(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #202, February 21, 2003)
Get out your calendar and start marking! Starting this very weekend and continuing through the next few months, various organizations within the Twin Cities leather community will be presenting all kinds of interesting get-togethers. If you’re a Twin-Cities-based reader you’ll find an amazing array of activities right in your own backyard; if you’re not, you’ll find several activities here that would justify a trip to beautiful Minnesota.
Friday, February 21, 7-9 PM: The Black Guard of Minneapolis is having a beer bust and taco feed at Trikkx in St Paul—five dollars for all the beer you can drink, tacos for a buck each. Buy a balloon for a buck, bust it and win prizes including calendars, videos, candy and birdhouses.
Tuesday. Feb. 25, 7 PM: Pride Alive, the Queer Men’s Initiative of the Minnesota AIDS Project presents a discussion on “The Future of Leather.” Pride Alive isn’t really a leather organization, but it has been sponsoring a great three-part discussion series about leather. Part 1 (Jan. 28) was about leather history, and Part 2 (Feb. 11) dealt with risk and responsibility as it applies to leather and the dungeon. Whether or not you attended either of the first two sessions, you’re invited to what is sure to be a lively discussion on where the leather community is going. Minnesota AIDS Project office, 1400 Park Ave. S., Mpls. FFI contact William Grier, Health Educator @mnaidsproject.org.
Saturday, March 1, 10:30 AM-2 PM: MSDB (Minnesota Stocks, Debentures and Bonds) present “Rules of Engagement.” Picking up where their popular discussion on dungeon etiquette left off, this panel discussion will cover relationships with neighbors, co-workers, family, police, civil courts and others. Topics to be covered include: how to approach your children, loved ones, and significant others about your lifestyle; the dynamics of throwing a public party; civil law (including custody issues); how we relate to the police, the media, our supervisor, postal inspectors, our physicians and our spiritual advisors; and what’s expected of us as members of the local community. Class attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch—dessert and beverages will be provided. For further information and to order tickets visit msdb-mn.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Saturday, March 22: MSDB presents another in its series of kink-aware CPR/First Aid certification classes. The CPR class runs from 9 AM-1PM; First Aid class is 2-6 PM. Check MDSB’s website (listed above) for more information.
RUNS AND WEEKEND EVENTS
April 4-6: Black Frost 26, the annual run and fundraiser presented by the Black Guard of Minneapolis. This year’s theme is “B-B-B . . . Back to Basic Black,” and the run show will feature members of the Black Guard performing some of their classic numbers—as the run brochure says, “OLD but still entertaining”—as well as some new surprises. Also featured throughout the weekend will be the traditional camaraderie, games and cocktail parties. Fundraiser beneficiaries are The Aliveness Project and Every Penny Counts. Host hotel, and also the site of Saturday evening’s banquet and show, is the Quality Inn in downtown Minneapolis. For more information and to download a run application, visit www.blackguardmpls.com. (The club is looking for groups, organizations and individuals interested in hosting cocktail parties—contact the Black Guard via their website).
April 4-6: Spring Sting/Midwest Fetish Expo. Yes, it’s the same weekend as the Black Guard’s run, and also the same weekend as “Beat Me In St. Louis,” another BDSM/fetish expo. But with the amount of work and planning that producer Wolfhold Productions has lavished on this event, it should be quite successful and attract a good crowd. This pansexual weekend of fun, camaraderie, learning and dungeon play will be held in what is described as “a beautiful, newly built urban destination resort” with every amenity imaginable. (midnight skinny-dipping, anyone?) An assortment of workshops and discussions will be presented on Saturday and Sunday; among the nationally-known presenters will be bullwhip expert Robert Dante and noted author Fetish Diva Midori. A safe and monitored dungeon environment will be available both Friday and Saturday nights. The Fetish Ball on Saturday night is open to the public, and during the Fetish Ball the large vendor area will be open to the public as well. For more information,visit www.midwestfetish.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Wolfhold Productions, Willernie, MN. (Wolfhold Productions also plans a “Snowbound” event for November.)
June 6-8: Knights of Leather Tournament 15—Little Dungeon on the Prairie. Rope ’em and ride ’em, says the brochure. Escape to a private camp within a park and enjoy seminars, panel discussions and four (maybe five) fully-equipped dungeons, open 24 hours a day. Five fabulous meals (catered by Rainbow Creations) are included, as are continuous snacks and nonalcoholic beverages. For more information, to register and pay electronically or to download a run application visit www.knightsofleather.org. Substantial discounts for early registration (biggest discount if you register by March 6).
July 17-19: Atons of Minneapolis Campout. The Atons host a run every other year; in years without runs, like this one, the Atons hold a summer campout instead—a no-nonsense weekend in the woods with a bunch of leathermen. For more information visit www.atons.net or call the Atons HotLine.
Quite a list, isn’t it? And there’s more—space doesn’t permit listing all the recurring events put on by the various clubs and organizations. Watch for information about them in a future column.