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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PART THREE: Feedback Messages

For those who haven't been following the conversational thread, I raised a ruckus with PART ONE (Papa Tony's Ultimatum), PART TWO (In Praise of the Eagle), and now we have Part Three, which contains EVERY bit of feedback, as far as I know. I get massively more email than most people, so I may have dropped the ball on one or two messages that fell through the cracks.

I'm not sure why, but I am only posting the original message sent to me, rather than the responses to my own responses. I feel as though I don't need to inject myself into such pure and honest, unfiltered feedback.

looks like I agree with you. I will continue to go to the Eagle whenever I can. It has always been my bar.

It's time for the San Diego leather/fetish community to grow up. In fact, it's time for San Diego to grow up as a gay community period. Children in big bodies are still children when they act like spoiled brats. We are better than this and it's time that whomever believes themselves to be the Power Elite in our community all get a little perspective.

The history of the leather community in San Diego has been one of division and petty rivalries for the better part of the last 20 years. Why? We need to ask some hard questions:

How is it that a small, nondescript and shadowy cadre of individuals can undermine an entire community in the interest of preserving their fragile self image? And how is it that the private politics of an individual is allowed to undermine one of the most significant and energetic parts of the gay community in San Diego? Just who is winning here and why are we being forced to play some kind of zero-sum game?

I don't patronize the Eagle because his prices for well drinks is obscene. He if free to charge what he likes. I am free not to patronize his establishment.

It fits, I don't want it to die either. We need it, probably now more than ever.

We just need to get it some good events and keep people coming in for an evening of just being social.

I want to first start by thanking you for all your fine and dedicated work for this community. You are to be commended.

I am not a bar goer, nor do I drink. I was unaware of the Bitch Fight going on concerning what you mentioned in your letter to the community. I can sympathize with your frustration.

I see both Mr. Nicholas and the Boycotting community as Patriots. There is a place for both sides to express their views. Then there comes a time to move on, or get stuck. It's a choice.
Sometimes there is a need to vent. I think it's good for a community to do its own inventory.

Before a person, or community becomes involved in these kinds of movements , we need to recognize how much harm the momentum of these actions, can do to persons and communities.
History can teach us a lot about  differences. IF i have my facts right Id like to explain how I see all this; After the Second World War, the American Government went to the Jewish Academia and asked them to do a study to determined what caused the War. Their answer was a book called, "Authoritarian  Characteristic'. To make a very long story short, today we would call this Political Correctness. A very deadly and dangerous condition.

Some examples of this would be Germany in 1936. It was Political Correct to kill a person of the Jewish Faith. Just like TODAY it's Political Correct to kill a Christian in Egypt, or TODAY it's Political Correct to Kill a Woman in the Middle East. Just like TODAY its Political Correct for Gays to Hate Republican in America. And Gays are just as guilty of this behavior as all the above.

Each individual, be they German, Egyptian, Arab or Gay has a choice; follow the crowd or not. I know from personal experience I was so hostile towards Religions that I was blinded by my hatred. Now that I'm older and about to retire I have had the chance to educate myself some by studying Comparative Religions. Those studies have opened my eyes about different beliefs and behaviors.

I remember in the 1950's there was a Black and White movie about an English soldier that brought a German Bride home from the war and how she was treated by the British villagers. She was shunned and treated very badly. Finally a village elder recognized what was going on and spoke out, just like you did Mr. Tony. The Elder said, " If we treat this person like a dog, we become the dog". That Elder speaking out caused the villagers to rethink their behavior and that behavior gradually changed for the better.

To hold on to a resentment causes us to get stuck. We hold on to that resentment and do not grow, nor move forward in our life. That resentment is fuel for the EGO to feed. The EGO becomes the driver of our stagecoach. We need to forgive and become the driver of OUR OWN  stagecoach and put the EGO in the back seat as the passenger. Echart Tolley wrote in his book, "A New Earth", that the ego lives in the past or future, but not in the NOW.  Only Consciousness lives in the NOW.  IF you stop and absorb what I just said, trust me, I just said a mouth full, it will change your thinking and hopefully your life. That's why AA members do an inventory and make amends. To start to break the EGO and heal. Heal within.

IF the Dali Lama can forgive China the Gay Community can forgive a Republican. We will know how to behave when we know who we are. Mr. Nicholas is God looking through Mr. Nicholas's eyes. Just like, God is looking through my eyes. I am not living Life to the Fullest. LIFE is living through ME, and YOU. Each of us.

Thank you for listening

I understand your angry but in my concern for protecting YOU and only YOU, I think should have taken a ton of deep breathes and waited some days before writing your note about the Eagle and its owner. First of all, the mail list you maintain are probably not the target audience you want to get the message out to - we are part of your tribe and there may be some on the list who believe in the boycott, most probably do not. I wish you hadn't issued your ultimatum but if you had to, the Facebook page for the Eagle would be a better place to do it.

