Minnesota’s leather community recently has had much to be proud of. Within the space of a month, members of the community were awarded two major leather titles and received two major leather community service awards.
Syn Palmer captures Women’s International Leather Legacy 2016 title
Syn Palmer was named Women’s International Leather Legacy (WILL) 2016 as part of the WILL weekend held Aug. 5-7 in Dallas. Palmer is a member of the Twin City girls of Leather and was named first runner-up to Ms. Minnesota Leather Pride 2016 on April 2 at The Saloon.
This was the sixth year for the Women’s International Leather Legacy title and weekend. The focus of the WILL title is on capturing and preserving women’s leather history. As WILL 2016, Palmer will spend her title year interviewing leatherwomen and then preparing the interviews for inclusion in the Women’s Leather History Project at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago.
Sir Ivan is International Leather Sir 2016; boy Woody is first runner-up to International Leatherboy
On Sept. 3, one month after Palmer was named WILL 2016—and again, at a contest held in Dallas—Sir Ivan was named International LeatherSIR 2016 at the International Leather SIR, Leatherboy and International Community Bootblack (ILSb-ICBB) weekend. At the same time, boy Woody was named first runner-up to International Leatherboy 2016. The new International Leatherboy 2016 is boy Jake and the new International Community Bootblack 2016 is boy Patrick.
The International LeatherSIR and Leatherboy titles, which started in 2002, are descended from the International Mr. Drummer and Drummerboy titles. International Mr. Drummer, started by Drummer Magazine in 1979, was one of the two oldest major international leather titles (the other being International Mr. Leather, also started in 1979).
Sir Ivan and boy Woody both won their original leather titles, Minnesota LeatherSIR and Minnesota Leatherboy, on April 4, 2015 at The Saloon. Both went on to compete at Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) weekend in Indianapolis where, on Oct. 3, 2015, Sir Ivan was named Great Lakes LeatherSIR 2016 and boy Woody was named Great Lakes Leatherboy 2016.
Andrew Bertke wins 2016 Pantheon of Leather Midwest Regional Award; Twin Cities Leather & Latte wins 2016 Pantheon of Leather Business of the Year Award
This year’s Pantheon of Leather Community Service Awards presentation ceremony was held Thursday evening, Sept. 1, in Dallas in conjunction with the International Leather Sir, Leatherboy and Community Bootblack weekend. The Pantheon of Leather Community Service Awards were started in 1991. Awards were presented in 26 categories, and two of this year’s winners are from the Twin Cities.
Andrew Bertke, winner of Pantheon’s 2016 Midwest Regional Award, joined the Minnesota leather community in the mid-1990s and has served as a leader, artist, and photographer. Bertke joined the Atons of Minneapolis in 2002 and has served as the club’s president, vice-president, editor, pledge master, and webmaster. An award- winning photographer, Bertke has documented many leather events and contests. He also has created portraits of local and international leather titleholders and other community members. Since 2007, Bertke has been a contributing artist to Minnesota Leather Pride, creating unique dog tags and t-shirts.
Twin Cities Leather & Latte (TCL&L), winner of Pantheon’s 2016 Business of the Year Award, is proud to be the world’s only combination of full-service leather and kink retail shop and coffee shop. More than just a retail store, TCL&L has become a community hub. The shop offers leather clothing with onsite leather tailoring and a wide selection of BDSM/kink-related gear and toys. The full-service cafe offers indoor and outdoor seating and community meeting space for clubs and organizations. The enterprise was founded with a motto of “Community First!” and the store’s owners, Karri Plowman and Tynan Fox, take that motto seriously.