Friday, November 24, 1995

Leatherman of MN/Ms. MN Leather

(Published in Lavender Lifestyles Magazine, Issue #13, November 24, 1995)

The Leatherman of Minnesota/Ms. Minnesota Leather contest was held Sunday, Nov. 5 in the Gay 90’s Dance Annex. In spite of talk about the community being burned out on contests, those in attendance certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. Darlette Knox won the Ms. Minnesota Leather title, while runner-up BK took the Ms. Twin Cities Leather title. The new Leatherman of Minnesota is Thomas (who was runner-up in the recent Mr. Minnesota Leather contest). True, Thomas was the only male contestant, but he still had to earn the title. In situations such as this, the contestant must score a certain minimum number of points or the title is not awarded. (I was at a contest in Omaha last year where that happened; the only male contestant didn’t score enough points and the current titleholder was asked to hold the title for a second year.) Congratulations to Darlette, BK and Thomas; I thought you all presented yourselves very well.

The show was ably cohosted by Beth Kelley (Ms. Leather Madison) and new Mr. Minnesota Leather Michael deLeon, who did quite well in his first experience as an emcee. Crowd-pleasing fantasies were presented by Dale Willman and troy, Darlette Knox and strong>Nickie, Beth Kelley and Goo, and Tiffany Cartier, the new Miss Gay 90’s (who performed three fantasies!).

Man Bites Community, cont’d.:
The recent potshots aimed by the Club Kids at the leather community in Demure Butchness #7 certainly have the community talking. This week’s topic: young people and “pretty boys.”

The Club Kids point to a paradox: At most leather events you hear lip service paid to the concepts of unity, acceptance and inclusiveness. Yet one Club Kid has been told he was too much of a “pretty boy” to fit into the leather community, and another was told that he was too emotionally immature and should try again later when he could “handle it.”

Great Lakes Drummerboy troy responds that although he’s young, he certainly feels welcome in the community. In an interview, Atons president B.D. Chambers made the point that yes, the leather mentoring system has broken down due to AIDS and the community hasn’t had a chance to rebuild it yet. “It’s not we don’t welcome young people,” says Bruce, “but no one likes someone who’s pretty and knows it and thinks he’s prettier than everyone else. There are people who will show up at the Halloween party, for instance, and have some fun but who then won’t talk to you on the street, because you aren’t pretty enough or fashionable enough. And they aren’t afraid to tell you about it. The way to get involved is to show up at events and talk to people. If you show up at events, but you just stand around and make faces at people who don’t fit your image, you’re not going to meet people or get involved in the community. And you will find other people standoffish.

“Bitchiness aside, there are valid points to this diatribe. We do need to be aware that we need to find a way to reach out to new people and to make ourselves accessible. We need to rebuild or replace the old mentoring system, so that as people express interest in leather they can find a way to hook in and learn about the community and lifestyle.

“It’s good to take a moment to reflect on our attitudes — are we being standoffish? Are we thinking that just because they’re good-looking they must be “pretty boys” and therefore unapproachable? Self-analysis can be useful, and having someone in our face about it, while not fun, does give us a moment to ask ourselves these questions.”


Atons “Making the Streets Safe For Santa” Party

Sunday, Dec 3, 4-9 pm, Gay 90’s Dance Annex and Men’s Room.
With a theme like this, you know it’s going to be good. Entertainment of all sorts is planned including a self-defense instructor (!). Vince will be cutting hair and a leather Santa or two will be there, posing with patrons for pictures. Food, keg beer and sodas will be provided. Admission is $8 at door, or $5 with non-perishable food items or a new (non-giftwrapped) toy. The food items and toys will be given to the Aliveness Project while door receipts benefit the Queer Street Patrol. The Atons has a voice-mail line for questions; or for leather technophiles, their e-mail address is

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