Secondly, brother to brother, we cannot control another person's behavior, only our own. You need to remember that because your powers, which there are many, do not include changing people. We can only change ourselves and what other people do causes a reaction and they are responsible for their behavior and any side effects it brings. My ex used to lecture me about things I said or did and I constantly reminded him I was responsible for my own behavior and any consequences it would bring.

I wasn't aware of any such boycott and don't know the owner and every time I've to the Eagle in this last year I could not move due to the big crowd. There could have been other factors that impacted the turn out - three of my friends went skiing last week with family because children were on Spring Break. To make the assumption that turnout for this one event was 100% effected by the boycott is a leap to say the least.

And finally, the owner deserves to deal with the results of his comments. He is a business owner and if he made comments to disparage the majority of his paying customers, there is no one to fault but him. I'm glad he's seen the error of his ways and has tried to make restitution, but two examples of similar actions - the owner of the Grand Hyatt who gave over $100,000 for Prop 8 and Carl DiMaio who chose the losing Republican Party over his gay brethren - resulted in significant payback from the gay community. I am proud that our ability to boycott and take a stand is finally making a difference in this country - remember Coors beer and that boycott?  The owner should have kept his first amendment rights to himself if he did not want to pay for the possible consequences. For you to put all your positive contributions to our community in an ultimatum in support of someone who has a lot of money but not a lot of business sense, is very sad and unfortunately probably attracted more attention to this supposed boycott than was already there. This is a no win situation for you. You end up losing every way you look at it and that makes me very sad.

I don't like making comments with proposing a solution. If you send another note out to this mailing group saying the heat of the moment overcame your better judgement and the success or failure of any gay bar does not impact the love and affection you have for our community, you can diffuse the issue. Say you hope that any animosity against the owner can be dealt with the power of forgiveness and that all of us are human and make mistakes and still strongly support the ending of any boycott. But remove the ultimatum as your love and affection for your brethren cannot be taken away by such petty items in the scheme of the bigger fight for our equality and you will continue to fight for all of us, individual by individual, or as a community as a whole to equality and acceptance for us by all. Do the mea culpa and don't talk about it again - let it die in the burned out brain cells of our partying friends. I would really like you to strongly consider this option.

Thanks for the update.  I've been traveling and am oblivious to any boycott.  I would have been present regardless.

The Eagle what I most look forward to seeing upon my return.  I'm currently in the SF bay area, and it's just not the same without the Eagle up here.  Supposedly, It will re-open, but there seems to be no clear timeline.

Again, thanks for the information.  I hope all works about well.

I just received this email from you and I wanted to get back to you as soon as possible. I never knew there was a boycott to The Eagle Bar, boy I must be out of the loop. I have lived in San Diego for 18 years now. I still keep a place in New York City that I go back to two or three times a year to brush up on my accent and my attitude. (Was there for the past 2 & 1/2 weeks and just got back Monday night that's why I wasn't at the Mr. San Diego Leather's Contest). I lived in San Francisco in the 1970s and  moved back to Manhattan in the late 70s through the 1980s (AIDS) to the mid 90s before settling here in San Diego. I have seen leather bars come but also have seen many more leave. We only have one leather bar in San Diego "The Eagle". By the way, it's one of my favorite bars. With the Gentrification of North Park and Internet fucking (It's like ordering a pizza for delivery) God knows how long this bar will last before it is pushed out. As far as Sir Nicholas being a republican. I feel everybody has the right to their own opinion and beliefs. I personally cannot understand how anyone can be gay and be a republican the same way as a  black person being a member of the KKK or a Jew being a member of the Nazi party. But It's not myplace to tell anyone how to live there lives as long as they don't force their beliefs on anybody else. Over all the years that I've been going to The Eagle, I have never ever had any problems with Sir Nicholas. He has always been  a kind and considerate person towards me and I like him as a person.  I disagree with his politics but I like him as a man. If we did not have The Eagle where would we be today? New York city used to have so many leather bars. The Spike, Cock Ring, Mineshaft, L.U.R.E. etc, now it just has the Eagle. In the near future I fear there will be no cruse bars left.  Everything will be done through the Internet. Welcome to the 21st Century. Support your favorite bar while it's still here.

I think it is terrible in todays society people should be able to forgive. Life is short. Let's all be frienda. I can honestly say Sir Nicholas has always been a gentleman to me. No way in hell will I not be there for him!!!!!!!!!!

We've only met once and I don't think I'd be showing the respect you're due by calling you "Tony, or Papa". Both seem to imply a familiarity and knowledge of each other where none exists.

This is not to say that I wouldn't welcome such familiarity but I don't call every acquaintance my "Friend". In my world, friendship and trust is earned by both partys, and I know I haven't earned your friendship or trust.

That being said, I'd like to comment on your missive.

When I initially thought to write you, it was because of the line in your email where you said regarding Nicholas,

"He immediately changed his tune, settled down and got in line with the majority of his patrons."

