My Pride season as Mr. Leather Colorado 2017 began with a two-hour drive into the Northern Wastes of Colorado to pick up Pup Brick. I’d known the guy for years but never actually met him; we had recently rediscovered each other and bonded over a kink we both shared: pretending to be animals. Since this was Brick’s first Pride and we’d be mobbing it with Colorado’s gargantuan Leather Contingent, I knew this was intent on sharing the community I loved with him.
We got to Denver later in the day Saturday because it was Saturday on a Pride weekend and nothing fucking happens on Saturday on a Pride weekend. So we meandered and got acclimated to the festival. I got Pup Brick a sturdy leash made out of reclaimed tire rubber, and I saw his demeanor shift the moment I clipped it to his collar: shouldering a path through the crowds when ahead of me (leading me more than anything), strutting with his head held high when at heel (a command we had down to a subtle gesture by the end of the day, out of necessity). We got pulled aside for photos quite often, and it’s really not hard to see why; it was a power trip we rode the rest of the weekend!
- Their pizza is almost as kvlt as their taste in music (they skip any and all poseur shit that darkens their Internet jukebox)
- They’re steps away from Trade, a cozy Levi’s & Leather bar and my second favorite joint in the Rockies (the folks over at Black Sky Brewery are certainly no strangers to our fare)
Over at Trade, there were Leathermen aplenty, more family reunion than bar night. I noticed that Brick was more comfortable being the strong, silent type, letting me speak for him more often than not. It helped him adjust to an unfamiliar environment of grabby drunks, and empowered me to keep up Titleholder-levels of mingling late into the night. The trust he put in me was really touching, and when the night wrapped up we were wild about the dynamic we had built together. Still are!
The next morning was an ugly one. Cherry and La Texa woke us up in six in the goddamn morning; I never understood the physics behind “drag time,” but after Brick and I slept in a bit more and got geared up for the parade and went to Burger King for breakfast and those two hadn’t even finished inflating their tits, I finally understood; I’m a showpony and I don’t even go to such lengths. I have a newfound respect for the trials and tribulations a queen must overcome to get in face.
I knew that the Colorado ponies – including the membership of the Rocky Mountain Pony Herd – would be lining up with the Leather Contingent for the Pride parade, but I didn’t expect to meet Pony Charisma (one of my pony idols), Cardholder, North American Pony Trainer 2017 Trixie Fontaine, and North American Pony 2017 Tindala, let alone gallop beside them in our asphalt marathon. I can count the number of times in my life I’ve been starstruck on two hooves, and that moment was one of them. I kept pace with Charisma most of the march, prancing for the roaring crowds; I couldn’t have been a prouder pony if I tried!
Well, scratch that: being together with my full Title Family for the first time after our contest? Icing on the fucking cake.
Brick and I made the long trek back up north (and then I an even longer trek back south), voices shot, legs like jelly, covered in hard-to-explain sunburns. I would go on to pull my first chariot for Voodoo Leatherworks (my home club) in Colorado Springs Pride, and immediately after that show up to the RenFaire in Larkspur as an unintentionally gimpy horse. I soaked up more Vitamin D in the span of one month than I had in the past four years.
But I soaked up at least twice as much pride.