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Fall West Coast Gathering:

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  - Mr. CMEN Leather
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Esteban, Mr. CMEN Leather 2016 with runners up and past winners

Mr. CMEN Leather named at West Coast Gathering:

Esteban Bartholo Mr. CMEN Leather 2106 with runners up Chris and MikeEsteban Bartholo, from Los Angeles, California won the title of Mr. CMEN Leather 2016 at the West Coast Gathering on Thursday evening, September 8, 2016. Chris L. and Mike P, both also from Los Angeles, were selected runners up. The contest was the culmination of Leather Day at the West Coast Gathering, a day celebrating the bond between naturist men who also participate in the leather community.

Esteban moved to Los Angeles from his hometown of Medellin, Colombia in 1998, at the age of 27, and subsequently found his place in the leather community. He has become an active leader in the leather community in Los Angeles. He is a cofounder and vice-chair of the Board of Payasos, L.A, a service organization comprised of gay/bisexual, Latino men committed to enhancing the quality of life of numerous Los Angeles communities and their future generations.  He also currently serves as Commander in Chief of the Regiment of the Black and Tans.

Esteban is looking forward to representing CMEN at local leather community events and plans to compete in the International Mr. Leather contest in May 2017.

Mr. CMEN Leather 2015 Rick with runner up Randy after sashes were presentedThe judging panel was composed of all former Mr. CMEN Leather winners including Head Judge Mark L, Mr. CMEN Leather 2004; Danny B, Mr. CMEN Leather 2009; and Gordon K, Mr. CMEN Leather 2013. Rob S, Mr. CMEN Leather 2003, served as Emcee. Rick B, Mr. CMEN Leather 2015, spoke about his year as Mr. CMEN Leather representing CMEN both at Los Angeles area events and at the International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago in May.

Contestants were interviewed by a panel of judges prior to the on stage portion of the contest. Questions were asked to determine their participation in and knowledge about both the gay naturist and leather communities, speaking ability and personality. Contestants were asked to describe what leather means to them.

During the on stage portion of the contest, contestants dressed to look their best in leather accessories. Contestants were asked to explain or interpret fundamental leather community concepts, such as "safe, sane and consensual activity;" or "trust, honor and respect." Mr. CMEN Leather 2014 Dennis with runners upThey were also asked how they would promote a stronger relationship between CMEN and the leather community.

The Mr. CMEN Leather Contest is an International Mr. Leather Pre-IML Title Event, with the winner representing CMEN at the International Mr. Leather Contest.

Held in Chicago each May, the International Mr. Leather Contest has grown to be an annual tradition for thousands in the leather community - drawing contestants and attendees from around the globe. International Mr. Leather (IML) was established in 1979. The IML contest grew out of the Mr. Gold Coast contest. The conference now spans several days, and includes the IML competition, speakers, socials, themed dance parties and a leather market.Rob S. at IML in 2003, photo courtesy IML To compete, IML contestants must either be the winner of a bar, local or regional leather contest or be sponsored by a leather bar, business, club, or organization. International Mr. Leather weekend has grown to be an annual tradition for thousands in the leather community. A total of 59 contestants competed for the International Mr. Leather title in 2016, 52 contestants competed in 2015.

As in past years, the West Coast Gathering Leather Day also featured social activities, leather demonstrations and workshops for all those men attending the gathering who are interested in or curious about the gay leather community and leather culture.

The social hour embraced leather with the theme "Leather and Fetish Fantasies." As in past years, a high percentage of the men attending the gathering dressed in leather accessories. The late night victory dance embraced a black party theme with a dungeon area and demonstrations in the side room.

Past Mr. CMEN Leather Contests

CMEN has been holding a Mr. CMEN Leather contest at the West Coast Gathering each September since 2000. The contest became an International Mr. Leather Pre-IML event in 2003. Past Mr. CMEN Leather winners are:

Danny named Mr. Leather CMEN 2009
  • 2015 - Rick B, from Los Angeles California*
  • 2014 - Dennis W, from Palm Springs, California*
  • 2013 - Gordon K, from Denver, Colorado
  • 2012 - Sean McG. from Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 2011 - Eric O, from Los Angeles, California*
  • 2010 - Rob McP, from Redondo Beach, California
  • 2009 - Danny B, from Austin, Texas*
  • 2008 - Jon G, from San Diego, California
  • 2007 - Tony K. from Sydney, Australia*
  • 2006 - Cam H. from Oakland, California*
  • 2005 - Scott S. from Los Angeles, California*
  • 2004 - Mark L. from Ventura, California*
  • 2003 - Rob S. from Phoenix, Arizona*
  • 2002 - Ro from London, England
  • 2001 - Scott S. from Los Angeles, California
  • 2000 - J.D. from Birmingham, Michigan

All registered gathering participants are eligible to compete in the Mr. CMEN Leather contest, except for past Mr. CMEN Leather contest winners since 2003, and other current leather title holders.

The gay leather community is a loosely knit community composed of individuals, partners and groups who typically like to wear leather accessories and garments, most often like those of the post-WWII biker culture. Most also share an interest in a common group of fetishes. The common foundation the leather community or leather culture is built upon are the principals of trust, honor and respect.

Cam (center) wins Mr. Leather CMEN 2006, Daniel and Daniel are runners up2014-2015 Mr. CMEN Leather Contest Sponsor

T & A LeatherWorks, 8 N. Fir Street, Ventura California 93001, Phone: 805-585-5804. Thank you for donation of the Mr. CMEN Leather sash.

Other Contests

In addition to the Mr. CMEN Leather contest, the West Coast Gathering, presented by California Men Enjoying Naturism, includes several contests representing different parts of the gay and bisexual community:

* Mr. CMEN Leather contest winners which represented CMEN at IML.

Trust, Honor and Respect

 

Photography top photo by Jeff, second Jim McDonald, third courtesy of IML, other photos by Jim Mc Donald. Copyright 2002-2017, California Men Enjoying Naturism, Los Angeles, CA