A Chat with B’more’s Fiercest New Bar Owner: Night Shift 2.0’s Beth Cooper

The Night Shift 2.0 celebrated its grand opening on October 4th to the delight of many in the Baltimore LGBTQ community. Located at 1725 Ponca Street, The Night Shift 2.0 already serves as a beacon for everyone in the community looking for a place to be themselves. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with owner Beth Cooper. “My inspiration,” began Cooper, “was to continue to provide an-all inclusive place for everyone in the LGBTQ community. I had been affiliated with other safe-spaces and I didn’t realize how special it was for people to have a place of their own to feel comfortable. […]

Mr. Maryland Leather 2020 Is…

Oya Ra, a member of the Illuminati House of Ra, was selected Mr. Maryland Leather 2020 at a contest held on Saturday, November 2nd at the Ottobar in Baltimore. He was also awarded the David Allen Brotherhood Award. ShipMates of Baltimore club member David Sugar was first runner-up and Timmy Brehm from Nottingham, Maryland, was second runner-up. This was the 30th edition of the popular contest produced by COMMAND MC to select Maryland’s representative at the International Mr. Leather Contest held each May in Chicago. The event is also a fundraiser, and last year COMMAND MC donated over $10,000 to […]

Another Mr. Maryland Leather

Since I started writing this column in 2005, I interviewed many Mr. Maryland Leather titleholders. Recently I sat down with one that I missed. I was excited to finally tell his story because he is also a dear friend. Allow me to introduce you to Lord Stephen J. Cather, Mr. Maryland Leather 2005. (Since Steve owns a very small piece of land in Scotland, he has officially been recognized by the Scottish Parliament as a lord.) Born in Aberdeen, Maryland, and raised in the state’s Cecil County, Steve has resided for many years in Baltimore City. All through school his […]

Meet and Greet: Johanna Dolan

Canadian activist Elaine MacDonald once said, “A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness.” Life coach and trainer Johanna Dolan’s work exudes empowerment. Dolan recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud on her work and deep Baltimore roots. “I am a native Baltimorean,” began Dolan. “I was born in Towson and lived on Pratt Street. We moved when I was in second grade to West Virginia. My dad was a truck driver during the week and a minister. On Sundays, we would go to whatever church we were attending at […]

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. […]

Theatre Meets Community

Baltimore Center Stage recently announced in July the addition of award-winning playwright and community organizer Annalisa Dias to its staff as the theater’s director of artistic partnerships and innovation. In her role, Dias will lead the development of new projects and steward relationships with artists and other cultural organizations. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Dias on her new role and what the idea of community means to her. Frankie Kujawa: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your background? Annalisa Dias: I grew up in Pittsburgh, on the traditional territories of the Osage and Haudenosaunee Nations. I went […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]