The 65 degrees and shining sun were enough to make my weekend in San Fransisco a lovely time (considering today in NYC it’s freezing, gray, and swirling with snow) but more than the weather the warmth and vibrance of the SF community are what makes that city great.
I’ve visiting SF twice now: once last September for Folsom (mind-exploding good time) and again this past weekend for the Hayes Valley Leather contest/romancing and hanging with my Daddy, Lenny. Lenny is a prior International Mr. Leather and long time leader in the Leather Community and he was the host for the contest on Saturday night. I’ve been to several contests over the past 6 months and the quirky quaintness of the Hayes Valley event made for a very cool evening. The host bar, Marlena’s, features drag queens on the weekends and the mix of patrons for the contest included leathermen, drag queens, lesbians, trans-folk, et al. all hanging out together in a friendly rainbow of smiles and kisses. I’m inspired by the energy and friendship I see in the folks in SF and give them mad props for the inclusiveness of their community.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Hayes Valley contest and included 4 contestant who all share a passion for the community. The winner, JB Kern, a bald and bearded man who boisterously barked at the audience, will go on to compete for Mr. San Fran Leather in March (when I will return to SF once again!) and possible head to IML in May. Seeing this contest makes me reflect on my own aspirations for running for a title and gives me some good insight into what makes a successful contestant (confidence on stage and a genuine passion for promoting our Leather Life).
The weekend was awesome and let me reunite with some west coast brothers and also meet a lot of new friends (when you’re in leather, everyone’s a friend). I also hit up Mr. S Leather (a filthy candy store!) where Lenny tried out some paddles and floggers on me (thank you, Sir!) and I got to marvel at the massive dildos that seem impossibly huge. Great staff at this place…always willing to assist in any way possible 😉
I had a blast in San Fran and can’t wait to get back out there. There’s a sense of history and community that really thrives in this city and inspires me to work on the NYC scene. Until next time.