Escape to the Woods

For many years, the ShipMates Club of Baltimore and the Centaur MC of Washington, DC, hosted leather weekends at a campground. The ShipMates called their weekend “Keelhaul” and the Centaur MC hosted “Olympia.” In the spirit of leather brotherhood, the events were alternating years. (The clubs did not wish to conflict or compete.) Odd years brought Keelhaul and on even years leather folks headed to Olympia. Attendees paid one price, which included a bed in a cabin, all meals, endless cocktail parties hosted by various leather clubs, a run pin, and lots of fun. There was always a dungeon “play […]

The Work Continues for Maryland LeatherSIR 2006

It is a long way from the small town of Owings in Calvert County, Maryland to the sunshine of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For Chris Hacker (Monroe), there were many bumps along the road. Thankfully his discovery of the leather community helped guide him on his journey.     Owings is a small town of 2,528 (2019) and growing up Chris fought the feeling that he was gay. He dated woman. When he was 19, he discovered that people around him were gay, including his best friend. When he had his first gay experience, he realized that he enjoyed being intimate with […]

The Leather Community Started It!

The leather community has always been about fundraising.               In Maryland the first gay leather club, the ShipMates Club of Baltimore was founded in 1974 and became the first organization to raise money for the newly founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which later became Chase Brexton. In Washington, DC in 1978 four gay motorcycle clubs got together and formed an organization to raise money for LGBTQ organizations, such as the Gay Men’s VD Clinic, which became the Whitman-Walker Clinic. This new charitable organization was called Brother Help Thyself and the ShipMates and other area leather clubs would soon join BHT.  Thankfully, […]

Where Are We Going?

One of the ways I like to keep my spirts up is to schedule some fun events to attend. Having something to look forward to keeps me going. Needless to say, 2020 was a difficult year. With the other half away in Florida for the winter and everything canceled because of the virus, I spend most of my time home alone trying to stay safe. It didn’t help that some of my friends continued to go to play parties and gatherings even when it was unsafe to do so. One friend even calls me almost every day to tell me […]

For the People in The Back of The Room

The last time I saw American Leatherwoman 2017 Jackie Thompson was in January of 2020. It was during the IML press conference that is held on the Saturday morning of Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in DC. She had just been announced as a judge for the International Mr. Bootblack 2020 Contest which is held over the Memorial Day weekend in Chicago as part of International Mr. Leather Weekend. She beamed as the audience cheered loudly that another hardworking local leather person would be a judge at the world’s largest leather event. Unfortunately, IML did not happen in May 2020 and IML […]

The Suit Guy Is A Leather Man

In 1997 Patrick Grady was working as the Director of Catering at the Washington Plaza Hotel on Logan Circle in Washington, DC when he learned that a leather club called the Centaur MC had booked the hotel for their Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend. Although born in the small town of Peru, Indiana, Patrick was from a military family whose father was stationed in England and brought him to Europe as a small child on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, so he had seen a thing or two in his life. Plus, he always loved seeing men in boots and uniforms dating back […]

Change Is Not A Four-Letter Word

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the fact that you can’t count on everything staying the same. From the moment we are born, everything starts to change. There is no fighting it. You just must embrace it. Otherwise, you become one of those grumpy old men who start every sentence with: When I was your age ….  When I first moved to Baltimore in 1984 the city was filled with LGBTQ+ bars and they were busy every night. When I bought a house in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood in 1988, I could walk to five LGBTQ+ bars, two of […]

Living in the Past, Dreaming of the Future

The new year has arrived but for most people not much has changed. Yesterday I thought that I really needed a break from isolating at home alone. It is hard for a social butterfly to return to the cocoon. I’m beginning to feel like that old hermit who is thrilled when the neighbor’s cat visits and who talks to the deer in the park. I needed to get out of the house, so I went to a nearby Starbucks. It was a brisk walk through the neighborhood, and I didn’t even mind the chilly winter wind. It made me feel […]

It’s A Virtual Life!

The leather community is all about traditions. Even in my personal life, I have many traditions that I look forward to each year. I moved to Baltimore in 1984 and never miss the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I always go downtown to celebrate on Oriole’s Opening Day. Even if I don’t have a ticket for the game, I love the festive block parties, live bands, and crowded bars. If it is MLK weekend in DC, it is time for the huge Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL), Memorial Day weekend means the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago and the […]

A King Without A Kingdom

On February 28th I was on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was a beautiful Friday evening and the bars in Wilton Manors, the popular gayborhood, were hopping. I had enjoyed happy hour at Hunter’s and was having dinner at the Garden Café across the street next to the Eagle Wilton Manors, when I saw Mr. DC Eagle 2020 Justin Sawyers walk by the window. I had been to the Mr. and Ms. DC Eagle 2020 Contest in November and had seen Justin at other events since then. After dinner, I was happy to greet him and several other leather […]