From Issue 2.4 - February 1996
1995 was a full and fun year for Bay Area perverts. The early months saw the selection of Dyke Mommy Lady Hillary and the sashing of San Jose Dyke Daddy Ty Johnson and Leather Daddy Neil Bulmer. In January, the European Court agreed to hear the Spanner consensual SM case from the UK. At the Bear Rendezvous, Will Pettite was chosen as International Mr. Bear. Spectator publisher Kat Sunlove celebrated her "Fabulous at Fifty" birthday in February. Cuir Underground began a series on sex clubs, an issue that lives on as San Francisco considers new sex club regulations.
In April, Wolf Mirasol was named Mr. SF Leather, and B.J. Ruthstrom captured the Ms. SF Leather sash. Blowfish mail order celebrated its first birthday in May. Larry Everett of Oklahoma was selected as International Mr. Leather in Chicago. Leatherfolk turned out for the gay pride march in June, and the queer film festival screened 2 long-awaited leather-themed films, Bloodsisters and Menmaniacs. The Up Your Alley/Dore Alley Fair was held earlier this year -- July -- to reduce conflict with fall activities. The first privatized International Ms. Leather contest was held away from the Bay Area in Chicago -- but was still won by a Bay Area leatherwoman, pat baille of San Jose. Eichelberger's proprietor Cornelius Conboy was named the 13th SF Leather Daddy. Skin Two editor Tim Woodward's visit was marked with a party sponsored by Epicenter. August saw the first U.S. FTM (female-to-male) conference. The 2nd annual Spannermart raised funds for the UK defendants and a women's play party raised money for Little Sister's Bookstore in Vancouver, which is fighting Canadian customs censorship. The Alameda Leather Corps held its Leatherfest and Ken Mayer and Thumper were selected Mr. and Ms. Alameda Leather. Omar Mosely was chosen as both Mr. SF and Mr. Northern California Drummer.
Fall was a busy season for SF leather. Leather Pride Week in September included the Leatherwalk, Fetish and Fantasy Ball, and International Mr. Drummer contest; the newly sashed Mr. Drummer was David Walker of Colorado. L/SM held its final Roundup. The Folsom Street Fair was a big draw, and Mark Chester presented the SEXART4 photography exhibit. In October Cuir Underground celebrated its 1-year anniversary; editrices Kiki and Liz appeared on SIN TV and a birthday bash was held at the Trocadero. C.U.R.V.E.S. sponsored a week long celebration of corsetry. The Exotic Erotic Ball and the revived Hooker's Ball competed for revelers, and the Castro saw its final Halloween street fair. Rounding out the year, the newly combined San Jose and South Bay leather titles were captured by Kevin Roche and Miranda von Stockhausen. Michael Yates was selected Mr. SF Bear. 848 Community Space celebrated its fourth anniversary with the publication of a new book.
The Internet was big news in 1995 and Cuir Underground hopped on the bandwagon, debuting its World Wide Web site (http://www.black-rose.com/cuiru). But new legislation under consideration in the US Congress threatens to impose strict anti-indecency rules. The freedom of print media was under attack as well -- Spectator is leading the fight against laws to prohibit sales of sexually explicit publications from newsracks.
Venerable community organizations and events were joined by some new ones this year. Lady Thorn sponsored 3 well-attended SM Community Exchange flea markets. Cleo Dubois' Academy of SM Arts joined QSM and the Ring in providing SM education. The 15 Association celebrated its 15th birthday. The Forum marked its 25th anniversary in November, and the associated Inter-Club Fund will celebrate its 30th this month. Bondage-a-Go-Go continued going strong (and is open again after a brief closure) and was joined by a new event, Ritual, which proved less long-lived. The roster of leather bars was supplemented by the opening of the Powerhouse in September and the much-delayed Daddy's in November. Juicy Lucy ceased sponsoring women's play parties, but the slack was ably taken up by Sarah Lashes. Many events this year took place at Castlebar, a newly renovated, woman-owned space South of Market. Other new openings included the much larger Playground on Otis Street and the Power Exchange on Harrison.
1996 promises to hold an equally wide range of events and news stories. Cuir Underground will be in the thick of things to cover it all for you!