From Issue 3.1 - September/October 1996
If you missed this year's International Ms. Leather contest, you missed a spectacular event. Many friendly, hot women and men came from around the country to support their old friends and make new ones.
The contest was held the weekend of July 19-21 in Philadelphia. The host city has a hospitable and friendly leather community, and although it is more small and intimate than the bustle of San Francisco, it provides all the amenities a leather gal or guy could want. Last year the contest was held in Chicago and next year San Diego will be the host city. Changing locations each year will surely advance leather culture in cities that might otherwise remain oblivious to our existence. Philadelphians proved themselves tolerant and often curious toward even the most heavily leather-clad babes. We were more than happy to enlighten them.
Thursday evening the public "meet'n'greeted" the contestants at the Bike Stop, Philly's official leather bar. On Friday evening, the 2-4 Club hosted a record-breaking basket auction. Over $7,000 was raised for the IMsL travel fund (which is not an exorbitant amount, when you consider that 1995 IMsL pat baille spent almost twice that much during her whirlwind cross-country tour!). Several intriguing workshops were held on Saturday afternoon -- including one on body casting! -- and vendors sold their wares all weekend at the host hotel.
Saturday night's contest held at the Trocadero Theater was, of course, the event everyone had been waiting for. A spectacular opening number, featuring the East Coast performance group The Fallen Angels of Digital Orgasm (hot, hot, hot!) had each of the 19 contestants run a gauntlet of high-intensity sparks and then kneel at the feet of baille, who was suspended on a St. Andrew's cross. The crowd loved it! Frank Nowicki served ably as the contest emcee, and International Mr. Leather 1986 Scott Tucker made a rare appearance.
Even when the cut of 11 women was made, the support and camaraderie among the contestants never faltered. Our own Ms. Golden Gate Leather Beth Downey and Ms. Alameda Leather Thumper both made the cut -- way to go, girls! Ms. San Jose/South Bay Miranda von Stockhausen was also an IMsL participant Beth's fantasy, a romantic SM retelling of "The Beast and Her Beauty" moved many to tears. Beth will reprise this performance at the September 27 Fetish & Fantasy Ball, as will other IMsL contestants who will be in San Francisco for Leather Pride weekend.
After the contestants went through their paces and the judges completed their deliberations, hometown favorite Jill Carter of Willow Grove, PA took the 1996 IMsL title. First runner-up was Max Steiner of Adelphi, MD (Ms. Baltimore Eagle), and Leslie Anderson of Albuquerque, NM (Ms. New Mexico State Leather) was second runner-up.
Steiner and Anderson are committed to working with Carter in her effort to promote the Women's Leather Archives Drive, set in motion by IMsL/Bare Images producer Amy Marie Meeks and pat baille. The Women's Leather Archives, a repository for articles of significance to women's leather/SM history, will officially open during the 1997 International Mr. Leather weekend at Chicago's Leather Archives and Museum. To contribute items, contact Bare Images at 402-451-7987 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The 1997 IMsL contest will take place in San Diego July 18-20 during that city's Queer Pride week. For more information, check out the IMsL web site.
Several sahses have changed hands since our last issue. The Mr. San Francisco Drummer contest was held June 27. William "Taurus" Webster was selected as winner from a field that also included Jeff Matthews, Barry Rogers, and Vince Finkowski.
On July 26, Loren Berthelsen beat out four other candidates to win the title of San Francisco Leather Daddy in a contest at the Eagle. Kelly Showers was first runner-up and Rod Wood was second runner-up. Thumper and Ken passed their sashes on August 3 at the World Famous Turf Club to the new Ms. Alameda County Leather Victoria Rose and Mr. Alameda County Leather Roger Luttrell. Other women contestants were Kandy Traut and Jamie Jamieson; Luttrell ran unopposed.
The new International Mr. Fantasy, selected in Omaha in August, is Kevin Watson of Albuquerque, who won with a crowd-pleasing Western fantasy. Taurus Webster went on to win the Mr. Northern California Drummer contest on August 10 in San Jose. Joseph Osborne of San Jose also competed for the title passed on by Omar Mosely. The Northern California Drummer Boy contest included three contestants, Shoji Takahashi of San Jose, Todd Kepus of Alameda, and the winner, John Ayres of San Francisco. On August 25, Webster turned over his local title to runner-up Jeff Matthews. Webster and Ayres will take part in the International Mr. Drummer contest on September 28 at Club Townsend.
Last but not least, a new Leather Daddy's Boy was selected from among
nine contestants on September 1 at the Eagle. Congratulations to
second runner-up Eric Gravat, first runner-up David Meyer, and the
winner Joey Faria!