By Matthew Mullins
The first Los Angeles Pup Contest happened in mid-November and gave los angeles its first pup titleholder since 2004. The winner, Ryan "Pup Zero" Evanshowled alongside, first runner-up Morgan Gregory (Pup Asher) and second runner-up Mark Laraway (Pup Nero), while the audience that packed the Bullet Bar roared with delight and excitement.
November 12-15, The City of Angels was given its first los angeles Puppy Pride weekend, and it was a smash hit. Puppies and handlers from all over the US, came to the inaugural four-day celebration. The first Class of los angeles Pup in order of the number draw included Thomas Wright (Pup Blu), William Carter (Pup Cosmo), Johnny Angel (Pup Jax), Ryan Evans (Pup Zero), Morgan Gregory (Pup Asher), and Mark Laraway (Pup Nero).
The judging panel had pups and handlers from all over the US, including Jefferson Tugger, Jay Heimbach, Don Mike, Justin Oliver Hartman, Amp Somers, and the lead judge was Pug Moliski.
On Thursday night, the weekend began with a documentary about a remarkable pup, Tim Hamilton, who was one of the first international pup title holders. The film outlined Tim and his historical journey to International Puppy in 2002. Following the treasured opus, Pup Tim, Don Mike, and Pup Pug gave a detailed account of the pup scene back during the filming. The night was informative and intimate. The panel was visibly emotional from the screening and inspirational to the new generation of pups. Everyone learned some important facts from the history of the pup community in los angeles.
On Friday night, the Bullet Bar was standing-room only. A smash hit event, Dog Pound, had taken hold of the bar and the amount of people who came to support LA Pup was astonishing. The 2015 LA Pup class was selling raffle tickets like mad, and prizes were awarded from Oxballs, Volgur, Spunk Lube, Tykables, and Rough Trade. It seemed that the night was in full swing as the contestants drew their numbers, then headed off to mosh in the largest mosh pit in los angeles.
On Saturday night, the tension and excitement reverberated through the the walls of the Bullet Bar and the LA Pup Class of 2015 had the full attention of the audience. Jordan Frink and Moon O'Neal were the emcees, alongside producers Dan Lovell and Matthew Mullins. The contestants answered a funny question and a serious question, acted out a puppy scene with a mystery object, and ended with very emotionally-driven speeches. The crowd was on the edge of their seats while the tally master added the votes.
Matthew Mullins and Dan Lovell awarded Pup Tim with the first Legendary Pup Award. They also awarded Michael Lara and Cyn Duby a special Skullbit Award for their dedication to the event. Before the announcement of the winner of LA Pup, Dan Lovell danced with each pup on stage, while the audience clapped and became raucous. Pup Zero claimed the gold to a thunderous applause. It was history in the making and it is obvious that los angeles has a home for LA Pup.
The Mr. Leather 64 TEN 2016 contest will be held March 11-16 at the Jackhammer in Chicago, IL and is sponsored by Leather64TEN.
Mr. Leather 64 TEN 2015 Michael Pacas will serve as the head judge. The rest of the judging panel will be named soon.
The emcees will be slave Travis and Todd Davidson. Davidson is a past Mr. Chicago Leather.
Funds raised during Mr. Leather 64 TEN 2016 Weekend will be split between the Leather Archives and Museum, located only about two blocks from Leather64TEN.
The fun starts on Friday at 8 PM with a meet and greet followed by a dance at the Jackhammer.
Saturday will see the contest doors open at 9:00 PM, contest starts at 10:00 PM at the Jackhammer followed by a VIP party in The Hole below the Jackhammer.
Sunday's victory party is titled Cotton Tea Dance and will be hosted by Christian Andrew.
The winner will compete at International Mr. Leather in Chicago in May.
For more information check out http://www.Leather64TEN.com or phone (773) 508-0900.
Article Amended to correct title name and event start times. The previous version also erroneously stated that Mr. Leather 64 TEN 2015 Michael Pacas was the first to hold this title.
