North America's third year


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.

Published in National Leather
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:50

Atons of Minneapolis Gopher Run XXI

images/articles/news/regional/2014_Events/Atons_Gopher_XXI/Atons Members Web.jpgThe 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.


Published in Local Leather
Sunday, 06 July 2014 03:41

Cincinnati Gay Pride


images/articles/news/regional/2014_Events/Cincinnati Gay Pride Photo By RacXposure Web II.jpgCincinnati Gay Pride 2014 was held May 30-June 1 and for the first time in its history, the Leather/Kink Community played a prominent role in the weekend festivities.

Ron Clemons, Producer of the Mr. Tri-State Leather/Rubber Contest and a founding member of SCORPIUS of Cincinnati, was named a Grand Marshall for this year's Pride Parade. Additionally, the Leather/Kink Community had the honor of being the lead float in the parade. Sponsors of the float were Tri-State Leather, Ruff Pups of CNKY and Titans of the Midwest. The float organizer was Pup Nuzz and Kings CJD provided the truck.


Published in Local Leather

Folsom 2013 Bare Chest HunksIn 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.

Published in Regional Leather
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