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By Bob Miller

CLAW XVII will be held April 27-30 at the Westin Downtown Cleveland. The bulk of the CLAW schedule will be at the Westin, including the vendor mart, banquets, speed dating, cigar deck and most of the Skills and Education sessions, with some events at the nearby Hampton Inn, bars Leather Stallion Saloon and Mean Bull, FLEX Spa and Hotel and the brand new Academy Dungeon, a 6,500 square feet well-equipped facility that hosts the Men’s BDSM Play parties and hardcore skills sessions   Both the Westin and Hampton are sold out, but CLAW has big blocks of rooms at the nearby Double Tree and the Kimpton Schofield hotels. More than 2,000 Leather men are expected at CLAW 17.

CLAW (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) has rented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHoF) for a private party on Thursday night from 8 PM - Midnight.  Located two blocks from the Westin and the Double Tree, the Museum will be staffed with all exhibits and bars open.  Want to say you’ve sung at the RRHoF? Pick your song for Inductee Karaoke on the main stage.  All songs must be by artists that are in the RRHoF. Reserve a spot by writing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CLAW will have 100 skills and education sessions – a 30 percent increase over CLAW 16.  Most of the skills sessions are participatory, including: Kinky Tech: A Pervert's Guide to Internet-enabled Play presented by Brian Bolt Donner; Caning and Birching - a British vice, presented by Derek Cohen and David Williams from London, and Human Pup Play Skills by Dr. George Forgan-Smith, from Melbourne, Australia.

Returning are Bootblack Apprenticeships, from one of CLAW’s more than 20 volunteer bootblacks and Entrepreneurial Internships with Square Peg Toys mastermind Scott Douglas.  A schedule of CLAW 17 Skills and Education is available on the CLAW website.

Also new are Naked Pool Parties at FLEX Spa (Men only) on Friday and Saturday afternoon, including OINK.

The CLAW Vendor Mart is bigger, with 45 vendors including CLAW sponsors Mr-S-Leather, Leatherwerks, LeathermanNYC, Torso, and Le Chateau Exotique.

Friday night’s highlight is Strip Bingo!! with hot male strippers and special performances, vendor-sponsored games and prizes, and more. Sunday night finale is Kinky Kabaret, an amazing show of singers and comics, hosted by CLAW’s hilarious emcees Larry Golubski and Lulu Belle.

New will be an urban Boots and Cigar Deck, open 24 hours a day.

The Pup Events at CLAW are sponsored by CLAW’s first Kennel Master and newest Master Sponsor, Twisted Headz Smokeshops, and include a huge pup mosh pit party, LEASHED; five pup/handler education sessions, pup/Handler Speed Dating, and a pup’s luncheon at the Leather Stallion Saloon.

CLAW Speed Dating expands to 11 sessions. Meet 10 guys who like what you like in less than an hour. New sessions include Couples and Thirds and Looking for LTR; Back for more - Meet and Beat; Leather and Boots; Assplay; and Smokers’ Speed Dating.  Advance registration strongly recommended.

Also on schedule at the Westin: three silent auctions, Rubber Lovers Social, BLUF at CLAW social and the  Man on Man Wedding Reception, in-room coffee service by pups and boys, a raffle, the CLAW store and wheel of fortune, Leather Community Circle of Life, Leather Archives exhibits, the Titleholders Cocktail Party, and Bound and Beautiful - a gallery of bondage and hot muscle.

Shuttles will run between hotels and parties at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Leather Stallion Saloon and Hot Ass in Cleveland Party, Mean Bull's Kinky Muscle Boy Party, and Super Villians Gear and Grind Party.

CLAW 17 packages include men’s play parties at the Academy and the party at the Rock Hall, more than 170 events. Packages are $169/advance ($189 at the door. Or join the CLAW Volunteer Corp and get a package for free in exchange for eight hours volunteering. Volunteers have access to a Volunteer Hospitality Suite all weekends.

Separate tickets are required for a few things at CLAW:  Square Peg Toys celebrates their 20th Anniversary as sponsor of The International Leather Family Dinner ($100) on Saturday, featuring food from Urban Farmer’s executive chef and keynote speech, On Masculinity, by Guy Baldwin..

The Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and Brunch ($50) is Sunday and honors Durk Dehner, Peter Fiske and MSC Hamburg.

For late night pig sex, three FLEXXX ASYLUM parties ($40/each or 3/$100 feature kinky adult film stars in a special warehouse space above Mean Bull. A small VIP party Man Meet kicks off ASYLUM’s Friday night and is limited to the first 20 tickets sold.

CLAW is a 501 (c)(3) charity of, by and for the Leather Community. CLAW has donated more than $700,000 to community charities.

