On Aug 17 Steve Stewart will relinquish his title as Mr National Capital Leather Pride and vie for the new title of Mr National Capital Rubber.
Stewart began attending leather events in 2008, but he says he was always subconsciously drawn to sub-genres in the queer scene. “The forbidden, unknown part of it is something I’ve always been drawn to,” he explains. “I’ve always stood out and marched to the beat of my own drum. It was very refreshing to meet so many like-minded people who share the same interests as me.”
Now in its third year, the National Capital Leather Pride Weekend takes place at Centretown Pub from Aug 17 to 19. In addition to the newly added Mr Rubber category and mainstays Ms Leather and Mr Leather, this year will also include a new National Capital Leather Puppy title.
The 2011 Mr Leather contestants, with Stewart in the centre.
Stewart entered the first Mr National Capital Leather competition in 2010, placing third. He persisted to take last year’s title and says he’s seen the event flourish in the three short years it’s been held. The addition of a rubber title is something he says the city needs to keep pace with larger cities’ leather scenes, which have had Mr Rubber titles for years.
“Rubber is a really big passion of mine, and I think it should be promoted and shown awareness. I cannot be happier to see a rubber title coming to this city. I look forward to competing in it.”
Michael Tattersall, who co-produces and MCs the event, along with Sharman Potechin, says the weekend is an opportunity for leather lovers to don their fetish gear and support the bourgeoning community.
“There’s lots of sexual energy, and it’s a chance to celebrate being an individual,” Tattersall says. “It’s difficult to wear full leather in August in Ottawa, so we don’t expect anyone to wear full gear for any of the competitions because it can be so hot. You can show your pride by wearing less than full leather.”
Stewart says that even those who aren't fetish aficionados will find some aspect of the weekend to enjoy.
“There is something for everybody, and even if you aren’t necessarily into all the different activities that are going on, I think everyone can find some part of it that they’ll relate to. You can simply be interested in seeing everyone enjoying themselves in their element, showing off their own kinky leather pride.”
National Capital Leather Pride Weekend
Fri, Aug 17-Sun, Aug 19
Centretown Pub, 340 Somerset St W
Fri, Aug 17, Mr Rubber
Sat, Aug 18, Ms and Mr Leather
Sun, Aug 19, Leather Pride brunch at the Atomic Rooster followed by the Puppy competition at 3pm