Michael Waugh: SouthEast Leatherboy 2003selfwinners22003

I'm a gemini, am partnered ( 5 years) to JP. We have a Great Dane puppy, now about ten and a half months old (135 pounds) and growing. We live in Charlotte, NC and enjoy the area and all our friends here.

I have been to the Atlanta Pride parade of course, just after the contest in June. I attended the Tarheel Leather Club's "Stars and Stripes XIII" over the July 4th weekend with my partner JP and our dog, Atlas. Richard and I attended the NC Pride parade in Durham in October as well. Richard and I recently attended the International LeatherSIR/boy contest in St. Petersburg Florida in late October.

I attended and volunteered at the TIL (Together In Leather) event here in Charlotte recently, where I ran into JD (Ms. Southeast Leather Pride). That was a great event being its first, and I tip my jock to Master Scott and slavette for all their hard work in putting it together. I am routinely at the Charlotte Eagle on a Friday or Saturday. I want to tip my jock to them for a moment. They have been major supporters of Richard and myself from the NC contest on up to International. Gary and Frank, owners of the Eagle, as well as Jim and Lane, who make it all work, have been our unofficial "sponsors" and they need to be recognized!


I can't say I have much of a schedule. I'm impressed with JD's information on the web-page. I wish there was more around Charlotte like Atlanta has, but we do what we can here. I keep very busy with my job. I'm an architect, and work for a firm specializing in education facilities, both K-12 as well as University facilities. For most of 2003 I have been working on a new high school project, as well as a community college project the first half of 2003.

During the coming year, I plan on attending the Menamore club's annual run in Wilmington, NC in March, as well as the Tradesmen's annual run here in Charlotte. We have the NC 2004 contest coming up in March as well, and I'm eager to see who our new Leatherboy for NC will be. There's a strong Leather presence in NC, but its not as vocal or active as other areas. One of my goals from winning the NC Leatherboy title was to try to get word out about the contest, let boys know what it is, what it means, what it does, what it offers. More than anything, these contests offer personal growth and interaction with others in the community. No one needs a title to serve the community; however, it gives a voice to a cause. My wish for the next NC and Southeast Leatherboys is that they make themselves heard, no matter what their image or persona.

I have struggled with the International contest ever since arriving in St. Petersburg. The new 2003 winner for International LeatherSir, Mike Russell, put it bluntly, it's a "sexual title". I have a lot of personal conflict with that - a person's sexuality doesn't have to be outwardly visible for the whole world at all, and it shouldn't be the requirement for a title. Everyone has a voice, and a person's voice has nothing to do with how much they can turn somebody on, but how well they can engage a person, relate a message, a story, a meaning from the Leather Community. I felt sure that I wasn't the type of person/boy meant for the International title, but when a judge comes up to you and says "you're a strong, independent boy, and I'm proud of you" - that means more to me than anything. Being true to myself is my goal. Anyway - I think locally and regionally we have a different outlook on what the titles mean and who they are meant for, compared to the international level. I loved both the NC and SouthEast contests immensely. Here in the South we're much more subtle but still substantial compared to other regions.