• 1 Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend 2017
  • 2 Announcing the 2017 Judges
  • 3 2017 Dog Tags Now Available
  • 4 Kinky Squares Wrapup
  • Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend 2017

    Minnesota Leather Pride is proud to present the third annual Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend contest, March 31 - April 2, 2017. Contestants compete for the titles of Ms Minnesota Leather Pride,

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  • Announcing the 2017 Judges

    The Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend committee is proad to annouce our judges for the 2017 contest.

    Sir Ivan

    International Leather Sir 2016 - Sir Ivan

    Sir Ivan is International LeatherSIR 2016, Great Lakes

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  • 2017 Dog Tags Now Available

    Minneapolis, MN: The Minnesota Leather Pride (MNLP) Board is pleased to announce the theme for the 2017 activities is Walk In Here Boots . Along with this theme, MNLP is again

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  • Kinky Squares Wrapup

    This past Saturday we held our fall charity fundraising event, Kinky Squares. Teams from throughout our community representing the Atons of Minneapolis, Knights of Leather, North Star Kennel Club, Minnesota

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Upcoming Events

Click on event titles to see more details.

March 31 - April 2:
Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend Contest 
See our Contest page for full schedule and information.

April 27:
Dining Out for Life

= Official Leather Pride event


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All of these events are also published to our Google Calendar. Click here to view the calendar. 

You can subscribe to the calendar by clicking the +Google Calendar link at the lower right corner of the Google Calendar view.


 Submit Your Event

Do you want to include your community event on the Minnesota Leather Pride calendar? We are happy to help. You this form to tell us about your event and we will post it here a.s.a.p.

Finding My Queer

Republished with permission
© Copyright Michael Holt

When I was young “queer” was a slur, slang for homosexual, and that’s the only meaning it had.  Pretty much all of society was very homophobic.  We used “queer” to emphasize the difference between us normal people and those dreadful homosexuals.

Except I wasn’t quite one of the normal people.  I had submissive fantasies before puberty.  These weren’t sex fantasies, they were more gender role fantasies.  I had no idea what to do about them.  But I knew they set me apart, and that didn’t feel safe in 50’s America.  So I kept them hidden.  I didn’t realize that this gave me something in common with the queers.

I had a male lover in college.  I was quite surprised when he came on to me.  I wasn’t one of those queers, and didn’t think I was attractive.  But he insisted I was and I yielded.  The sex worked—I got hard; I came.  But I had the thought, while making out with him the first time, that it would work better if one of us was a woman.  All these decades later, that strikes me as a queer thought.  This relationship was a one-off for me.  I realized that really, my attraction was for women. 

Much later I found the kink community.  And in it I met young people who had claimed the word “queer”.  They rejected traditional gender stereotypes and they used their appearance to signal this.  I had never embraced the stereotypes, but I was comfortable with traditional masculine presentation.  So no hairstyle-as-statement for me.  Heck, I often wore khakis and a button-down shirt on casual day at work.  People no doubt made assumptions based on my appearance, and I didn’t challenge them.  But I did sometimes surprise them.  When I participated in the Hula Hoop contest at the Pride Block Party the MC called me out.  “Look at Mr. Lands’ End go!”  Yep, I stood out in that crowd.  I won the contest, using Hula Hoop skills I’d learned in the 50’s.  For a straight white guy in a button-down, I could move my hips.  I had embraced being kinky, but I didn’t feel at all queer.

That eventually started to change.  Year before last a friend and I presented a workshop on kink at an LGBTQ conference.  When I introduced myself I included that I was submissive.  I saw it as a credential of sorts.  I wasn’t L or G or B or T or Q, but I was different.  My friend brought clarity: “Male submission is a queering of masculinity.”  She identifies as queer and had given this more thought than I had.

Her words rattled around in my brain for months, and eventually I accepted that I was queer, at least on the inside.  And it wasn’t a choice.  I had had those fantasies, I had this nature, and fuck no, I wasn’t ever going to be a macho man.

And eventually I felt comfortable bringing my queer to the surface.  I felt drawn to cross-dressing, and I found a venue to try it out, a step at a time.  I volunteer at Kinky Friday, a monthly fetish night at a large downtown bar.  It’s a very open and welcoming environment.  Last month I came up with a gender-bending costume: a short slip, biker boots, tape on my nipples, and leather thigh cuffs.  I felt entirely comfortable wearing lingerie in public, and this emboldened me.  This month I did without the masculine elements.  A different (cuter?) short slip, strappy heels, tape on my nipples, and I carried a white patent-leather purse.  And I got a pedicure and bright red polish on my toenails.  So they matched my thong, that showed under my slip.  Such an attention whore!  I got lots of compliments at Kinky Friday, especially for my shoes, and I had a great time.

I reprised the outfit the next night at a kink party--an entirely different group of people.  Friends who’ve known me for years were surprised, but I just said I wanted to get my queer on, and that was enough.  And then I went back into gender-bending mode, wearing the heels and carrying the purse while otherwise dressing masculine.  I went queer to lunch with a friend, and to a small fundraiser for a feminist comedy troupe, and to Trader Joe’s.  And I stepped out with bright red toenails barefoot dancing, and at the gym, and getting a massage.  I was thrilled when people noticed and I enjoyed talking about it.  But I also realized that it was fine when no reacted.  That could be a sign that seeing an old queer wasn’t all that remarkable.  And that would be a good thing, too.

I’m so glad I found my queer.

St. Paul, MN
May, 2016

 

Purchase Victory Brunch Tickets at Lush

Host Hotel

Hampton Inn & Suites Minneapolis Downtown!

There are two ways to book your room for Minnesota Leather Pride Weekend:

Book your room online

Group Name: Minnesota Leather Pride 2017
Group Code: CHHMLP
Check-in: 31-MAR-2017
Check-out: 02-APR-2017

Or call 612-341-3333 and press option 1 for reservations. Reference Minnesota Leather Pride

Included in Rate:
Hot breakfast buffet included
Wireless Internet is included