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Celebrating Leather Pride

Mr and Ms National Capital competition

Mike Tattersall. Credit: Neil McKinnon

This year’s National Capital Leather Pride (NCLP) welcomes all fetishes. Even feet.

“Leather is the most encompassing of all fetishes. It is all about being you. If you like feet, by all means play with my feet. It can be hot,” says  Mr Leather Ottawa (MLO) 2010, Mike Tattersall.

Whatever your fetish, the leather event will be held during Pride week at the Cellblock in Centretown Pub.

This is the first time since 2005, when Sharman Potechin climbed to the top of the leather podium, that the Ms Leather Ottawa title is also up for grabs.

Both Tattersall and Potechin are co-organizing the event.

Tattersall says that organizing NLCP is his way of thanking the people who supported his pursuits, which included winning Mr Central Canada Olympus Leather 2009 and Mr Cellblock 2008.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do even a quarter of the things I did last year if it weren’t for the community,” Tattersall says.

Potechin, who currently lives in Toronto, says there are plenty of leather women in Ottawa, and the town’s ready to spread the word.

“I’m really proud of the Ottawa Leather community. Ottawa’s my home. To be part of this event is a no-brainer. It’s been quite a few years since we had a women’s title,” says Potechin.

While most leather contests take place over an entire weekend, NCLP is a one-shot Saturday night. Potechin says the format is less overwhelming and believes it will attract more competitors.

Tattersall says that people who’ve recently moved to Ottawa and are looking for a new leather community are more than welcome.

“It’s a social network. You get people who like leather, go to events wearing the outfits and they don’t know how to talk with people. So many of us in the leather community recognize this kind of isolation and we invite them to join,” says Tattersall.

Tattersall says he is not afraid to display his festishes publicly. In full gear, he walks around his Mechanicsville neighbourhood and does his groceries. Some people even recognize him and ask to have their photo taken with him. Every time he attends a leather event, whether locally or internationally, he adds several hundred Facebook friends. But celebrity status does not faze him: Tattersall considers the attention humbling.

“The attention can be very daunting. It’s humbling. They say, ‘Wow, you’re so hot’ or ‘I wish I was like you.’ I’m just a guy. I’m nothing special. I’m just me. My shit stinks. I’m nothing special. I’m just probably more willing to push my boundaries further than other guys,” says Tattersall.