"LAL: deCODEed" Official eNewsletter of the Los Angeles Leather Coalition & Los Angeles Leather Pride
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Message from the Chair

Greetings Leatherfolk.  We did it!  2018's Los Angeles Leather Pride was a rousing success.  Congratulations to Ben, Spike, and Yoshi on their wins.  We're all excited to watch Ben rock Chicago for International Mr. Leather! 
We made significant progress toward our goals of accessibility, inclusion, and diversity this past year, and efforts have already begun to keep building on that progress for 2019.  If you have been inspired to get involved don't hesitate to reach out.  I would like to thank once again our Board and Committee Members and intrepid Volunteers for their hard work and diligence, our many sponsors for their faith in us, and most of all those of you who came out to support the many events of the week.  We can do a lot to put all the bells and whistles in place, but nothing matters without you, the community, showing up in numbers.  You make it Leather Pride!
Between now and LALP2019 (Mar 24-31, 2019), we have a ton of exciting events and opportunities to bring our leather tribe together to celebrate - particularly Ms. LA Leather 2018 , LA Pride Erotic City, and Southland Honors all coming up in June.  And check out everything our Community Partners have going on - they never stop bringing the sexy fun!

Yours in Leather,
Gus Norris
LALC Board Chairman


In This Issue

Board News

Robert GreenDuring our April Meeting the LALC Board of Directors voted unanimously to promote Robert "Motorboot" Green to the Vice-Chairman's Seat. We are truly grateful for all the work that Robert has done since joining the Board of Directors, and can't wait to see what he will bring in his new role. Please join us in congratulating Robert!  

Robert can be found throughout LA snapping photos of the community, making us look good and sharing the love. He has a wealth of experience volunteering countless hours and $$ to help further the mission of LA Leather as well as it's Brother & Sister Organizations. Robert is also the current Commander of the CA B&B Corps- LA Division. 

Another new addition that the LALC has been working on is its very own
"LA Leather" YouTube Channel, which we are hoping will become the go to destination to feature exciting events and news from around the Greater LA Region. If there is a video you would like feature on the Channel or you would like to help in creating content, please reach out to any members of the LALC Board of Directors. Be sure to follow the Channel, so you are kept "in the know"! 

Southland Honors

The Los Angeles Leather Coalition is proud to announce its 15th Annual Southland Honors, and Awards Ceremony celebrating and recognizing the best of the Los Angeles area Leather and BDSM Communities.  
For 15 years the LALC has honored those who have contributed their time, talents and services for the enrichment of the LA Leather Community. The Southland Honors awards were created to nurture an attitude of integrity and community pride, preserve leather community tradition, and to recognize community service.

This year's Awards Dinner will be presented on Sat, June 23rd, 2018 at Taix French Restaurant in Echo Park, located at 1911 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Tickets are $45 per person and comes with a gourmet french menu, and access to the show. Tickets are only being sold online at lalptickets.com
The LALC once again is opening the nomination process to the community and is asking for local members of the community to submit nominations. Nominations are NOW open and can be submitted by visiting TheSouthlandHonors.com.  The 9 categories that are open for nomination include:  
  • George Wong Person of the Year Award
    Which Person (man or woman) has been most active, or been the biggest influence on, or spokesperson for the Southland Leather community in the past year?
  • Jeff Burnam Community Service Award
    This award recognizes those who are of service for altruistic reasons rather than for personal gain or publicity. These folks work quietly and consistently in the background to make community groups, events and services succeed. Consider the individual’s follow through as well as their intentions when nominating for this award. Those who are at the event first and leave last, or those who are nearly always there without being asked to lend a hand are good candidates for this award.
  • TNG Award – The Next Generation Award
    This award recognizes individuals 35 or under at the time of nomination who stand out from the rest of the pack. They are present, visible, active, and willing participants in their communities.
  • Club or Organization of the Year Award
    What Club, Organization or Group has been the most visible, active or influential in the past year?
  • Business (or Business Person) of the Year Award
    What Business has been the most visible, active or influential in the past year
  • Event of the Year Award
    What event was the most fun, groundbreaking, interesting or significant in the past year?
  • The Southland Honors Cultural Arts Award*
    New as of 2015! This award is given to the person or collective who has expressed them self and our community through the arts. In one of many forms such as plays, photographs, poetry, performance art, mixed media and more. This person or collective transcend the fundamentals of leather and kink in a cause to enlighten the mainstream.
  • Community Choice Man of the Year Award*
  • Community Choice Woman of the Year Award*
*Community Choice Man & Woman Awards have slightly different selection process. Qualifications are simple, the nominee must be a person that has contributed to the growth, education, leadership, volunteer or made a significant contribution to the LA Leather/fetish community in the past year. 
Nominations for the 2018 Southland Honors close on May 31. Results will be tabulated and announced via social media, email and at the LALC's June General Meeting. The LALC Community Partners and Board will vote on the above awards shortly after. Selection for the Cultural Arts, Community Choice Man & Woman Awards will be by public vote on the Southland Honors webpage in early June 2018.

