Inaugural MX Virginia Leather Contest Promoting Inclusivity and Community

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Two leatherwomen from Chesapeake are making inclusivity their mission for Virginia’s leather and kink scene and are producing the first MX Virginia Leather contest in Richmond on March 1-2 that will be open to everyone – regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Ma’am Karen and Bumper, MAL Leather Woman Bootblack 2018 at an event. (Photo courtesy Bumper and Ma’am Karen)

The concept for MX Virginia Leather emerged after Bumper and Ma’am Karen had the opportunity to travel to regional and national leather contests during Bumper’s year as the Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack 2018 titleholder.

During their travels Bumper Ma’am Karen met many persons who identify as non-binary or genderqueer that had a hard time fitting into the leather and kink/fetish scene, especially at contests and title events.

Bumper shared experiences during her title year with an audience at Baltimore’s Grand Central nightclub, talked about inclusion in the leather community and was quoted by the Baltimore OUTloud as saying, “Don’t be afraid to take up space. The community has space for you!” 

Bumper and Ma’am Karen said that many title contests require participants to submit a gender identity or identify as gay or bisexual to participate, excluding non-binary, transgender persons and even heterosexuals interested in the leather and kink community. In an effort to bring the leather and kink community together, bridging a divide among the LGBTQ and leather and kink communities, Bumper and Karen Ma’am created Purple Penguin Productions and are producing the first MX Virginia Leather contest March 1-2 at Fallout in Richmond.

According to Bumper and Karen, they chose the name MX Virginia Leather because “MX” is an honorific, similar to Mr. or Mrs., but does not specify any gender. MX can be used if someone is gender fluid, non-binary, agender, or their pronouns are not gender specific or by those who do not feel their gender defines who they are.

This contest also aims to create a safe space for those that feel marginalized persons interested in the leather and kink/fetish scene and create the positive spirit of camaraderie found at similar leather and kink contests held around the country.

Qualifications to compete were designed to be broad, so as to be inclusive and represent a cross-section of the entire community. The top level requirements include:

  • Registration deadline is February 1;
  • Must be 21 years of age or older;
  • Resident of Virginia;
  • Must have an interest in Leather, BDSM or Fetishes;

Other contestant requirements include participation in the title weekend events, attend regional and national events as titleholder, identify and raise funds for a charitable cause and attend next year’s contest. A complete list of contestant requirements can be found HERE.

If you are interested in becoming a contestant at MX Virginia Leather or simply attending the inaugural event, ticketing and lodging information may be found at the event’s website below.


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