Friday, August 28, 1998

Steve Eue is New MN Mr. Drummer

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #85, August 28, 1998)

Mike Vintean Relinquishes Title

Mike Vintean, who won the 1998 Mr. Minnesota Drummer title in April, relinquished the title during the recent Mr. MN Drummer/Drummerboy Weekend. Vintean would not have been able to fulfill the requirements of the title due to a recent, unforeseen change in employment.

In a Friday night ceremony at The Town House Vintean passed the sash to Steve Eue, first runner-up in last April’s contest, who became the new Minnesota Mr. Drummer 1998. He and 1998 Minnesota Drummerboy david will be representing Minnesota’s leather/SM community at this weekend’s Great Lakes Drummer Contest in Columbus, Ohio.

PHOTO CAPTION #1: Mike Vintean, left, prepares to turn the 1998 Minnesota Mr. Drummer title over to Steve Eue, right.

PHOTO CAPTION #2: Good luck and best wishes to newly-designated Minnesota Mr. Drummer 1998 Steve Eue (back) and Minnesota Drummerboy 1998 david (front) as they compete in the Great Lakes Mr. Drummer/Drummerboy contest this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Minnesota Leather Contest Returns to Club Metro

Remember last year’s Tom of Finland bash at the Gay 90s? The advice from this column at the time was “Yes, it’s at the 90s—go anyway.” Here we go again.

After several tense encounters between Club Metro and various leather event organizers (most notably the unpleasantness connected with the recent Mr. Minnesota Fantasy contest), many in the community are asking why anyone would hold another leather contest there. Here’s why, according to Mr. Minnesota Leather contest producer Colin Spriestersbach: An abundance of upcoming leather contests, combined with a shortage of suitable venues for those contests, required schedules to be adjusted and compromises to be made. (These same circumstances have also persuaded Spriestersbach to put his proposed American Leathermaster contest on hold.) In the opinion of the contest’s organizers and other interested members of the community, the reasons to hold it at Club Metro outweighed the reasons not to hold it there.

Spriestersbach emphasized several points when I talked with him recently:

• The management of Club Metro is cooperating with contest organizers and is eager to have us back. According to Spriestersbach, leather functions were never banned at Club Metro, and any rumors to that effect are false. (Personally, I never heard any of those rumors.)

• In the aftermath of the Mr. Minnesota Fantasy contest debacle, both contest organizers and Club Metro management agreed that the problem happened because of miscommunication. All those involved with this contest will, I’m sure, take great pains to make sure such miscommunications don’t happen again.

• These contests include a charity fundraising component, as do many other leather community events; at this contest Spriestersbach expects to present checks for over $3,000 to various charities, representing money raised at some of this summer’s events.

This is an instance in which you get to vote with your feet, folks, but it’s not just a referendum on what you think of Club Metro. If you’re uncomfortable going to Club Metro, ask yourself if your discomfort is great enough to keep you from supporting the contest, the contestants, the new titleholder who will be selected and the charities for which money will be raised. That’s what you’re really voting on.

No Sex, Please, It’s An Election Year

Part of the Mr. Minnesota Leather Contest weekend is the “Trash III” party on Friday night at the Metro. Those attending will be free to drink, dance and be trashy—up to a point, of course, after which the nice bouncer will ask you to kindly re-button your fly. Don’t blame him, and don’t blame the bar management. Blame it on election year politics.

The Twin Towns are a nice place to live and are reasonably accepting of “people like us.” But laws and public policy in both Minneapolis and St. Paul are extremely hostile to sex and/or nudity in public spaces, and the fact that this is an election year means efforts at enforcing such bans are redoubled. X-rated videos are no longer allowed to be shown in leather bars. There’s a greater police presence at the Mississippi river flats in both Minneapolis and St. Paul and at Twin Lake in Minneapolis. Backroom-type activity in bars is not tolerated. (It’s not just the Twin Cities, by the way—it’s even affecting places like New York City, where mayor Rudy Giuliani recently closed down many sex-related businesses or forced them to move.)