For more information, to reserve a room and get a package, go to http://www.clawinfo.orgg

 

 

 

 

Saturday, February 11, was the 50th Anniversary of The Black Cat Demonstration in which Avatar Club Los Angeles founding member and long time activist, Alexei Romanoff, participated as did many other Leatherfolk.

On Friday night, February 10, producers of LA A Queer History, screened films including the trailer for the film that includes an interview with Alexei.

The big event on February 11 saw gay Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, cast members from Queer As Folk (Peter Paige, Michelle Clunie, Scott Lowell), Proposition 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, Wilson Cruz, LAPD Deputy Police Chief Bea Girmala, Alec Mapa and more speak as did Alexei Romanoff.

All events were at The Black Cat located at 3909 Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake and an area nearby including a bar then-owned by Romanoff, New Faces.

The Los Angeles Times reported the story in detail including an on-site interview with Alexei Romanoff - http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-black-cat-anniversary-20170210-story.htmll

How does this relate to today? one might ask. LA City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who helped organize the Black Cat Demonstration Anniversary, told the Los Angeles Times, "'...there were similarities in what’s happening today and what happened the night of the protest in Silver Lake.'"

"'They demonstrated in an organized fashion in an unprecedented way in 1967, and I feel there’s a real parallel to the current resistance' said O’Farrell, who represents Silver Lake and is gay. 'Fifty years ago, there was a resistance to authoritarian rule at the local level from the police … and there are parallels to what we’re feeling today with this administration.'"

Photos - PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) led hundreds in protest when police raided the Black Cat bar in Los Angeles and brutally beat patrons and the bartender. February 11, 1967. Photos supplied by the University of Southern California Libraries/ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives

 

 

 

Approximately 500 Leatherfolk attended the Southwest Leather Conference which celebrated its 15th Anniversary at the Four Points Sheraton in Phoenix, AZ the weekend of January 19-22 with the highlights being the Southwest Master slave Contest and the Dance of Souls. The weekend was high on spirituality, branded "the woo" by regulars.

 

 

South Plains Leatherfest and International Master/slave Weekend 2016 will be held at the Doubletree Dallas Near the Galleria, March 11-13 in Dallas, Texas.

South Plains will see great workshops, hot pansexual, men’s and women’s play parties, Sunday Brunch with this year’s keynote Ms Kendra, the South Plains Coffee House, a great vendor mart, the International Master/slave Contest, and the South Plains Living Room.

The theme of South Plains Leatherfest and International Master/slave Weekend is We Will Not Forget. During the weekend guests and staff will remember its history and traditions, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future.

The South Plains Traditional Sunday Brunch tickets are $30 and are available through on-line registration. The keynote speaker will be Ms Kendra who is the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Leather Alliance.

There will be over 40 workshops and classes with the following South Plains 2016 M/s presenters: Master Jim and slave marsha, Master  Obsidian and slave namaste, Master Michael and slave angie, Master Kevin and slave feyrie, Master David Walker Master Dan and slave dawn, subHaven, Raven Kaldera and slaveboy joshua, slave Melissa, Master T’Hayla and  Gillian, Ms Brenda, Ms Kendra, Master George and slave bren, Master Neko and koneko, Ranell, Aren and Ms WillowKat, Reggie, kasi and evie Alexander; South Plains 2016 SM/Leather Presenters: Sir Cougar, boy alex, Wayner Brawner, Hardy Haberman, Sarah Sloane, Mark Frazier, Sean Grey, Cecelia, Daddy Rose and Pup Rylee, Keith aka “Beast," MizLilly and Zap, boy dave, Andrew Love, Mason Alexander, Master Konraad, Tifany and Stephen.

The International Master/slave 2016 contest will be held on Saturday night.

Play Parties are set for Friday and Saturday nights from 9 PM to 2 AM. As always, the on-site play space will feature separate pansexual, women only, and men only spaces. Admission to the parties is sold as a package, rather than as individual party tickets. A play party admission package, which entitles one to attend both of South Plains’ play parties, is $30.

The Doubletree Dallas Near the Galleria is located at 4099 Valley View Lane, Dallas, TX 75244. Phone (972) 385-9000. Standard rooms are available at a special rate $99, which will secure a room for up to four people. Parking is free and in addition to hotel dining, there are plenty of restaurants nearby. To register or to book online to get the South Plains rate so just go to http://www.southplainsleatherfest.com

 

Pantheon of Leather Awards All Time List of Recipients

 

The following is a list of all of the Pantheon of Leather recipients going back to 1988 when they were announced in The Leather Journal, to the first Pantheon of Leather Awards presentations in Hollywood, CA in 1991 to the present. Updated October 27, 2020