Zachary Z. Handler’s ERRANDS Puts Shelter-In Place Under a New Lens

From the creative mind of visual artist Zachary Z. Handler comes his fabulous new project, ERRANDS. ERRANDS is a portrait series that visually documents the shared shelter-in-place experiences of people around both Maryland and the world, from the comfort and safety of their own home. Handler recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud regarding inspiration for the project. The inspiration for ERRANDS, started about two weeks into the pandemic for Handler. “We hadn’t been in quarantine yet. I was coming home after my job in healthcare, which feels lately like the first day on the job – everything we’ve known has been […]

Looking for the Light

The last few months have not been easy for anyone. Humans are social by nature. For me, living a virtual life on my phone or computer just doesn’t bring me joy. I have been praying and searching for some bright spot in these dark times. In Maryland many places are slowly starting to reopen. There are very few people in the bars, but it is safer that way. For me, having a beer out with a friend or two is a million times better than having one at home. I feel like I am slowly starting to come back to […]

Where Do We Go From Here?

I have been having a recurring dream. I’m at a hotel attending a leather weekend, but I have failed to look at the schedule of events. As a result, I’m missing everything. When I wake up the problem remains. Thanks to the coronavirus, the last few months are all about missing everything: from the Excelsior MC’s 45th anniversary on Fire Island ( I made my reservations early), the Centaur MC’s 50th anniversary in May ( The invitation was beautiful), all the Prides ( Last June I went to four), and even the Philadelphians, MC leather weekend in October. (I was […]

Where Can I Get That?

I was recently saddened to learn that Leather Masters, a leather store in Dallas with a 31-year history, is going to close permanently as a direct result from the financial impact of the coronavirus shutdown. I have shopped this wonderful store many times over the years while in Dallas for the International LeatherSIR / Leatherboy Contest. Their booth at the leather vendor mart in DC during Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend was also always popular. At one time they also had stores in San Antonio and Allentown, Pennsylvania. Those stores had already closed. Many people have asked me over the years where […]

No Safe Word

One of the basic principles of the of the BDSM community is the Leather Credo: safe, sane, and consensual. Masochist are provided with a safe word to use to inform the Sadist that he has had enough. It should be some random word like “banana” or “California.” It would be a word that would not normally be used. “Stop” and “ouch” are not safe words. The utterance of this word ends the scene. Unfortunately, there is no safe word to end a pandemic. As I write this, I should be packing for a weekend on Fire Island, to celebrate the […]

Strictly by The Book

In my last column I told you all about some of the leather events that are currently happening virtually and some of the leather related resources that can be found online. (I didn’t even mention Pornhub!) Today I want to go old-school and tell you about some must-read books. I love looking at videos and reading information on websites, but nothing beats curling up with a good book. One of my first introductions into the leather scene was the classic novel Mr. Benson by John Preston. This 1980 work tells the story of a young man’s search for a master […]

The New Normal

By Rodney Burger I have always been intrigued by the English language. I even taught high school English when I first got out of college. Our language is always changing and evolving. Each year the Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds new words. In 2019 “vacay”, “escape room”, “colorism”, “fatberg” and more were added. We have added lots of new words and phrases to our vocabularies in the last few years such as “fake news” and “alternative facts.” There is a new phrase now that I hear and read every day to describe our current life under the coronavirus restrictions: “the new normal.” […]

Meet Mr. Maryland Leather 2020

I was a leather titleholder in 2001. This means that during my title year the unthinkable happen on September 11th. It was a horrible few day. Slowly our nation pulled together, we went back to work, and things returned to normal. I hosted a fundraiser at the Baltimore Eagle for the 9/11 Fund. Life went on. I thought about those days again this afternoon when I sat down with Mr. Maryland Leather 2020 Sir Oya Ra. His leather title year will also be remembered for a tragic event. However, the coronavirus has not stopped the world for a few days, […]

Plan Ahead … Way Ahead!

When I finish a column, I’m usually already thinking about what the next one will be about. When I have lots of events planned, it is easy. This column was going to be about Twisting Culture’s Northeast Person of Leather 2020 weekend planned for March 20th – March 22nd at the Baltimore Playhouse. Last year for the inaugural event producer Jack Jackman was kind enough to reach out to me personally to make sure I was planning to be there. Unfortunately, last year I had already made plans to be in Provincetown, Massachusetts for the Bay State Marauders’ 16th anniversary. […]

Baltimore by the Sea

Recently two dear friends who I met in the 1980s at The Gallery bar in Baltimore, back when it was a leather bar, announced that they were moving to Florida. Although not officially involved with any leather club, Charles and Dean have anyways been big supporters of leather club events. They became just the latest members of Baltimore’s leather community who are trading Fort McHenry for Fort Lauderdale. I myself recently returned from visiting friends in Fort Lauderdale and I ran into many people who I know. With the large number of Baltimore leather folks now living in South Florida, […]