ST. LOUIS, MO – Gateway City resident David Payne was sashed Mr. Missouri Leather 2014 at the 31-annual contest held at JJ's Clubhouse, Feb. 28-Mar. 2, 2014. Michael Pohlman, also from St. Louis, was runner-up.    


Contestants competed on March 1 in the categories of Interview, Cruise wear, Physique and Personality, Formal Wear, On Stage Question, and also delivered a short speech to the crowd at the newly-opened Annex section of the bar.  


As the new Mr. Missouri Leather 2014, Payne will receive a sponsorship to International Mr. Leather 2014 in Chicago on May 23-26, $100, title sash and medallion. Runner-up Pohlman received $100 and a medallion. MML2014


Also held was the informal Gateway Guy contest designed to actively involve more people in the event and perhaps to encourage future contestants for Mr. Missouri Leather. Long-time Gateway MC member Frederick Rissover played host as eight men vied for audience applause with Chip selected the winner.   


Mr. Chicago Leather 2010 Chester Munro and Mr. Missouri Leather 2009 Mike Lunter served as this year’s emcees with Mr. Missouri Leather 2011 DJ Kaiser serving as emcee at large. 



Serving as judges for this year’s contest were Mr. Missouri Leather 2013 John Metzner, Mr. Michigan Leather 2008 Randy Wrisinger, Mr. Missouri Leather 2006 Rich Wilson, The Leather Journal publisher and editor Dave Rhodes, leather personality Karen Ultra, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2013 Ryan Brown and Mr. Leather Colorado 2010 Brent Heinze. 



The tally masters were Mr. Missouri Leather 2003 Mark Bozif and Mama's Kinky Educator Aaron Laxton; den daddies were Phil Gill and Charlie Roberts; American Sign Language interpreter Jimmy Walsh; judges' runner Thomas Cash and bootblack Central Plains Leatherboy 2009 Sparkie. 



Pantheon Awards were presented to Aaron Laxton, Terry Laupp and Jeff Plunk by Pantheon of Leather founder and producer Dave Rhodes. The three Missouri men were named honourees last October in Atlanta. 



Mr. Missouri Leather is the longest-running International Mr. Preliminary produced by the same organization, Gateway, MC, which officially folded this year after 40 years in existence. Some 15 members, associates and emeritus members posed for a final group photo on stage at the end of the contest.  



Gateway MC was founded in 1973 and in its early years, the organization required its members had to have motorcycles, and most of the activities were cycle related. Eventually, like other such clubs around the country, Gateway developed into a men’s social organization in which motorcycles were not the only focus. Activities broadened to encompass the Levi/Leather community as a whole and its need for its own identity, events and network of brotherhood.  



St. Louis has enjoyed one of the largest and most active leather communities in the Midwest over the years. At its zenith in the early 1980s, the St. Louis Council of Clubs consisted of Gateway MC, Blue Max CC, Spirit of St. Louis and Bacchus. Today, Blue Max is the lone surviving gay leather clubs in the city. 



Mr. Missouri Leather was produced by Mr. Missouri Leather 2010 Terry Laupp.





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