IML Send-Off

On Sun May 6th, 2018, The LA Leather Community came together at the World-Famous Faultline to celebrate the 6 men that will be representing the Community at International Mister Leather this year in Chicago, IL over the Memorial Day Weekend. Special Shout Out to the Satyrs M/C for being on hand to escort these men into the venue on the back of their bikes.

On behalf of the entire Greater Los Angeles Leather and BDSM Communities we want to wish all of you the best at IML, we are proud of the work you all have done thus far and can't wait to see what we can do alongside you in the immediate and distant future. These great men will be joined by over 46 others to compete for the title of International Mr. Leather 2018 in Chicago, May 24-28, 2018, visit
www.imrl.com for all the juicy details. 

Left to Right: 2018 Mr LA Leather Ben Kaufher, 2017 Mr. Long Beach Leather Jerimyh Jackson, 2017 Mr. California Leather Dino Garcia, 2017 California Drummer Xavier Espejo, and 2017 Mr. CMEN Leather Mark Simonds
Not Pictured: 2017 Mr. Bullet Leather AJ Cheir who was serving with the US Air Force Reserves during the event. 

Ms. LA Leather is Reborn!

Over the last few months the Ms. LA Leather Team has been very busy prepping for this year's festivities, and teasing us along the way with many updates and changes. Some of which is that our very own Lady Scarlett Sin became the Owner/Executive Producer, all while prepping for her run at International Ms. Leather 2018. #TeamScarlett!!! Ms. LA Leather will also be joining forces with the LALC to "reboot" the LA Bootblack Contest as part of LA Leather Pride 2019. 

Scarlett recently released a re-branding via social media of the logo & back patch which marries Los Angeles, Women and Leather in modern, diverse, sexy and dynamic way. The artwork done by Pup Spoke had us floored and we simply can't wait to see it worn by the new Ms. LA Leather. 

This year's Ms. LA Leather will take place the 1st weekend in June 2018. The schedule is as follows: 
  • Fri, June 1st - Ms. LA Leather 2018 Meet & Greet & Roast of Ms. LA Leather 2017 Scarlett Sin @ Eagle 562 in Long Beach, CA from 8pm till Midnight
  • Sat, June 2nd - Ms. LA Leather 2018 Contest @ Sanctuary Studios LAX in Lennox, CA from 8pm till Midnight
  • Sun, June 3rd Ms. LA Leather 2018 Victory Brunch @ Hunter & Charlies in Los Angeles, CA from Noon till 3pm
More information about the Contest and the festivities throughout the weekend can be found by visiting www.MsLALeather.com.


