Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Old home week


Mr. Edge Leather 2013 producer Erik Lopez poses with the new Mr. Edge Patrick Vargas.

Photo: Scott Brogan
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In my last column I mentioned that it's "contest season." Nowhere was that more evident than at the Powerhouse and Edge bars two weeks ago when they held their contests to send contestants to Mr. SF Leather next month. It's a welcome sign that the Edge has had their first contest in several years. For the past two years they have appointed a Mr. Edge Leather, but they haven't had an actual contest. On Feb. 6, thanks to the driving force of Erik Lopez, they gave us a fun contest to pick Mr. Edge Leather 2013. Two men competed: Patrick Vargas and Cooper Lambandrake. Both were amazingly good, gave good speeches and looked great in their jocks. But only one person can get the title, and he was Vargas.

The Edge contest was special not only because they've rebooted the bar's participation in the contest world, but because several Mr. Edge Leathers were on hand to give their support and encouragement to the bar that, for so many years, has been on the forefront of the Leather Scene. Among those in attendance were Mr. Edge Leather 2012 Will Martin (also a judge); Drew Cutler (2011); Werner Tillinger (1999); Frank Vasconcellos (2003); and Scott Brogan (Yours Truly) (2002). What a fun time seeing our (dare I say it?) "older" and newer titleholders together at this event.

Mr. Powerhouse 2013 Andy Cross flanked by former Mr. Powerhouse Leathers (l-r) Lance Holman, Troy Anicete, Ron Balos, Brent Ganetta and Darren Bondy.
Photo: Keith Sattelmaier

Not to be outdone, the Powerhouse had their contest the following Saturday (Feb. 9). Hanz Bustamante, Russ Webber, and Andy Cross (Mr. May on the 2012 Bare Chest Calendar) all competed admirably for the title. Cross won, with Webber coming in as first runner-up. Again it was "old home week." On the judging panel and in the audience were several previous Mr. Powerhouse Leathers, as well as Mr. SF Leathers. It was Troy Anicete's 10-year anniversary as Mr. Powerhouse and Mr. SF Leather. Hard to believe it was 10 years ago! We also had Darren Bondy (2011); Lance Holman (2010); Ron Balos (2008); and Jesse Vanciel (Mr. SF Leather 2012). Talk about some hot fucking men. If I could only have an hour with all of them at the same time, I'd die a happy man.

Fantasies aside, it's heartening to see a renewed interest in the contests. Sure, some think that the contests are relics or unnecessary, but I don't think they are. They can be boring, even predictable, but they're also fun and still the best way to get the community together (both men and women) in one place to celebrate who we are.  What's so bad about that?

As it stands right now, we have five contestants for Mr. SF Leather next month: Patrick Vargas (Mr. Edge 2013), Andy Cross (Mr. Powerhouse 2013), Tony Hunter (independent), Marcus (independent), and Scott Farrell (Legion of Sin Motorcycle Club).

As if that weren't enough, last weekend we were treated to the Northern California Leather Sir/boy/Bootblack 2013 contest. This contest really personifies the unity of the men's and women's communities. Deborah Isadora Hoffman-Wade was the producer and driving force, working with the men's and women's communities to produce a really great contest. She was ably assisted by co-producers Shawn Kinnear, Richard Sprott, and Jesse Vanciel. For the second year in a row, the contest was held at the Beatbox on 11th St., a great contest venue (hint-hint to producers out there).

Emcees Lance Holman and Bubblinsugare kept the proceedings moving along, with Bubblinsugare in hysterically funny form making everyone laugh with her racy humor. I knew it was going to be a fun night when Kinnear and judge Leland Carina opened the show with their spot-on impersonations of emcees Lenny Broberg and Donna Sachet. Kinnear was in Donna drag while Carina was in Lenny drag (never thought I'd ever say that). Hysterical!

The best fantasy of the night had to be that of Element Eclipse (contestant for the boy title). It was fun, featuring him getting clothes-pinned while lip-synching a peppy song (don't know the name of the song, sorry!). We also had some good speeches, with Scout's (contestant for the bootblack title) being the shortest I've ever witnessed. I doubt it was even 30 seconds long. Brent Gannetta (contestant for the Sir title) spoke for many of us when he talked about the need for more people to step up to represent the community.

Northern CA Bootblack "Scout," Northern CA Leatherboy
"Element Eclipse" and Northern CA Leathersir Brent Gannetta.

The big winners were Brent Gannetta, as Northern California Leather Sir 2013; Scout, Community Bootblack 2013; Element Eclipse, Northern California Leatherboy 2013; and Paul Garrison, First Runner-up Northern California Leatherboy 2013.

Event updates: There will be no onsite sales of weekend packages for the International Ms. Leather contest in April. You must purchase the passes online. Only day-passes and contest-only tickets will be available at the venue. If you want a weekend pass, go to:

Also of note are some changes for the Leather Contingent in the upcoming SF Pride Parade. There will be no charges for any vehicles to ride in the parade unless the vehicles are not registered by March 13, 2013. In 2014, charges will apply to all vehicles. There are some charges for vehicles (trucks) longer than 20 feet. For clarification and information on registering your vehicle, contact Jay Hemphill at:

Finally, The 15 Association's Anniversary Weekend starts tomorrow night (Feb. 22) with the annual meeting and dinner at the Italian American Social Club on 25 Russia St. here in SF. For details about the weekend's events, go to:


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