For the People in The Back of The Room

The last time I saw American Leatherwoman 2017 Jackie Thompson was in January of 2020. It was during the IML press conference that is held on the Saturday morning of Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in DC. She had just been announced as a judge for the International Mr. Bootblack 2020 Contest which is held over the Memorial Day weekend in Chicago as part of International Mr. Leather Weekend. She beamed as the audience cheered loudly that another hardworking local leather person would be a judge at the world’s largest leather event. Unfortunately, IML did not happen in May 2020 and IML […]

The Suit Guy Is A Leather Man

In 1997 Patrick Grady was working as the Director of Catering at the Washington Plaza Hotel on Logan Circle in Washington, DC when he learned that a leather club called the Centaur MC had booked the hotel for their Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend. Although born in the small town of Peru, Indiana, Patrick was from a military family whose father was stationed in England and brought him to Europe as a small child on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, so he had seen a thing or two in his life. Plus, he always loved seeing men in boots and uniforms dating back […]

Change Is Not A Four-Letter Word

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the fact that you can’t count on everything staying the same. From the moment we are born, everything starts to change. There is no fighting it. You just must embrace it. Otherwise, you become one of those grumpy old men who start every sentence with: When I was your age ….  When I first moved to Baltimore in 1984 the city was filled with LGBTQ+ bars and they were busy every night. When I bought a house in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood in 1988, I could walk to five LGBTQ+ bars, two of […]

Living in the Past, Dreaming of the Future

The new year has arrived but for most people not much has changed. Yesterday I thought that I really needed a break from isolating at home alone. It is hard for a social butterfly to return to the cocoon. I’m beginning to feel like that old hermit who is thrilled when the neighbor’s cat visits and who talks to the deer in the park. I needed to get out of the house, so I went to a nearby Starbucks. It was a brisk walk through the neighborhood, and I didn’t even mind the chilly winter wind. It made me feel […]

It’s A Virtual Life!

The leather community is all about traditions. Even in my personal life, I have many traditions that I look forward to each year. I moved to Baltimore in 1984 and never miss the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I always go downtown to celebrate on Oriole’s Opening Day. Even if I don’t have a ticket for the game, I love the festive block parties, live bands, and crowded bars. If it is MLK weekend in DC, it is time for the huge Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL), Memorial Day weekend means the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago and the […]

A King Without A Kingdom

On February 28th I was on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was a beautiful Friday evening and the bars in Wilton Manors, the popular gayborhood, were hopping. I had enjoyed happy hour at Hunter’s and was having dinner at the Garden Café across the street next to the Eagle Wilton Manors, when I saw Mr. DC Eagle 2020 Justin Sawyers walk by the window. I had been to the Mr. and Ms. DC Eagle 2020 Contest in November and had seen Justin at other events since then. After dinner, I was happy to greet him and several other leather […]

Is It Over?

As I’m sure you have heard by now, the big Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend produced by the Centaur MC and scheduled for January 2021 in Washington, DC has been canceled. MAL joins an endless line of leather events that have been canceled in the last seven months due to the coronavirus outbreak. Add to that the closing of such long-running an iconic leather establishments as the DC Eagle ( after 49 years) and Sigma DC ( “ DC’s only all male BDSM play space for over 25 years”) and it is starting to look like 2020 is the end of the […]

Fearless and Fabulous!

Anyone who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community has been bullied at some time in their lives. It usually happens in grade school. We like to think that as we grow older, we become more mature. The last few years have shown that bullies do not have to be school children. They can even hold the highest office in the land. I have been friends with Savage-Onyx for several years now. His smile can brighten up any room and his playful energetic spirt can quickly cheer up anyone who meets him. He does not fit the stereotype of the […]

Sir Eli’s Second Act

Over the years, I’ve interviewed many leather titleholders. Usually we sit down shortly after they have been sashed and I write about their life up to that point. I’ve haven’t done a follow-up interview after the titleholder has stepped down. I’ve never liked the term “wasey.” It usually means a has-been, someone who used to be someone important, but isn’t anymore. I’ve known a few leather titleholders who are a wasey. One even sold his leather after he stepped down. I once overheard a leather titleholder at IML remark, “I can’t wait until my year is over and I can […]

Where Are We Now?

A few months ago, when everything started to close and leather events were being canceled or postponed for months, I titled my column: “Where Do We Go from Here?” It is now early September and we are still waiting for the coronavirus to “magically disappear.” Major events that were postponed are now having to rethink their decision. Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend (CLAW) traditionally held in April was rescheduled for November. CLAW now will not happen in November and will be held April 20th – 25th, 2021. The Westin and Hampton hotels are offering full refunds and event package holders may […]