On first read I thought "Shit, another person who's been forced into silence due to intimidation and bullying!" Then I got angry about how really fucked up I thought that was.

I put your email aside then later I re-read it and realized that perhaps that's not exactly how you meant the reader to take that line.

I want you to know that you've struck a chord with me. (As an aside it's not the first time and hopefully not the last.)  Re-reading your email I realized I agree with you.

I'm a man who happens to have a leather side, likes guns, who is also gay, and is also a Republican.

First and always I'm a Man. But of late I've been less "manly" than I should have been.

I've been quiet, and said nothing even when I vehemently disagreed with my gay brothers about their political opinions or actions. I've behaved this way out of fear. Fear of being ostracized, of ridicule, or outright hatefulness, and just plain cowardice on my part. I just didn't want to take the heat.

The issue you've touched on here is bigger than just The Eagle, or The Hole, it's about the way we as a community relate and interact with each other.

When I and other gay republicans, or gay gun enthusiasts feel that the only option for us is going back into the closet to hide who we are from our peers… especially those who we should call brothers, something is terribly wrong.

You touch briefly on this when you say "Our culture is done with the haters of the GOP." To some extent you're right.

Our culture is done with our moderate, thinking, compassionate Republican brothers.

This has not occurred because the Democratic liberals have achieved 100% conversion to the liberal way of thinking. Instead,  they have been successful in making absolutely sure that our Republican brothers (myself included) have been run off.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of an outsider with the Republicans. I don't drink the Republican kool-aid any more than I drink the Democratic version.

I avoid many of our communities' causes and events.  I shouldn't because I could learn something, and god knows they could perhaps use another pair of hands.

Nowadays,  I won't attend any remotely political community event because I absolutely don't want or need the drama of being bitched out in the likely chance that I don't have a homogenous opinion and refuse to engage in group think.

It's ironic but sadly often true. We become in time the very thing we hate. I think the leather community is just about there because we're beginning to act just like Westboro Baptist Church. Unlike them, we're beginning to eat our own.

The Eagle is important to us and to our history.

More important is the need for us to fundamentally change our behavior so that our community survives and grows stronger and more vibrant.

Perhaps The Eagle should be a starting point for change.

If we're brothers, we have to be able to talk to each other and express ourselves without fear.  We must be capable of listening to each other. We also must be able to defend our point without resorting to screaming, boycotts, or name calling.

Did it occur to anybody to ask Nicholas what he meant? How about simply recognizing that Nicholas was pissed off about the election and understanding or respecting his passion?

NO, obviously not. Instead, he was simply Wrong… "He MUST PAY".

The question is, how do we create this much needed change? How do we get back to being an inclusive community who thinks before they act? How do we put a stop to the petty bitchiness that you point out?

I think that the solution is to lead by example.

We need leaders that do have differing opinions and who are fearless in expressing those opinions.

We need leaders with opposing viewpoints who can passionately and rationally discuss why they think they're right, and for those leaders to be seen later as just two men having friendly drinks with each other.

In short, we need leadership like yours. If The Eagle closes, use it as a horrible, sad, stupid object lesson. But don't quit public work.

Hear hear! (From Philadelphia)

Personally I think while your e-mail was very well worded, it was too emotionally charged.  It’s obvious that you feel strongly about this, but you cannot take away from what people believe.  If they choose to see this individual as someone they don’t want to associate with, that is their right and their option and unfortunately other people can get stuck in the crossfire (like the community).  I also feel that you should have included a disclaimer in your email as well… What I mean by this is that some of us are not going out and supporting these events for other reasons than “because it’s at the Eagle and I don’t wanna go there”…  Personally (and do not repost this), I am having some very troubling health issues which is why I’ve removed myself from the social scene, DJing/bars/clubs/everything.  Others have very demanding work schedules… Others simply want to do something that is not bar-centric and always having to be at a bar or club…  While I think your plight is very noble, I also think it leaves out some of these important factors.  I felt compelled to write this back because I felt personally attacked by this email in that I haven’t been out.  I frankly had no idea that the ‘boycotting’ was even going on and while I agree with you that things like that are petty and childish, it is something that is out of even your control.  I hope that the people who ARE acting childish get over it and try to be there for the sake of the community… Personally, when I am able and ready to rejoin social life, I will do my best…. But until then, I need to take care of me, and I think that many others out there are trying to keep their heads above water also…

Keep fighting this battle....I will be watching

Hugs my Brother

Tonytonytony. Thank God 4 you.  I dont go to Riches bear nite but wasnt that sat nite too?,...

Any one who has spent any significant time around Sir Nicholas knows that his has republican views. But, he is far from being a hard core member of the GOP. How many of you realize that he not only supports gay marriage but I marched with him down University during the massive protest march back when prop 8 passed. My own brother makes cash donations to the republican party but that doesn't stop me from accepting his help when I need it. I consider Sir Nicholas a member of OUR community and a friend and I am very thankful that he has kept the San Diego Eagle up and running. With the ABC out to close down gay bars, if the Eagle closes, it WILL NOT be replaced any time soon I can guarantee that. Please stop this rediculous boycott for the sake of our community.

