Friday, May 22, 1998

Flanagan is Mr. MN Fantasy ’98

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #78, May 22, 1998)

PHOTO: Ken Flanagan, Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998

PHOTO: David Page, Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 Runner-Up

The recent Minnesota Fantasy weekend, incorporating the Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 contest, turned out to be quite entertaining and a little irritating as well. Ken Flanagan captured the Mr. Minnesota Fantasy 1998 sash—although the announcement of his victory had to be made on a dark stage without the benefit of a microphone.

The Minnesota Fantasy weekend producers (Dale Willman, Michael deLeon and Gary O’Neill) attempted to put together a string of events unlike any ever presented in the Twin Cities. Thursday night featured a kick-off party at Club Metro Underground in St. Paul. Friday night’s Party Bus tour was a Twin Cities first: a busload of leatherfolk started at the Minnesota Bar and Grill and visited The Brass Rail, Over The Rainbow, Trikkx, The Town House and The Saloon before finishing up with a Meet & Greet back at the MN Bar. The crowd at Over The Rainbow was especially supportive, cheering when the leather contingent arrived and giving them a rousing and appreciative send-off as they left. Manager Jim Andrews at The Town House succeeded in getting many of his leather visitors out on the dance floor for both country and swing dancing. (There were some great dancers on that bus!)

Saturday night’s contest at Club Metro Underground featured five strong contestants. None had ever competed in a contest before, but all have been around the leather/SM scene long enough that they just had to do what came naturally to make a very entertaining evening. Paul Nicholson performed a crucifixion fantasy, with electric and hot-wax play, with the 1812 Overture as background music. David Page, who captured Runner-Up honors, did a tailor-shop fantasy. Leowyn performed a sizzling and sensual pansexual fantasy in which a bouquet of roses was used as a flogger. Brian Preston, who performed a barber-shop fantasy, had already impressed the judges with his wit and comic timing; when asked during the contestant interviews which Spice Girl he would want to be, he replied without missing a beat: “Old Spice.”

Winner Ken Flanagan's fantasy cooked—literally. As he watched an on-stage television set which supposedly was showing a cooking program on how to stuff and truss a chicken, he performed each step on his “chicken,” a gorgeous twenty-something boy. The variety of expressions on the faces of both Flanagan and his “chicken” were fascinating to watch. Co-emcee Tiffany Cartier narrated the fantasy using her best Julia Child impersonation, and every line of the script had a delicious double meaning. The audience loved it. The final fantasy of the evening was performed by Michael deLeon, the outgoing Mr. Minnesota Fantasy, and Ariq Robinson, the current International Mr. Fantasy.

That brings us to both the high point and the low point of the weekend. Contest organizer and co-emcee Dale Willman had the judges’ results in his hands and was just about to announce the winners when the lights went out, the microphone went dead, a crew came out and started taking the stage apart, and throbbing dance music filled the room. After several anxious minutes the music was cut just long enough for Willman to hoarsely announce the winners while O’Neill illuminated the proceedings with a flashlight. Tempers flared, and many oaths were sworn.

What went wrong? Without editorializing, these are the facts: The Mr. Minnesota Fantasy Contest had an agreement to use the Metro Underground until a certain time, after which the room would host its normal Saturday-night dance crowd. The contest started late, and therefore ran out of time. Now, some opinions: I'd be willing to bet that everyone involved, on all sides, wishes this unfortunate situation could have been avoided. Perhaps with better communications between contest organizers and bar management things might not have blown up.

The people for whom I feel the most compassion are the contestants, and especially the winner and runner-up, for whom the thrill of victory was overshadowed by the unpleasantness of the situation. All the contestants were given a warm reception at Sunday's victory party at The Saloon, and Flanagan will go on to represent Minnesota at the tenth annual International Mr. Fantasy contest, August 14-16 in Omaha.

New Minnesota Mr. Drummer and Drummerboy

PHOTO: Mike Vintean standing; David McCammon kneeling

Due to space constraints this picture was not published with the Minnesota Drummer contest story last issue.

Appearing This Weekend in Chicago

PHOTO: Kevin Cwayna, International Mr. Leather 1997


PHOTO: Roger Gregg, Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998

Two of Minnesota's leather luminaries will be on stage at the International Mr. Leather (IML) contest this weekend in Chicago. A big thank-you to Kevin Cwayna, who steps down from his post as International Mr. Leather 1997, for being such a great representative of Minnesota’s and the world’s leather communities. And good luck to Roger Gregg, Mr. Minnesota Leather 1998, who will be competing in the contest—and trying to bring the IML sash back to the Twin Cities again, for two-in-a-row.

Upcoming Leather Events

May 29-31, 1998: The Knights of Leather present Knights Tournament 10, their tenth-anniversary run. There's still time to register, but hurry—registration deadline is Monday, May 25. Knights of Leather, Minneapolis, MN  or e-mail

Friday, May 8, 1998

International Mr. Leather 1997: The Exit Interview

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #77, May 8, 1998)

PHOTO: International Mr. Leather 1997 Kevin Cwayna will pass the sash to his successor at the 1998 International Mr. Leather Contest, May 22-25 in Chicago.


A year passes quickly. Kevin Cwayna, M.D., International Mr. Leather (IML) 1997 and Minnesota's first-ever international leather titleholder, will complete his title year and sash his successor at the 1998 International Mr. Leather Contest, May 22-25 in Chicago.