The new Ms Iowa Leather is Tink Harvey of Des Moines, IA and Mr. Iowa Leather is Rob Anderson of The Quad Cities.
Held October 9-12 in Des Moines, Iowa Leather Weekend saw record attendance. With over 600 people at the contest and 1,700 attendees for the weekend, it was Iowa Leather Weekend’s biggest year yet.
Events and attractions featured during Iowa Leather Weekend included an inclusive community spectrum: Superhero Gear Night, a Smoke-Out/Grill-Out, Rubbermen Invasion, Power of the Pussy Party, Bear’tails and the Thrive Jockstrap Party.
In addition to the socials and cocktail events, Iowa Leather Weekend featured a series of KINK U workshops and demonstrations sponsored by Titans of the Midwest, a Littles Party, a Bootblack Lounge and a Pup Mosh sponsored by the North Star Kennel Club.
Eight contestants competed. For Mr. Iowa Leather, James Sargent of Des Moines was first runner-up and Anthony, Sivanthaphanith of Iowa City was second runner-up. For Ms Iowa Leather, Murph McDaniel Sousa of Omaha was the runner-up.
The judging panel included IML 1994 Jeff Tucker, founder/owner of Le Chateau Exotique Joyce Rubin Berger, Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2013 Sir Robert Miller, IML 2012 Woody Woodruff, Mid-Atlantic Leatherwoman 2009 Cowboi Jen, Mr. Iowa Leather 2015 Rob Kreisinger-Denk and Ms Iowa Leather 2015 Lucket Kiche.
Den Daddy was Jon Jack Trujillo, Den Mother was IMsL 2013 Sarha Shaubach, Tally Masters were Randolph KMA and American Leatherboy 2013 Tank Teachworth, and Contest Bootblack was International Mr. Bootblack first runner-up Zach Bellman.
Iowa Leather Weekend sponsors were The Blazing Saddle, The Garden Nightclub, Buddy’s Corral, Oxballs USA, Corn Haulers Levi and Leather Club, Le Chateau Exotique, NYC Leather Man, Fort Troff, Twin Cities Leather and Latte, Studio 13, Titans of the Midwest, Atons of Minneapolis, North Star Kennel Club, Minnesota Leather Pride, Leatherati, The Imperial Court of Iowa, CIPEX Mischief in May, Doll Distributing, Everett Allen Photography, Pjur Lubricants, Leatherati, Pride Sports League, The Dunes Resort, CLAW, Capital City Pride, and Great Lakes Den.
Host hotel reservations and weekend packages for Iowa Leather Weekend, October 14-16, 2016 are on sale now at http://www.iowaleatherweekend.com
Contributors to this article include Mark Turnage, Jeremy Morris and Rob Anderson
By Bruce-Michael Gelbert
The seventh annual Philadelphia Leather Pride Night (PLPN), produced by Cowboi Jen, guiding a team of equally tireless volunteers, and having Energy as its theme, took place on November 7 at Voyeur Nightclub, in the Gayborhood, and raised $8,000 for its five beneficiaries. The emcee was Karen Ultra Domme, who was also interviewed, in an ‘Intimate Conversation’ just before the event, and shared with the 149 PLPN attendees the mysteries of “Persian Pitting,” creatively incorporating burning and burnt avocado pits into scenes. The returning DJ was ‘the Loving Tyrant’ Don Thompson. Sponsors for this memorable endeavor were Voyeur, Philadelphia Masters And slaves Together (MAsT), Midtown II Restaurant, and the Woods campground. The Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc. provided ASL interpreters for the proceedings.
