By Rick Conley
500 Leatherfolk were on hand for the 19th Annual Mates Leather Weekend in Provincetown, October 1-4 and by all accounts had a great time. The event raised $3,567 for the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod.
In addition, 34 men took part in Unit 10′s Free Health Screening during MLW. Unit 10 is part of the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod’s Men’s Health Project dedicated to education and prevention. These men deserve our respect and admiration for taking such a proactive approach in maintaining their good health and the health of their partners.
First Mate 2014 Jeremy Weis was the emcee for Mates Leather Weekend.
Jonathan Kharfen from Boston, MA was chosen First Mate 2015. First runner-up was Kurt Kolok from The Berkshires in Western MA and second runner-up was Eric Farkas from Boston, MA.
The judges were First Mate 2013 Steve DuPont, First Mate 2002 Patrick “Puppy” Lamerson and Mr. Connecticut Leather 2016 Tom Matt.
Look for Jonathan when he hosts the 2016 First Mate Contest in October 2016.
To find out more, check out http://www.MatesLeatherWeekend.com
Mates Leather Weekend is produced by Rick Conley, longtime Provincetown resident and Leatherman.
Rick says, "I want to thank all MLW sponsors, friends and past participants who have contributed to the success of Mates Leather Weekend. I’m grateful for all the new friends that I’ve made along the way"
He added, "I take great pride in the quality of men and women that attend MLW. There is no attitude here, just folks that are down-to-earth, friendly, and nice to look at. It takes a lot of effort to put on an event like this."
Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert (PSLOD) produced yet another Mr. Palm Springs Leather Contest on Saturday, October 31 at the Palm Springs Convention Center on the Grand Concourse during Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend with Mr. Hot Rodeo Chris Durbin being best among six men competing.
First runner-up was Mr. Off Ramp Leathers Steve Juneau and second runner-up was Mr. Chill Leather James Bork.
Palm Springs Leather Pride emcee Lenny Broberg was back and announced the winners. The Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus opened the night with the Star Spangle Banner and they also serenaded Lenny later in the contest.
The judging panel included Esteban Bartholo, Randy Carmenaty, Randall “Bear Man” Klett, Sandy “Mama” Reinhardt, International Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2015 Clifton Tatum and Dan Woodward.
The three remaining contestant were Mr. Tool Shed Leather Jeff Maxwell, Mr. Barracks Leather Mark Austin and Mr. Copa Palm Springs Leather Aaron Jones.
Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2015 Clifton Tatum's step down speech included thank you's to many who were there for him and was a recount of all of the fundraising he did in his title year.
He announced a goal of $20,000 raised last year when he won and he attained it. Mock checks were presented to all of the charities that received funds.
International Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith delivered a rousing speech which can be read in its entirety by clicking on Uganda.
Jim Neuman was presented his President's Award from Pantheon of Leather founder Dave Rhodes and being as loved as he is in Palm Springs for his community service he received a loud standing ovation.
The weekend started with a Meet and Greet at Hunters Nightclub on Thursday night where people could get their registration.
A clothing-optional pool party hosted by the Clifton Tatum was the event of Friday afternoon at InnExile.
The Formal Leather Dinner at the Palm Springs Hilton in the Horizon Ballroom was first class all the way. Great atmosphere, service, company and the Chicken and beef were terrific. Those who opted for meat got two regular-sized portions.
The Tool Shed/PSLOD Vendor Market and Back Lot Cruise Party went on Friday and Saturday nights with some 5,000 Leatherfolk passing the gate each night.
On Saturday afternoon the 'Gar and Gear Party/Barbecue at The Barracks bar was packed.
The Victory Leather/Fetish Dance Party at The Barracks followed the contest, and once again, the bar was full.
The Turning up the Heat Pool Party/Barbecue and Soaked T-shirt Contest. Clifton Tatum and the new Mr. Palm Springs Leather Chris Durbin were on hand. There was no shortage of hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, bright sunshine and hot men.
Jim Neuman hosted another huge party with the California B&B Corps at his Casa Lola in North Palm Springs on Sunday afternoon. Virtually every Leather dignitary was there including Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt. Plenty of food and an open bar.
The Official Closing Party at The Barracks.