Regular readers of this column will recall my first interview with Cwayna shortly after he won the title (an expanded version of that interview appears in the current issue of International Leatherman Magazine, Issue #17). Now, in a second interview almost a year later, Cwayna shares his thoughts as his title year comes to a close:

Your year as International Mr. Leather is almost over. What's it been like?

It's been an amazing opportunity. I feel quite privileged that I got to experience all the various corners of the leather community. As International Mr. Leather you get a very thorough tour of the leather world, and you meet a lot of wonderful people. Fetish groups, old guard, new guard, old and new clubs—you're bombarded with all this fascinating information. The schedule's a bit rigorous—it would be better if one didn't have a full-time job. But all in all, it's been an incredible experience.

What do you feel you've accomplished this year?

Well, I could have accomplished more with a full-time staff. There are lots of dreams and visions I would have liked to do, but in reality you have time during the year to set up a website, write up your platform and send it out, and start your whirlwind tour. A lot of time was spent helping people with their events, and talking to people who are new to the community, or who want to know how to become a contestant in IML, or who have other questions about leather and SM. As IML you become a very visible lightning rod for the community. I feel like I did a lot of "leather triage."

That sounds like a doctor talking.

I didn't start any sort of national leather movement anywhere, and I didn't add a new wing to the Leather Archives. But when I'm done holding the IML title, that's when I'll have time to do that sort of thing. I'll be able to be involved in the community as I choose—be on the board of the Leather Archives, or write more, or whatever. It turns out that this isn't the year when you get to do those things; it will be in future years that I can be involved in the areas where I can be most helpful.

So what are your immediate plans after you step down?

I'm going to reground myself in the local community. I'll enjoy a summer at home—I'll be very "around." I'm also interested in leather sexuality as a field of academic study; I think it's very fascinating historically. And I want to help the Leather Archives and Museum. I've seen a lot of postwar damage from HIV, and the leather community is still experiencing that and trying to regroup—like Eric Rofes writes about in his book Reviving The Tribe. I think the Leather Archives has been our community's attempt to try and culturally affirm ourselves and I'd like to contribute to that effort.

New Minnesota Mr. Drummer and Drummerboy Chosen

PHOTO: Mike Vintean standing; David McCammon kneeling

PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Lenius

Congratulations to Mike Vintean, Mr. Minnesota Drummer 1998 (standing), and David McCammon, Minnesota Drummerboy 1998 (kneeling). They won their titles in the Minnesota Drummer contest held April 18 at Club Metro Underground. Other contestants were Steve Eue, Mr. Drummer first runner-up; Scott Kelley, Mr. Drummer second runner-up; and Corey Austin, Drummerboy first runner-up.

The panel of judges, headed by current International Mr. Drummer Jeffrey Adler, had some tough decisions to make, as each of the contestants made a strong showing. Steve Eue's fantasy started as he collared his boy in the crowd, ripped his clothes off, and dragged him onstage—and it got steamier from there. Scott Kelley's fantasy was a conversation with G.O.D. (the Great Omnipotent Dragqueen); it was one of the most literate fantasies I've ever seen. Mike Vintean presented the final fantasy of the evening, and one that would have been hard to top: a real, honest-to-goodness wrestling match, complete with a real-life World Wrestling Federation wrestler as an opponent. Before it was done both men had been knocked offstage and were wrestling on the auditorium floor in front of the judges' table.

Vintean's next competition will be the Great Lakes Mr. Drummer Contest in Columbus, Ohio August 28-30. McCammon will be part of the Drummerboy pool at the International Mr. Drummer Contest in San Francisco September 26.

Upcoming Leather Events

Mr. Minnesota Fantasy Weekend

Friday, May 8:
Party Bus Bar Cruise leaves Minnesota Bar & Grill, 7 pm (must be pre-registered)
Meet & Greet judges and contestants at Minnesota Bar & Grill, 11 pm

Saturday, May 9:
Pre-contest Cocktail Party, Metro Underground, 7 pm
1998 Mr. Minnesota Fantasy Contest, Metro Underground, 8:30 pm

Sunday, May 10:
Victory and Wind-down Party, The Saloon, 7 pm, followed by The Tank at 9 pm

All the above events except the Party Bus Bar Cruise are available on an individual basis. Weekend packages are $45 and include all the events listed above plus Friday and Saturday night private play parties. Call Wolf Productions for weekend packages, single events or if you want to compete. The contest winner will represent Minnesota in the International Mr. Fantasy Contest in Omaha, August 14-16.

IML Kick Off ’98
Sunday, May 17, 6-10 pm, The Saloon

A send-off for current Mr. Minnesota Leather Roger Gregg, who will represent Minnesota at the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago the following weekend. Also appearing will be adult video star Steve Canon. Be there; you may be the lucky winner of the IML contest package that will be given away.

Red Hanky Social
Wednesday, May 20, 7-9 pm, Minnesota Bar and Grill

This event is regularly scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of each month. The first two Red Hanky Socials have been well attended, with newcomers to the scene asking questions and experienced men more than happy to answer them. If you're interested in red hankies you'll want to be here.

Mark Your Calendar . . .

May 22-25: International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago. Up-to-the-minute details at

May 29-31, 1998: The Knights of Leather present Knights Tournament 10. Register by May 11 and save $10. Knights of Leather, Minneapolis, MN or e-mail