As DNA rekindles the tradition of self-identified masculinity, we celebrate a broad range of fetish and kink identities of gay men. With a pool of diverse contestants, the challenging task of determining our next DNA titleholders falls to our panel of esteemed judges. With combined decades of community experience and a breadth of ideas, education and leadership, each of our judges has, at times along their journey, marched to the beat of their own drummer — and are perfectly placed to identify the unique qualities in those who will serve as Drummer, Drummerboy and Drummer Bootblack.
Steven Carlisle, American Leatherboy 2016 hails from Los Angeles, California where he lives with his SIR of 19 years. Originally from North Carolina, Steven got his start in the leather community in the early 1990s when he stumbled into a leather bar. There was no stopping Steven after that; he joined Tarheel Leather Club where he started attending events on the East Coast. At the 1992 Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend he met his first Daddy who helped him explore the deeper parts of BDSM. In 2010, Steven and his SIR moved to the Los Angeles area where Steven has become active in the local leather community. He entered his first contest, Mr. Regiment Leather, in the fall of 2015 where he placed 1st Runner-up. Steven also volunteered from 2015 to 2017 as the Marketing Director for Los Angles Leather Pride which produces the Mr. LA Leather Contest. Further, Steven has helped re-found and is the President of the LA Boys of Leather, an organization dedicated to helping boys network and learn. Steven has taught classes at CLAW and other venues to share his knowledge. Some of Steven’s favorite hankies are yellow, black, grey, red, hunter green, navy, and light blue.
Steven can be found on Facebook at AmericanLeatherboy2016, on Twitter @coyoteleather, and on his blog at leatherpig.com.
SIR David Labriola, Mid-Atlantic Mr Drummer 2000
David, has been a member of the Leather Community since 1985: starting in Pittsburgh PA, then onto Columbus Ohio and most recently in Atlanta, Georgia. David is of the OLD GUARD TRADITION where he earned his Leathers and carries that same tradition on with his current and growing family. His signature pieces are his Cover and his Gloves. David’s first title competition was for the Mid Atlantic Leather 2000 contest where he proudly won the BROTHERHOOD AWARD. Later that same year he competed and won the PENNSYLVANIA MR DRUMMER 2000 CONTEST and later that same year won MID-ATLANTIC MR DRUMMER, which sent him on to win 3rd place in the INTERNATIONAL MR DRUMMER CONTEST 2000. Since then, David has judged numerous leather contests. He was Head Judge at SOUTHEAST LEATHER FEST in 2001 and 2002, Judge Emeritus for the Northwest Regional Mr. Drummer in 2001,2002 and 2003; and Head Judge of the Mid-Atlantic Mr Drummer in 2001. He was also Den Daddy for the International Mr. Drummer Contests and INTERNATIONAL LEATHERSIR/boy contests from 2001-2006. And in 2007 he was the Judges Co-coordinator.
Sir David has had the distinct honor and privilege to be the HEAD JUDGE at SOUTHEAST LEATHERFEST (SELF) from 2007-PRESENT and enjoys having met, judged and mentored many of the contestants thru their leather journies. Sir David has judged and educated all over the United States and enjoys meeting and passing on his stories and his own personal leather history to anyone and everyone. It could be said that David lives and breathes the Leather Lifestyle.
Sir David has been the recipient of the 2017 LEATHERTARIAN AWARD and is also the Board Chair for the LEATHER HISTORY PRESERVATION FOUNDATION.
When Sir David has any spare time, he spends it with his “hus-boy”, boy Thomas and their 4 amazing “girls”, works on getting his body covered in tattoos and riding around Atlanta on his Harley…and well of course …BOOTS!!!! One of his most favorite quotes comes from his Title Boy: “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A BOY !!” If you see Sir David around…please by all means chat him up…he is really good for a few stories from “the good ole days!”
Syluss Afano hails from the island territory of American Samoa. Growing up in a military family, he spent his formative years traveling the globe.
Earning a scholarship to study illustration at Parsons: The New School for Design & Technology, Syluss relocated to New York City. At school he focused his creative work on his two passions; his native Samoan heritage and personal fetishes include cigar play, single tail, flogging, water sports, boots and leather. In 2013, Syluss began an apprenticeship at the legendary leather store, The Leatherman NYC.
Following completion of his degree in 2014, Syluss joined The Leather man staff officially as part of their production and tailoring team. Since then he has been fitting leathermen/women in ready-to-wear and customized gear. He has carved a niche for himself by designing and fabricating unique grotesque masks, pup hoods and custom leather garments that push the edge of fetish attire. His attention to detail has made him the go-to tailor for leather and fetish competition vests and sashes; including both the MidAtlantic and Missouri Valley Drummer competitions.
It has been an honor for Syluss to travel the country representing The Leather Man NYC at events such as Drummer, MAL, CLAW, BB&M, NJ Leather, and Folsom Street East. Meeting and reconnecting to the international leather family is a highlight of these events.
