Toronto Leather Pride Titleholders Announced

Leather Titleholders
TORONTO – Alex Canning, Mr. Woody’s / Priape, is the new Mr. Leatherman Toronto, Tarna, Firkin Bootblack is the new Bootblack Toronto and Gary Major is the new Mr. Rubber Toronto. The competitions were held on Sat., Aug. 13, at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Alex Canning. 35, was raised in a traditional working-class family with two sisters, and very supportive parents. He is a proud father of four beautiful children, who focuses his parenting around important lessons like self-respect and respect for others, leading by example through community involvement.

Alex’s involvement in the leather community started two years ago when he attended “Puppy Night” at The Black Eagle. He was instantly hooked, and leather has been his second skin ever since.
He now assumes the role as Toronto’s 21st leather ambassador in 2012 and succeeds the amicable and handsome Ryan Lemesurier, MLT 2011.

First runner-up for the MLT 2012 title went to Tyler Austin, Mr. Crews and Tangos Leather. Tyler Austin was also awarded the first ever MLT Brotherhood award. Second runner-up was awarded to Nathan Grey, Mr. Northbound Leather. Also competing was: Matt Gibson, Mr. Remington’s, Bryan Reid, Mr. Steamworks and Jeremy Feist, Mr. Goodhandy’s.

Tarna, Firkin Bootblack took the title of Bootblack Toronto 2012 and succeeds slave-boy jake, BBT 2011, who went on to win first runner up at the International Mr. Bootblack 2011 contest in Chicago earlier this year.

Tarna is a queer feminine switch who has spent the bulk of her adult life actively exploring as much of what falls under the enormous BDSM umbrella as she can, within the pan-sexual, queer and leather communities. It was during these explorations that she stumbled upon what has become her greatest passion: bootblacking. She can often be found running amok in Toronto, gleefully working on the latest pair of boots to land in her lap.

First held in 2001, the Bootblack Toronto Competition has grown to be one of the most prestigious in North America. Also competing for the Bootblack Toronto 2012 title was first runner-up Shane, Northbound Leather Bootblack, and second runner-up Brian ‘Sandman’ Denyer, AIDS Committee of Toronto Bootblack, who was also awarded the BBT 2012 Fellowship Award.

TLP welcomed the Mr. Rubber Toronto 2012 Contest this year produced by Glam Productions and Heart of the Flag Federation. The new Mr. Rubber Toronto is Gary Major.

Gary Major, 39, was born in Toronto and although he has not lived here his entire life he has always called this city his home. And over the last two years he has truly found his place in the fetish community. Having spent most of his life in the dark, it took a life changing event to open his eyes to his true self; that of a kinky rubber boy. Although relatively new to the scene, he has become well know and recognizable as “that tattooed guy with the bumpy chest” and who is very honoured to call many people in the kink community his friends.

Also competing for the Mr. Rubber Toronto 2012 title was Ken Hunter from Toronto.

TLP takes the business of judging our competitions very seriously. We have built on the established a longstanding tradition of building solid, experienced, judging panels started by MLTC Inc. that includes both international, and Canadian judges. The goal is to give TLP contestants a quality of judging equal to the International competitions where the new Mr. Leatherman Toronto, Bootblack Toronto and Mr. Rubber Toronto will eventually compete.

Each year, the judging panels for the MLT, BBT and MRT Competitions have the difficult responsibility of scoring a field of strong contestants.

The judging panel for MLT/MRT 2012 consisted of:
• members of the local community: Peter Kincheloe, TLP Senor Head Judge; Master Robert Rochon, MLT/MRT Head Judge; Fenn, Mr. International Rubber 2010; Laurence Heath, MLF 2008; Dee, Community Judge; and Sir Rolf Raven, Mr. Leather Cedars 2011;
• from the national leather community: Calgary’s Johnathon Finlayson, Western Canada LeatherSIR 2009; and
• from the international community: Cowboi Jen (Philadelphia), Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2009.
HOTFF/TLP member Tria served as MLT Tally Master and Rich Nordin, New England Mr. Rubber 2003, served as MRT Tally Master.

The judging panel for BBT 2010 consisted of:
• Peter Kincheloe, TLP Senor Head Judge;;
• black aka Ian Turner, Bootblack Toronto Head Judge;
• redwarrior, International Community Bootblack 2010;
• digger, Bootblack Toronto 2010′
• Sel, Community Judge; and
• Luc Durocher, Mr. Toolbox 2000

HOTFF/TLP member Penny Gyokeres, Ms. Black Eagle 2001, served as BBT tally-master.
The dynamic duo of Steve Martin, MLT 2007, and Peter Rex, Mr. Steamworks 2007, emceed the competition at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Sat., Aug 13th.

During the Toronto Leather Pride competitions the John Stephen Bassett Leather Pride Award was presented to noted leather event photographer, image historian and key note speaker, Rich Stadtmiller of San Francisco, California. The Bassett Award is presented on an annual basis to an individual or organization in the local, national or international leather community who has contributed significantly to the development of Leather Pride and/or Life Time Achievement.

Spanning four days, the TLP 2011 inaugural weekend started with Salute roast event at Crews and Tangos, which celebrated the outgoing title team on Thurs., Aug. 11, and ended with the Late Night Cigar Party at the Toronto Black Eagle on Sun, Aug. 14. Weekend participants also enjoyed Leather Ball 17 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Saturday night after the competitions, the Toronto Leather Pride Day Party at Zipperz/Cellblock on Sunday afternoon, and a series of leather/kink workshops given by experienced and respected members of the local, national and international leather community.

The weekend also included a peaceful demonstration, as members of Toronto’s sexual minority’s community protested against their exclusion from the newly re-vamped, family friendly, Church Street Village Fair.

Protesters gathered at 3:33pm on the patio of Zipperz/Cellblock and paraded up Church Street with Leather Pride Flags in hand, while the small crowds at the fair showing their support, cheered them on for what was known to its participants as “Toronto 333” (named for the meeting time of the protest).
This historical protest marks the first time in Toronto’s history that the Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Kink community, as an organized group, has ever participated in such a demonstration within their own city.

Toronto Leather Pride (TLP) under the banner of Heart of the Flag Federation Inc. (HOTFF) is a member/volunteer-based, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to producing events that celebrate Leather/BDSM/
Kink/Fetish culture while promoting the sexual minority’s community and our city.

All of our fundraising serves the community at large and Toronto’s sexual minority’s community in
particular. Each year the net proceeds of our events go to a beneficiary chosen by our titleholders.
Our charity of choice for 2011 – 2012 is The 519 Church Street Community Centre.

HOTFF/TLP is the proud producer of some of Canada’s largest leather events. We produce: Toronto Leather Pride, Toronto Bound, Leather Ball and the Mr. Leatherman and the Bootblack Toronto competitions and many diverse events throughout the year.

In addition, TLP hosts scores of fundraisers, bar nights and educational workshops throughout the community, including many where we welcome out-of-town community groups.
Our event weekends attract men, women and trans persons from all over North America, Europe and beyond.