Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 13 / 29 March 2018

Celebrating alliances


Mr. SF Leather 2017 contestants (left to right): Matt McGowen, Al Rahm (first runner up), Casé "Cito" DaMoude, Geoff Millard (winner), Travis Santell Rowland (second runner up), and Connor Hochleuntner. photo: Rich Stadtmiller 
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During the weekend of March 3-5, 2017, the San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance produced their latest incarnation of their Leather Alliance Weekend. The weekend offers local and visiting leather and kink folks a wide range of events to attend.

Mr. S Leather hosted the opening meet and greet party at their store on Friday night. I really enjoy the various gatherings that take place at the store. It's always a sexy experience to mingle with fellow kinksters in an atmosphere of a wide range of gear, garb and toys that the store offers.

People cruised, drank and ate. Then the Mr. San Francisco Leather contestants, judges and contest staff were introduced. As the party wound down, most of the crowd moved on to the SF Eagle for the International Titleholder Reunion.

This was the first time the titleholder reunion was held. Organized by Ray Tilton and co-hosted by the Los Angeles Band of Brothers, the event brought together titleholders from all over the country including a rare appearance by Judy Tallwing McCarthey, the first International Ms. Leather in 1987, who spoke at the event. Mike Gerle, International Mr. Leather 2007 and a founding member of the Los Angeles Band of Brothers also spoke. The formation of the San Francisco Band of Brothers was announced at the event.

One by one the titleholders were introduced as they lined up on stage, eventually filling the entire Eagle outdoor raised patio. Seeing more than 80 titleholders from all over the country was an impressive sight.

On Saturday, the day began with the judges interviewing the six Mr. SF Leather contestants. Contestant interviews are held early on contest day with no audience present. It's not a part of the contest the public gets to see, but interviews weigh heavily in the overall scoring.

The interviews were the first of the weekend's happenings to take place at a new venue for many of the events, SOMArts Cultural Center, a wonderful nonprofit-run space in the South of Market. I think the space worked out well and it's great to see the local leather and kink communities gathered in a venue our scene hasn't used much in the past. Such big gathering spaces can be hard to come by and I'm grateful that SOMArts agreed to lease the space to the Alliance.

Two workshops took place at SOMArts during the day on Saturday.

Roz and Shelby led a workshop on dog and pup play. The human pup scene is a popular kink, especially among younger people and the next generation of BDSM kinksters. 

Tomo led a workshop on pressure points to cause pain. They explored several effective pressure points to get a bottom's attention.

Mr. SF Leather Contest (left to right): First runner up, Al Rahm; Geoff Millard, Winner - Mr. SF Leather 2017; and Travis Santell Rowland, Second runner up. photo: Rich Stadtmiller

The vendor area welcomed leather and kink vendors and businesses, who set up shop with a variety of wares and services. Participating were Frugaldomme, Wicked Grounds, Killer Bob and Conzept Dezigns. A silent auction was followed by winners being announced late Saturday.

Saturday night was what many consider the main event, the Mr. SF Leather contest. This year there were six contestants and they all did themselves and their sponsors proud. While I wasn't privy to their interviews, all six men held their own during every aspect of the nighttime competition: strutting in a jockstrap, answering a pop question, presenting their best leather image and delivering a short speech.

Last year's contest MCs, Pollo Del Mar and Don Mike, kindly ceded the stage for this year to long-time contest MCs Lenny Broberg and Donna Sachet, so they could celebrate Lenny's 25th anniversary since being Mr. SF Leather and International Mr. Leather, and the 35th anniversary of the Mr. SF Leather contest. It was great to see the well-honed team of Lenny and Donna once again commanding the stage with their witty repartee and skilled management of the contestants.

After the opening color guard, opening entertainment, and midway through the contest, included performances by Peter Feliciano, Kippy Marks, Damien Alvarez, Julia Austenfeld, Stela Furtado, and Azalea (the current Ms. SF Leather).

