Good Evening Everyone,
I arrived in Toronto after spending five wonderful days in Key West with my husband! I had left Detroit and flown right into Key West. Then I flew from Key West to Toronto for Mr. Leather Toronto. On a personal note, Key West was just the break I needed and it was incredible to spend time with my husband!! Needless to say, we caught up on lost time!
However, on Thursday (yes, on Thanksgiving Day and my husband’s birthday) I left Key West and headed to Toronto. I arrived in Toronto and boy iain picked me up and literally whisked me off to the Leather Dinner being held at the host hotel. I was still in jeans and a black t-shirt; however, I was there! LOL Upon arriving, I greeted many of my friends and met people within the community. Then Peter K. came up to Mama and said, “Well, Mama, are we ready to do this?” My first thought was, “Do what?” Then Mama stood up and presented me with my pin and welcomed me into Mama’s Family. I honestly was stunned and just stood there smiling like the nerd I can sometimes be. I was literally speechless. Mama welcomed me to the family as “Mama’s Dr. Payne” and she told me now I had to finish the degree program! Which I will finish it no matter, but now I have more incentive – I don’t want Mama mad at me! LOL But needless to say, I was very moved that Mama welcomed me to the family and I am still smiling about it!
Then the dinner began and the roasting of Peter (Mr. Leather Toronto), McG (Mr. Toronto Bootblack and International Mr. BootBlack), and Cory (Mr. Fellowship). It was hilarious to hear the community roast these three men. It was a great dinner, and I sat next to Mama, so I was able to chat with her. It seems that she and I are always at the same events; however, we are always pulled in different directions. So I really enjoyed having some downtime with her.
After the dinner, Terry and taz (International Mr. Deaf Leather and International Deaf Leather boy) and I headed to the Eagle to grab a drink and meet more of the community. This is where I ran into gloria (a.k.a. #8), her friend Chris, and a multitude of other individuals within the community. We all shared a drink and then Peter D. and his boy, Tom, and I headed to Peter’s home for the evening.
Friday I slept in and then did some schoolwork. I know, too much fun; however, I had a few things due and had to get them completed. I must graduate on the 19th! That evening, there was the Meet & Greet at Sailor. It seemed everyone was in attendance and it was great time. I was finally able to spend some time with David K. (International Mr. Leather 1979, the first one!). What an awesome man! I truly enjoyed spending some time with him.
After the Meet & Greet, they introduced the contestants. They had seven contestants vying for Mr. Leather Toronto and two contestants vying for BootBlack. I had wanted to have my boots done that evening; however, time did not allow it. (I did have them done the next day at the vendor mart.) After that, we headed down to The Barn. We had a great time. The noise level of the music was a bit much for me (but let’s pretend that is news to anyone; crickets can be too noisy for me . . .).
Saturday morning started off with us heading to the vendor mart. Peter K. had worked with Cheryl and Penny (vendors) to have me display my calendars at their booth. They were very gracious for allowing me to do this and I truly appreciate them both doing this. Over the weekend we sold 30 calendars! That is $600 towards our goal and inches us closer to achieving our goal of 1000 calendars! (We aren’t there yet; however, we are getting there!!) I could not have done it without the entire community supporting this effort in Canada! Thank you Canada!! If you would like a calendar, contact McG. I left 25 calendars with him and he can handle the exchange with you (and they are signed!).
Saturday evening was the contest. It was an incredible contest and VERY well attended! The community really came out to support the contest and the event. Every single contestant brought their game to the table and competed with heart. Congratulations to David Ivey for being named Mr. Leather Toronto, Devin Thompson for being named Mr. Fellowship and Bootblack Digger for being named Mr. Toronto BootBlack. I am very proud of each of you, as well as all of the contestants! The field of contestants was incredible and any one of you would have made a fine choice. I wish the new titleholders nothing but the best during your title year.
Sunday was the victory brunch and then I was back in the vendor mart selling calendars. Then we headed to the house for much needed R&R. I also did schoolwork. Fun . . .
I stayed in Toronto until Wednesday; touring the city, doing schoolwork, having a wonderful dinner with gloria (#8), then spending time with #8 and Chris over drinks and a good cigar, lunch with Paul C., dinner with Carolyn & Peter D. and then Peter D. gave me a night tour of Toronto.
The entire Toronto experience was incredible. The community is wonderful and I could not have asked for a better time. Toronto is definitely on my list to return next year! I have to bring David and the boy up here next time though. We would have an incredible time together.
Next up: I’m home! I have my stepdown as Mr. Dallas Eagle. The Meet & Greet is being held on Friday and the contest on Saturday. This is my first stepdown. Master John (Master Boo) is coming in, as well as George, to support me. It is truly hard for me to believe that one year ago, I took my first steps at running for a title and I am now returning to the same stage to have my first stepdown. And to return as the current International Mr. Leather. Wow! One never knows what the future holds, EH? (I picked that “EH” up while in Canada! LOL)
Your Leather Brother,