From Issue 2.3 - December 1995/January 1996

Leather Briefs

Sashes Change Hands

Several titles changed hands in the past couple of months. In San Jose, a new title was awarded for the first year, combining the previous titles of Mr/Ms. San Jose and Mr./Ms. South Bay. The Mr. South Bay/San Jose sash went to Kevin Roche, who was last year's Mr. San Jose. The new Ms. South Bay/San Jose is Miranda Von Stockhausen. In San Francisco, the Mr. SF Bear title was captured by Michael Yates in a contest at the Lone Star. At the National Leather Association's Living in Leather conference in October, Stacey (who apparently does not use a last name) was selected Ms. NLA and David Hofenbacker of Idaho won Mr. NLA. Further afield, Mr. Leather Europe (decided by judges) and Mr. Europe Drummer (decided by audience acclaim) were both won by Antonio Sanchez of Madrid, Spain. Both contests were held in Amsterdam, as part of a set of events that included a reception for the leatherfolk in the mayor's office (probably the only place besides SF where such a thing could happen!). (Thanks to Mr. Marcus)

Hobbitt Wears Ms. Washington Sash

The Sluts from Hell rose from the dead to highlight the 1996 Washington State Ms. Leather Contest, held in Seattle on November 11 - and could they sing! Mean Starlene, Yvonne Gone and Ramona Carbona (the Body Shop Own'r) delighted the full house at Neighbours Nite Club with perverted versions of many of the old standbys. The drag was so good (wigs, corsets, matching satin evening gowns and heels) that many people couldn't figure out the identities of these well-known local members of Seattle's S/M community. We figured it out simply by the process of elimination (that couldn't be Dragon, could it? or Lamar?), but I'll never tell who's who.The rest of the contest was snappy and entertaining (despite sound problems throughout the evening), with Lainy and Judy Tallwing-McCarthy emceeing and fresh fantasies by the six entrants. But by the middle of the evening, it was clear that the crowd favorite, Hobbit, was up for the sash, and she did indeed win. Karen Taylor stepped down from her year and a half as titleholder with a standing ovation. Except for a microphone that refused to cooperate, producers Celeste Firetender and Greta Schwerdtfeger of Generic Productions put on a great event, raising funds for the Advocates for Abused and Battered Lesbians and Lambert House. by Anne Williams.

With Friends Like These...

No doubt many of you caught the slag of leatherfolk that appeared in an interview in SF rontiers' so-called "diversity issue" (27 September). David Greer of the national Log Cabin Club (a gay Republican group) compared leathermen and women -- and our equally maligned counterparts, the drag queens -- to the KKK. Greer claimed that "there are certain elements of our community [whose] behavior need not be civilly protected." He went on to call us "extremists" who "show contempt for mainstream society." If Greer represents the mainstream, he's certainly earned our contempt!

Time for a Garage Sale?

Punk bondage gear went under the hammer at Christie's recently. Early kinky fashions desiged by Vivienne Westwood for Sex Pistols-era punks went for big bucks to the haute couture crowd. Bondage shirts (made to resemble straightjackets) were going for nearly $500, and tartan bondage trousers (with one leg strapped to the other with a leather thong) were fetching as much as $930. The sale was scheduled to coincide with an exhibit of "steet fashion" at the Victoria and Albert Museum. (Thanks to Pat Califia and Spectator)

Leatherwomen Help the Hungry

Pushing the Limits, a food drive sponsored by Leatherwomen United and San Jose's own International Ms. Leather pat baille, will be continuing through December 31. To help those less fortunate during the holiday season, call (408) 464-2839.

Restrictions on Newsrack Sales

A recently passed law (AB17, aka Penal Code 313.1(c)(2)) requires full-time guards at newsracks and street vending boxes if they contain materials "harmful to minors." A federal district judge in Los Angeles has ruled that "alternatve magazines are not entitled to first amendment protection because they don't convey a point of view." Bay Area publications such as Spectator and Cuir Underground are directly affected by this law. Publishers face jail time (and most likely a sex offense on their record) for violation of the law. "Harmful to minors" includes any profanity and innuendo (such as "suck," and even tame words like "anal"); nudity (genitalia, female nipples); sex-oriented devices (strap-ons, phallic-looking items in the wrong context); and anything the courts deem "harmful."

A coalition of adult publishers is appealing this unfair ruling in the 9th Circut Court of Appeals in defense of the right to see and publish alternative material. On November 23, a day before AB17 was scheduled to go into effect, the court issued a stay of the preliminary injuction against Spectator. This is good news, but publishers are not off the hook -- an Appeals Court wil wl hear an appeal of this case at a date yet to be determined.

The censors don't have budget problems -- they're using tax dollars to tell us what to publish. Contact your California representives and offer what you can (time, money) to: BTI Legislative Trust Fund, PO Box 1984, Berkeley, CA 97401-1984. (Thanks to Jay Moyes)

New York's TES Celebrates 25 Years

The Eulenspeigel Society, the oldest existing U.S. pansexual organization, will celebrate "25 years of loving S&M" with a 3-day event February 16-18 in New York City. The celebration will feature 2 days of workshops and seminars and 3 nights of play parties. There will also be fashion shows, a photography exhibit, and a large vendor area. Workshop topics include branding and tattooing, corsetry, crossdressing, medical scenes, and SM history. The event will be held at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan (call 1-800-223-8585 for reservations). Registration is $100 in advance or $120 at the door (less for TES members). For more information call (212) 388-7022, send email to tes@dorsai.com, or check the TES Web Page.

© 1995, Cuir Underground

Last updated: 16 December 1995