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HURRICANE KATRINA REPORT
Hurricane Katrina news and resources (including leather, gay, and GLBT resources) for leatherfolk, leathermen, leatherwomen, leatherdykes, BDSM folk, fetish folk, bears, cubs, and the leather community.
Sherwood in Exile
By Wally SherwoodEditor's note: Wally Sheerwood is a journalist for the New Orleans GLBT magazine Ambush Mag, where he writes a regular column entitled "Sherwood's Forest." Currently, Ambush Mag is unable to publish its regular contents, due to the hurricane. As a service to his readers, True Tales is offering Mr. Sherwood this space for his articles until his own magazine is back in production.
They were declared as the winners of the contest on the stage of the Dallas Eagle the night before, after a nicely produced competition sponsored for the very first time by the Dallas boys of Leather. The weekend opened with a meet-and-greet on Friday evening to help send the winners on to the South Central finals in Big D next February.
Head judge was Sir Jimmie Tucker, co-chair of the National Leather Association in Dallas, with the categories being image, fantasy and physique/jockstrap. Assisting were Daddy Lou, Mr. Texas Leather 2005; Daddy R., North Central Texas Leather Sir 2005; Rick Mansfield, International Leatherboy 2003; Lord Chip Robertson, Leather Knights; boy Ray, founder of DC boys of Leather; and Master Roy, producer of Master's Retreat.
Alternate judge was Ron Denning, president of Cowtown Leathermen, while Master Z, International Master 2004, and Mera, board member of Flesh and Fantasy, were tally masters. Master of ceremonies was Sir David Henry. Graciously donating their time and talents for security were the Leather Knights.
Meanwhile, the 2005 winners, Daddy R. of Oklahoma City and boy Stallion of Dallas are off to Atlanta for the International Leather Sir/boy Pageant on Oct. 6-9 at the Sheraton Hotel. For further information, contact www.LeatherSir.com or 412.889.9605.
Erratum: An earlier version of this article stated that the emcees were Sir David Henry and Ms. Mine. In actual fact, Sir David Henry was the only emcee. True Tales apologizes for the error.
Gulf Coast Bear Club Members are Safe
B-Bob's was nominated as the Gulf South's Best Leather Bar in the Gay Appreciation Awards for the second year in a row. Just before Karina struck the coast, Ehlen served as a judge for the Fifth Anniversary celebration of the Mr. and Ms. Marigny Pageant at the now-damaged Phoenix bar in New Orleans.
He then produced the Mr. Gulf Coast Bear X Contest on behalf of the Gulf Coast Bear and Leather Association at B-Bob's Downtown, which is their home bar. Jerry is president of the organization, composed of members in Alabama and North Florida, who all weathered the storm safely.
There has been no report from Ursuline Burgundy, Ms. Marigny Leather V, who is not connected to the internet and can only be reached by telephone. Also missing and unaccounted for is first alternate Rikki Redd.
Last year's winners, Tom Simic and Princesse Stephaney, survived the hurricane as well.
MR. MARIGNY LEATHER V, MATT McShee will vie for Mr. Louisiana Leather on Sept. 3 at 8pm at the Marigny Theatre, with yet another newly won title. And on the evening before, the Lords of Leather will host a "Meet the Meat" party, where you can greet Matt and all the other groovy contestants, at 10pm at Cowpokes.
McShee of the Cavaliers Motorcycle Club was chosen Sexiest Leather by audience participation during the opening of the Gulf Coast Bears and Leather Association's Leather Weekend on Aug. 19-21 at GAA nominee B-Bob's Downtown in Mobile. Partners Richard and Jim, regulars at The Country Club, were voted as Leather Daddy and Leather Boi.
The top honor of the weekend was Mr. Gulf Coast Bear, which was won by Kevin Curry, with Michael Reyes-McCrane as first alternate, both of Pensacola. Giving them a really tough run for their money were Dave D. of the Cavaliers, and Lowell L. and Charles N., both of Mobile.
Assigned the difficult task of choosing the "Bears in the Locker Room" winner fell to a panel including the return of Patrick M. of Uriah, AL, who was the very first Mr. Gulf Coast Bear 10 years ago. Other judges were Danny LeCompte and Clint Taylor of New Orleans, and Rick K. of Orange Beach and Tonnie O. of Mobile, members of the Gulf Coast Bears.
The entire proceeds for the Mr. Gulf Coast Bear Contest raised a total of $2,100 for the Mobile AIDS Walk. That included $425 for Taylor's Bearsfilm.com jockstrap alone, according to producer Jerry Ehlen, judge for the Fifth Anniversary Marigny Leather Contest who helped choose Matt McShee as the winner.
