Jeffrey Payne reveals campaign logo

Jeffrey Payne, the former International Mr. Leather champ and local leather legend, is serious as a heart attack about seeking the Democratic nomination for Texas governor, as we reported earlier this week. And if actions speak louder than words, then look at the action Payne has taken: He’s launched a new logo, brand and hashtag to get his campaign off the ground. He’s also set up a Facebook page. Every journey begins with a first step.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jeffrey Payne announces run for Texas governor

Jeffrey Payne

Dallas businessman Jeffery Payne on Friday, July 14, announced that he is running for governor of Texas, challenging Republican incumbent Greg Abbott, who he characterizes as a “disaster for Texans” and a governor who “offers nothing in the way of new ideas.”

“Texas needs a governor who believes in real Texas values, like integrity, honesty, freedom and independence,” Payne said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “It’s time we stopped wasting our time and money on silly legislation and start investing our time finding ways to help Texans, their families and businesses prosper.”

Payne pointed to his history of success as a businessman — from his respected court reporting firm, to his real estate dealings and his thriving nightclub, The Dallas Eagle. The candidate said he makes no secret of his active involvement in the Dallas LGBT community or his history as a former International Mr. Leather, a title that gave him a platform to promote many charity events.

He also said that his philanthropic work reflects his commitment to helping others not just in the LGBT community, but the greater Texas community, as well. He founded the Sharon St. Cyr Fund, an organization that assists people in obtaining hearing aids and provides grants for sign language interpreters at public events.

Payne, born in Maine, lost his mother when he was 3, and he spent much of his childhood in an orphanage before entering foster care at age 15. From that point on, he said, he was driven to succeed no matter what the circumstances. By age 23 he owned Payne’s Fine Jewelry, which marked the beginning of a series of successful ventures — ventures that were interrupted suddenly when Hurricane Katrina whipped out everything he had built up in New Orleans, where he lived.

Undeterred, Payne relocated to Dallas and started over again.

Payne said Texas has been good to him, and he believes it’s time he returned that good fortune. He has chosen to run for the governor’s office because he holds a strong commitment to real Texas values and truly believes he can make a positive difference in Texas politics as usual.

“It’s time we stopped letting the Republican Party run unopposed in this state,” Payne declared. “We need a governor who is not a career bureaucrat, but one with real world experience and dedication to making Texas a better, safer and healthier place for all Texans.”

 

—  Tammye Nash

Time to vote for your Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade Grand Marshals

Don/na Dumae

Burnett.Burke

Donna Dumae, Jeffrey Payne and Burke Burnett are nominated as Grand Marshals.

Jeffrey-Payne-3898Every year, the Dallas Tavern Guild seeks nominations for six locals to be put into consideration to serve as Grand Marshals in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, which this year will be on Sunday, Sept. 18. Well, the nominations have closed, and the following six nominees are in contention. You can only vote once, but you can vote for up to two.

Among the nominees this year: Lost Souls Rugby coach and co-founder Todd Maria; Dallas Eagle co-owner and champion leatherman Jeffrey Payne; DJ and Oak Lawn Records co-founder Ray Cooper; hate-crime-victim-turned-activist Burke Burnett; drag “empress” and fundraiser extraordinaire Donna Dumae, aka Don Jenkins; and trans activist (and Dallas Voice op/ed writer) Leslie McMurray. To vote, go here. You have until close-of-business Friday, July 29. Good luck to all!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Voting underway for Dallas Pride grand marshals

DallasPride1-260Six people have been nominated for grand marshal of Dallas Pride, and you can vote for your two favorites at DallasPride.org.

All of them deserve to win.

In alphabetical order, the nominees are Oliver Blumer, Carter Brown, Wayne Davis, Patti Fink, Jeffrey Payne and Evilu “Pridge” Pridgeon.

Blumer is chair of the Transgender Education Network of Texas. He has been Dallas/Fort Worth co-chair of diversity and inclusion for the Human Rights Campaign and served on the Dallas/Fort Worth HRC Steering Committee.

Brown is founder and president of Black Transmen, which offers a radical, holistic approach to empowering communities through outreach that provides resources, support and social advocacy. In just a few years, the Dallas-based organization has grown into a national presence.

Fink is the longest-serving president of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and is known as The Late Patti Fink to listeners of Lambda Weekly on 89.3 KNON-FM. She has served on the HRC Board of Governors and co-chaired HRC’s National Coming Out Project.

Davis is known as coordinator for Texas Bear Round-Up and is Emperor 32 on the United Court of the Lone Star Empire. He is treasurer of International LeatherSIR and board exchequer/treasurer of the Leather Knights and is Saint B. Tim Harder in DFW Sisters.

Pridge was one of the founders of AIDS/HIV healthcare in Dallas where she was director of the counseling program at Oaklawn Community Services. She is a founding board member and president of The Dallas Way.

Payne is known nationally in the leather community and founded and is a spokesman for the Sharon St. Cyr Foundation for Hearing Impaired. He is co-owner of the Dallas Eagle, CEO & president at InternationalSIR, Leatherboy & Community Bootblack.

Because of the work of Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, you may vote for any two nominees this year, regardless of gender. But you may submit only one ballot. Multiple votes from the same person will not be counted.

