Friday, September 26, 1997

Leather Community News

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #61, September 26, 1997)

Welcome Leather Visitors

This is the weekend of the long-awaited Atons of Minneapolis 25th Anniversary Run. Congratulations to the Atons and welcome to everyone attending, and a special welcome to you if you’re from out of town. Have a great weekend—play safe but play hard. If you like the way we party in the Twin Cities, please note that there are some upcoming events (listed at the end of this column) that we hope will inspire you to pay a return visit.

Sober Leather Organization Holds First Event

The newly forming Sober Leather organization held its first-ever fundraiser Sunday, September 14 at the Saloon—and what a party it was! With help from the Atons, Black Guard, and Imperial Sovereign Court of the Ice Castle, there was almost always something happening on stage: raffles, auctions, demonstrations, speakers, two sets by local gay comedy group Hot Dish, and an appearance by newly-sashed International Ms. Leather Genelle Moore. In one memorable bit, some members of Sober Leather put a new and twisted spin on Patty Page’s “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window?” As if that weren’t enough, the dance floor was ringed with many vendor booths and displays. (And the food, courtesy of the Saloon’s kitchen, was absolutely delightful.)

For many in attendance, the theme of the evening was not necessarily “Welcome to the Community” but rather “Welcome Back to the Community.” One wonderful comment I kept hearing all evening was: “Where did all these new leathermen come from? I’ve never seen them before!” A lot of them aren’t “new” leathermen; as many of the demonstrations showed (and as I can personally attest) they’re no strangers to the leather/SM scene. The formation of Sober Leather gives them a chance to be active in the community once again, and it gives the rest of us the benefit of their years of leather experience and insight.

There was one point of confusion about the evening: Yes, alcoholic drinks were being served to those who wanted them. This was not a Twelve-Step meeting, and Sober Leather is not a recovery organization. Some of its members are in recovery from alcohol or other substance abuse. Others simply choose not to drink or use drugs. Others may indulge on occasion but respect the importance of not engaging in SM play while under the influence. Sober Leather’s mission is not to exclude anyone. Their mission, like that of the leather community in general, is to respectfully include anyone and everyone who wants to be included. For further information, write to them at P.O. Box 581114, Minneapolis, MN 55458.

Upcoming Leather Events

1997 Mr. Minnesota Leather Weekend
Thursday-Sunday, October 2-5, various locations

Join International Mr. Leather 1997 Kevin Cwayna as he passes his Mr. Minnesota Leather title sash to his successor. (If you want a chance to be that successor, you can enter the contest.)

The action starts Thursday night as the Brass Rail Goes Leather (Brass Rail, 9 pm-1 am).

Friday night is Tuff-N-Buff In The Dark (Club Metro Underground, St. Paul, 9 pm-1 am). $6 cover include one drink. According to contest publicity, there will be “No Lights, No Rules,” so this should be an interesting way to meet all those contestants and judges.

Saturday is the Contest and Dance (Club Metro Underground, doors open at 8 pm). Admission is $15 at the door or $10 presale (Friday night only). The sash will be presented to Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998 at midnight.

Winding up the weekend on Sunday will be Boots & Boxers Night (Saloon, 6-10 pm), with a $5 cover and Best Boxers, Best Look and Best Body contests.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

Friday, October 24: Yes, mark this date on the Steve Kelso calendar that you bought last year—because it’s your chance to see him again and buy your next Steve Kelso calendar! Kelso returns to the Town House Bar and Piano Lounge in St. Paul for another Aliveness Project fundraiser. Doors open at 6 pm; $10 admission includes a buffet supper. Kelso’s appearance starts at 9 pm. Buy a calendar, poster or video and he’ll autograph it for you (Christmas is coming—here are some great gift ideas). Music is by DJ Damon, the leather artist whose Kelso drawings were auctioned off last year (and who may do some more this year.) All proceeds benefit The Aliveness Project’s Holiday Basket Project.

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