Oh, I See

On September 26th, 2019 the leather community lost a leader, a historian, a mentor, a leather contest producer, and a very colorful character. I lost a dear friend. I will never forget Vern Stewart. I first met Vern in May 2001. In March of that year I became a leather titleholder when during a contest at the Club Hippo in Baltimore, I was selected Maryland Mr. Drummer 2001. In May I traveled to Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the Pennsylvania Mr. Drummer / Drummerboy 2001 contest. It was Kentucky Derby Day and I ducked into the Silhouette Lounge to watch the race. […]

Say ‘Yes’ to November!

For many people the holiday season is stressful. That period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is filled with family obligations, shopping and spending too much money, decorating the home, office parties with folks we really don’t want to be with, and lots of running around. Self-care is very important at any time, but we really need to make more of an effort during the weeks leading up to the holiday rush. Before all that madness begins, treat yourself to one of these fun leather events in November. The first weekend of November belongs to COMMAND MC and Maryland Leather Weekend. […]

Selected MAL Woman / Bootblack 2020

Treasure (Reem Wheeler) from Baltimore, a member of the ONYX Pearls, was sashed Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2020 and Ren Laine, from Columbia, Maryland, was selected Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack 2020 during the annual contest held over the weekend of August 23rd to 25th in Baltimore. There were no additional contestants. Treasure becomes the 11th Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman and Ren is now the fourth person to hold the title of Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack. Produced by Evil Twins Production (Rik Newton-Treadway and Tina Landi) this year’s contest took advantage of the beautiful cooler temperatures with much time spent outside at the […]

Old Traditions in a New World

The national news has been filled this summer with stories about Latino people in America. These news reports are upsetting, sad, and not in keeping with the America I was raised to believe in, even growing up in my very white world in western Maryland. In the spring I made a new friend named Selvin. He and his family immigrated from Salcajá in Guatemala, a city rich in history and tradition that is known for the Church of San Jacinto, the first church built in Central America, which dates to 1524. Many members of his family, like Selvin, are now […]

Time to Start Running!!

The year is now half over, and it will very soon be time to select some of our area’s 2020 leather titleholders. Who will be Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2020 or Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack 2020? Who will be sashed Mr. Maryland Leather 2020, Mr. Virginia Leather 2020, Mr. & Ms. DC Eagle 2020, Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2020, Mr. Pittsburgh Leather Fetish 2020, or Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2020? Take it from an old leather titleholder, having a leather title is lots of work. On the bright side, it gives you memories that last a lifetime. A leather title also […]

‘Visionary Art’ Museum Features Free Summer Outdoor Films

On July 11th, the American Visionary Art Museum (800 Key Highway, Baltimore) kicked off their popular summer film series Flicks from the Hill with a showing of the sing- a-long Sound of Music.AVAM PR Manager Helen Yuen was kind enough to invite Baltimore OUTloud to the Flicks premiere party complete with food, wine, and delicious beer from Troegs Independent Brewing of Hershey, Pennsylvania. AVAM, which opened in 1995, is a national museum and education center dedicated to self-taught artist. On Thursdays in the summer movies are presented on a large screen on the side of the AVAM building facing Federal […]

A Long Journey Home

I’ve interviewed many leather titleholders over the years. For most their story is somewhat simple: They grew up, discovered leather, ran for a leather title, and won. It is an interesting journey, but not terribly dramatic. Sean Penn is not going to win an Oscar for playing that part. On July 11th I sat down with California State Bootblack 2018 Geoff Millard, who was recently runner-up for International Mr. Bootblack 2019 at the big International Mr. Leather Contest (IML) in Chicago. This was his second time hitting the IML stage. When he competed as Mr. San Francisco Leather 2017, he […]

Things Are Heating Up!

One would think that the leather community takes a break in the summertime. After all, heat and cowhide do not seem like the best combination. For the many of us who are dedicated members of the leather community the summer months are filled with just as many events as during any other time of the year. In fact, in the Mid-Atlantic area the leather calendar is just getting heated up! How do you turn a random Wednesday into something special? You hang out with the DC Boys of Leather. Join them for happy hour on Wednesday, July 10th from 6 […]

A Place to Grow in Southwest Baltimore

On Sunday, June 23rd during a reception to show appreciation for a diverse group of volunteers, center director Dwayne Hess was kind enough to offer this writer a personal guided tour of Clay Pots, a community center located at 1635 West Pratt Street in southwest Baltimore. Founded in 2002, Clay Pots fills what was once an old corner store and a neighboring rowhouse. There is a large gathering space, kitchen, classrooms, computer lab, and even an art gallery. The third floor, which has not yet been rehabbed, will provide even additional classroom and meeting space. Although it is a wonderful […]

Putting a Face to Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

People fear the unknown. Ignorance is born out of fear. A few years ago, many people who were apposed to gay rights would argue that no one they knew was gay. They would feel that they had never met a gay person and that no one in their family was gay. Over the last few years, gays and lesbians have made great strides in visibility with many popular TV shows featuring gay characters and openly gay and lesbian persons becoming leaders in their communities. We now even have an openly gay man running for president of the US. The fight […]