Maryland Leatherpeople have represented COMMAND MC and the Leather Community of Maryland throughout the state, across the country and around the world since 1991. Our Maryland Leatherperson also represents COMMAND MC and Maryland’s Leather Community each year in Chicago as a contestant at International Mr. Leather, in San Jose as a contestant at International Ms. Leather, or at another appropriate international contest.
While our many Maryland Leatherpeople have worked hard to both represent and support the club and community, there are only a few requirements they must fulfill.
- Judge the Maryland Leather Contest two years after their contest
- Attend the following year’s contest to step down and present the sash to the next ML
- Participate in their sendoff bar night before going on to an international competition;
- Work with COMMAND MC in a fundraiser for a community based organization selected by the titleholder during their title year:
- Represent their title during Baltimore Pride Weekend
- Represent the Maryland Leather Community at various events throughout their title year at regional & local contests and events.
Other than the above requirements, each Maryland Leatherperson decides for themself how they will spend their title year. Some have chosen to travel outside of Maryland extensively as ambassadors. Others have chosen to mostly stay in Maryland and produce fundraisers for great causes. Some have chosen platforms like HIV/AIDS education or prevention, introducing younger people to the Leather Community, discovering and preserving the history of the community, and many other issues.
The Maryland Leatherperson receives a generous prize package that includes a travel fund to support their trip to an international contest and other travels throughout their title year. The travel fund starts with $1,000 and another $500 is added by the club as soon as they hold a fundraiser for the charitable cause of their choosing in Maryland. In addition to that, COMMAND MC assists them in holding a Send Off Party prior to international competition. All the money raised at that party is added to the travel fund.
In addition to a private interview with the judges panel there are three on-stage segments of the contest of which only two are scored. During the interview the contestants are judged on their responses and interaction with the judges. (30% of score) They are also judged on their community service with an emphasis on the MD queer and leather communities. (20% of score)
- INTRODUCTION – Contestants are encouraged to wear “bar wear” for this first on-stage segment. Each contestant is introduced to the audience and this section is not judged or scored.
- FILTH ROUND – Contestants come to the stage wearing gear that exemplifies Baltimore’s reputation as the Filthiest City Alive – the less, the better (subject to Maryland state law). While they are on stage the emcee reads some of their interests and activities from their applications so the audience can get to know them. During this round they are judged on their physique. However, it is not necessarily the most worked out and beautiful body that scores the best. Much of the scoring in this round is based instead on the contestant’s level of comfort and confidence while on stage in little more than a smile. (15% of score)
- FORMAL LEATHER/SPEECH – Contestants come to the stage wearing formal leather wear – however they interpret that (note: police uniforms, real or simulated, will not be allowed on stage). While on stage each contestant gives a speech limited to 90 seconds on whatever topic they choose. During this segment the contestants are judged on their leather image (15% of score) and their speech. (20% of score)
The people who have had the honor to be Maryland Leatherperson have consistently described it as a unique and exciting privilege. Several have described it as life changing. Many have said that competing on an international stage was an incredible experience difficult to describe. The effort a Maryland Leatherperson puts into their title year is no doubt returned to them twofold and in countless ways by the Maryland Leather Community.
If you would like to learn more about what it takes to run for Maryland Leather and what it means to be Mr., Ms., or Mx. (or some other honorific!) Maryland Leather, please consider contacting the current Maryland Leatherperson, any former MML or the club president. Their contact information is on our contacts page.
COMMAND MC reserves the right to remove contestants from the competition if their values contradict those of the club.
The Maryland Leather contest is open to all leatherfolx, regardless of gender or gender presentation. The titleholder will be able to choose whether they serve as Ms., Mx., Mr., or another honorific, Maryland Leather for their title year.
You should review the <a href=”https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-JvkXMIw60sNNRbfK8yQlEql20Wxh_5l/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=116809203116848336841&rtpof=true&sd=true”>rules and application</a> before you pay your contestant fee. When you pay the contestant fee, you can fill out the application form. By submitting your application, you agree to follow all of the rules stipulated above.