Hypermoralistic politicans love to decry the scandalous, evil activities which are going on RIGHT IN OUR VERY MIDST. If we give them incidents to publicly fume about we’re playing into their hands. So—at least until the election is over and things settle down again—dance, party, have fun, meet people, but try to maintain some sense of decorum (at least in public, anyway).

Upcoming Leather Events

Mr. Minnesota Leather Contest Weekend

Four days of Labor-Day-weekend party brought to you by Minnesota Leather Productions in partnership with The Black Guard, Sober Leather, and ISCIC. Weekend package is $40 and includes a souvenir T-shirt as well as admission to all the weekend’s events—available at Rainbow Road and at Friday’s event. Portion of proceeds goes to Sexual Violence Center. (If you want to compete call for information and an application.)

“Trash III” Meet & Greet Dance Party
Friday, Sept. 4, 9 pm-close, Club Metro Underground, St. Paul
$7 at the door includes first drink free.

Decadent Bus Bar Tour
Saturday, Sept. 5, Minnesota Bar & Grill. Cocktails at 7 pm, bus departs at 8 pm.
$15 at the door includes drink tickets for all bars visited and admission to Champagne Party (below).

Champagne Party
Saturday, Sept. 5, 11 pm-close, Minnesota Bar & Grill (2nd level)
$5 at the door includes champagne toast at midnight.

Daddy’s Tea Dance
Sunday, Sept. 6, 4-8 pm, The Town House, St. Paul
Special surprises and shuttle bus service to the contest for those who bought weekend packages. No admission charge.

1999 Mr. Minnesota Leather Contest and Show
Sunday, Sept. 6, Doors open 8 pm, Club Metro Underground, St. Paul
This is what it’s all been building up to. $18 at the door.

Victory Brunch
Monday, Sept. 7, 2-6 pm, Brass Rail
Brunch and drink specials, no cover.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

Sept. 18-20: Ms. Minnesota Leather Contest Weekend. Friday is the return of “Bare As You Dare” at The Saloon from 6:30-9:30 pm; it’s “Bat Night” with the first 10 in the door getting a complimentary slapper. On Saturday there will be pre- and post-contest parties at times and locations to be announced; the contest will be at the University Film Society at Bell Museum Auditorium on the U of M Campus. Bus service between venues will be available. A Survivor’s Brunch on Sunday (hosted by Gary and Michael, catered by Joy, and with limited attendance of 50 people) will lead into an informal wind-down at The Tank that evening. Weekend Package is $30 with brunch or $20 without; events (except the brunch) are also available separately. Call Deb or Renee for further event or contestant information. Winner competes in International Ms. Leather Contest in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 1999.

October 16-18: Pantheon of Leather presents the Mr. & Ms. Minnesota Olympus Leather contest, “your local pansexual fetish contest.” Call for event or contestant information.

Friday, August 14, 1998

Fred Phelps Hates SM, Too

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #84, August 14, 1998)

In the recent cable-TV presentation of “More Tales of the City,” the inclusion of film clips of Anita Bryant discussing homosexuals took me back to my younger days. It was either 1978 or 1979 and Ms. Bryant, who at the time was still a spokesperson for Florida oranges, visited the Twin Cities for the opening of a fruit warehouse on Kasota Avenue. I was among the many people who picketed her appearance there—and who made sure we drank only California orange juice and lemonade that summer.

How times have changed. Anita Bryant, whose supposed attitude about homosexuals was “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” has become Fred Phelps, a hatemonger (and proud of it) whose message is summarized in the title of his website:

Fags, however, aren’t all that God hates, according to Phelps. Bryant’s public personna was too demure and polite to allow her to discuss some of the grittier topics that are included on Phelps’ website, such as his ostensibly documented claims that 33% of gay men are into fisting, 29% are into golden showers and 17% are into scat. (By the way, those numbers seem a bit inflated when compared to the actual number of red, yellow and brown hankies I see in peoples’ pockets.) All of these activities are considered totally depraved by God aka Phelps. God also hates exhibitionism, fetishism, all forms of sadomasochism, bondage, crossdressing, voyeurism—and the list goes on. God evidently hates anyone who does any of these things, even if they happen to be straight. And God certainly hates baby-killers (the majority of whom, I’m sure, are straight). Apparently, to paraphrase Bryant’s orange juice commercials: “Hatred—it’s not just for homosexuals anymore.”

