Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hilarious - "A Storm is Gathering" Response

The National Organization for Straight Man-Lady Missionary Position Marriage recently spent one and a half million dollars on the cheesiest most poorly produced and written television advertisement ever filmed. The ad, called "A Storm Is Gathering" can be found all over the web. Take a look if you haven't seen it. All it lacked was a Boris Karloff voice-over and a Bela Logosi walk-on.

And then watch this response, entitled "A Gay Storm Is Coming" produced by the website, Funny or Die, and featuring Alicia Silverstone, George Takei, Lance Bass, Jane Owen, and others. This spoof of the NOM advertisement is hilarious!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lizz-winstead/the-storm-gathering-about_b_186199.html

Best,
Storm
P.S. And please, no jokes on my name. I know when I'm coming and don't need a right-wing conservative gay-bashing bunch of losers to tell me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Boycott Jamaica!

Gays to Kick-Off Jamaica Boycott at Birthplace of Gay Rights Movement
Stonewall Inn Owners To Dump Myers Rum and Red Stripe Beer in Sewer; Urge Other Bars To Follow Lead
NEW YORK, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by Truth Wins Out:
What: Gay advocates are launching a national boycott of Jamaica in New York City at the famed Stonewall Bar - birthplace of the gay rights movement. The bar's owners and boycott supporters will dump Jamaican liquor - Red Stripe beer and Myers' Rum - down the sewer.
Human rights activists have given Jamaica the infamous title: "The Most Homophobic Place on Earth." Gay people have regularly been beaten and murdered on the island, while authorities do little to stop the violence.
"We, as the owners of the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the Gay rights movement, refuse to support, in any way, shape or form, the oppression of any people especially our gay brothers and sisters in Jamaica," the Stonewall Inn said in its statement. "We ask all people of all walks of life to send a clear message to the Jamaican people and their government, that as long as they continue to allow and condone violence and hatred toward the Gay community, we will neither buy their products nor support their tourist trade."
"If you love your gay friends and family members, you won't visit Jamaica," said boycott co-organizer Wayne Besen. "If you care about the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, you won't buy Jamaican products. We hope that all gay and gay friendly bar owners and restaurateurs across the nation will participate in 'rum dumps.' We can no longer subsidize our own slaughter." Where: Stonewall Inn
Wednesday, April 15
53 Christopher Street
6:30 PM
Who: Bill Morgan, Stonewall Inn, Kurt Kelly, Stonewall Inn, Tony DeCicco, Stonewall Inn, Wayne Besen, Boycott co-organizer
Background: GLBT activists Michael Petrelis, Wayne Besen and Jim Burroway launched this boycott after a State Department report highlighted the violence faced by GLBT people. According to the report:
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continued to report human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals. Police often did not investigate such incidents.
The West Coast portion of the boycott took place earlier this month with a rum dump in San Francisco that featured Petrelis and city Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Learn more about the boycott at www.BoycottJamaica.org.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bad Dog Bar Reopening - St. Louis!

This announcement from Wolfknight in St. Louis:

April 3, 2009
It's almost time! The Bad Dog is coming back Bigger, Better, BADDER! We will be announcing our Grand Opening date here in just a matter of days!!!

The owners and staff are proud to announce that the NEW Bad Dog Bar will be opening VERY soon. Just a few more things to be done at the bar and few more pieces of paper to trade hands with the city and state and we will be ready to rock! The new bar located at 3960 Chouteau Ave Saint Louis, MO 63110 will have many new wonderful features including: Cafe with light dining menu, Bad Dog Bar (just what you loved about the old location), Leather Bar (see details below) with demo area, pool tables, dart boards, and coming later this Spring, The Warehouse, a huge venue that will be available to local groups and clubs (space available basis) for meetings and events free of charge and also home from some of the biggest and baddest parties St Louis has ever seen. We will even be open late nights and on Sundays! Don't have your gear yet? Not to worry! The Bad Dog will even have it's own shop with different and unique leather, tshirts, festish gear and more!

The NEW Bad Dog Bar wants to set the standard in community leadership and involvement. We plan on working with the other local bars and businesses to see a more unified and stronger Saint Louis GLBT community. In the coming months we want to try and meet with as many businesses and organizations as possible to get their input on what can make our community better. Some things to look forward at the NEW Bad Dog in the coming months, Rubber, Pup and Leather contests, Gear Fetish parties, CLAW Nation parties and working with our new sponsors, we hope to really make some "Firsts" happen here in Saint Louis that the community has been wanting and asking for, for many years!

Name the Leather Bar Contest!!! We are now opening up for suggestions for the new for the Leather Bar. The Best entries will receive some very special prizes. Suggestions can be sent to baddogbar@gmail.com We will be naming the bar with a special event the end of April.
If you haven't done so yet, please join our announcement list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BDChuckBadDog or http://www.myspace.com/baddogbar We will have all the upcoming events on there as well as your invitation to the Bad Dog's Grand Opening Celebration! Also more info at http://www.baddogstl.com Have a question or comment or what to schedule an event? Email us a baddogbar@gmail.com

We have truly missed the Saint Louis community and look forward to being back bigger, better and BADDER than ever!!

