Kristopher Davis – from Washington, DC, and a member of the DC boys of Leather club – was named Atlantic States Leatherboy 2019, and Ryder Tidwell from Silver Spring, Maryland, who has only been bootblacking for a year, was named Atlantic States Leather Community Bootblack 2019 during Atlantic States Leather Weekend held September 28th and 29th at Grand Central nightclub in Baltimore. There were no additional contestants and no contestants for the title of Atlantic States LeatherSIR 2019. I guess that explains why our city is sometimes called “Bottom-more” or why Sir Steve has a sign in our front yard that reads: “Last top before tunnel.” Even with the shortage of contestants for a regional title that stretches from Connecticut to Northern Virginia and includes the most heavily populated section of the US, it was still a very entertaining and enjoyable weekend. Although only in its third year, Atlantic States Leather Weekend has always been a first-class operation. I’ve always loved the little details that make something special. For example, when you buy a beer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards the plastic cup reads “Oriole Park at Camden Yards” and has the iconic ballpark’s logo. I’ve been to other stadiums that don’t bother with those little things. Those with full tickets to this event were presented with “run bags” complete with the Atlantic States logo. These bags included a t-shirt, run pin, program, bracelet, Atlantic States trick towel, Atlantic States ink pen, and assorted other goodies. Producers Mr. eXile Leather2011 Sir Robert Chandler and Mr. Maryland Leather 2011 Alex Lemaire had to do some last-minute scrambling this year when their host venue, the Baltimore Eagle, closed without notice. A big thanks to Grand Central owner Don Davis for allowing the weekend to take over his club.
In a break from tradition, the contest was spread over two days and started on Friday evening prior to the meet-and-greet gathering. After a very energetic opening number from Brie Devine that included three costume changes and multiple songs (including Rihanna’s “S&M”) and opening remarks from the event’s executive producer, Sir Robert Chandler, the nine judges were introduced by emcee Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2006 Bob Johnson. This judging panel was truly supreme and included: Atlantic States LeatherSIR 2017 Sir Tom Matt, Atlantic States Leatherboy 2017 boy trell waters, International Community Bootblack 2017 boy john urso, International Community Bootblack 2015 Briar Wood, Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2018 Ger’ard Turner, Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2013 Nina Love, Mr. Michigan Leather 2010 Jim Coleman, Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2017 Raquel Phillips, and Mr. Maryland Leather 2010 Justin B. Terry-Smith.
Friday’s portion of the contest brought the formal leather speeches. By way of introduction boy kris started his speech by confessing: “I’m a cumdump fist pig and I’m living my truth! Are you?” Bootblack contestant Ryder informed the audience that he was a “highly functioning autistic who wants to serve his community.” Usually done at the end of a contest while the scores are being tallied, Friday evening also brought the step-down speeches of the 2018 Atlantic States Leather family. Atlantic States Leather Community Bootblack 2018 Callie Girl spoke about how her title year really pushed her boundaries and added that “just because my year is ending doesn’t mean that my work is done.” Atlantic States Leatherboy 2018 boy justin charles took the stage absent any leather and in tennis shoes. He explained that: “Leather is in your heart. It is not what you wear.” On a much more serious note he spoke about suicide awareness and noted that a situation a week after he returned from the International Leatherboy Contest in Dallas almost resulted in him not being here. He finished with: “I’m a boy of the community and not the community’s boy.” Atlantic States LeatherSIR 2018 “Frat Daddy” George Hicks recapped the many highlights of his title year and confessed that after years of feeling unworthy and undesirable not only was he able to speak out about his platform of abusive relationships but during his year he also found love.
Friday evening concluded with a meet-and-greet party upstairs at The Loft at Grand Central.
On Saturday evening everyone returned to Grand Central for the second half of the contest. There were more fun performances from Brie Devine (who also helped emcee) and Miss Free State 2011 Alora Frost. Brie had the audience roaring during one particularly raunchy number. Not only was Brie a riot but watching signer Susan Weinstein sign some of the lyrics was worth the price of admission. Another highlight of the evening was the on-stage fantasy part of the contest which had boy kris performing a very hot scene in an office setting with Mr. DC Eagle 2018 Dan Ferguson. I loved it. I know I can sometimes be naive but do people usually keep Crisco in their desk? The audience was also given the opportunity to get to know bootblack Ryder better with a brief onstage chat with Bob Johnson.
Mr. Connecticut Leather 2012 Matt Kenney was backstage as the den daddy with help from den boy michael mayer. Tally master was COMMAND, MC member Dennis Ober. The judge’s boy was ONYX member Derrick Otter Star, and working the door both nights were ShipMate member Karen Taylor and her partner Linda.
After the contest the party continued in The Loft. It was great to see members of our area’s leather clubs and regional titleholders all support Atlantic States Leather. When we all work together we shine.
- Rodney is originally from Hagerstown, Maryland and for many years has lived in Baltimore. In April 2017, Rodney was sworn in for his 10th year as the President of the ShipMates Club of Baltimore. He has been involved in the leather community for many years, but often denies that he sold Jell-O shots at The Last Supper. He has been writing THE LEATHER LINE for the BALTIMORE OUTLOUD newspaper (Baltimoreoutloud.com.) for over fourteen years. He has produced the Mr. & Ms. Baltimore Eagle Contest and the Maryland LeatherSIR/Leatherboy Contest. In 2001 he was proud to serve as Maryland Mr. Drummer 2001. Rodney also does stand-up comedy and in 2013 was thrilled to perform at Philadelphia Leather Pride Night. He has been nominated multiple times for a Pantheon of Leather Award, was selected Leather Man of the Year in 2013 by COMMAND M.C. and by the Baltimore Leather Association of the Deaf in 2006. The 11th annual 12 Days of Christmas benefit show was dedicated to Rodney and his partner Sir Steve. He has been twice selected as ShipMate of the Year. He has judged Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2015, Atlantic States LeatherSIR / Leatherboy and recently judged Mr. Eagle NYC 2018. He is delighted to be able to bring news of his beloved leather community to his readers every issue.