Voting continues through June 29. Vote here.

 

—  David Taffet

ILSb board unanimously rescinds trans exclusion in contest participation

Historic-ILSb-MedalAfter heated debate over the last week, the International Leather SIR/boy and International Community Bootblack board of directors announced Friday it would undo the recent rule change that prevented transgender men from competing in the ILSb competition.

The board met in a closed meeting Thursday to discuss the changes announced last week, including the trans exclusion, appointed titleholders not being able to compete and regional producer contracts not being renewed.

The letter released Friday, below, addresses the changes in detail and encourages the leather community to come together for continued understanding and collaboration moving forward.

Historically, the ILSb competition was for gay men and the board felt the need to revert back to that tradition based on opinions to “reclaim our gay identity, our gay events, our gay clubs and our gay pride and how we had become too inclusive in our quest to be politically correct.”

However, “never, never, never was any discussion to purposefully exclude any segment of our community to be perceived as negative, bigoted it harmful,” the letter states in part.

The change was overturned by unanimous vote Thursday night, allowing anyone who identifies as male to compete.

“As it has been stated in the contracts since 2007, contestants for the International LeatehrSIR and International Leatherboy titles “must identify as gay males and be of same-sex orientation,” the letter states.

The board also announced that it will create a history program coordinator to ensure the history in the community is accurate and documented, as much of the tradition was passed down orally. It will also implement an advisory council of community members to gain input. ILSb-ICBB founder Mike Zuhl will serve on the council.

Read the full letter below.

—  Dallasvoice

Mr. and Ms. Texas Leather crowned … but not without some controversy

UPDATED at 1:00 p.m.

The announcement of the new Ms. Texas Leather ended up being the most dramatic thing that happened Saturday night at the Dallas Eagle.

While the Mr. Texas Leather competition was full of deserving candidates, only one woman, who goes by Master Ces, entered for Ms. Texas Leather (which last year took place at a separate ceremony, held in the summer). That might be seen as a sure thing for her to take the title, but apparently that’s not the case. As former IML champ Jeffrey Payne-Roy pointed out in the announcements, in order to win the title, the contestant must score a minimum of 70. Because Master Ces did not reach that threshold, current reigning Ms. Texas Leather Synn Evans was tapped to continue in the position for 2013.

Or so it seemed. That was at 10:20 p.m. By 10:30, things had changed.

The disappointment and empathy for Master Ces in the audience was palpable and within about 10 minutes, the judges rescinded their prior decision. [ED NOTE: Apparently, there was a tallying error; see below.] Master Ces was officially instated as the new 2013 Ms. Texas Leather. Official photos were re-taken with the new titleholder in place.

One thing that did not change that night was the sash bestowing Mr. Texas Leather on Austin’s Bobby Thurman (pictured). One of the co-founders of Austin Gears, a year-old fetish organization in the capital, and the current Mr. Leather Knight, Thurman was clearly a popular choice among the many qualified and well-dressed candidates. He will compete at International Mr. Leather in Chicago next Memorial Day weekend.

Congrats to both.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Ms. Texas Leather Synn Evans wins International Ms. Leather over the weekend

The leather title tradition continued this weekend when Synn Evans, from Dallas, brought home the International Ms. Leather title. This matches the International Mr. Leather title won by Jeffrey Payne in 2009. This was the 26th annual event for the title, which was held in San Francisco.

She was tagged in this photo soon after she won the contest. Read our profile on Evans when she won Ms. Texas Leather 2011.

 

 

—  Rich Lopez

Jeffrey Payne announced as TGRA Grand Marshal for annual March rodeo

Former International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne can add another accomplishment to his resume. The Texas Gay Rodeo Association has announced Payne as its 2012 Grand Marshal for its annual March event, A Texas Tradition Rodeo. TGRA celebrates almost 30 years of gay rodeo and the 2012 event will be held March 2–4 in Fort Worth.

Read the official announcement after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Mr. Leather needs your help — still

As I wrote in last Friday’s paper, former International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne is trying to get funding for his charity, which provides hearing aids and sign translation to the hearing impaired. (Payne himself is losing his hearing.) He’s in the running for a $50,000 grant from Pepsi, but has stalled at 73rd position (it needs to finish in the top 10 to get money). The online contest continues through the end of the month.

If you can, please visit the site and vote for Payne’s charity. Local guy, local charity, local benefactor (Pepsi is based in Plano) and a nice thing to do for the gay community.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jeffrey Payne announces on his Facebook that Mr. IML 2010 is coming to Dallas gay Pride

Jeffrey Payne passed his Mr. IML title on to recent winner Tyler McCormick last month in Chicago. That doesn’t stop Payne from still working his ambassador-ship in the community. He just posted this status update on Facebook:

I am very pleased to announce that IML 2010, Tyler McCormick, has accepted our invitation to visit Dallas and ride in our Pride Parade in September! We have many plans to make for his visit and the Dallas Community is very excited about his participation!

I haven’t noticed a status update mentioning this on McCormick’s page, but that’s mostly because he “only shares some of his profile information with everyone.” What can I say? McCormick is seen here winning the title with our very own Jack Duke taking second runner-up.

—  Rich Lopez