29 March 2010 20:04
Seattle, WA – Today is a day of rest and recovery from Washington State Leather Pride Week for me. It was a busy, fatiguing week culminating with the Washington State Mr & Ms Leather Contest Saturday night and our Annual Victory Brunch, Memorial & Awards Ceremony yesterday. But it was also highly enjoyable and rewarding. As Doug and Angie stepped down from their title years as Washington State Mr and Ms Leather, we had two contestants for each of the 2010 titles. Jim and Herrmeister D competed for the Mr title and Boi Di and Panda Girl (pictured left to right in the image right, courtesy of Malixe) competed for the Ms. Our congratulations go out to all four contestants, and we welcome our new Washington State Ms Leather, Boi Di, and Washington State Mr Leather 2010, Herrmeister D to the Washington State Leather title family. Each of the four contestants is a fine representative of the richness of Washington’s leather community and an excellent example of the Washington State Mr|Ms Leather Organization (WSMLO)‘s efforts to identify, recruit and mentor our next class of community leaders.
As the producer of the Washington State Mr|Ms Leather Contest for the past four years it has been my pleasure to thank our sponsors, Miller Brewing and Columbia Distributing Company, for the support they have been providing for the past eighteen years. The sponsorship provided by Miller Brewing and Columbia Distributing Company helps maintain our legacy to the community and contributes to the to the tradition of service that is the title system, in addition to ensuring the proceeds from our event can be distributed to community non-profits that serve our community. I always want to take the opportunity to encourage my brothers and sisters to support the businesses that support our community by lifting a Miller product while drinking responsibly, to frequent our home bar, the Cuff Complex, which hosts our contest each year and purchase their gear from Dog House Leathers and LeatherPost as well as others that make significant contributions year after year.
It was a pleasure to have all my boys with me this past weekend, and our puppy Element too. You see this is where things get a little tricky. One of my boys, Derek Da Silva, flew in from Chicago, IL to help out with the contest, but he is known by one name in our close community of family and friends and another by, well let’s just call it a ‘broader market’ elsewhere. I’m extremely proud of the contribution he made but don’t want to inadvertently ‘out’ the boy, so I’ll just leave it at that. Chris rode down from Vancouver, BC with our auntie Tia. Timmy was in town, of course, and our pup Element flew in directly from an appearance in San Francisco before heading home to Portland, OR today.
Thanks to Toby Noon, I was hooked up with SEAfukits, a fully authorized offshoot of an original community based safe-sex campaign developed in Washington DC called DCFukit. With the boys’ help we assisted in the launch of the FUK|!T program here in Seattle by promoting the campaign and distributing the FUK|!Ts at the contest Saturday night. We were also able to pass out several dozen BDSM: Safer Kinky Sex booklets produced by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). You can learn more about FUK|!T by visiting the SEAkukit website. You can also order BDSM: Safer Kinky Sex booklets here.
Midori was this year’s National Leather Emblem Award winner. The National Leather Emblem Award goes to a person or organization who has either assisted the Seattle leather community in the past or has provided positive leadership to the leather community in general. Midori is an educator and columnist on adventurous sexuality in addition to being a noted author. She travels the world presenting to universities, education events, organizations and media. Midori is known for her humanistic, humorous and warm classes that help people spice up their sex lives and encourage self discovery and personal growth. Her contributions to the leather community here in Washington State are countless, and I am thrilled we could bestow upon her WSMLO’s highest honor.
While Midori was not able to attend because she was doing what she does… in Tokyo of all places. Malixe, one of my favorite paparazzi, was on hand, however, to shoot a few hundred photographs of the Washington State Mr & Ms Leather Contest, and with his permission I have posted a selection of those images to the WA St Mr & Ms Leather Contest 2010 gallery for your enjoyment.
On Sunday at our Annual Victory Brunch, Memorial & Awards Ceremony, Toby Noon, the president of Seattle Men of Leather was a recipient of a Leather Emblem Award and received SML’s Man of the Year Award for the second year in a row. Since stepping up as Washington State Mr Leather in 2008, Toby has shared his journey and become an exceptional activist and leader in our local community. I am extremely proud to call him a friend and thankful for his contributions on a deeply personal level. Congratulations, Toby.
Odie was Generic Leather Productions of Washington (GLPW)‘s Person of the Year and his remarks were a challenge to step up GLPW’s efforts within the community. After noting the 30 some odd play parties that GLPW has hosted in the past three years since the first we threw in conjunction with Washington State Leather Pride 2007 and our commitment to a gender neutral, gay, straight, transgendered and queer community, Odie made a call for us to up our educational game. I’m fully supportive and volunteer my time to promote a CPR/First Aid certification class for a broad spectrum of community leaders and players alike. I’ll keep you all posted on that little initiative.