Friday, March 27, 1998

“John the Baptist Wore Leather”—Group Explores Leather and Christianity

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #74, March 27, 1998)

Are you looking for new places to wear your leather? Do you want to meet new people, but you don’t like the bar scene? Here’s an idea for you: go to church.

A Christian leather group has been meeting for about a year at All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church (3100 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis). While the combination of leather and Christianity may sound bizarre to some, it makes perfect sense to others. Members of this group are quick to point out, for example, that the Bible is quite explicit about the fact that John the Baptist wore leather. According to Matthew 3:4, New International Version: “John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist.” (The Revised Standard Version calls it a “leather girdle.” Whatever.) John lived and preached in the wilderness, and his food was “locusts and wild honey.” Nobody back then quite knew what to make of him.

In many churches today, nobody quite knows what to make of us leatherfolk, either. The Reverend Troy Perry, a modern-day Martin Luther if ever there was one, is the founder of the Christian denomination known as the Metropolitan Community Church. He has written about the early days of his church in San Francisco (the church was started in 1968)—specifically one Sunday morning when four leathermen showed up for worship services. Murmurs went through the congregation about “those people,” and Perry himself was a little unsure how to handle the situation. Were these people Hell’s Angels? Were they dangerous? They certainly looked like they could be. But after the service they sought him out and spoke to him, and he was surprised and pleased to find that they were kind, gentle, intelligent people. (Rev. Perry has since become a proud leatherman himself.)

Since that time, Metropolitan Community Churches have sprung up in cities across the country, and many of those churches have members from the leather/SM community. The Minneapolis MCC leather group meets Wednesdays at 7 pm; they also have occasional social times on Friday or Saturday nights. The first Wednesday of every month is Leather Cleaning Night: everyone brings their leather, throws it on the table, and cleans and polishes while they talk. According to one member, “You have to clean it sometime, you might as well do it with friends.”

The group is Christian but is open to all spiritual orientations; the substance of the group is what its members bring to it, and anyone wanting to explore the relationship between leather, sexuality and spirituality might find something of value here, regardless of their religious orientation (or lack thereof). For further information, call the church.

Contestants, performers and production personnel wanted for Ms. Minnesota Leather Contest

Contestant qualifications: Must be a resident of Minnesota, a woman 21 years or older, friendly, gracious, knowledgeable in leather, and ready to work equally with the men’s and women’s communities. Eager to educate, support, and listen to newcomers entering the leather scene locally, nationally, and abroad. Must possess strong leadership skills and the ability to organize and speak in public forums. You must be financially capable of supporting the expenses attached to holding this title.

Performer qualifications: Searching for three males and three females to perform in two scenes at the contest. Need dancers strong enough to lift or petite enough to be lifted. Must be SM-oriented and willing to do scenes on stage. Deadline for auditions will be April 4, 1998. Also searching for others wishing to assist with contest production.

For further information, contact W.I.L.L.O.W. Productions.

Upcoming Leather Events

Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998 presents “The Blue Party”
Saturday, March 28—advance ticket sales only.

At this writing tickets are still available; call  for more information.

The Tank One-Year Anniversary Party
Sunday, March 29, 6-10 pm, The Saloon (Tank doors open at 9 pm)

In one short year The Tank has become a Sunday night institution, so come celebrate “One Year of Hard Times.” Twin Cities leather clubs will be represented and Falcon Studios leather stud Steve Pierce will make an appearance. Free food, $5.00 optional cover for beer bust.

Leather Pride Celebration Planning Committee Meeting
Wednesday, April 1—Call for meeting time and location

Do you have a great idea for this summer’s Twin Cities Leather Pride Celebration? Or do you want to volunteer your time to help make it happen? All interested parties are invited to attend.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

April and May are going to be busy months, and you really will need to Mark Your Calendar if you want to keep track of everything that’s happening. Here’s what’s currently scheduled:

Friday-Saturday, April 10-11: Mr. Minnesota Drummer/Drummerboy Contest. If you want to compete contact Colin.

Saturday, April 18: Ms. Minnesota Leather Contest. See call for contestants and performers elsewhere in this column.

Saturday, April 25: Travel to Chicago with the Atons for a fun night in The Pit (at the Chicago Eagle). Call for more info.

Friday-Saturday, May 8-9: Mr. Minnesota Fantasy Contest. If you want to compete contact Dale.

May 21-25: International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago. Up-to-the-minute details at

May 29-31, 1998: The Knights of Leather present Knights Tournament 10, a tenth-anniversary celebration that even includes a Birthday Party. Bring a new participant and receive a 10% discount on your application fee. For more information or an application write Knights of Leather, Minneapolis, MN or e-mail

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