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A King Without A Kingdom

By Rodney Burger

On February 28th I was on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was a beautiful Friday evening and the bars in Wilton Manors, the popular gayborhood, were hopping. I had enjoyed happy hour at Hunter’s and was having dinner at the Garden Café across the street next to the Eagle Wilton Manors, when I saw Mr. DC Eagle 2020 Justin Sawyers walk by the window. I had been to the Mr. and Ms. DC Eagle 2020 Contest in November and had seen Justin at other events since then. After dinner, I was happy to greet him and several other Leather titleholders who I knew who were also in town and checking out the newest Eagle bar. It was a magical evening that now seems a lifetime ago.

 

images/Conversations_With_Leather/Dean_Ogren/Friday_Meetandgreetprofile Web 375.jpg

Jaco - For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and your connection with the Leather world.

Dean - I am Dean Ogren and I have been a Leatherman for over 30 years as part of being blessed to live in Chicago all of my life.  I have been in the gay scene in Chicago since I was about 17 years old, and touch into Leather at about 20-21…..drinking age in Illinois was 19 when I was that age, but of course if you were young, and knew people well you got in place before your time. I now am the owner of ABW, Inc. and produce American Brotherhood Weekend along with my fellow producers Karen Ultra and George Hester, and countless other supporters in our Leather community. 

JFharness Web 250 III1.  For those who don’t know please tell us about yourself, your titles and how you connected to the Leather community.

I have been a Leather writer, journalist, and photographer since the 1960s, and was the founding San Francisco editor in chief of Drummer magazine, as well as its most frequent contributor during its existence from 1975 to 1999.  My titles? By the time the first significant Leather contests of “IML” and “Mr. Drummer” started in 1979, I was forty, and was more suitably a contest judge, not a contestant. Historically, concerning titles, as editor of Drummer, I handpicked the first “Mr Drummer” along with art director A. Jay, and publisher John Embry.

Actually, to a writer, “titles” means book and video titles. To entertain us Leather troops, I’ve authored some twenty books, hundreds of feature articles and short stories, as well as photographs and S&M video features. Some of my Leather-themed books include: Leather Walk of Fame: The Rise and Fall of Drummer Magazine; Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer; Leather Blues;  Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982, and the memoir of life with my bi-coastal lover, the Leather photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, titled Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera.

 

Michael008 C Web 250

For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and what your titles have.

I am honored to be asked to do this.  Thank you. I almost 50, and have the weekend lifestyle of a 20 year old.  As a personal trainer, that is a difficult thing to do.  I produce National Capital Leather Pride and the four Titles that go on during the weekend:  Ottawa Pup, Mr. Rubber, Mr. and Ms National Capital Leather Pride.  I do this because it was needed, and I can do it.  I traveled across the Continent during my year as Mr. Leather Ottawa 2010, and saw what other people in some other cities were doing, and I was inspired to do some of the same things at home.  Most of my Titles have been a surprise to me.  My year as MLO 2010 changed my life; I had so much fun that I hoped others who followed could take advantage of the kinds of opportunities I did. 

 

 

2013 Photos 603

 

1.     For those who don’t already know, please tell us about yourself and what your titles are.

 Hi Jaco! Thank you for interviewing me as part of this very interesting project. I am not your average bear… I’m a sometimes warm and cuddly- and-a sometimes passionate and ferocious leatherdyke bear! I identify as a leather woman on a path of Mastery. Initially working with a Mentor to master myself,  I am presently continuing to work on myself as I guide the development of four terrific leatherwomen that are part of my leather family called the House of the Dove. I hold two leather titles, Mid-Atlantic Leatherwoman 2012 and Ms Woods Leather 2011, as well as being honored to be 2012 American Leatherwoman first runner-up, and part of Mama's family as "Mama's Story Seeker."

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