By Leo Newcomb
Palm Springs Leather Pride Weekend began with a great loss and sorrow for many of us on the eve of our 22nd annual celebration. On October 17, 2016, a week before our kickoff, we were struck with the hardest of blows with the unexpected passing of our beloved club brother, David Murdock, of natural causes. David was one of Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert’s pillars and for decades had become proficient in every facet of our weekend. In his memory, we honored him both at the formal Leather dinner and the contest with a video tribute by Randy Carmenaty, narrated by Larry Golubski. It was with a heavy heart that in his honor and in the spirit of who he was, we forged ahead, as David would often say, “the show must go on.."
David must have been watching over us because we take great pleasure and tremendous pride in having hosted one of our highest attended Leather pride events in over a decade. This year we decided to practically overhaul the entire weekend. The theme and namesake, TOPGUN: Desert Opps, began with Hawkers and Vendors: Cruise Alley, which was held on Arenas Road with LA DJ, Manuelito. Over 2,500 Leatherfolk passed through the gate in the Spurline parking lot on Arenas Road as several vendors marketed their wares.
The Mr. Phoenix Leather Contest was held on January 4 at Anvil Bar in Phoenix, Arizona. Four men competed for the title with Robert Schenberg being named Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014, and Mark Christiansen being named runner-up. Cody Millinger and Dorian Flores also competed. The winner of Mr. Phoenix Leather 2014 will advance to compete for International Mr. Leather this May in Chicago, Illinois.
The judges were Mr. Phoenix Leather 2013 Michael Parra, International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, International Leather Sir 2013 George Saltzman, International Drummer boy 2000 Richie Black, Southwest Leather boy 2010 Jerry Heitman, Southwest Leather boy 2008 Stephen Palaschek, and Master Lady LJ.
Mr. Phoenix Leather 2009 Bob Weber and Shawn Kyle White served as the Masters of Ceremonies.
Contestants were judged on their On-Stage presence at Friday’s Meet and Greet, Interviews, Speech and Formal Wear, Skin-wear and On-Stage Question, and Overall Weekend Attitude and Interactions.
Extreme cold and snow failed to deter a huge turnout in Chicago that saw Miguel Torres win the 2014 Mr. Chicago Leather Contest January 25 at Touché.
The contest on Saturday night featured six men going for the title. Joining Miguel at the contest’s end was first runner-up Jonathan Saidler and second runner-up Clint Sabin.
Miguel will now compete at Mr. International Leather 2014 in May. Miguel is originally from Venezuela and has called Chicago his home since 2000. He remains active in fundraising for local charities and this past summer participated in Ride for AIDS, a two-day, 200-mile bicycling event for Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).
The judges for Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 were International Mr. Leather 2013 Andy Cross, Mr. Midwest Leather 2012 Matt Hengle, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013 Jesse Driscoll, videographer and editor for the Leather Archives and Museum’s Leather Preservation and Conservation Project Christina Court, and Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko.
The Mr. Connecticut Leather 2015 contest was held Saturday, September 5-7 at the 168 York Street Cafe in New Haven with the winner being David Gerard of Norwalk, CT.
The runner-up was Trell Walters of Meriden, CT. Also competing was Jeff Wolf Striker Victoria.
The panel of judges included Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather contest founder Al Santora, Producer of Mr. New Jersey Leather Sal Susino, Brian Kuerze, Mr. Eagle NYC 2014 Cee Jay, Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 Joe Birdwell, Mr. New England Leather 2014 Steve Dupont, and Mr. New Jersey Leather 2001 JR Ramos.
There was a Friday meet and greet and a Sunday victory brunch.
David will continue on to Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather In January and IML in May.
Avatar's 35th Anniversary Celebration and Exposition
By Tommy Trafelet
Avatar Club Los Angeles will present an exhibition of erotic art at Highways Performance Space on February 17. A celebratory gala will be hosted by International Mr. Leather 2017 Ralph Bruneau, featuring his live performances. A new metal sculpture by Wim Griffith is available as a commemorative for the occasion. On display will be exclusive erotic art from noted artists Wim Griffith, Drubskin, Dean Cameron, Turk McNanty, B.B., Leo Garcia, Don Tingling, Joe Rodriguez and Michael Kirwan, and pieces never seen before. Two no-host bars, a silent auction, and Master of Ceremonies International Mister Leather Ralph Bruneau! Special dinner catered by Layne Sanden and special guest chefs. Tickets for the gala are $40 and all information is available at http://www.avatarla.org/35
On Saturday October 19 at 9 PM, los angeles based uniform club The Regiment of the Black and Tans, will hold its Mr. Regiment 2014 contest at the Eagle LA bar in the Silver Lake District of los angeles, CA.
