Mr. Maryland Leather 2015
Saturday November 29 2014, 9:00pm until March 1 2015, 9:00pm
In this issue I had planned to introduce you to our area’s newest leather titleholder, Mr. D.C. Eagle 2015. This very popular and oldest leather contest was scheduled for Saturday, November 22 at the new location of the D.C. Eagle at 3701 Benning Road NE, as part of the bar’s anniversary weekend. Unfortunately the new home of Washington’s famous leather bar is not quite ready to open and the Mr. D.C. Eagle 2015 Contest has been postponed. Thank goodness I was able to pick up my phone and quickly schedule an interview with Mr. Maryland Leather 2015 Greg King and I only had to drive as far as his home in Owings Mills, Maryland, to sit down with him for a few hours. Having just been sashed on November 1, Greg is our area’s newest leather titleholder.
Our new Mr. Maryland was actually born and raised in nearby York, Pennsylvania. His father was the sexton of a country church and he lived in the parsonage. “It was in the middle of nowhere and the closest neighbor was over half a mile away,” Greg recalled. As a teen he would help his father by mowing the grass in the cemetery. He joked that “the job took 14 hours and by the time he was finished, it was time to mow it again!”
In 1997 Greg was invited by some friends to go to Hillside Campground in New Milford, Pennsylvania, for Country Western Weekend. He had a blast and the group returned for the next edition of that event. The group had so much fun that they wanted to visit one more time. No additional Country Western Weekends were scheduled – but there was a Leather / Levi Weekend on the calendar. Greg and his friends were a little apprehensive about going camping with “the scary leather people.” They went anyway and Greg soon realized that “the scary leather people were his people!” He had discovered the leather culture. The following January he attended Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington followed by the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago in May. He even volunteered and helped the Leather Archives build their first website. Greg and his friends continued to go to Leather / Levi Weekends at Hillside and soon discovered the leather clubs. He and his friends felt that their group had just as much brotherhood as the clubs. The only thing the clubs had that they didn’t have was a back patch for their leather vest. They designed a patch and formed their own little club. They called their group “Cumalot.” Their club has no meetings and no bi-laws. At first the club was just kind of a joke, but now Cumalot host big parties at Hillside Campgrounds and has over 40 members spread all over the country.
Greg continued to explore his leather side and on February 23, 2008 Greg and his partner Charles King produced the first Mr. Club XS Leather Contest at the now closed bar in York. One of the judges that night was Mr. Maryland Leather 2008 Kris DeBlase and I had the pleasure of driving Kris’s boyfriend David up to Club XS to attend his first leather contest. Years later David Pfau would be selected Mr. Maryland Leather 2014 and at the end of his year would pass the sash to Greg King, Mr. Maryland Leather 2015. It is a small world.
I asked Greg how he ended up living in the Baltimore area. Greg smiled and said that he and Charles often visited Baltimore and had many friends in the area. Greg owns a business in Gettysburg and when Charles found himself working in Anne Arundel County, they moved to an apartment in Owings Mills, which is somewhat equidistant to their respective workplaces. Greg quickly added that “when he lived in Pennsylvania he found the leather culture, but when he moved to Maryland he discovered the leather community.” In fact he felt that he was so embraced by the Maryland leather community that he wanted to play the biggest part that he could play. He joined COMMAND, MC, and when he met Mr. Maryland Leather 2014 David Pfau and saw his great work in the community, he knew what he should do – he ran for the Mr. Maryland Leather title. “I just jumped in the deep end of the pool.” Greg add, “The other contestants were really good. I was shocked when I won!”
Greg is very excited about using his experience with non-profit events and fundraisers during his title year. I asked him why he felt the leather community needed titleholders. Greg said that a leather titleholder is like the Pied Piper of the community. He can play his pipe and gathered the community together. Greg said that within moments of being sashed Mr. Maryland Leather 2015 he had gathered over 30 business cards from people in the community who were eager to help him with events. Although he already has several events in mind, he would like to work with the older folks in the Maryland leather community to gather and preserve the community’s history. He would like to produce educational events during which the older members of the leather community could share their stories with the younger generation. Back in Pennsylvania he worked with LGBT youth to help them overcome discrimination. He is now concerned about the older LGBT folks who may find themselves having to go back into the closet as they enter their golden years.
On a less serious note, Greg added that he has always been turned on by men with beards, leather, and tattoos and enjoys all the kinks in the leather community. He never thought that he would be a leather titleholder – but now he is. He is very excited about being Mr. Maryland Leather 2015 and is ready to get to work. I really enjoyed getting to know our new Mr. Maryland Leather and I invite you to come meet him at The Loft at Grand Central on December 6 as he plays one of the Santas for the ShipMates’ Daddy Christmas event. I will be there too and I will be happy to introduce you to our area’s newest leather titleholder.
Article from OUT Loud Baltimore