Your letter is exactly why I have been leery of getting involved with the club.  Reading it made me want to just remove myself from the mailing list.

Warning - the following is heavily centered on how I reacted to your letter.  Yes, in many ways it's more about me than your letter, but I think you should hear it:

I was unaware of any boycott of the Eagle.  I don't know who Nicholas is, or who the "eurotrash" people were, and I really don't care.  Although I go to the Eagle, I have never been a big fan of the bar - even when I used to come down here on business in the early 90s, I skipped over it in favor of other bars (e.g. Wolf's).  To me, it's not in the same league as other "Eagle" bars around the country.  But I go because people I want to see are there; there are no politics involved.

I was unaware of any attempt to "take down" the Hole, and I'm particularly confused by your description.  There has been a stage in the bar the entire time I've lived in San Diego (since 2006).  I don't know if the stage was configured differently in the past or something, but it is still used for the monthly trivia night and other events.  Just last month, a (straight woman) friend of mine was talking to the owner (who I don't know) about doing a comedy night on that very stage.  I've gone to several fundraisers at the bar for everything from the rugby team to a friend's AIDS Lifecycle fund, so I'm confused by the statement that there are no fundraisers anymore.

The lack of sign language interpreters at San Diego events has always puzzled me.  Your letter indicates that someone didn't like one of the interpreters.  OK, so there are other interpreters.  This should not be a a showstopper.  There was no interpreter at the Meet & Greet on Friday.  I don't know about Saturday since I wasn't there, but if there was no interpreter, you can't expect the deaf guys to show up.  If they do show up and you don't have an interpreter, ask if anyone in the crowd can help out - I'm not an interpreter, and I'm very slow, but I've been known to try and give a some assistance.

It's true, you didn't see ME at the contest on Saturday.  I was in Rancho Cucamonga all weekend doing my part to support the next generation of powerlifters - refereeing on Saturday and coaching on Sunday.  I also competed.  No, it's not a leather or even gay thing, but it's my thing.  Enough said.

Liberals call me a conservative, conservatives call me a liberal.  If I have to be one or the other to be in some club, I'm out. I declare "Modern Whig" on the election registration form (yes it's a real party, no I don't agree with all of their positions).

I understand you are frustrated with what appears to be various factions and petty grudges within the leather community.  Unfortunately, these are a fact of life; you are not going to be able to fix all of them, no matter how hard you try.  I know it's small comfort, but the problem is not just related to the leather community: San Diego is well known within California as "Bear High School" because of the various factions.

Over the years, I have dealt with a lot of similar issues in every sort of organization from leather clubs to home owner's associations.  I have found the best course of action is to stay focused on what you do positive.  Example - shortly after we created the Front Range Bears in Denver, there was talk of another group forming to 'fix everything wrong with the bears'.  Whenever anyone would bring this up to me, my response was "please have them contact us so we can coordinate schedules so we're not stepping on each other's events".   The 'other bear club' never did form; instead, over time new members added several new activities to the calendar and the Front Range Bears is still strong.

You're building a strong leather community with Fetish Men.  The sort of letter you sent out this morning undermines that effort - it has the same petty tone as you're trying to call out.  Understand that any organization is a living entity - it will have growing pains, it will make mistakes, and it will grow and change in directions the founders never anticipated.  You can guide, but you cannot control.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Oh my Tony, I'll bet that felt good- getting churning/burning thoughts off your chest...

Main purpose of this email is to inform there's no 'boycott agenda' on my end- and I heard of none.

Secondary purpose here is to share possible positive working Tools/Solutions- to preventing future drama...

I've typed a damn book here, so if U ever have time to read- sit down and indulge yourself...

Here's my sincere stumbling apology for not attending: Ya know that thing U mention about new members meeting someone and then running off and not being very participatory in FMSD much after that? Well, that's happened to me, but the entire time I've certainly read all of your news updates and even 'repeatedly planned' (repeatedly) several times to participate in regularly scheduled activities- So, believe me, I was there in mind, but not body- My sincere apologies for that, but I'm not getting any younger (at current age of 45) and, since I'm semi-retired, finding a LTR has now taken precedence over the bar scene- Sorry about that- I do wanna support FMSD at the same time, so hope to C U at future events.