========================

I've visited the Bad Dog Saloon at its former location and always had a great time there. I look forward to the re-opening of Bad Dog in its new venue. I know it's going to be a terrific experience!

Best regards,
Storm

Are Leather Contests Relevant Anymore?

While I was reading the current issue of THE LEATHER JOURNAL, I noticed how many contests around the country have resorted to "appointing" their title-holders this year, due to a lack of contestants. Lord knows, this is a problem we're familiar with here in Kansas City and the surrounding region, too. Our local "Mr Bootleggers" winner has walked away from the "Mr. Bootleggers" title and moved, leaving nobody to represent Kansas City this year at IML; just down the road, the Mr. Midwest contest in St. Louis has declared itself "on hiatus." We've seen other contests around here before where nobody has stepped forward to compete, or where we've had single contestants.

So I decided to ask a number of a local title holders and leather folk for their responses to the question, "Are Leather Contests Relevant Anymore?" What do they really contribute to the leather community? To the broader gay community? Is there any point to them these days? Or have they just become quaint artifacts of another Leather age, important once, but not so much now. At one time, they were considered training grounds for Leather Leadership, but is that still really true? I invited their responses on these questions.

And I got stone silence. Nothing, Nada, zilch. From a recent Mr. Oklahoma titleholder - silence. From another Mr. Oklahoma - silence. From a Heart of America Leather boy - silence. And surprisingly from a good friend, a Mr. Dixie Belle titleholder -more silence. Even the organizers and promoters of our last local leather competition - silence.

Apparently, I'd touched some kind of "third rail" for leather discussion. Still, I pressed ahead, posting the question on several national blogsites. "Are Leather Contests Still Relevant? I got back a pair of answers. From the Leather Posts LPTribes.com website came this response from SirMike:
"Hi, I.Wanted to respond to you. I think they can be relevant if the title holder works in for the community to improve it in some fashion or even bring people together for just some fun. The issue as I see it is that it's too important to pick the "right" looking person that is going to win at IML. I have seen too many men 'picked and groomed' for the contest that have no right to stand in front of the community and lead them. I have also seen this year, my boy taking the title here in San Diego. He will use the title to continue the work he has been doing in this community for the past 2 and half years since we moved here. I hope he makes a difference in peoples life's even a small amount. One nice thing that is done here is that the title holders can not run for another title until after there year of service is complete. This at least keeps them from running for a national/intl title until after serving the community.

Then, from Lifeout.com, I received a response from a former Mr Missouri Leather 2001. This MML winner has gone on this year to be appointed Mr Central Plains Leather. He had an interesting response:

"I competed and won 1st runner up for Mr Ozark Leather 2001 then went on to win Mr Missouri Leather 2001. I competed in IML 2001. I have been part of the Leather comunity for 18 years and worked my way up to the status I hold.The districts were restructed for Leather Sir and boy contest. Because of my past involment I was approached and asked to accept the appointment of Central Leather Plains Sir 2009. I accepted because of the promoter being in a pinch. With this appointment comes great responsibility. This is something I have continued to remind the other appointees of the Central Plain Leather title family. We must prove our status and we plan on doing so. I do not believe that it is a lack of contestants but the redistricting of the areas that have caused the increase in appointees. I am proud to represent the Central Plains Leather community and plan on going to San Francisco and proving worthy of the appointment."

These were good responses, and I was glad to have them. Otherwise this would be a very thin blog. But still I didn't quite feel they answered the question. That fell to Joey Kraley, a good a d thoughtful friend. Although he has since dropped out of the leather community, Joey took the 1993-94 Mr Great Plains Drummer Leather Man title. I'm proud to say that I have a piece of his leather, passed on from him, and I wear it proudly. Joey Kraley put it this way.

"Leather contests are as relevant as the titleholder wishes to make them. This has always been the case. It has been my observation that successful titleholders breed successful titleholders( I mean this metaphorically although my experience with this literally would be a steamy story). A titleholder that makes a positive and visible impact seems to help draw out contestants. In smaller communities garnering contestants will always be difficult. There will always be a limited pool of people willing or able to be very public representatives of the lifestyle. I see no problem with appointment of a titleholder; contest judges and community organizers have been able to do this in some instances with excellent results. Its takes a ridiculous amount of ego to think people will want to listen to you drone on about the rights of kink and to prance around on stage in a leather jockstrap. The sash circuit remains a good way to channel the egos of our young (and not so) into a productive altruistic arena."

I'm still not quite sure how to answer my own question. I've taken first runner-up positions at two previous competitions, a local event and a regional. After a six-year lapse, I let myself be talked into another this past fall, but had to withdraw in mid-contest. A large part of me still very much believes in the contest system. I think my friend Joey probably put it best: the contests are whatever the contestants and winners make of them. I'm left wondering, however, if we make less of them now than we used to.

Best regards,
Storm