Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ryan Brown is Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #458, December 20, 2012)

Year after year, the Mr. Minneapolis Eagle contest has been a fun and hot event that packs the bar to capacity. This year’s version continued that tradition with four great contestants, seven judges (including out-of-town judges from Indiana and Iowa) and a big crowd that was ready to have fun.

The action started on Friday night, Nov. 9, with a meet-the-contestants event in the Minneapolis Eagle part of the bar complex, followed on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 10) by the judges’ private interviews with the contestants.

Saturday evening’s contest and show was held in the Bolt Underground. The contestants were introduced during the traditional Keg Walk: holding a beer keg above his head, each contestant worked his way through the crowd from the back of the bar to the stage at the front of the bar. Once they reached the stage they were introduced by emcee Brent Fourre, who was assisted by ASL interpreter Richard Herod.

The contestants were Jake Jacobson, a sandblasting artist who sported a pair of jeans with the image of a chain sandblasted on them; Karri Plowman, leather crafter and co-owner of Twin Cities Leather; Tommy Rosengren, photographer and writer; and Ryan Brown, businessman and bicycle aficionado.

Next to be introduced were the evening’s judges: Sam Carlisle, representing the Atons of Minneapolis; Dan Beach, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2007; Jayson Glynn, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2011 and also a member of the Atons; Derek Harley, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2012; Ron Kautz, Mr. 501 Eagle 2012, from Indianapolis; Jeremy Morris, Mr. Iowa Leather 2012, from Des Moines; and your humble columnist.

(The evening was, to a certain extent, a Mr. Minneapolis Eagle reunion of sorts. In addition to the past Mr. Minneapolis Eagle titleholders who were judging, the contest coordinator was Gregg White, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2003 (assisted by Nick Pavlik as contestant coordinator/Den Daddy), and the evening’s DJ was Todd Leek, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2000. The contest was sponsored, of course, by EagleBoltBar owner Ed Hopkins.)

The judges returned to their tables and the contestants were again brought onstage for the Q&A portion of the contest. This year’s questions included serious political questions about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, marriage equality and access to health care, as well as lighter questions concerning dungeon equipment, experiences at past International Mr. Leather weekends, and leather Christmas trees.

The final judged portion of the contest, the Erotic Fantasy, included a description of the various types of men needed for the perfect fantasy orgy, as well as tales of sex in a dungeon, at the office and in a storage unit.

While the judges’ scores were being tallied, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2012 Derek Harley gave an emotion-packed and heartfelt stepping-aside speech. At one point Harley was joined by his partner, Josh, who had been literally carried above the heads of the crowd and lifted onto the stage. The emotional high of that moment was later countered by a bit of mischief: At the end of Harley’s speech, some of his titleholder brothers held up signs that spelled out “W-U-Z-Z-Y,” a term of endearment for someone who is no longer a current titleholder.

It was right around midnight when the contest results were announced: Karri Plowman was named first runner-up, and Ryan Brown was named Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013.

Brown will represent The Minneapolis Eagle and Minnesota’s leather community in the 34th annual International Mr. Leather competition (<>), May 24-27, 2013 (Memorial Day weekend) in Chicago.