The third annual Philadelphia Leather Pride Night (PLPN), boasting the participation of nine organizations and a theme of Unity, took place on November 5 at Woody’s, with other related events happening at a variety of venues in the Gayborhood during that weekend. The Saturday night centerpiece to the weekend was Emceed by International Ms. Leather (IMsL) 1996 Jill Carter and International Mr. Leather 2009 Jeffrey Payne, who were introduced by Tina. It featured an exuberant auction, with barker par excellence Jo Arnone, dispatching the bidding on myriad donated items of Leather/S&M/B&D/kink interest, such as leather, latex and fetish clothing, accessories and equipment, artwork, jewelry, and event tickets, in a record three hours, and raised, as tireless PLPN Producer Cowboi Jen put it, “a shitload of money,” or about $10,000, for its beneficiaries. Benefiting from PLPN were the Chicago-based Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), represented by its Executive Director Rick Storer; the Carter/Johnson Leather Library, brainchild of Jill Carter and Viola Johnson; the William Way LGBT Community Center; the Mazzoni Center, providing food for Philadelphia area individuals living with HIV/AIDS; Hearing from the Heart and the Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Jeffrey Payne’s charity, providing hearing aids, for those who need them, and ASL interpreters, for the hearing impaired; and By the Grace of George, founded by Jo Arnone, to help care for pets that provide companionship for the homebound and terminally ill. Jo also helped to collect $332 from the assembled in order to donate an LA&M exhibit poster, which was up for auction, to the Carter/Johnson Library.
Entertainment was provided by “queer-identified” Leather City Kings Dino Fontaine, who performed and stripped to Tom Lehrer’s “Masochism Tango;” gender-blurring Nueva Gabor, “the queerest of the queer,” whose drag was adorned with Smurfs; and Desire De La Hoz, who stripped out of elegant finery to “When You’re Good to Mama,” from John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “Chicago;” and by this baritone, who sang Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “Blue Moon” and, from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River,” all assisted by DJ Will. The Distortion Arts Project offered a “Rocky Horror” interlude, with “The Time Warp” and “Touch Me.”
On November 4, at the Way Center, extensive collections of historic items were displayed by Carter/Johnson and LA&M; $500 was raised for the Sharon St. Cyr Fund; and “a new club [was] born,” as Jen said, the Philadelphia Leather Alliance (PLA), founded by Cowboi Jen, its President, with Master Rusty; Thorn; Deanna; Bob; Kevin, the Stern Heart; and Chris, of Keystone Boys of Leather, as PLA Associate. The first IMsL, Judith Tallwing McCarthy, who won her title in 1986, and incorporates Native American imagery into her work, and slave kitty, who works in stained glass, including a depiction of the PLPN logo—the Liberty Bell in Leather Pride flag colors—exhibited their art, and Nancy Ava Miller, her book “Pervert: Notes from the Sexual Underground.” The Philadelphians Motorcycle Club raised approximately $1,700 for the Mazzoni Center with a “Kinky Karnival,” featuring flogging, wax play, electronic stimulation, paddling, and spanking, at the Bike Stop, the leather bar.
On November 5, at the Way Center, current IMsL Sara Vibes and her wife ashley, from New York City, offered an informative TNG (The Next Generation) class entitled “The Revolution Will Be Kinky: Being Young in the Scene.” “I think I was always kinky,” Sara said. “I found my parents’ porn and I watched it. I remember smelling my father’s shoe polish kit—it smelled so good!” At iCandy, 2011 International Master Liza and slave jody, from San Francisco, shared their experience, and a Leather Dinner buffet followed. Master Taino and his leather family and 2011 Northeast Master Griffin and slave ann were set to speak on November 6.
The fourth annual Philadelphia Leather Pride Night will take place on November 10, 2012.