At one point during the evening, the past Mr. SF Leather titleholders were invited on stage and Raquela Singer sang a beautiful, touching song to them.

Bootblacking during the contest was provided by Douglas Ambrose and Vivian.

There was the traditional parade of colors where clubs and organizations were introduced through a single representative on stage. Similarly, later in the night all current titleholders in attendance were introduced.

The contestants this year for the Mr. SF Leather title were: Connor Hochleuntner, Mr. Edge Leather 2017; Geoff Millard, Mr. Daddy's Barbershop Leather 2017; Travis Santell Rowland, Mr. Powerhouse Leather 2017; Case "Cito" DaMoude, Mr. Chaps Leather 2017; Al Rahm, Bay Area Sober in Leather 2017; and Matt McGowen, Mr. SF Eagle Leather 2017.

Charged with the difficult task of determining the winner was a stellar judging panel. In honor of the 35th anniversary of the contest, many past Mr. San Francisco Leather winners were asked to judge. Judges this year were: Wolf Marisol, Mr. SF Leather 1995; Julian Marshburn, Mr. SF Leather 2004; Lance Holman, Mr. SF Leather 2010; Queen Cougar, Ms. SF Leather 1993; Mike Gerle, International Mr. Leather 2007; Garry McClain (Marlena), Judge Emeritus; and Cody Elkin, Mr. SF Leather 2016.

District 8 City Supervisor, Jeff Sheehy, presented a Board of Supervisors recognition and State Senator Scott Wiener presented a similar recognition from the State Legislature.

left to right): Ryan Mattson, Chairman, Leathermen's Discussion Group; Demetri Sparks, Philip M Turner Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 Winner, Marlon Morales, Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2012. photo: Rich Stadtmiller

Before the winners were announced, the awarding of the Brotherhood Award took place. This award is given to the man his fellow contestants believe best represents the spirit of comaradery and brotherhood. This year they chose Geoff Millard.

Finally, the winners were announced. The winner of the Mr. SF Leather 2017 contest was Geoff Millard. First runner up was Al Rahm. Second runner up was Travis Santell Rowland.

I asked Geoff for his thoughts about his contest experience and what he hoped his title year would be like.

"The experience of running for Mr. SF Leather was one of building bonds with my classmates over drinks, jokes, food, dance and even protesting while still trying to study everything while rocking hot brown leather. So, all in all, it just went by too fast."

"In my title year, I want this to be a working title. I'll be working stands as a bootblack and raising money. I want to help raise money for Swords to Plowshares that has a program to help veterans upgrade their discharge from the military, which is extra important for queer vets kicked out for being queer. I'd also like to be a part of all the LGBTQ and leather organizations' events as much as I can while still traveling to be an ambassador for San Francisco leather and kink."

On the right is Rich Stadtmiller, winner of the 2016 Jim Remer Unsung Hero Award, with friends Raymond Sherwin (left), and Daniel Hawkins (middle). photo: Rich Stadtmiller

After the contest, most people migrated to the Powerhouse for the Victory Party.

On Sunday, the 51st Community Awards Brunch was held at SOMArts. Local people, clubs, organizations and events are honored for their contributions to the local leather community.

The 2016 winners this year were: Best Weekend Motorcycle Run, Golden Gate Guards Springtime in Yosemite - May;

Best One-Day Motorcycle Ride, SF Dykes on Bikes/Women's Motorcycle contingent 40th Anniversary ride SF Pride Parade - June;

Most Visible Community Organization, Leathermen's Discussion Group;

Best Community Weekend Event (not a Contest or Street Fair), LDG Fetish Fair Weekend - August;

Best Community Leather/Fetish/MC event (not a contest or Street fair), Golden Gate Guards - Leather Cruise - September;

Best Bay Area Leather Contest, Mr. SF Eagle - November;

Best Organizational Anniversary Event, LDG - 20th Anniversary - December;