How does one respond to such hatred? Is it better to not dignify it with a response, to dismiss it rather than gratify the ego of the hatemonger by responding? Will ignoring it make it go away? Perhaps a case could be made for this viewpoint, but a case can also be made for the famous quotation that “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” The GLBT community, the leather/SM community, and humanity in general all need to be aware of what the Fred Phelpses of the world are saying and doing. As I read Phelps’ website, the thought occurred to me that if one changed every occurrence of the word “fag” to the word “Jew,” that’s probably what Hitler’s website would have looked like if he’d had one. Phelps supposedly disavows the use of physical violence, but his words could certainly incite hate crimes to be committed by others who have no such inhibitions.

I had another thought about Phelps’ website: A lot has been written about pornography on the World Wide Web and its effect on children, but a hate-filled website like this one seems to me truly obscene.


It was recently brought to my attention that I have been a bit lax in a matter of protocol. A recent edition of this column referred to “Mr. Minnesota Drummerboy,” which is an oxymoron. A boy is never addressed as “Mr.” My apologies for the error. Now, for the record, here’s how it works: We have Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998 Roger Gregg and his boy, david (note that a boy’s name is not capitalized), whose title is Minnesota Drummerboy 1998. (The “D” on Drummerboy is capitalized, because “Drummer” is the proper name of a magazine.)


Congratulations to new International Ms. Leather 1998 Megan DeJarlais of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She won the title July 18 in Atlanta. For the full story, check out

Upcoming Leather Events

Mr. Minnesota Drummer Fundraiser Weekend

Friday Fundraiser and Beer Bash
Friday, August 14, 9 pm-close, The Town House, St. Paul
If you haven’t experienced a Friday night leather event at The Town House, you’re missing out—come to this one. There will be door prizes. There won’t be a cover charge.

Saturday, August 15: Event to be announced—watch for it!

Sunday: Mr. Minnesota Drummer/Minnesota Drummerboy Send-Off
Sunday, August 16, 6-9:30 pm, The Saloon
Come wish Mr. Minnesota Drummer and Minnesota Drummerboy good luck as they represent us at the Great Lakes Mr. Drummer Contest in Columbus, Ohio August 28-30 (see below). Special guests to be announced. $5 at the door.

International Mr. Fantasy Weekend
August 21-23, Omaha, Nebraska
The ultimate Field Trip: a Fantasy Bus will be traveling from Minneapolis to Omaha for Fantasy Weekend. Roundtrip fare is $45 and seating is limited, so call right away if you’re interested. And you’ll need hotel and weekend package reservations. FFI write Fantasy Productions, Boystown, NE. The Radisson Redick is the host hotel; call to reserve your room.

Ms. Minnesota Leather 24-hour “Run”
Saturday, August 22, 11 am to Sunday, August 23, 11 am, Taylor’s Falls area
This fundraiser for the Ms. Minnesota Leather contest promises “24 hours of midsummer’s night fun.” Prepayment of $15 to $25 (sliding scale) includes food. Camp on the grounds, or just come for the day. Open to men and women. Info: call or write for registration form.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

August 28-30: Great Lakes Mr. Drummer/Drummerboy Contest, Columbus, Ohio. Be there to support Mr. Minnesota Drummer 1998 Mike Vintean and Minnesota Drummerboy 1998 david as they represent our community. A full weekend of events is planned, including a Black Toga party and a Tough Customer party. For further information contact Boy Toy Productions at, or Columbus, OH. Host hotel is the Courtyard Marriott–Downtown (special rates when you mention Great Lakes Drummer).