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU PLAY WITH! The man who killed a successful literary agent, credited with backing many hit English films, has been sentenced to life behind bars. Usman Durrani, 22, would be eligible for parole in 12 years.
The Edinburgh University student was found guilty after the jury discounted defense claims that Durraini was mentally ill at the time of the attack. The body of Rod Hall, 53, was found in his London home on May 23, 2004.
He had been stabbed to death after being chained and manacled during what the prosecutor said was a S/M sex game punctuated by greed. Hall had become a wealthy man representing some of Britain's most acclaimed young writers, including Oscar nominee Simon Beaufoy, creator of "The Full Monty," and Lee Hall, author of "Billy Elliot."
After his relationship with a long-time partner dissolved, Hall went through a series of short-term affairs. He and Durrani met on the Internet in a S/M site. On the night of the killing, Hall agreed to be chained up in a dungeon he had built inside his home. But, once restrained, Durrani drew a knife and repeatedly stabbed him.
Meanwhile, much closer to home, John Patrick Soileau, 55, was found stabbed to death at 2312 Rue Dauphine on Aug. 1 around 7:15pm. He was a registered nurse at Tulane Medical Center, where coworkers said he was excited about a new young man in his life and was all set for a date that evening at 8:30. Soileau's Mercedes was missing when police arrived, but was later recovered in Jefferson Parish.
The victim had been robbed at gunpoint twice inside his Faubourg Marigny home in the last seven years. "He'd been tied up and shoved into a closet, and has even had to stay with me," said Ray Ruiz, a close friend and neighbor. Soileau was born in Ville Platte and graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana before moving to New Orleans.
2006 BEAR CALENDARS ON SALE: During Bear Decadence on Sept. 2-4, the New Orleans Bear and Bear Trapper Social Club will be selling new Bear videos and 2006 calendars, according to a joint announcement by Clint Taylor, representative and model for Bearfilms.com, and Jerry Meis, president of the Bears.
During the fund-raising effort, the reduced-priced films and calendars will be available from club members at the Sire Ursus Contest, banquet and "Bears in Boxers" party on Friday at 7pm at the Marigny Theatre, at their booth at the Leather Block Party on Saturday at 10pm outside The Phoenix and at the Bear Breakfast on Sunday at 10am inside the bar.
Bearfilms.com will be donating $5 to the club for each video and calendar that the New Orleans Bears sell during the Labor Day weekend events, according to Taylor whom is also a bartender at The Phoenix.
Meanwhile, "Bondage-A-Go-Go," more formally known as the Third Annual Prince of Perversion Coronation Ball, will be held by the Radical Faeries on Sept. 2 at 10pm. Fetish play space and a bondage bar will be provided at 616 N. Rampart St., upstairs of Mama Rosa's. Dysformal attire is encouraged for the clothing-optional party, with one cocktail included in the $10 donation at the door.
You can get your very own Southern Decadence Bear to hug at Bear Necessities, now relocated to 940 Decatur St., on Sept. 1 at 9pm. The Hot Ash Party on Sept. 4 at 6pm at the New Orleans Eagle will also be a 40th birthday bash for Phoenix manager DB. And the Cavaliers MC will wind down with a SD Hangover Ride to Lafitte before belaboring the rest of Labor Day.
TWO NEW MALE CARNIVAL KREWES? That is just what Michael Meads would like for you to imagine in the dazzling exhibition now at the Contemporary Arts Center, located at 900 Camp St. "The Culture of Queer: A Tribute to J.B. Harter," honoring the New Orleans artist who was murdered in 2002, will remain on display for mature audiences through Sept. 18, with 85 homoerotic paintings, photographs, drawings and installations.
Meads has produced two intricate images side by side, the all-male "Krewe of Eros, Pan Float," and "Krewe of Thanatos," both rendered only this year, to celebrate life on Fat Tuesday and acknowledge death on Ash Wednesday.
He is only one of the nine contemporary Louisiana artists featured in the show, along with one of our personal favorites, Roberto Rincon, who has four photographs. Another is Brad Dupuy, whose "Park with a View," 2005, is a fragmented look at behind-the scenes cruising at what appears to be The Country Club.
In what could have been inspired by a night at The Phoenix, "Keys On the Left," 1976, by George Dudley, is actually an exploration of the visual communication within the leather community. "Grayton Beach Memoir," 1997, by J.B. Harter himself, chronicles the advent of the "butch look" among Gay men, following the "pretty boy" era.