The event’s centerpiece was a lively benefit auction, with “Million Dollar Auctioneer” Jo Arnone, who helped PLPN raise more than $60,000 during the previous six years, and here auctioned off such donated items as passes to Leather events; Opera Philadelphia tickets to Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer’s “Cold Mountain,” after Charles Frazier’s novel, and to “L’Elisir d’Amore;” artwork; Leather and Kink clothing and accoutrements; PLPN Energy Leather Heart Bear, by slave Kelly, and PLPN wooden paddle, by Shy Butch; gift baskets; Cuban cigars; and Zeb’s infamous and delectable “Crack Brownies.” The beneficiaries were the Chicago-based Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), dedicated to preserving and protecting Leather and Kink history, and receiving $2,800 of the PLPN proceeds; Philly AIDS Thrift (PAT), for its free drop-in HIV testing center, receiving $2,500; By the Grace of George, Jo Arnone’s charity, helping to feed pets of ailing, home-bound men and women, who could not otherwise care for them, given $2,000; GALALEI: queer Latin@ social justice, given $500; and the Leather Heart Foundation, presented with $200. Donors of auction items included LA&M, PAT, I am a Sub to My Cat(s), the Leatherman NYC, Aquiel, Passional Boutique, NJ FemmeDomme Group, Remi Graber, Chadds Ford Winery, Cowboi Jen, and Mr. South Africa Leather Herman Groenewald.
Jo Arnone presented her Award for Services to PLPN volunteer slave 705 and Remi presented the David Peters Award to PLPN volunteer Kitten. A 50-50 raffle was handled by Mid-Atlantic Onyx Pearls and its $215 prize was donated back to PLPN by the winner.
Ben’s Kinky Bakeoff, including baked goods in Leather Pride flag designs and colors, was a new component of PLPN, and judges included Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County’s Sherri Rase and Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2015 Jason Hall. Prizewinners for their entries included Ms New Jersey Leather 2013 baby girl Diane and 2015 Philadelphia Bootblack Wicked Jade.
Speaking during the evening were Rick Storer of LA&M, which will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in September 2016, and in which PLPN has a lifetime membership; and Phoenix Leather Pup Jefferson Tugger, who caused controversy at the International Mr. Leather (IML) 2015 contest in Chicago by wearing a corset and high heels on stage. The presentation of current Leather titleholders, including Mr. New Jersey Leather 2016 Tigger, Mr. Q FLAG (Fits Like a Glove) 2015 Remi Graber, and Mr. Fire Island Leather 2015 Edd Clark; a parade of colors of Leather clubs; and introduction of Mama Sandy Reinhardt’s Family members also took place during the evening.
Entertainment was coordinated by Mr. New Jersey Leather 2015 Thomas Fincannon. This writer, Mr. Fire Island Leather 2001 — the first — kicked off the proceedings once again, singing “Unchained Melody” by Alex North and Hy Zaret. Suzanne, Cowboi Jen’s fiancée, contributed an Elvis “Burning Love” striptease.
Numbers from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s “Little Shop of Horrors” were Mr. North American Bear 2012 and Mr. Rawhide NYC 2011 Jed Ryan’s striptease down to Leather harness and jock, to “Dentist!,” ending with a confetti shower, and a “Suddenly Seymour” dance and striptease duet by Burlesque Battle Royal winner Masochist with Martina Mayhem. A contributor to the Leather Journal and Q News publications, Jed is also producer of the Underneath the Sash pin-up calendar, benefiting LA&M and featuring photos by David Heitholt and graphic design by Connecticut’s Twilight Guard Vice-President Sean R. Campbell.
Numbers from Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman’s “Rocky Horror (Picture) Show” were Mr. New Jersey Leather 2015 Thomas Fincannon’s “Sweet Transvestite,” Ms. New Jersey Leather 2016 Christy Lee’s “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me,” and New Jersey Leather titleholders’ “Time Warp.”
The Eighth Annual PLPN will take place on September 24, and Jaco Lourens, the first Mr. South Africa Leather (2009-2010), who placed fourth at IML 2010 and was Keynote Speaker for Leather Leadership Conference (LLC) 2014 in Philadelphia, will return to the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love as PLPN emcee.