Although I did not attend the Mr. Eagle SD Leather event I had every intension of doing so... and now really regret not going : (  I went so far as to buy a really cool custom harness and had a custom leather vest made by Rosa's tailor shop- which she had to take to Anthony for the rivet portion of the design. I wuz ready, then Brent (you may have heard thru the grapevine- the nice guy I've been dating lately & also on your email list), shared with me that he don't wanna go to the Leather event and, instead, wants to spend cuddle/snuggle time with me- because he's about to depart on a business trip to Spain. I’ve not attended regular events recently because Brent voiced concern about attending such events himself because he's not flatting in a harness or vest- lost his gym bunny bod- due to disability. At first I wanted to Bitch-Slap him, but I opted to coddle Brent's needy-ness… instead of attending the leather event.   Knowing I could not attend I tried to encourage my roomie Lance to go, but he had already made evening plans for board games & dinner with friends- which he found more important... I even encouraged him to still go, but ask his friends to join him to the leather event, but he didn't have the energy to dawn leather and begg others to go out.

So, that's my story for not attending & trying to get others to attend- I’m not on any boycott bandwagon- just a selfish need for sex- and bad timing. I'm thinking maybe you are attributing the low turnout to the 'boycott idea'- when, in reality, 'perhaps?' there may be others out there that (like me) had other commitments or priorities?... just a thought.

Also, I would never 'publically' given any credit to any kind of boycott... by revealing how it negatively impacted your group/event- due to their agenda... It just confirms they 'won' and can wield power at a whim... strengthening their cause- which is just adding fuel to the fire. Doing what you do best (like no other I've ever met) of directly meeting face to face with those causing problems/issues 'maybe?' would have been a more productive approach, but identifying each and every one to directly chat with- would likely be logistically impossible : (

Please don't 'quit' leading FMSD- U R not a quitter- and everyone knows it (maybe pass the baton, if U R over it, but don't let the group simply die- due to such petty crap. You have put so much effort into getting the group to this level- not good to stop momentum and throw in the towel)... On the other hand, it's Very Apparent that you are indeed tired of trying to 'make everyone happy'. 'That' you can certainly 'quit' or at least tone down/reduce because it's an unobtainable goal... BUT, good intensions and great to work towards, but in 'moderation'. Catering to Snitty Queens, with sensitive emotions (like some female bitch hoe on the rag), is not in the FMSD bylaws... Correct me if I'm wrong, but ignoring them (and moving on- past the bitter queen- forever party of one) 'is' in the bylaws.

Lemme transition here- it's one thing to 'present and discuss' a problem, but to respond with an actual potential 'solution' is indeed mature communication, productive, and has a much more lasting impact- with a spirit of cooperation- which is what I'm proposing here...

I wanna share something with you- through your post and my replying to it- I cannot stop thinking about 'the topic of' lack of Love, Compassion, Kindness, and Cooperation that you speak of which a certain particular 'documentary video' reveals is what's needed to bring our current deteriorated world state back from the dregs... It's called 'I Am' and been out/made since back in 2009/2010. You, and other FMSD members have already likely seen this video, but if not, I can assure you the video makes one question how they currently perceive life and the world and is a catalyst for encouraging everyone to CHANGE for the better.
I can't recall how much you continually use those words (Love, Compassion, Kindness, and Cooperation) and preach them to FMSD in most all of your communications. Even the first ever San Diego leather men convergence event which you orchestrated and so very appropriately entitled 'Our Loving Culture'... brings to mind that we all should (with great pride) add 'I Am' before each time we speak the letters FMSD.

I have no idea how to orchestrate/implement this, but I feel the great need to show this video to every single FMSD member (if that’s even logistically possible) AND make it a viewing ‘requirement’ for all who wish to remain being on & added to the member/email list… that’s how strongly I feel about spreading the word of this video.  When members go astray they can always be reminded they are not abiding by the video- which explains (in such great detail- from scholars around the world) how important it is for each of us to practice random acts of kindness, love, and cooperation.

Just FYI- The video TITLE 'I Am' is a statement indicating 'I' am the problem with the world today... and to change that (thru random acts of kindness, love, positive communication, and cooperation) 'I' am the solution to the problem. The video ends sharing "will we ever get to the point that everyone on earth can say 'I' am the solution to the problem? Unlikely in our lifetime, but global change does not happen overnight- just a little at a time (and a matter of time) until revolution/evolution occurs... until then we should all enjoy the world we inhabit because life is just too damn short.

Squabbling about snitty queen drama- pales in comparison to suffering I just heard of by some female in Africa recently caught by rogue militants and held captive in their camp. She got the entire length of a machete sword knife pushed up her cunt and died due to internal bleeding on the spot... all because she refused to keep letting all the men (some HIV Poz) continue to brutally bareback rape her... like some backalley whore. FYI- she was only 12yrs old.

Sooo, (I'm being a ‘little’ sarcastic here) a 'boycott squabble' caused by drama queens (to me) somehow becomes immediately insignificant when (from time to time) one is willing to 'take off their horse blinders' to periodically back-off... to takes a look at the grander scheme of things life, in general, going on around us and use that as a measure as to how pitty small negative things are so very insignificant and should be merely ignored, or better yet, turned into a positive- if at all possible... which is my attempt/point here...