International Olympus Leather Weekend

On Fri May 4th, 2018, LALC's Board of Directors represented by Cypher, Apolonio "Senor Apple" Munoz and Esteban Nunez traveled to San Diego, CA to represent the LA Leather Community and attend the International Olympus Leather Weekend. This year was a little different as they had 3 titles up for grabs, the Mr. Ms. and Mx. That's right they added a Mx title which is also open thru all their Regional Contests. The MX Title is new addition which opens the ability to represent the Olympus Leather Title as whatever you feel represents your identity. The currently active Regions (in no particular order) are: West Coast Olympus, Great Plains Olympus, Central Canada Olympus, Wild West Olympus, and Midwest Olympus.  The Owner/Executive Producer of International Olympus has this to say about the title (copied from the Olympus Leather Website): 

What is Mx Olympus Leather and why did we feel it necessary to add a third title to the Olympus Leather Circuit?

Oxford defines Mx as a noun: A title used before a person's surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female.

Oxford dictates that Mx originated in the "1970s: apparently from M (as in Mr, Mrs, Ms, etc.) + X (probably denoting an unknown or variable factor or quantity)."

Dave Rhodes founded Olympus Leather with the intent of giving a voice to every deserving leather person who was willing to compete and win the title without questioning your age, gender or identity.  Olympus Leather contests have pushed the voices of those who were not seen (by popular view if not by the rules at the time, both of which are seem to be changing) at the time (mid 1990's) by the major contests ABW (gay only), IML and IMsL, and Drummer (gay men only) to be welcome since they identified as Trans or POC or bisexual or heterosexual.   At the time, all of these contests were Cis-Gay strong.  It is important to note that all generations of International Ms Leather led the way through the mostly gay landscape for POC and gender queer and women of all sexual preferences in its selection of titleholders.

When Olympus Leather changed ownership we (the new owners and remaining international and regional producers) felt that it was important to acknowledge the individuals in the community who did not identify as male or female.  Olympus Leather was created in a binary society where you were male or female, we are no longer a binary society. This new title started as hushed conversations with gender neutral individuals from within and also out of the leather communities, Olympus Leather Regional Producers, we needed to decide what to call it.  One thing was certain if we were going to do it, it needed to be announced at the 2017 contest.  The deciding or tipping point conversation for me was a conversation I had with one title holder who stated why would I continue to use an honorific that predisposes me to either bias or privilege based on my supposed gender?  And the decision was made.

Why keep three titles? Why not just cut it down to a single International Olympus Leather Title since everyone should be equal? Simple, there is NOT equality. There are still uniquely different political issues that men, women and most certainly gender neutral folks face.  Why Mr, Ms and Mx in that order (yes this has been a question) ... the genuine answer is this and it's glaringly simple alphabetical order.

The Los Angeles Leather Coalition would like to congratulate this year's International Olympus Leather Titleholders! All the contestants did a extraordinary job representing their regions. 

Left to Right: 2018 Mx International Olympus Leather Rave Darknights, 2018 Mr International Olympus Leather Ben Workman, 2018 Ms International Olympus Leather Samara

The 2018 Olympus Leather Season is already in full swing with the first Regional Contest to be held right in our backyard. The 2018 West Coast Olympus Leather Contest is scheduled for June 29-July 1 2018 here in Los Angeles at Sanctuary Studios LAX. Rumor has it that several of our very own will be representing LA, competing for all three of the titles. More information can be found at westcoastolympus.com.

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Community Calendar

The LALC Community Calendar has moved to the LALC Website (www.lalc.info/events). Currently it is set to auto feed from many of our local Clubs, Bars, Organizations and Promoters. If there is an event that you feel needs to be added, don't hesitate to contact the LALC Secretary via the link on the web page or via email to apolonio@laleatherpride.com

Also be sure to mark your calendars for the LALC General Meeting held every 1st Thurs of every month from 7:30p-10:00p at Threshold LA. We are working on automating the meeting notice, however please bare with us and place on your calendars as a placeholder. If you are not receiving the notices, please contact the LALC Secretary at the email listed above. 
Copyright © 2018 Los Angeles Leather Coalition, Inc., All rights reserved.

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