Here is the second installment of my “Interviewing Mr. Eagle” series. Today’s title holder is Peter Schwatrz, Mr Eagle 2008, NY native and partner to Rick Weber. Peter is like an uncle to me and has been a big part of journey in NYC.
The interview takes place in Peter and Rick’s home in the West Village on a windy Friday night. We sit together at the kitchen table while his cat, Phat Girl, walks around us meowing. Peter occasionally meows back.
What are your hanky colors?
(Peter smiles and laughs) Oh it’s like an IML question. Oh…tan for cigars…and of course I suppose light blue and dark blue are favorites. Gray is also a good one…yeah those would be my primary ones.
What is your favorite piece of gear?
I guess it would be my leather pants, because I got those from Rick…they were my first pair of leather pants and in many ways my introduction into the leather community. They weren’t the first piece of leather I owned, but getting them made me really feel like a part of the club.
Why did you decide to run for Mr. Eagle?
Well I had already gone through it with Rick before and I really enjoyed it so it was something I wanted to be a part of again. When I ran I was really okay with either winning or losing, because in some ways I had already been able to experience it with Rick. And then after I won it turned out to be an entirely different experience!
How was it having your title year following after Rick’s year?
We got to share in the experience and that was a strength in many ways, but Rick and I also had to go to some efforts to try and make our years seem distinct from one another. We supported the same charities both years, but we also threw some different events that we were interested in organizing. We were a unit before, during, and after the years, so in some ways it was big shared experience for us.
What are some highlights of your year as Mr. Eagle?
That’s hard to say…there were a lot of really good things…continuing Team Eagle was great and being able to pull it off well was a personal achievement. Meeting everyone along the way was also great…and it’s a very varied tapestry of people that you meet…overall a phenomenal experience. Going to IML was also amazing and seeing the brotherhood out there—and I use the term “brotherhood” loosely to include women as well.
What are your thoughts on the future of the leather community?
There’s always discussion about certainly where it’s been, you get a lot of “it should be this, and it should be that…and this use to be like this” and that’s all fine, but I think sometimes you have to pull yourself out of it. I see a broadening of the definition of Leather and what it actually means to be a much more encompassing kink-inspired thing/event/phenomenon, whatever you want to call it. It’s not just leather, it’s not just uniforms…it’s now sports gear, suits, etc…it’s changing. For better or worse, it’s changing and progress is the way forward. Leather is progressing and broadening, and in some ways reintegrating back into society too. Everyone brings their own flavor to it and it’s becoming a blending of everything.
What advice would you give a young man starting out his adventure in Leather?
It’s about being who you are and as long as that’s not hurting anyone—well, not hurting anyone unwillingly—then be yourself and bring your point of view to the community. Think about what you would want to see, what you think is missing, what would excite you to have in the scene…have a point of view, don’t be afraid to voice it and stand behind it, and talk it up. You might be surprised who else may get excited and want to help you out in bringing your ideas to reality.
If you want to learn more about Peter, you can find him at the Eagle on a Thursday CODE night. This man has a heavy workload but always makes it out for CODE. Woof!