The Palm Springs Leather Pride staff includes Chair of Palm Springs Leather Pride Skip Mlaker, the Board of Directors and the membership of the Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert, Contest co-producers Drew Kramer and Dave Murdock, tally master, Karen Rakow Atkins, judges coordinator, Skip Mlaker and contestant coordinator, Todd Parker, emcee Lenny Broberg and ASL interpreter Michael Klynn. Leo Newcomb is the President of PSLOD.
Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert at http://www.pslod.org is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing a safe atmosphere for growth and support of the Leather Lifestyle while nourishing a sense of sister/brother hood and camaraderie within the organization and the community, and to raise funds for deserving projects, clubs, organizations, defense funds or charities which have given direct or indirect support to the Leather community or to the GLBT community at large.
Many snowbirds and Leatherfolk from Southern California hung around for Palm Springs Gay Pride, November 6-8. Jim Neuman hosted another huge party at his Casa Lola in North Palm Springs on Sunday afternoon. Those who stayed were treated to a fabulous parade and festival which saw some 100,000 GLBT people in the crowd and a festival with approximately 75 vendors and information booths. All of the city's bars, shops and restaurants benefited. It was noted that Palm Springs population is not 57 percent LGBT. Every year this number seems to increase. Attend next year to find out why.
By Patrick Grady
The Centaur Motorcycle Club announced the judges and tally masters for the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016 contest to held in Washington, DC the weekend of January 15-18.
Once again, the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001 will serve as the host hotel where Leather Cocktails will be held on Saturday night and the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016 contest on Sunday afternoon.
Chief Judge Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2015 Daddy David Gerard will be joined by International Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith, International Mr. Leather 2015 Seattle Mr. Leather 1998 Billy Lane, Mr. Eagle New York City 2014 Cee Jay, Mr. Eagle New York City 2014, Mr. Rock Bear 2015 John-John, American Leatherwoman 2000 Paula Smith and Mr. Leather Europe 2012 Kilker Alcaraz.
The tally masters will be Mr. New Jersey Leather 2015 Thomas Fincannon and International Mr. Puppy 2014 Pup Tripp.
Perhaps the main event of Mid-Atlantic Leather weekend is Leather Cocktails which will be held on Saturday night. The Centaurs put out one of the best food spreads and the formal Leather affair is not to be missed. Those who have attended Leather Cocktails before already know.
There will be many unofficial events including play parties hosted by SigMa at their clubhouse, bar parties at the Green Lantern and the recently re-opened DC Eagle.
In 2011, the Bootblacks were re-introduced to Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend and they will be there again in January. Since 2011, the Bootblacks have raised $9,828 – Half of which has gone to the Mr. MAL Travel fund and the other half to support a local charity.
The Weekend also includes official events organized by Centaur MC, that include a bustling Leather Exhibit Hall open Friday and Saturday, and a Sunday brunch before the Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016 contest.
Information on events, registration, and guest room accommodations can be found at http://www.leatherweekend.com
By Jeffrey Hart
Jason Black was named Mr. ICON Detroit Leather 2016 at the New Menjo’s Complex October 16-18.
This was the inaugural ICON Detroit Leather Weekend which had had two very strong contestants vied.
Jason Black from Waterford, Michigan will go on to represent Detroit in the International Mr. Leather 2016 contest held in Chicago in May.
The Mr. ICON Detroit Leather contest featured a Friday night meet and greet hosted by ICON Detroit with Josh Fortuna’s The Leather Project, A Second Skin in the ICON Lounge letting people try on Leather, see how it feels and to ask questions. Also in the ICON Lounge was The Silence Shoot on hand to help take a stance against Bullying and Suicide. Saturday night featured the contest and the annual ICON Brother Basket Auction to help raise funds for ICON Detroit’s three charities: Mr. Friendly, AIDS Partnership Michigan, and the Ruth Ellis Center. Then Sunday the Men of ICON Detroit Hosted a Victory lunch in Jason’s honor.
The judges were ICON Detroit Founder ALLEYCAT, ICON Detroit, Mr. Tri State Leather 2014 Brian Bolt Donner, Michigan Leather Sir 2009 Sir Merrill, Mr. Michigan Leather 2015 Josh Fortuna, and ICON Detroit Club President Martino.
The weekend was emceed by Mr. Michigan Leather 2013 Steven Teets and CLAW Party Coordinator Boy Kevin.
Event Sponsors included CLAW, Menjo’s, Dunes Resort - Mr. Dunes Leather Contest, Salon Danielle, NOIR Leather, Tri-State Leather Weekend and MML Weekend.