Friday, April 25, 1997

deLeon is Mr. MN Fantasy ’97

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #50, April 25, 1997)

PHOTO: Michael deLeon and Philip Oakes

In a very close contest Michael deLeon won his second leather title at the Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1997 contest held Sunday, April 13 at The Saloon; Philip Oakes was runner-up.

Current International Mr. Fantasy Kevin Watson and his partner Thom Sloan traveled all the way from Albuquerque for this event, for which Sloan served as tallymaster and Watson as a judge. In addition, Watson and troy (Minnesota Drummerboy 1994, Great Lakes Drummerboy 1995) presented a fantasy featuring sleight-of-hand, or more correctly sleight-of-fist. Contest producer and Master of ceremonies Dale Willman (Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1995) jazzed up the door prize drawings by turning them into an episode of “Let’s Make a Deal.”

There were only two contestants this year, but they were two great contestants. That made for an consistently entertaining evening—and some very tough decisions for the judging panel. Oakes was a strong competitor with good stage presence. His men’s room fantasy was simply but powerfully staged and was charged with erotic energy—the kind of erotic energy which should be on display in his upcoming Catalina video (he goes before the cameras in May). This may have been his first leather contest, but I certainly hope it’s not his last.

Michael deLeon is a founding member of Ballet of the Dolls and an owner of Wolf Productions, makers of heavy-metal bondage and fetish equipment. His spectacular industrial-strength fantasy brought all these elements together with impressive results. deLeon, who is also Mr. Minnesota Leather 1996, now goes on to compete in the International Mr. Fantasy contest in Omaha in mid-August. (Hello to my readers in Nebraska! Of course I’m planning to make the trek to Omaha for Fantasy Weekend. See you then!)

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I always enjoy it when the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus does leather-themed material. Their recent concert opened with a suite from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”; this is music around which some wonderful leather fantasy performances have been built. Then, in Out Loud’s segment, we were treated to some hot Latin dance moves—including Tom Lehrer’s “Masochism Tango”! (To the gentleman in the harness: You wear it very well. If you wanted to wear it more often, we wouldn’t mind at all.)

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Elsewhere in this magazine is a feature called Lavender Forum. Every issue a topic of community debate is presented, with various people discussing the issue in print. The Monday after the magazine comes out a group discussion is held at a local coffeeshop.

I wrote one of the viewpoints for this issue’s Lavender Forum topic: “Is SM a sexual orientation, or is it an internalized system of violence?” I invite you to read this issue’s Lavender Forum. Then I invite you to show up at Anodyne@43rd, 4301 Nicollet Ave. S., on Monday, April 28 at 7:00 pm and participate in the community forum.

I have a fantasy regarding this event. In my fantasy, so many people show up in leather that we can’t all fit in the coffeeshop. Furthermore, everyone gets a turn at the microphone so they can say why they were attracted to leather and/or SM in the first place, and what it means to them now.

The point of this fantasy is not necessarily to change the minds of the people on the other side of the issue. I think it’s to our benefit to think about why we value this lifestyle and this community, and it’s to our benefit to have a forum where we can share our thoughts. If we spend a little time in contemplation, some of us may feel a certain amount of pride in who we are and what we’ve become, and some of us may find ourselves feeling grateful we’re in leather. Pride and gratitude are good things to feel.

Upcoming Leather Events

Lavender Forum Public Discussion
Monday, April 28, 7 pm, Anodyne@43rd (4301 Nicollet Ave.S.)
See this column for more details.

Other Upcoming Events

May 30-June 1: The Knights of Leather present Knights Tournament Nine. This year’s theme: uniforms! The site, a private camp within a 16,000 acre wooded state park, includes cabins with military bunks. Weekend events include opening ceremonies, presentation of colors, workshops, demonstrations, fantasies and a “uniform banquet fit for officers.” Dungeon space is available all weekend. For more information: write Knights of Leather, Minneapolis MN.

July 18-19: Mr. Minnesota Drummer and Drummerboy Contest at the Club Metro Underground. Current International Mr. Drummer Kyle Brandon will be here as well as management from Drummer Magazine in San Francisco.

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