Three Minnesota contestants won regional leather titles at the Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) weekend, Oct. 1–4 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Aurora Lee, the first-ever Ms Minnesota Leather Pride, was named Great Lakes Ms Leather Pride 2015. Ivan Nunez, the first-ever Mr. Minnesota Leather Sir, and boy Woody, the first-ever Minnesota Leatherboy, were named Great Lakes LeatherSIR 2016 and Great Lakes Leatherboy 2016, respectively.
All three titleholders previously had won their newly created Minnesota titles on April 4, during the inaugural Minnesota Leather Pride contest weekend at The Saloon. These three Minnesota leather titles are community-owned (through the Minnesota Leather Pride organization) and community-sponsored. So the entire community can take pride in the fact that all three of the first holders of these titles went on to win their next level of competition.
For Aurora Lee, Nunez, and boy Woody, winning their Minnesota titles meant their next competitive event would be representing Minnesota at the fourteenth annual GLLA weekend in Indianapolis. This year’s jam-packed four-day weekend included a total of five regional leather title contests along with a wide variety of other educational and social events.
The five contests that were part of the GLLA weekend were Great LakesSIR/boy; Great Lakes Ms Leather Pride; Great Lakes Master/slave; Great Lakes Bootblack; and, new this year, Great Lakes Pup & Trainer. This year’s contests attracted 26 contestants, who represented seven states in the Great Lakes area.
In addition to the three Great Lakes title winners from Minnesota, the Great Lakes Master/slave 2015 title was awarded to Master John and slave amendah, from Illinois; the Great Lakes Bootblack 2015 title was awarded to Bootblack Meghan, from Kentucky; and the Great Lakes Puppy 2016 and Great Lakes Trainer 2016 titles were awarded to Pup Rococo and Daddy John, both from Illinois.
Besides the five leather contests, this year’s GLLA weekend included over 25 workshops on topics such as “Pup Play 101,” “Flagging: Lost Art of the Cruise,” “Leadership Theories and Styles,” “Hypnosis,” and “No Expiration Date: Long Term Master/slave Relationships.”
The weekend also included a vendor fair, a silent auction, a puppy mosh pit, and a Bootblack Ice Cream Social. Women’s, men’s, and pansexual playspaces were available Friday and Saturday evenings.
Here are just two examples of the many other special events and activities offered throughout the weekend. On Thursday evening, filmmaker Christina Court offered a screening of her new documentary, High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack. This was followed on Saturday afternoon by a Fireside Chat, which was a live on-stage interview with Daddy Gregg Lakota, who has been active in the leather community for 27 years. (The interview was filmed and will be added to the Fireside Chat collection at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago.)
According to GLLA Executive Director Ms Kendra, over 500 people attended this year’s GLLA weekend. About 20 of those attendees traveled from Minnesota to support and cheer on the Minnesota contestants. Among them were Ren Rushold (Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2015) and Stephen Patton (Mr. Twin Cities Leather 2015), both of whom assisted Aurora Lee in her fantasy presentation.
Also making the trek from the Twin Cities to Indianapolis were Justin Anderson, who assisted Nunez and boy Woody; Bud Ingram-Lile, one of the producers of the Minnesota Leather Pride weekend contests; and Vicki, who was a judge for this year’s Great Lakes Master/slave contest.
Aurora Lee, Nunez, and boy Woody are not the first Great Lakes title winners from Minnesota. Both Riches, who won the Great Lakes Ms Leather Pride title last year, and Tim Hotchkin, who won the Great Lakes Leatherboy title last year (and who is the current International Leatherboy titleholder), traveled from the Twin Cities to GLLA and ended their title years by offering their step-aside speeches. Also traveling from Minnesota to Indianapolis this year was Bootblack Kai, who was Great Lakes Bootblack two years ago and who was a judge for this year’s Great Lakes Bootblack contest.
Having won their regional titles, Nunez and boy Woody will go on to compete in the International LeatherSIR/boy contest, to be held September 2016 in Dallas. Aurora Lee has several options for her next competition, and at this writing she is still considering which option to pursue.
For more information about the Great Lakes Leather Alliance weekend in Indianapolis, including details about next year’s weekend, visit www.greatlakesleather.org.