From Issue 3.4 - May 1997
On April 19th, San Francisco leathermen concluded their final round of competition and selected their representative for the International Mr. Leather contest to be held in Chicago at the end of May.
The winner of 19th annual Mr. San Francisco Leather contest is Mr. Tom Powers, the contestant of Daddy's bar on Castro Street. This is the second year in a row that the Daddy's representative has won the citywide title, making it the only bar in SF leather history to carry the honor two years running (and their first two years in business!). Last year's Mr. SF Leather ended his title year with a rousing send-off party on April 4th, and Mayor Willie Brown declared the date "Gary Virginia Day."
First runner-up in the contest was Barry Rogers and second runner-up was Lance Porria, both of whom were independent contestants not sponsored by bars. The evening's other contestants were Mr. Polk Street Leather Je'sus Martinez, Mr. Castro Station Leif Smith, Mr. Edge Leather Brian Turner, and Mr. SF Eagle Cruz Lennox.
The contest at the Russian Center started on time and moved at a quick pace with the help of emcees Queen Cougar (Ms. SF Leather 1993) and Kyle Brandon (International Mr. Drummer 1996). In keeping with this year's cyberspace theme, the stage was set up as a large personal computer, with the contestants entering and exiting the stage through the oversized monitor.
Although no fantasy sequences were presented, there were opportunities to judge the contestants' stage presence during the opening Parade of Contestants and later during the Jock Strap Review.
Each contestant had two opportunities to speak to the crowd, once to answer a randomly draw question and the second to say what he hoped to accomplish should he win the title. I was pleased to hear that the runner-ups had used Cuir Underground's website to learn more about the leather community and help prepare themselves for their moments of terror in front of the crowd!
The Mr. SF Leather contest is also the venue for the presentation of the annual Peter Austin Award. This award is given to honor a member of the SF leather community who embodies the qualities of leather brotherhood, dedication, and adherence to the code of ethics and loyalty of the leather people in our city and elsewhere. The award was presented for the third year by Austin's close friend Vern Steward, who flew in from Washington, DC. This year's award went to the Phoenix Uniform Club, the first time the award was presented to a group rather than an individual.
The evening's entertainment -- besides watching all the hot men and women in leather, latex, and uniforms -- was supplied by vocalist Antoinette Roberson of PULSE and comedian Sabrina Matthews. Sabrina was a true delight with her wit concerning everyday life events -- always remember, "take care of the bear!"
Congratulations to Tom Powers and to all of the contestants. Special
thanks to Mr. Marcus for his wonderful committee chair abilities, to
the contest judges, departing Mr. SF Leather Gary Virginia,
International Ms. Leather Jill Carter, SF Leather Daddy Loren
Berthelson, Constantines president Doug Stromberg, former Mr. Alameda
County Leather Randy Wright, and Paul Yinger. And special thanks also
to those two Leather Daddys -- Alan Selby and Don Thompson -- who made
this newest Papi feel welcome. See you all in Chicago!