And your new leather leaders are …

Summer Banks and Jim Benton

Summer Banks and Jim Benton

On Saturday at the Dallas Eagle, Mr. and Ms. Texas Leather contests were held, and your 2014 Ms. Texas Leather is Dallas’ Summer Banks, and 2014 Mr. Texas Leather is Houston’s Jim Benton. Banks scored the first time out in running for a title, and Benton is the 2013-14 Mr. Prime Choice. Both will compete in the spring for the respective national titles. Banks will head to San Francisco in April for the International Ms. Leather contest, and Benton to Chicago over Memorial Day for International Mr. Leather. Congrats to both!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Kody Nance is new Mr. Dallas Eagle

Kody NanceThe Dallas Eagle has a new standard-bearer to carry its name, and it’s Kody Nance. Nance, a North Texas leatherman, took the title Mr. Dallas Eagle 2014 at the competition on Saturday night. He doesn’t have much time to rest on his laurels, though. The victory immediately qualifies him to compete in Mr. Texas Leather 2014, which, as it happens, will also take place at the Eagle, on Jan. 24 and 25. The winner of that contest will represent the Lone Star State at International Mr. Leather 2014, the world’s largest leather contest, in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend. Congrats to Kody!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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The disappointment and empathy for Master Ces in the audience was palpable and within about 10 minutes, the judges rescinded their prior decision.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

Jack Duke wins International Leather Sir

When someone comes in the top 3 at a competition like International Mr. Leather, they usually hang up their competition jockstrap and become a senior statesman of the leather community. For a few years, Jack Duke did just that — judging other leatherman competitions, attending ex officio, etc.

But it turns out Duke wasn’t quite done with competing.

This weekend, Duke took first place in the International Leather Sir/boy competition in San Francisco.

It’s a wonderful coup for the Dallas-based pastry chef, following his third-place finish at IML in 2010, where he competed as Mr. Texas Leather.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Mr. Texas Leather 2012

Photos by Eric Dickson/Arcus Media

 

—  John Wright

PHOTOS: John Grissom captures AWOL title

John Grissom, shown above, took home the title of AWOL Leatherman 2012 on Saturday night during AWOL III, Third Strike (A Weekend of Leather) at the Crowne Plaza Dallas.

The AWOL competition feeds Mr. Texas Leather.

The Leather Knights, who put on AWOL, also announced the dates for next year’s event, “AWOL IV – FLEET WEEK,” which will run Oct. 12 through 14, 2012.

This year’s AWOL benefited the SSC Fund, a nonprofit that raises funds to provide hearing aids and sign interpreters for hearing-impaired and/or deaf individuals.

For a slideshow of photos from Saturday’s AWOL Leatherman contest, go here.

—  John Wright

Jack Duke placed third at IML

Reigning Mr. Texas Leather Jack Duke — who we profiled last week — made a great showing in Chicago for International Mr. Leather, coming in second runner-up behind Mr. San Francisco Leather and the winner, Mr. Rio Grande (based on New Mexico, not Texas). That’s a remarkable achievement, on the heels of outgoing International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne, who followed the same path as Duke last year.

Payne himself was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award … but not just any kind. He is the first recipient of the JEFFREY PAYNE Lifetime Achievement Award, which will henceforth be named after him. Payne really dedicated himself to leather during his tenure, and the citation reads: “In recognition of service above and beyond to the international leather community.” Yea for Duke! Yea for Payne! Yeah for Texas.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Mr. Texas Leather holds last IML fundraiser

Jack DukeIn the upcoming print edition of the Voice, we’ll have a story on Jack Duke, the reigning Mr. Dallas Eagle and Mr. Texas Leather, who hopes to become — next weekend! — the International Mr. Leather (a position currently held by fellow Dallasite Jeffrey Payne). In the run-up  to the contest in Chicago next week, Duke is holding his final local fundraiser on Thursday (before we hit the streets), so I figured we’d give a shout-out on his behalf.

For a $20 donation to the travel fund, you can join Duke and others in the leather community at a private residence in Oak Cliff for cocktails and appetizers, starting at 8 p.m. If you wonder whether it will be worth it … well, let’s put it this way: I’ve met Jack and photographed him. He’s not only nice, he’s hot, with a sexy, make-ya-melt Italian accent.

To RSVP and for directions, call 214-394-4640.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones