Here we go again. Another year ends and another one begins. I hope you made some good memories in 2018. I often lament those friends I see on social media who are complaining that they’re bored, feeling down, not making friends, and just not having much fun. I know it’s simplistic, but my solution is easy: Get off the computer and get out of the house! Every year your friends in the leather community produce countless events. Some are just get-togethers in local bars that cost little to nothing to attend and others are weekends away that will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime. You have the power to really have a happy new year. Here are just a few events coming up in 2019.

January can be cold and dreary. Don’t hibernate. Come out and celebrate. On Friday, January 4th embrace your inner puppy (or just come out and see what puppy play is all about) at Baltimore Pup Night sponsored by Let’s Go Play and the Capital Pups & Handlers at Flavor (15 East Centre Street) from 9 pm to 2 am. There is even a doggy dinner before the event from 7 to 9. Look for “LGP FLAVORful Doggy Dinner” on Facebook.

What if 2019 was the best year of your life? When I interview leather titleholders, I always hear that: “It has been the best year of my life!” Ever think about running for a leather contest? On Sunday, January 13th starting at 6 pm Let’s Go Play is presenting a workshop hosted by Northeast Handler 2017 Damien Basile and Ms. Baltimore Eagle 1992 Glenda Rider entitled “Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown.” Come hear their stories and get some tips about becoming a leather titleholder. The seminar is at the Clifton Pleasure Club (2803 Grindon Avenue) in Baltimore.

January also brings one of the biggest events in the leather year: Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington on January 18th to 20th. Don’t miss it! All the details can be found at Leatherweekend.com. Who will be Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2019? Don’t wait to read my article about it. Come join me there! There will also be a bar night at the DC Eagle on Thursday, January 17th presented by a group of MAL titleholders and upstairs at the DC Eagle you can join Mr. & Ms. DC Eagle 2019, Mr. Maryland Leather 2019, and Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2019 for a dance party. Hope to see you in DC in a few weeks.

February brings the 48th annual Scarlet’s Bake Sale. Picture artistic cakes designed by leather folks and you get the idea. Scarlet’s Bake Sale will take place on Sunday, February 10th at the DC Eagle and will benefit Brother Help Thyself. Cocktails start at 3 pm and the live auction starts at 4. On Sunday, February 24th starting at 2 pm the New Jersey Leather Family will present the 13th annual chili cookoff at Georgies in Asbury Park, New Jersey. This year’s fundraiser benefits HIV services at the Center in Asbury Park. Those long running events are always great, but a new event is fun too. On March 1st and 2nd the first MX Virginia Leather Contest will be held at Fallout (117 North 18th Street) in Richmond, Virginia. This is an all-inclusive leather contest for anyone regardless of gender or sexual identity.

April 11th to 14th brings the ninth annual Bears, Bikers & Mayhem weekend to the Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This year’s entertainment includes Hans, who was hilarious on “America’s Got Talent.” Also popular in April is CLAW (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend), which will bring lots of leather folks to downtown Cleveland on April 25th to 28th. CLAW will include over 101 skills and education sessions, a large vendor mart, and even a party at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The football Super Bowl may be in February, but for the leather community it is over the Memorial Day Weekend. The 41st IML (International Mr. Leather) is scheduled for May 23rd to 27th in Chicago. Yes, it is crowded. Yes, it can be expensive. And yes, you will make memories that will last a lifetime! Find all the details at Iml.com. If you think 41 years is a long time, come join the ShipMates leather club on Saturday, May 4th as they toast 45 years of fun and community service. Everyone is invited to Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore for a party that was 45 years in the making.

These are just a few of the leather events to start off your new year. You will also want to check out all the leather clubs’ bar nights and special events at the DC Eagle and Bike Stop in Philadelphia. Mixer’s Bar in Baltimore is hosting Fierce Leather Friday’s every second and fourth Friday of the month and our area leather clubs are everywhere having fun events. Check out their websites and Facebook pages for details and keep reading Baltimore OUTloud. This is the 350th Leather Line. Time flies when you’re having fun. I hope you have a happy new leather year!

Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2018 Gerard Turner – Who will be Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2019?

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Rodney Burger
Rodney Burger
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.