The Regiment is one of the oldest uniform clubs in the United States and still amongst the most active. As apart of their 40th Anniversary's year-long celebration, The Regiment will be producing Searching for Mr. Regiment 2014: Anniversary Edition.
International Mr. Leather 2014 host hotel taking reservations now
Information, such as when major event hotels open their room blocks, is something that The Leather Journal wants its readers to benefit from their loyalty to us. Acting fast, as in today because some of you are reading this on your iPhone or Android, could determine whether you stay International Mr. Leather's host hotel, or being relegated to another hotel where you will have to schlep back and forth to and from all of the action.
The Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile is the host hotel for International Mr. Leather which will be held May 23-26 in Chicago, IL.
Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The holidays are here. The Leather/Levi/Fetish/Kink/Gear/Rubber/Puppy/Motorcyle community knows how to party and fund raise during this special time of year and you will see the tip of the iceberg as far as events to attend and support. Some are of the ages and some are new - all for a good cause. If you have an event coming soon, make sure to capitalize on the publicity offered here. If your event has just completed, please send a brief write-up and a few photos. See the writer guidelines at the bottom of this post. I started this Hump Day weekly in August with 15 short stories - this week there are 40 - and 23 photos. Share it with your friends.
Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2016 Todd Levitt will head the panel of judges for Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2017 which will be held at the sold out Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC the weekend of January 14-16.
A record attendance is expected for Mid Atlantic Leather which will be highlighted by Leather Cocktails on Saturday night. This is a formal affair with high-end food stations throughout the ballroom. Club members and officers are introduced.
Centaur MC named the judging panel for the 30th Anniversary of the Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather Contest, to be held in Washington, DC January 16-19. The winner will compete at International Mr. Leather in Chicago next May.
The judges will be Mr. Mid Atlantic Leather 2014 Joe Birdwell, International Mr. Leather 2014 Ramien Pierre, International Leather Sir 2011 Sir Alan Penrod, Lady Justice, Laird Leatherman 2011 Luke Moon, International Mr. Leather den daddy Joey McDonald and Maryland Mr. Drummer 2001 Rodney Burger.
The tally masters will be International Puppy 2014 Rick “Pup Tripp” Hutchings and International Leatherboy 2011 Bryson “Pup Nitro” Hankinson.
All 63 International Mr. Leather 2017 contestants wave to the crowd. Soon after, the IML Top 20 Finalists were named. All photos by Dave Rhodes
International Mr. Leather 2017 is Ralph Bruneau who came in as Mr. GNI Leather 2016; his first runner-up is Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017 Geoff Millard, second runner-up is Mr. Leather Europe 2016 Joe King; International Mr. Bootblack 2017 is Ryan "Pawlish" Garner-Carpenter and first runner-up is Rhys.
Leatherman Of Color 2018 Dax Volpe Partner Luar
Leatherman of Color 2018 Dax Volpe
Leatherman of Color 2018 is Dax Volpe who won his title on December 9 at the DC Eagle in Washington, DC 20019. Leatherman of Color 2017 Kai Anderson passed the title to his successor. https://www.facebook.com/loc2018/
ROMP San Diego will be held August 22-24 at the Victory Theater in National City and will feature the Mr. and Ms San Diego Leather 2014 contests and the first San Diego Bootblack contest.
The judging panel will include International Ms Leather 1987 Judy Tallwing-McCarthy, International Mr. Leather 1979 David Kloss, International Mr. Leather 1992 Lenny Broberg, American Leatherwoman 2013 OB Hamm, American Leatherman 2013 Aaron Duke, Ms San Diego Leather 2012 Wish and International Mr. Bootblack 2004 Allen Tunstall.
The San Diego Bootblack judges will be International Ms Bootblack 2008 Q, International Community Bootblack 2006 Henry James, Maryland Mr. Leather Rik "Hooker" Newton-Treadway.
The Leather Hall of Fame honors and preserves the legacy of the extraordinary people and organizations that have significantly shaped the history of the Leather/BDSM communities worldwide since 1950. We are pleased to announce the 2018 inductees: International Mr. Leather (IML), Black Leather in Color, The Society of Janus (SoJ).
Southwest Leather Conference feels the woo in Phoenix
Southwest Leather Conference was held January 19-21 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, AZ with almost 500 kinksters in attendance for the the three-day conference that was highlighted by the Dance of Souls hook pull ritual on Sunday afternoon and a brunch keynote address by Mark Frazier. The Southwest Master, slave and Bootblack contest results appears in another article. The weekend saw workshops, dinners, play parties and a terrific hospitality suite centered on kink-spirituality. For more go to http://www.southwestleather.org/