Friday, June 19, 2009

International Mr. Leather 2009

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #367, June 19, 2009)

First, the statistics: Over 15,000 people partied in Chicago at the 31st annual International Mr. Leather (IML) contest Memorial Day weekend (Thursday, May 22-Monday, May 26). The competition included 54 contestants from 26 states and six countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom and United States). Contestants ranged in age from 20-something to 60-something. The IML Leather Market featured 120 vendors.

Now, the photos:

(1) Thursday’s contestant introduction ceremony opened with a procession of contestants’ national and state flags. Shown here is David Gevaert, Mr. Fetish Boots Belgium, waving the Belgian flag.

(2) Some of this year’s IML contestants during the introduction ceremonies.

(3) Host hotel for the weekend was The Chicago Hilton, which for the weekend became the world’s largest leather bar.

(4) Also part of the weekend was the 17th annual International Mr. Bootblack competition. Six bootblacks competed for the title. Shown here shining boots is Greg McDowell (aka “McG”), who competed as Bootblack Toronto. McDowell went on to win the International Mr. Bootblack 2009 title.

(5) This year, for the first time, the Pantheon of Leather Community Service Awards were presented during IML weekend. 34 awards were presented to winners chosen from 343 nominees.

(6) A group of contestants wearing as little as possible during Saturday evening’s “Pecs & Personality” Physique Prejudging event.

(7) Entertainment at Sunday night’s Contest and Show was provided by legendary singer/songwriter/diva Linda Clifford. Also featured was “Madame with an E,” another legendary diva.

(8, 9, 10) The top 20 IML semifinalists strutted their stuff. Shown here: Ken Hearst, Mr. L.A. Leather 2009; Mike Lunter, Mr. Missouri Leather 2009; and Alan Penrod, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2009.

(11) And the winners are: from left, IML second runner-up, Alan Penrod, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2009; the new International Mr. Leather 2009 Jeffrey Payne, who competed as Mr. Texas Leather 2009; and IML first runner-up Brendan McGovern, Mr. Leather Ottawa (Canada) 2009.

(For many more photos of IML 2009 visit <>.)


Photos 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10: Marric Photography

Photos 2, 3(vert), 3alt(horiz), 5, 6, 11: Steve Lenius

Friday, June 5, 2009

Minnesota Leather Pride 2009: “United Colors of Leather”

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #366, June 5, 2009)

GRAPHIC: “United Colors of Leather” dogtag

“United Colors of Leather” is the theme of Minnesota Leather Pride 2009. A full schedule of Minnesota Leather Pride events starts June 13 and continues up to the Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival on June 27 and 28.

The 2009 collectible “United Colors of Leather” Leather Pride dog tag gets you discounts at some of this year’s Minnesota Leather Pride events. Get yours for $5 (until June 26) at participating businesses (listed at <>). Or buy your dog tag from members of the Minnesota Leather Pride committee at upcoming club meetings and munches and at all 2009 Minnesota Leather Pride events. After June 26, dog tags will be available for $7 at the Minnesota Leather Pride booth in Loring Park during the Pride Festival—if they haven’t sold out by then.

Organizational sponsors for this year’s Minnesota Leather Pride celebration are Atons of Minneapolis, Confidential Croquet Club, D/s Minnesota, Knights of Leather, Masters And slaves Together (MAsT)-Twin Cities, MinKY (Minnesota Kinky Youth), Minnesota Storm Patrol, MPX (Minnesota Power Exchange), MSDB (Minnesota Stocks, Debentures & Bonds), PEPRMNT (People Exchanging Power Respectfully in Minnesota Together) and TIES (Tremendously Intense Erotic Situations).

Information listed below is subject to change (and at my early deadline some of the details were still pending). For complete and updated event information visit <>.

Saturday, June 13

• Minnesota Storm Patrol Beer Bust at The Minneapolis Eagle, 5-8 P.M. Free admission, $5 for beer/soda bust.

• Atons Leather/Levi Dinner at The Strip Club, 378 Maria Ave., St. Paul. 6:30 P.M. Reservations strongly encouraged—reserve online at <> (search for “Atons”—or find a link at <>).

Thursday, June 18

• PEPRMNT Munch/Discussion. Grumpy’s Bar & Grill, 2801 N. Snelling Ave., Roseville. Dinner 6:30 P.M. (order off the menu), followed by a spirited discussion 8-9 P.M. (topic to be announced).

Friday, June 19

• Leather Titles Workshop. Are you interested in competing for the soon-to-be-revived Mr. or Ms Minnesota Leather title, or another leather/fetish title? Or maybe you’re just curious about the world of leather contests, titles and sashes. Several current and former titleholders, and even a few contest judges, will be there to explain what’s involved in competing in a leather contest and holding a leather title. (Location and time still pending.)

Sunday, June 21

• Workshop: “Black and Blue and Red all over” (spanking and impact play). Patrick’s Cabaret, 3010 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis. 1-3 P.M. Admission charge at door, discount with 2009 MN Leather Pride dog tag.

Monday, June 23

• BDSM Creative Collective 2009 (2nd annual) Anthology of Poetry, Art and Short Fiction. A reading and art show at Smitten Kitten, 3010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. 7 P.M. Free admission.

Thursday, June 25

• Smoke Out. Cigar/pipe social on the patio of The Minneapolis Eagle, Bolt and Bolt Underground. 9 P.M.-midnight. Free admission.

Friday, June 26

• Floggapalooza. It’s become a tradition. Minneapolis Eagle, Bolt and Bolt Underground, 8 P.M. Free admission.

Saturday, June 27

• GLBT Pride Festival in Loring Park. Visit, or hang out at, the Leather Pride booth. 10 A.M.-6 P.M. Free admission. Buy your dog tag at the booth if you don’t have one yet ($7).

Sunday, June 28

• Rainbow Flag Decommissioning/Initiation Ceremony. Not strictly a leather event—but if you saw (or participated in) last year’s Leather Pride flag decommissioning/initiation ceremony, you’ll want to see this year’s ceremony for the old and new rainbow flags. Parade Grandstand, 8th and Hennepin (time still pending).

• Pride Parade. Help carry the giant Leather Pride flag up Hennepin Avenue and to Loring Park. Gather at 3rd St. and Hennepin Ave. starting at 10:30 A.M. (or after the Rainbow Flag ceremony)—parade steps off at 11 A.M. Then spend the day in Loring Park, and be sure to drop by the Leather Pride booth (10 A.M.-6 P.M.).

MinKY (Minnesota Kinky Youth) Munch (details still pending).

Also during Pride Weekend, The Minneapolis Eagle will be presenting Scorch Fireball X. (For more information about the events below, visit <>.)

• Ignition (Friday): The parking lot opens Friday afternoon and stays open all weekend until closing time Sunday night. Friday evening, experience Floggapalooza in the Bolt Underground (see above).

• Blaze (Saturday): Colt models, live and in person Saturday evening, turn up the heat.

• Afterburn (Sunday): Live music by Boogie Wonderland in the Bolt Underground.

2009 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag (front)

2009 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag (back)