Best Community Educational Event, LDG - Should Leather March in SF Pride? - January;

Best New Organization - SF Bay Area, BARC - Bay Area Rope collective;

Outstanding Community Business SF Bay Area, Wicked Grounds;

Outstanding Community Nonprofit SF Bay Area, tie between Society of Janus and Folsom Street Events;

Next Generation Award (under 35), Douglas Ambrose;

Frank Beniot Award (for service to the Alliance), Angel Garfold;

Jim Remer Unsung Hero Award (for long-term community volunteering), Rich Stadtmiller;

Man of the Year, Cody Elkin;

Woman of the Year, tie between Mir Bilodeau and Stela Furtado;

(Front row left to right): Mr. SF Leather contestants Matt McGowen, Al Rahm, Casé "Cito" DaMoude, Travis Santell Rowland, Geoff Millard, and Connor Hochleuntner. (Back row left to right): Mr. SF Leather judges Mike Gerle, Lance Holman, Queen Cougar, Garry McClain (Marlena), Cody Elkin, Wolf Marisol, and Julian Marshburn. photo: Rich Stadtmiller

And finally, the Philip M Turner Lifetime Achievement Award went to Demetri Sparks.

Demetri gave a heartfelt acceptance speech. This portion of the speech I found to be a particularly important message.

"So, thank you for thinking of me, and thank you for this award. I only do what I do for my love of community and for my love of the work itself. Hopefully, we all remember that the most important work is that which, most of the time, goes completely unacknowledged or even thanked – and that is still work worth doing."

Since the photographs taken by Rich Stadtmiller at countless events are the ones most often used in this column, I'd like to personally congratulate him on his Unsung Hero award. His photographs enrich our scene in profound and meaningful ways.

The brunch crowd joined others at the Eagle afterward for the Mr. SF Leather 2017 beer bust.

And that concluded another Leather Alliance Weekend. I'll be there again next year. I hope you will be too.

Race Bannon is a local author, blogger and activist. You can reach him on his website


Leather Events, March 17-31, 2017

There's always a lot going on in the San Francisco Bay Area for leather and other kinksters.

Fri 17

Elections Panel Discussion @ Center for Sex and Culture

First will be the annual election of officers for the next year. Then there is a panel discussion about playing in public dungeons. Whether you're an Exiles member or not, come hang out and enjoy the company of like-minded kinky women (along with those self-identifying as other than male) who are 18 and over. Free, 1349 Mission St., 7:30-10:30pm.

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm.

Sat 18

GearUp Weekend Play Party @ SF Catalyst

Hot, friendly, sex-positive and fun play party for men. Where the next generation of kinky/kink-curious guys and leathermen, including trans men, can socialize with, learn from, and play with other men of all ages (21+) and levels of experience in a safe and friendly environment. $20.00, military/student with ID and play party first timers $10.00, volunteers free (email if you are interested in volunteering). 1060 Folsom Street, 8pm-12am, play until 1am.

Sun 19

ACLC St. Patrick's Pups Event @ The World Famous Turf Club

Calling all pups, dogs, handlers and dog catchers for a playful afternoon of fun, food, entertainment, raffles and fisting the leprechaun. 22519 Main Street, Hayward, 3-6pm.

Mon 20

Ride Mondays @ Eros

A motorcycle rider and leathermen night at Eros, bring your helmet, AMA card, MC club card or club colors and get $3 off entry or massage. 2051 Market St.

Fri 24

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm.

Sat 25

The 15 Association Men's Play Party @ SF Catalyst

Men's BDSM dungeon play party. Go to the website and request an invite if you have not been to one of their events recently. 1060 Folsom St., 7pm-12am.

Mon 27

Ride Mondays @ Eros

A motorcycle rider and leathermen night at Eros, bring your helmet, AMA card, MC club card or club colors and get $3 off entry or massage. 2051 Market St.

Fri 31

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm.

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