Can I suggest bringing the video to one of the upcoming Wed. night meetings?... would need a big screen TV & DVD player. I think that just to get discussion & input going after the video, from those who watch it, would be invaluable to incorporating 'I Am' into FMSD. Unfortunately the video takes over an hour to watch and with any discussion afterwards could easily push the Wed. meeting into a one and a half to two hour session- not sure anyone is willing to commit so much of their time... to view something that could potentially change FMSD (and the world)- for the better.

NOTE: This is no 'hidden agenda' of mine- I gain no profit from it and it's not some sales pitch or brainwashing religious stuff... The video is about a billionaire movie director who (after a near death experience) quit his career to travel the world answering two questions: "What's wrong with the world?, and... What can we do to fix it?" Those two simple questions and so much more provide incredible revelations about 'How we are all connected'. Astounding Scientific evidence comes to light in this documentary.

I know this is not the reply you were soliciting (trying to resolve a particular detailed drama issue), but it does provide a more backed-off global picture (and investment/tool) of how to prevent future drama issues within FMSD.

That's my 2cent discussion contribution- I sure hope it strikes a cord with you and all FMSD members... as it seems the cage has been rattled and folks need a wakeup call to reality of their environment & life in general.

-Bill Neilson
US Army Retired, proud FMSD Member

P.S. I'm sorry, but something just don't sound right with the Eagle (our only 'local' in-town leather bar) having 'regular patrons' that choose to 'heckle' & view the leather/fetish crowd as 'odd freaks'.  I know your intensions are good to save the bar as a FMSD place to hang our hats, but the bar is a 'small closet' that cannot accommodate a growing leather/fetish population... AND perhaps it's time to share there is anticipated/expected light coming soon- at the end of the tunnel... So, that 'all' of us Carole Annes can know it's cumming... (you may wanna let the cat outta the bag a bit early to spur-on a bit of 'hope & optimism' for the FMSD group)... I.E. A little bird shared with me that a New leather/fetish Bar is coming soon- which will have the capacity/space to serve not only bar hour patrons, but also open during daytime business hours- to serve as a leather/fetish community info., leather history/art, and education center during the daytime hours.  A much needed facility would serve current needs and I'm willing to invest time & $ in that initiative, BUT I understand from Eli that it's gonna be a couple years from now... Sooooo, Until then, YES, I agree we need to keep & respect the Eagle as a 'place of refuge' for us Freak Show types- LOL

As I think I've shared with you before, I've found that gay men can be pretty damned vicious and vindictive, as if they're perpetually in the 10th grade.  So annoying and needless.  Thank you for writing this, Tony.

Can't say as I'm surprised.  Beauty pageants all too often bring out the worst and most petty aspects of their community.  Leather queens, with their cowhide pageants, are far from immune in this. And that the owner of the venue didn't join the sheep in voting for The One is just the excuse they need to bleet their bitchiness.

As to the rest, it's interesting to see how much you also repeat the Democratic / liberal party line and do so in a way which denies reality.

Only half the country voted for Obama this time around - and that was only after one of the most negative campaigns in decades.  A campaign so nasty as to make even what Bush did in '04 pale in comparison.

In the meantime however, the Republicans not only held on to the House but also picked up just how many governorships?

That is hardly the sign of a "losing team."  And as for the "haters," Tony, just look around you.  There's far more hate coming from the Left than the right.  This whole "boycott" of the Eagle should be proof positive of that.

Anyway, best of luck trying to pull these queens out of their asses.

Within a "family" we have differing view point, beliefs, and ideals. Even within my biological family this is the case. WE are still "family". He has been very supportive of Wish Linda and I during our title year. He attends any fundraiser we do. He provides staff, money, and a space to make these fundraisers successful and support us. My brother-in-law is a republican. He is still supportive of me as a gay man and even as Mr San Diego Leather. We don't discuss politics. I judge him by his character and not his political views.

Here is another opinion: Having been “out” in San Diego at the age of 22 (a few years older now) and finding myself and who I was in the Leather World, we had many bars then and they have come and gone. Some of them were not per say a leather bar, but they welcomed us. As I have gotten older, I have developed my opinion of whom I am, what part of the leather world I am, and what I want in regards to this subject “bars”. We all have that right to be, to choose, and to do.

Politics have no place in the bedroom or the bar (religion also). I have known bars that were owned by str8 people and felt they were just making money off of us, but we had a place and they treated us right. The Eagle (and Sir) has always treated San Diego RIGHT. In my opinion around 2007, The Eagle was not really “bear” friendly, but being Mr. Bear San Diego 2007 and also a Leatherman, I made it my bar. The Sir and I had many talks and he supported me (the Bear flag fly’s outside proudly).

Ok, no more beating around the bush, I have gone into SD in the past four years since my move, and gone to the Eagle and it was like a “neighbor bar” few if any leather types around. Now that we have the outstanding group of whose wall I am posting this, things have changed. I can go out “when there is an event” and find like people, but on a weekend when there is not an event, the leather people are no were to be found. I guess I may have just cut off my balls with this, but it’s what I see.

