By Doriam Couto, Mr. San Diego Leather 2018
The year is 1979; the Barbary Coast in Downtown San Diego is nut-to-butt with leatherfolk, drag queens, and members of our LGBTQ+ community attending the very first Mr. Leatherman contest in San Diego. Little did they know the rich history that fundraiser would inspire. It has not only brought together people whose values span the breadth of the earth, it’s inspired a legacy which has united people for decades under one umbrella: Leather Pride.
This is the family reunion. And you’re invited.
It’s not about a contest or a title, it’s about meeting a stranger and leaving with a new family member. From the parties, to the workshops, the leather invasions and the sexcapades in the back rooms of bars that are now relics of our history – Leather Pride has reached every leather-person in some way or another, and each year, we convene at San Diego Leather Pride Weekend in Balboa Park.
The unofficial kickoff of San Diego Leather Pride begins on Saturday, March 7, at The Merrow from 4-7 p.m., with The Butch Revue & Daddy’s Bake Sale and Dessert Auction. Continuing on Tuesday, March 10, with Leather Show Tunes at MO’s from 7-9 p.m., and Tiger’s Pictionary at #1 Fifth Avenue on Wednesday, March 11, at 7:30-ish sharp! Join San Diego Bootblack 2019 and Ms. San Diego Leather 2019 on Thursday, March 12, from 7-9 p.m. for EveryBODY, a leather cocktail social at the San Diego Eagle, welcoming and celebrating fem/trans/nonbinary/POC-identified leatherfolk in San Diego’s last standing leather bar.
SDLP Weekend officially begins on Friday, March 13, starting with the Raising of the Leather Pride Flag at 4 p.m. at the Hillcrest flagpole (University and Normal). Following the flag raising, join us for first looks at our Vendor Village and the Contestant Meet & Greet and All Club’s Night & Leather Olympics at the World Beat Cultural Center from 6-10 p.m.
Join us at back at the World Beach Cultural Center as the official venue on March 14 for Saturday’s events, beginning with contestant interviews. The Education Hall and Vendor Village open from noon to 6 p.m.; classes include the Women in Leather Caucus with Ms. International Olympus Leather 2017 Pixie, Barbershop Fetish, Straight Razors & Erotic Shaving with LA Bootblack 2019 Duke Ruff, the People of Color Caucus with Miss Sereana, Giving Your Sole with SD Bootblack 2016 Boy Erik, Omotenashi: The Art of Service with International Ms. Leather 2015 Sarge, and more. Visit fb.com/sandiegoleatherpride/events for more details.
Starting at 6:30 p.m., join us for the climax of the San Diego Leather and Bootblack 2020 Contests, where our panel of judges from across the country will elect a new family of titleholders to represent San Diego’s leather community for the next 12 months. After the contest, join us for the (unofficial) victory party and announcement of titleholders at the San Diego Eagle. We’ll reconvene Sunday morning at the World Beat Cultural Center for the Victory Brunch & Keynote, which will also be the last chance to visit our Vendor Village before the weekend draws to a close.
San Diego Leather Pride wouldn’t be possible without the attendance and contributions of our community. We humbly invite you to join us in celebration of San Diego’s leather community – a celebration of you! Tickets for San Diego Leather Pride can be purchased at sdleatherpride.simpletix.com; for more information regarding San Diego Leather Pride, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/sandiegoleatherpride
More information about San Diego Leather Pride can be found at facebook.com/sandiegoleatherpride
Photo Captions & Credits
San Diego Leather Pride 2019 – Photography by smithbeardmedia.com
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