Friday, June 9, 1995

LavLife: Leather

(Published in Lavender Lifestyles Magazine, Issue #1, June 9, 1995)

Greetings! New magazine, new leather columnist. When the editors of this publication asked me if I was interested in writing a leather column for them I immediately assured them I was. By the time I hung up the phone I had recovered my senses and ask myself, “What have I gotten myself into now?” Well, I guess we’ll see.

Like any good scene, this column has a few ground rules. I have been asked by the editors to be “interpretive” rather than “descriptive.” Translated, that means I not only get to tell you about what’s happening, I also have the privilege of sharing my perspectives and opinions. I will try not to abuse that privilege.

I intend to deal in this column with facts, not rumors. I see this column as an opportunity to strengthen and encourage our community.

My name may appear over this column, but I can't write it alone. So . . . to all clubs, titleholders, promoters and the community at large: Please let me know what’s going on! I’d love to be in the position of having so much information to cram into this column that I have to—ahem—get down on my knees and BEG for more space. (You can contact me through the Lavender Lifestyles office.)

Finally, I tip my leather cap to my leather columnist predecessor. Thank you, Pete LaSha, for faithfully chronicling our community in an upbeat, uplifting and positive manner. I shall try to do the same.


On Sunday, May 28, the Atons held Eros III at the Club Metro in St. Paul. While Eros I and II were dungeon parties, the theme this time was “On the Beach.” In spite of the weather being un-beachlike, I understand about eight guys competed in the Swimsuit Contest. In other entertainment, Bruce Chambers (president of the Atons) and Mark Warner (Mr. Minnesota Drummer ’93) presented a fantasy in which Bruce was a right-wing fundamentalist who wanted to “convert” Mark from gay to straight. Instead, however, Mark wound up hynotizing Bruce—with very interesting results.


Same weekend, different locale: The 1995 International Mr. Leather Contest was held Memorial Day weekend in Chicago (sharing the hotel with a gay square-dancers convention, and a block away from Bear Pride ’95). The men were hot (contestants and spectators alike!) but we also maintained our dignity. I heard the hotel staff had misgivings about a hotel full of leatherfolk. They quickly changed their minds and were soon talking about what good guests we were!

The new International Mr. Leather 1995 is Larry Everett. I wish him a lot of luck and think he’ll do very well as an international titleholder. I met him last November in Omaha; he’s a genuinely nice guy (and he’s gorgeous!) He is from Collinsville, Oklahoma. That’s in Tulsa County, which is Oral Roberts territory--Larry says he can’t even buy a copy of Drummer Magazine there. Count your blessings.

Minnesota was well-represented at IML this year. David Urista represented the Manhole in Chicago, but he lives in Minneapolis. Our own J.D. Laufman was a judge for the contest, and I saw lots of other Minnesotans in the audience and around the hotel.


Unfortunately, one Minnesotan who wasn’t at IML this year was Charles Blake III. Part of the job of being Mr. Minnesota Leather is representing Minnesota at IML; since Charles did not fulfill that important obligation, he has been stripped of his title. The reader is referred to other portions of this magazine for more details.

On a personal note, let us not forget that during his tenure as a titleholder Charles participated in many fundraisers and helped raise a lot of money with his dazzling displays of skill with ropes and bullwhips. Seeing how things have turned out makes me very sad, both for Charles and for our community. Well, we’ve all lived through the nightmare; now my hope and my wish, for Charles and for all of us, is lots of healing.


That’s it—the end of my first column. I wonder if this is how Mr. Marcus started out?

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