Syluss continues to pursue illustration. His work can currently be seen in the fetish magazine Instigator, where he serves as the publications illustrator. Fetish Art Lovers around the country have his original and commissioned artworks in their collection. Syluss has been recognized several times in the Tom of Finland Emerging Artists Competition.
Syluss has been honored to serve as a judge for the Mr. Rockbear 2015/16 (New York City), Mr. Fire Island Bear 2016/17 (New York City) and Drummer North America 2018 (Las Vegas)
Note: Photo credit – Joey Moon at www.joeymoon.com
Sir Eli ONYX
What’s in a name? Well, when talking about Elias P Fisburne IV – quite a lot!
Since leaving the US Navy over a decade ago, he’s been known to many people in many different roles.
He’s been known most widely as Mr. Maryland Leather 2016, but that’s just the beginning.
His pups and those in the pup play community see him as a “Handler.” For this reason, he was a Judge at the Mid Atlantic Pups & Handlers contest in 2017.
The young people who seek him out as he mans the front desk at the GLCCB (Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore) call him “Sir.”
To the Prince George’s County LGBTQ Task force, he is a fellow board member.
At DC’s Casa Ruby and other places and events that foster and protect trans youth, “Eli” is well known to be an ally.
To the men and women of the the Mid Atlantic Chapter of the leather fraternity, he is brother “Opulence Onyx”
For the fortunate few of his leather family, the House of Ra, he is their beloved “Master & Daddy”.
Wherever he goes, by whatever title one encounters him, by whatever name you know him, he is always an energetic advocate for the people who make up the leather/kink community, a generous source of knowledge of all things kinky and and firm believer in the system or protocols that hold the community together.
As a leatherboy, switch and bootblack, boy alex has been an active leather community participant for over 15 years. As a former titleholder himself (Ms. Black Eagle 2002 and bootblack Toronto 2006), alex feels honored to have been selected to judge this year’s contest. He brings some experience to judging, having judged several contests in the past, such as IMsBB, ILSb, ICBB, Bootblack Toronto and HOTFF’s Mr. Leatherman Toronto and Ms. Leather Toronto.
Boy alex is grateful for mentorship and is happy to share skills, the passion for play and thoughts with others. He has taught workshops on bootblack skills and also D/s dynamics at several North American leather events. In 2010, Alex received the Eastern Canada Leather Sir/boy Community Builder award, and in 2013, the HOTTF David Galbraith award for outstanding contribution to bootblacking.
Henry Brown – Bootblack judge
Henry Brown is happy to be invited to judge the Drummer North America Bootblack contest. After a hiatus, he is bootblacking on occasion at various fundraisers supporting of the community in Seattle and area title holders. He is regularly a co-Tally Master for WSMLO’s Washington State Mr./Ms. and Bootblack Leather contest. He has been involved with Seattle Men in Leather for over 10 years. He was first runner-up for International Leather Community Bootblack 2006, held the titles of Northwest Community Bootblack 2006/2007 and Washington State Community Bootblack 2006/2007.
Elegant – Bootblack judge
Elegant began her leather journey in Dallas, Texas in 1997 and has been an active part of the Atlanta community since moving in 2001. She is slave to Master Archer, leather artisan, bootblack, and co-owner of Fantasies In Leather and TLC Leather Care. Elegant is past Marketing Director for Southwest Leather Conference (2008 – 2016), past Marketing Chair for SouthEast LeatherFest (2004-2007), co-producer of Southern Sole Bootblack Weekend, former co-producer of Submissive Journey Weekend, and creator of Twisted Toyland Atlanta. Elegant had the honor of being selected as Southeast Bootblack 2005 and 1st Runner-Up at International Community Bootblack 2005. She is Mama’s Elegant Bootblack.
Bootblacking and leather care are Elegant’s passions. She considers them services of love and an art form in which to express herself. She has a kinky adoration for extreme clothespin play, hooks and needles, and deep impact opportunities and leads workshops on S/M techniques, workshops of the mind, and spiritual ritual experiences. Her dedication to the community and specifically in spreading a positive awareness of D/s~M/s is a never-ending path to understanding her own life.
Pup Scuff – Bootblack judge
Pup Scuff was Drummer North America Drummer Bootblack 2015. He was a founding member of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Ruff Pups group. He has bootblacked for several great organizations and events, including: Tri-State Leather Weekend, KinkU Cincinnati, Ohio Leather Association, Leather Leadership Conference, Knights Of Leather Tournament, CLAW and many others. Pup Scuff has had the honor of learning from, and working beside, some amazing mentors and friends, including: Bootblack Zach (Ohio Bootblack 2014), Bootblack Bella (IMsBB 2013), Gabriel Majors (GLLABB 2011), Bootblack Kai (GLLABB 2013), Tarna (IMsBB 2012) and many others. His list of fetishes are too long to list. Let’s just say he like to be adventurous! He currently resides in Dayton, OH.
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