I know and have known people in SD for 35 years and the only time I see them (for the most part) are when SD has its “leather events”. I think times are changing and the attitude for contests, Title holders, are a dying breed (I say that with sadness, having two Titles, I always wanted to be one of the Mr. SD Eagle). This is in all of our cultures. I love San Diego, The Eagle, Fetish Men San Diego, all the Leatherman and women, the Leather groups of SD, Sir Nicholas, and all my longtime friends of leather. Don’t hate me. (maybe the Eagle just need to have more red lights, it’s really dark in there) lol.

Thank you, Papa Tony. On Saturday I was about a hundred miles away without a ride to the contest, and I'm very grateful that I was able to attend on Friday at the Meet & Greet to see folks. I clearly remember all of the stuff that happened around boycotting this ASL interpreter and boycotting The Hole years ago and I've seen more recently who no longer comes to the Eagle. None of this bologna (and much, much more) ever made any sense to me. I have been living out of town for quite a while and for even longer I've been dealing with limitations that don't always allow me to support evening events on the weekends. Thankfully, I've found a place to live and in a couple of weeks will be getting my things out of storage, moving back to San Diego and will be able to attend, support and have fun again. Rumors suck the real big one and can have serious far-reaching consequences. Any person who cares to know what's up with me - past, present or future - would, I hope, come to me to ask me about me.

I have always supported the San Diego Eagle. But I was too busy competing to notice the disruptive elements in the crowd.

It is always good to discuss, end confusion/division and come together for a common good.

As an extreme liberal, I agree.

Unless Nicholas does something vile and having a different opinion is not that, I will not boycott the Eagle Bar.  Sorry about the loudmouth fools.  Keep up the good work you have been doing for all of us.

Honestly it was nothing against anyone or the establishment.    I made the decision not to attend for a couple reasons.
1) valentines weekend - timing for the contest was ill planned and conflicted with other plans
2) not feeling up to par (sick) - also have been hacking and coughing up a storm and did not want to sicken my brethren.

Just wanted to give my two cents. I feel my reason are probably similar to many who did / will not respond.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Upcoming Events

As always, check the FMSD monthly calendar-at-a-glance, which contains news about ALL known upcoming events.

It's All Good News

Things are going really, really great. I am feeling contented, and I've never seen Sir Nicholas (the owner of the Eagle) and his crew look so happy. Lots of love and hugs coming to them, and brotherhood is everywhere. Looks like you guys are stuck with me (and the Eagle) for a long time! I'm still getting feedback, so I will post all of that later on.

Review of the Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Contest Weekend: Congratulations to Robb Rodd, who is our new Mr. San Diego Eagle for 2013. I've done a BIG write-up, with lots of pictures.


Last time we had a Movie Night, August 2012.

Midnight, Saturday, June 1, at the Birch North Park Theater, at 2891 University Ave.

This is extraordinary, specific to our local Tribe, and amazingly wonderful. We are getting a special, just-for-us screening of Gus Van Zant's new movie about the lost "pornographic" forty minutes of the 1980 film CRUISING. I am SO excited!  This will be our third movie night, and I don't see a single problem with filling EVERY SEAT, based on how our Tribe has been going.

Tell your friends, gear UP if you've got it, and get there a bit early - We'll DEFINITELY be doing another special set of surrounding circumstances to make this EXTRA SPICY!

Hands-On Demos at the Eagle

Wise, experienced Ray teaches a new generation.

On the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7PM. At the Eagle, at 3040 North Park Way.

We have hands-on lessons and practice-sessions for flogging, paddling, bondage, and various other forms of play. Beginners are particularly welcome.  Learning exclusively from YouTube simply isn't the same as hearing from somebody who likes you, and wants you to do well. This is a friendly crew, and we have had nothing but fun!

The newsletter is late again - I'm glad to say that it's because I'm making good money again. FINALLY. I was making around $300 a month for three months. Just one of those slow parts of the cycle. After nearly exactly 33 years working for myself (as of mid-March), I know how things fluctuate, but it doesn't make the dry periods any easier.

Here is a nice shopping tip for a gift for those guys that we ALL know, and for whom we would like for it to be true. I've got a few twenties that could go to VERY good use, and right away!


Friday, February 22nd, 9PM at the Eagle: Dress It Up/Strip It DownGEAR NIGHT!

If you're up in the Los Angeles area this weekend, the annual Mr. Bullet Leather 2013 Contest is on Saturday…

And, if you're in Palm Springs, we have the West Coast Rubber 2013 weekend already in progress...

Saturday, February 23rd, 10PM at the Eagle: Underwear Party and Contest, hosted by our own new Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Robb Rodd!

NEXT WEEKEND, on Saturday: BearNight Dance at Numbers Bar, at 3811 Park Blvd.

