Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sydney, Australia

Good Evening Everyone,

I arrived in Sydney on Monday, having just left Johannesburg. My husband, David, flew in from Dallas and met me in Sydney! What a treat to have him along for this event!! He arrived a few hours before me, and he and Alan (Alan Norman, Sydney Mr. Leather and my IML class brother) picked me up at the airport.

We got to the house and immediately attended Hats Off, a theater event featuring some of Sydney's finest singers and dancers. It was a spectacular show. I was a bit tired from the flight from Cape Town and Johannesburg; however, it was funny and featured my favorite Broadway hit, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.

Tuesday was a tour day and David and I went to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We climbed the bridge and had a spectacular view of Sydney from there!! (Photo attached) We also roamed around Sydney and took in the atmosphere. Sydney is a beautiful city and I thoroughly enjoyed the architecture. And the people were all so friendly.

And the men are HOT in Sydney! No matter where we turned, there were hot men. Is that a prerequisite to living in Sydney – you must be hot? Thank you Sydney!!!

Wednesday, we toured some more and then headed to Oxford Hotel for the “30 Years of Leather Champions”. This event featured Patrick Brooks (IML #2), Anthony Lowe (Sydney Mr. Leather 2010), Josh Burrows (Mr. New Zealand/Australia Leather 2009), and myself on a panel with the audience asking questions. It was very insightful and the audience was great with asking pertinent, relevant questions. It was also a fundraiser for the “The Brooks Trust” and they made me the 8th official member of the organization. I was very honored!

Thursday and Friday were spent touring. David and I went on the ferry out to Manly Beach. We didn’t lay out, we just hung out and sat on the benches and watched the world go by. I must say, it was truly wonderful to spend that time with David. It gave us a chance to talk and just catch up on what the other was doing! What a concept!

Saturday was the Mardi Gras Parade! Okay, this was AWESOME! And the fact they allowed David on the float with me was the most awesome part of all! The energy of that city during the parade was second to none. Cameras everywhere, scantily dressed men everywhere (all hot by the way), crowds of people and music! What an incredible time!!! Then the parade started and I realized that unlike other parades I have been in, on this float – I had to dance with the music they were playing. Ummmm, y’all know I have absolutely no rhythm . . . I foresaw a train wreck in my future. So I watched everyone around me and tried to keep the beat along with them. David said I did fine; however, he is biased. The good news is, I Googled it and no one has blogged about my lack of rhythm . . . LOL

Sunday, we had to see David off to Dallas, Texas. I was sad to see him go, but still thankful that we had the week in Sydney together! Alan and I went to the Harbour Party. Great time. I saw Harry (from Dallas). He had taken a cruise to Sydney and was there for the festivities. It was kind of funny that I had to travel half way around the world in order to see someone that lives ten minutes form me.

Monday morning we awoke at 2:45 a.m. and dressed to go stand in line so we could participate in the Spencer Tunick. (Photo attached) I believe a little over 5,000 people showed up to get naked in front of the Syndey Opera House. Alan and I were two of them! (If you look in the lower center portion of the photo, we are there!) I then had my photo taken with the artist that evening (Photo attached) at a fundraiser we attended. Very cool!

Tuesday, I made seafood Gumbo for Alan and his roommate, David. It was good; although not my best work. I didn’t have all of the ingredients I would normally use; however, it was still good.

Wednesday I left Sydney for San Francisco. I have to say, Alan was the perfect host and we had an incredible time. The community is wonderful and they were very welcoming!! We look forward to returning next year!!

Next up: Mr. San Francisco Leather!

Your Leather Brother,



Good Evening Everyone,

I had a layover in Johannesburg, and the SALeathermen held a brunch that gave me the opportunity to meet some of the men whom I was not able to meet while in Cape Town. It was a quick trip; however, I had an incredible time. They had a car pick me up at the airport and escort me to the brunch and then waited for me during the event. It was genuinely nice to meet this group of men. We were able to share so much about our leather cultures and experiences through the years.

The one thing I have learned as I have traveled across this world, is we all seem to be facing the same issues and we all seem to have to overcome the same obstacles. True, some countries and cultures are more advanced in their thinking in one aspect; however, maybe not in another aspect. I like listening to all of the issues and how each segment of our community is dealing with or has dealt with those issues. I enjoy hearing the stories of our history. My goal in listening to these stories, journeys and events is to share the solutions with other segments of our community in hopes they will be able to successfully achieve their goals. Communication!

I would like to thank all of the SALeathermen who worked so hard to make this event a success and for giving me the opportunity to meet and learn about each of you.

Next up: Sydney, Australia for Gay Mardi Gras!

Your Leather Brother, Jeffrey