And worthy of marquee notice is "Waiting to be Moved #2," 1998, by Deni Ponty, uncovering the artist's fascination with theatre lobbies and the characters who inhabit them. Plus there is thought-provoking "American Rudder," 1999, by Wes Hempel, displaying a warrior torn between violence and intelligence, trying to choose which path to take.
"The Culture of Queer" is a must-see triple treat. Foremost, of course, it is an art show (with one whole wall devoted to "The Penis"!), but it is also a trip down memory lane (remember the old Athletic Model Guild magazines?) and a history lesson (do you know who first started drawing hirsute Bear-type models?). It is all there, along with much, much more, including off-the-wall works by George Dureau, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tom of Finland and Andy Warhol.
The unique exhibition is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11am until 5pm, but you should allow yourself two hours to leisurely enjoy all the treasures. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, but free on Thursdays for Louisiana residents.
PEOPLE, PLACES, AND PARTIES! The next fun-raiser for Buzzy's Boys and Girls will be a Hawaiian Paradise Luau by the Gay Men's Chorus on Sept. 10 at 7pm, $10 in advance or $15 at the door of Body & Soul . . . Gerald McRaney, who got his start to stardom at the old New Orleans Repertory Theatre, celebrated his 57th birthday on Aug. 19 . . . Princesse Stephaney and Prince Sam enjoyed a trip to San Francisco, returning just in time for her to step down as Ms. Marigny Leather.
Artist Brad Dupuy and photographer Barry Hart were among those strolling Julia Street for White Linen Night . . . Rosie O'Donnell will join Harvey Fierstein in the Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" on Sept. 20 at the Minskoff Theatre . . . Seems that the Funky Butt, next to Voodoo at Congo Square, has shut its door and disconnected the phone . . . Frankie Holladay was honored on his 74th with a birthday blowout at Cowpokes . . . and did you know that the Dirty Martini is now the official beverage of Dirty Linen Night?
Tom Tosh is back at the Golden Lantern after a two-week vacation in the Big Apple, where he enjoyed seeing the New York Yankees play, but did not like the pricey beer and hotdogs . . . Otis Fennell of Faubourg Marigny Arts & Books hosted Michael P. Smith and Leslie Smith's Satchmo Strut book-signing . . . The opening of George Patterson's "The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas" on Sept. 8 at 8pm at Le Chat Noir will be a $20 benefit for the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon.
Bambi Riviera almost brought the house down at Amon Ra's Mr. and Miss America Pageant with her impersonation of Ursuline Burgundy, the new Ms. Marigny Leather . . . Sharon Singleton honored her sister Casandra, visiting from Maryland, with a posh party on Aug. 14 at The Friendly Bar, made even more rousing when they joined Mother Tongue for a set of vocals . . . DRAMA! opens a new season on Sept. 16 with Jonathan Harvey's "Beautiful Thing" at the Marigny Theatre . . . and just who were all those guys in red dresses roaming up and down Rue Royale on Dirty Linen Night?
Felicity Plantation in Vacherie is featured in the Kate Hudson movie "The Skeleton Key" . . . Pianist Harry Mayronne will entertain on Sept. 2 at 8pm at Cutter's . . . Bar buzz has it that a boycott of Halloween 22 is being considered, after the archdiocese booted MCC out of Lazarus House . . . Todd Goldman shows his art on Sept. 2-3 at Jack Gallery, 537 Rue Royale . . . Our hearts go out to Ted Mahaffey and Toni J.P. Pizanie, who recently lost their beloved mothers.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY: Actress Sandra Bullock, 40, and mechanic/reality TV star Jesse James, 35, exchanged vows in a sunset ceremony in the Santa Ynez Valley. It was the first marriage for "Miss Congeniality." She was previously engaged to actor Tate Donovan and romantically linked to actor Matthew McConaughey, currently in the Big Easy filming "Failure to Launch." James has been hitched twice before, most recently to adult-film star Janine Lindemulder.
The pair arrived in a red monster truck with James driving. Guests were shuttled to the ranch from area hotels and were not told they were there for a wedding. They included actor William Shatner, actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Regina King, and Metallica lead singer James Hetfield.
Bullock wore a vintage wedding band by Neil Lane and James sported a steel ring made by Bullock herself. Many in Hollywood were surprised at the pairing of the tattooed bad boy James and the on-screen good girl Bullock, who first met in 2003.
James, who claims to be distantly related to the famous 19th-century outlaw of the same name, is the founder of West Coast Choppers, which manufactures high-end motorcycles for celebrities. He also produces and stars in The Discovery Channel's "Monster Garage," making regular appearances at the annual Bike Expo in the Louisiana Superdome. Maybe the bad guy will bring his good girl along with all his tattoos next year.
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