Yes, you SHOULD run for a title

Okay, time for some blunt talk about the Oregon Leather “community”, Leather titles, and the state of Leather in the time of COVID. The statements, beliefs, and feelings expressed below are mine alone, not those of any organization, title, or group.

Let me get this out of the way; I have, since well before running for and winning a title, had little nice to say about Leather titles and title contests. Many of the titles out there are nothing more than popularity contests intended to elevate someone that most of the community wants to fuck. As a result, I have been, still am, and will always be a big critic of these annual ass-kissing contests. Peacocking, starfucking, performative bullshit has no place in the future of Leather. Like it or not, Leatherfolx have a reputation for and some history of leading the LGBTQ+ and kink communities to do better by one another, to push the boundaries of what the vanilla world will accept, and to live loud and proud as an authentic version of ourselves. That is what our “celebrities” should be doing.

That’s my opinion, anyway. Take it and $3.50 and you can get coffee at Denny’s.


Shortly after I moved to Oregon, I attended the 2018 state contest and saw a contest that appeared to mirror many of the values I hold as central to my Leather. Trans and BIPOC folx were included across the board, the titleholders worked as ambassadors to the outside world, and despite some of the individual members, the organization behind the contest seemed to have a forward-thinking vision for what Leather is and will be. All of that is why I decided to run in 2019 and why I joined the emergency response board in 2020 to help save the organization from the fate of so many Leather and kink nonprofits.

The reformed organization and its board (yes, I’m one of them, so don’t just take my word for it) is one that I can stand behind and support wholeheartedly. The goal as I see it is to take the concept of the Leather contest and Leather titles into the future, tweaking and redefining what it means to be a titleholder and what it means to be Leather. It’s not perfect and never will be; when people are involved, there are going to be mistakes. However, I do think OSLC is becoming an organization with a vision for bringing Leather to the people and communities who need it.

Now, to be fair, I have bitched and moaned about the target that holding this title has put on my back. The reality is that I put that target on my back willingly and deliberately the moment I put myself forward as a contestant. Really, the moment I stepped out for the speech portion of the contest and threw down a gauntlet to the hide-bound, backwards-thinking, consent-violating, and let’s be honest, racist holdouts in the Leather community, I placed a target on my back that those asshats couldn’t resist shooting. That’s on me, and not every titleholder has to be that pugnacious. I just happen to enjoy kicking over apple carts and setting fire to “we’ve always done it that way”.

So why should you run?

Because the Leather community needs you!

Because only you can tell the story of your Leather!

Because only you can make a difference in the lives of others in the way that you do!

There are ups and downs to being a titleholder but if you care about the Leather, LGBTQ+, and kink communities, a title gives you a unique platform to create positive change. It’s an amplifier for your voice and ideas. Best of all, it’s an experience that will change how you look at your various subcultures and communities and will change how you see yourself. It’s what you make it and that kind of experience is hard to find.

If you’re on the fence about running, do it. Take the plunge and join the hundreds before you who have paved the way for the next generation. The Oregon State Leather Contest doesn’t have a big, rigid agenda for you, we want to work with you to make your title year a success and help you make our community (BINGO!) better. Seriously, you have to attend a few required events (many of which are probably going to be virtual) and do a little fundraising, the rest is up to you.


One last note, there are a few of you in my list of friends whom I think should seriously consider a title run. I won’t call you out here because a) I’m a judge this year and have to remain impartial and b) I don’t think public pressure should be necessary. You all probably know who you are and I hope you jump in the running. It’s fun, it’s stressful, and it’s something you’ll never forget. And please share this around your networks. Someone out there needs to know that you think they should run.

From my contest fantasy skit