Meet the Judges!
Heather Raquel is a sorta Rican introvert in an extrovert’s body.
She hates labels but loves nicknames. She will respond to Femme Diesel Daddy, Couture Complex of the Haus of Complex, or good ol’ H mutha fuckin P.
Raquel is Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2017 and an associate member of Philadelphians MC. Her platform has been used to counter white supremacist, heteronormative patriarchy outside of and within and the community. She does this through fundraising, go go dancing and creating visibility for local queer artists.
With an art practice centered on the Intersections of race/class/gender and sexual liberation, she was recently awarded a Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant which is funding her project on POC joys and issues within the leather community.
She works 4 jobs including adjunct professor of fine arts at University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time she rides a unicycle, a motorcycle, a stripper pole, and goes to bed early any chance she can.
Nick Hollup is the outgoing Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2017, and an associate member of Philadelphians MC. He is a regular supporter and volunteer in the Philadelphia LGBT community, and an advocate for Diversity and Inclusion in the leather community, as well as the broader LGBT community.
In his free time, he is an award losing photographer, volunteer librarian, and local barfly, who can be found haunting the Bike Stop on any given weekend.
Also … RENEE!
Velvet-Storm is Co-Founder and member of the MidAtlantic Onyx Pearls as well as an Associate member of the Men of Onyx Mid-Atlantic Chapter. She held the title of Ms. New Jersey Leather 2017 this past year. Currently she holds the position of Secretary of MAsT Cherry Hill and Fundraising Coordinator for The Master/slave Gathering. She volunteers in various places in the community. She is a service-oriented woman.
Velvet suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression; as well as other invisible disabilities. She is known for having an open door policy for members of all communities needing to speak about their disabilities and hardships.
Velvet owns Mr. Louie, her German Shepherd service dog. He is her traveling companion and functions as protector … yet his primary duties are to wake from nightmares.
She has been taking a break since her step aside, focusing not only on her own mental and physical health, but on the physical health of Mr. Louie.
Zero Onyx is the current Mr. Philadelphia Fetish 2017. Zero, a member of Onyx Mid Atlantic, is a dedicated Leather man and kinkster. He began his Leather Journey three years ago in DC before relocating to Philadelphia. Zero currently works with people living with HIV, and is also an active Member of the Imperial Court System DC. Zero is an advocate and Activist for POC rights and a strong spokesman for QPOC inclusion in the Leather Community.
Amber Hikes is the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, where she develops policy and serves as the principal advisor to Mayor Jim Kenney on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. Hikes joined the Office of LGBT Affairs in March 2017 and has set her sights on fighting and advocating for the most vulnerable populations within the LGBTQ community—specifically youth, elders, transgender people, and people of color. Her personal philosophy guides the Office’s mission and approach: when we fight for the lives of the most marginalized, we, in turn, liberate ourselves.
Michael Byrne has been an actor/performer around Philadelphia for many, many moons. He gave birth to MC Carlota Ttendant while raising money for his theatre company and ACTUP in the 1990s. Carlota then became a local Philadelphia celebrity hosting the ever-popular Gay BINGO, as well as fundraisers and events for many non-profit organizations across the Delaware Valley, including Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather. Michael became a successful development professional making Dining Out For Life a “must do” event in Philadelphia and 60 cities across North America.
Michael is the winner of the 1998 Philadelphia Gay News, Lambda Award for Outstanding Cultural Contribution by an Individual, was honored as a Grand Marshall in the 2000 Gay Pride Parade, received the AIDS Fund’s 2013 Founder Award, and was humbled to be named Honorary Ms. Philadelphia Leather in 2008. Michael is proud to currently serve as the Board President of Philly AIDS Thrift, as well as Co-Chair the LGBT Mummer’s Liaison Committee. In his III Act Michael is excited to be an MSW candidate at Bryn Mawr College studying to be a therapist focused on moving the needle on loneliness in LGBT Elders.
Meet the Hosts!
LasciviousJane is a power-femme switch, kinky burlesQueer, and sex educator. In addition to being perpetually covered in leather and glitter (a bootblack’s worst nightmare), she is Ms Philadelphia Leather 2015, the first in a decade, and is International Ms Leather 2016.
She is also a multi-award winning drag and burlesque performer/producer. Over the past thirteen years LasciviousJane has performed all across the United States and Canada and was the Artistic Director of Philly’s award winning Liberty City Kings Drag & Burlesque. She is known as Mama’s GlitterMama and is the first queer woman to win the underwear contest at the Dallas Eagle. LasciviousJane has judged Mr & Ms NJ Leather, Mid Atlantic Leather Woman and Leather Woman Bootblack, Ms LA Leather, and MAL, among others. In her spare time she enjoys teaching the art of striptease, getting dirty in her garden, finishing her Ph.D, and community organizing. LJ is the recipient of the 2017 South Central LSb-CBB Judges Merit Award and the 2017 Mid Atlantic Regional Pantheon of Leather Award.
LJ has performed burlesque at or Emceed International Ms Leather, Leather Leadership Conference, 12 Days of Christmas in Baltimore, Folsom Street Fair, Fierce! International Queer Burlesque Festival, and is a regular on stage in Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC and New Jersey leather events.
An associate member of the Philadelphians MC, LJ is also on the board of directors of the IMsL Foundation and is part of the Social Media team for IML. She used her title year to raise money for the Leather Heart Foundation and continues to do so. Her favorite way to help a fundraising event is by shimmying out of her clothing.
LasciviousJane has spent the better part of the last year perfecting her 1950’s housewife skills, while working hard to undermine her lovely half’s attempts to rid their home of glitter, rhinestones, and costumes.
Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2016
(more photos & bio blurbs coming soon!)