Here is the newest information...

Review of the Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Contest Weekend

Here was the publicity leading up the weekend's events. Photos by Papa Tony and Scott Smith

Thursday, February 14, 2013: the Leather Journal 25 Year Recognition Dinner.

A good-sized crowd, given the fact that it was Valentine's Day!

We gathered to honor Dave Rhodes, and his hard work to build the Leather Journal. He is now being ably helped by Yvonne and Bryan, a new generation of idealistic, tech-savvy folks who know how to work with electronic media.

It was also a benefit for the local chapter of the Mr. Friendly project, which is an effort to remove the stigma of being HIV-positive. Mr. and Ms. San Diego Leather 2012 Aaron and Wish are spearheading the effort.

Friday, February 15, 2013: The Meet and Greet at the Eagle

This was the first official event that would allow the contestants, judges and general public to meet each other in a social setting.  It was a combined fundraiser for the Mister Friendly project in San Diego, and the Leather Foundation.

Here they are, waiting for things to get started. 
Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Contestants - Left to right:

- Robb
- Derek
- Jay
- Dan

Contest Producer Russ started out by having the contestants root around
 in his pockets for the contestant numbers that would apply to them
 for the rest of the weekend.

Aaron and Wish talked about the Mr. Friendly project. His t-shirt shows the logo.

Time for the contestants to sell raffle tickets!

It cost folks $102 to get me out of jail, and $100 to 
get Sir Nicholas freed later on.  All in good fun, and for charity!
Who wants to be my Prison Bitch?

We had a wonderful crew of supportive sisters. Over $800 was raised that night.

Then, it was time for STUD Night at the Eagle - Our own Preston Steel did a masterful job of showing us the best parts of Jeremy Stevens.

Saturday, February 16, 2013: The Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Contest at the Eagle

Introducing the judges.

"Bar Wear" portion:

Jay comes on stage for the first time.

Robb Rodd steps onstage to join him.

Joined by Dan.

Finally, here comes Derek. He designed and/or made his own gear.

All together. Time for questions.

Onward to the Jock Strap portion, and MORE questions:

Formal Leather, with the 90-Second Speech:

Empress Ajax and Mr. San Diego Leather 2012 Aaron horsing around.

Eli Steps Down

Mr. San Diego Eagle 2012 Eli gave his step-down speech toward the end of the contest, and as always, he had the crowd enthralled.

Afterward, he thanked me for my support, and here was my reply:
You have earned every bit of the love that you are getting - Not just from me, but from everyone.
I am VERY proud of you.  You did everything right, and much MORE than anyone could ever have predicted.
You took on a simple "bar title" as if it were the International Mr. Leather title itself.  You traveled to other cities at every opportunity, and represented San Diego with grace, warmth and style. The network of support for our city has grown ENORMOUSLY because of your direct, and conscious efforts.  You exemplify the word "Ambassador".
I've never seen you slack off, since the first moment that you decided that you were going to run for the title, back in December 2011.  From that moment on, every sentence out of your mouth contained a Noun, a Verb and "Mr. San Diego Eagle". I've never seen anybody so determined and focused.
Then, once you had the title, you used it as a tool for breaking through into new levels of interconnections between the cities - All over Southern California, but everywhere else as well. You're enormously well-liked, and for all of the right reasons. Your charm, enthusiasm, willingness to take chances and constant personal growth are exciting for your public to witness.
One of my favorite memories from the Desert Pride 2012 weekend was of you and Aaron sitting at the big, central table. That was THE table to be seen at, because you two were clearly the popular stars of the evening's soiree.  People hung on your every word, and you handled it really well - with dignity, grace and humility.
Your life has taken a powerful new trajectory, and you did it all yourself. Yes, many, many people love you, and share their best tips, but nobody could ever force a man to show up the way that you have, and PROVIDE leadership, friendship, volunteering, support of every kind, and role-modeling. You're the one who made the choices that led to you stepping down on Saturday, covered in glory and public admiration.
Many other cities wish that they had what San Diego has, and Mr. San Diego Eagle 2012 Eli is right at the top of the list!

Announcing the results:

 Nicholas talks about the expectations of the contestants and the winner of the title.

Gathering the former Mr. San Diego Eagles, along with the contestants. 
This shows continuity of our community's traditions.

Derek is announced as First Runner-Up.

Robb learns that he has won the title of Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013.

He is pretty happy about it!

Nicholas congratulates Robb.

Our Traditions Continue.

The results of the Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Contest. 

Left to right:

- Mr. San Diego Eagle 2012 Eli
- Mr. San Diego Eagle 2013 Robb Rodd
- First Runner-Up Derek

Thanks to the entire team that put this effort together. It was a magnificent effort, and it was a huge growth-experience for the four men who stepped up to declare their intentions to become more active in the community. 

My strong hope is that ALL of them stay fully-engaged in our Tribe's progress. We surely need them!