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Brotherhood of hide

MLO 2012 offers entertainment, education and a celebration of the love of leather

MLO may be primarily about leather and kink, but show producer Christopher Doyle says the attendees come together like family. Credit: Bert Schopf
Canada’s largest kink and fetish competition celebrates 20 years of leather love Nov 9 to 11.

The three-day Mr Leather Ottawa event will include seminars, information booths, a gear and leather swap, a marketplace and a retrospective that features former titleholders.
 

Pat Croteau, MLO’s producer of sales and marketing, has been on the MLO team for seven years and has seen the weekend grow exponentially. He stresses the event is for everyone and anyone, as MLO’s motto is “Be yourself.”
 
“Even if you have never been out in the leather or fetish community and you feel that you don’t have anything to wear, that’s fine; just come out and party,” he says. “The point of the event is to invite everyone to come in and have fun.”
New additions to the event’s lineup include a game show entitled Meet the Meat and a bootblack competition.
 
Those competing for the bootblack title will not only be prepping for the matchup, but will also be on hand over the weekend to shine up attendees’ boots and offer tips on leather care.
Additionally, a playpen will be available for rawhide aficionados who identify as leather puppies.
 
“Leather puppies are individuals who feel that their inner kink selves are very canine,” Croteau explains. “It’s an expression of their inner selves, much like we have seen for generations people express as masters or slaves. The play pit gives them a safe play area where they can just go into their puppy persona, feeling very safe to mingle and play.”
Anyone out and about in Ottawa knows Zelda Marshall is one queen who loves to mingle. Marshall has tirelessly raised funds for the leather community every weekend at Centretown Pub. She will co-host the Meet the Meat event alongside former MLO titleholder Michael Tattersall, acting as Vanna White to Tattersall’s Pat Sajak.

Marshall says she sees a correlation between the two communities. “The drag and leather communities are very much into wearing what makes us feel fabulous and good about ourselves, and we are both very much about community service.”

After a few years away from Ottawa, DJ Jungle Jen will return to the community at the contest afterparty. She says partiers can expect the best of mainstream, dance, electro and nu-disco sprinkled with classic and new house.
 
Show producer Christopher Doyle says the $60,000 production is unlike any other fetish weekend on the continent. Rather than being a simple showcase of all things sex, Doyle says, the weekend’s attendees come together like family.
“Stylistically, it is split. It’s part kink and part fetish. It is all about the brotherhood: people in the leather community who feel like family, coming from all over North America and hanging out for an entire weekend,” he says. “That’s something you just don’t get with any other event.”
Mr Leather Ottawa 2012
Fri, Nov 9-Sun, Nov 11
Individual event tickets $25-45
VIP package $140
Online ticket sales at
mlo-xx.eventbrite.com.

MLO Contest
Sat, Nov 10
Doors 8pm; contest 9pm sharp
Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts

310 St Patrick St (at Cumberland)
$25

More info at mlo-xx.com.