“MR. LEATHER”–a new look at leather


A New Look at Leather

Amos Lassen

Here! TV has really gone way out to give us this documentary about modern leather men and leather contests. This a stunning study of one of the aspects of gay culture that so many of us know so little about and is so misunderstood. “Mr. Leather” follows nine contestants in the Mr. L.A. Leather contest and does so with intelligence and grace. Jason Garrett manages to dispel many of the myths behind the leather culture and gives a clear picture of what it is all about.

Garrett introduces us to the world of leather through the eyes and experience of the contestants who are regular up for leather titles. He is unable to explain the entire subculture but he does give us a glimpse into this world that so many of us are far away from. I remember once sitting in a bar and watching the finals of the Mr. International Leather Contest and I thought the whole thing was pretty silly. It was a bunch of guys dressed up in different leather outfits who did little more than wave at the audience. Here were all these super “butch” guys waving and smiling like this was the most fun they had ever had. I thought to myself that leather was nothing more than another form of drag (minus the wigs and mascara). Watching the “Mr. Leather” documentary changed my mind completely. The respect that the director showed his subjects was the most amazing thing about the movie. He followed them through months of training and warming up for the contests and it was evident that in the process he managed to gain their trust and respect. He revealed so much about the guys—their hopes, their follies, their likes and dislikes, their kinky sides and their conceits. More than all else he showed their mutual respect for one another and their ideas on sex.

Often funny, often moving, “Mr. Leather” has a plethora of information about the leather community and is a great introduction to someone who has little or no background into the what’s and whys of leather. From what I could tell, this is a balanced and fair as well as entertaining look at the world of leather. If you subscribe to Here! TV you can see it all this month. If not you will just have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

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