On October 6, at the Eagle New York City bar, 41-year-old Arsenio Amades beat four other contenders for the Mr. Eagle NYC 2013 title. Montana Vasquez was the runner-up and J. Grant, the second runner-up. Native New Yorker Buddy, 54, and Eagile Masker, 48, a founder of the Mr. Connecticut Drummer and Mr. Connecticut Leather contests, were the others who competed. Mr. Eagle NYC 2005 Robert Valin hosted the contest and Susan Weinstein interpreted the proceedings for the hearing impaired.
Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather (MAL) 2011 and International Mr. Leather (IML) runner-up Doug “Dee” Pampling, Mr. DC Eagle 2012 and IML second runner-up Kevin Jordan, DC Eagle owner Ted Clements, Brendan McSherry, and Mr. Eagle NYC 2012 AC Demidont were the judges. Contestants were judged on bar or cruise wear, appearance in a jockstrap, Q & A, dress leather, and closing speech.
Arsenio is part of Team Eagle, Cycle for the Cause, which raised $535,000 this year for AIDS/HIV services at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan, according to the team’s Andy Tonkin and Barry Ort, who presented a framed poster in thanks to Eagle NYC owners Robert Berk and Derek Danton. A bartender and hairdresser, Arsenio said, in his speech, “It’s been 22 years since I was diagnosed HIV-positive. I feel better than ever … very much alive.” He pledged to help the organizations that assisted him and declared safety in sex no deterrent to hot sex. “This leather community means the world to me. It saved my life,” he continued. Asked what he might do in a sex scene with Mitt Romney and Paul D. Ryan, he said, “I would fuck them both.”
A director of photography, Montana, 38, spoke of “beauty and fashion and fierceness” and his platform was “to share my talents, my gift with the community.” Grant, 51, whose affiliations have ranged from Delta, Gay Male S&M Activists, Folsom Street East, the Leather Leadership Conference, and New York’s Leather Pride Night to the Imperial Court of Buffalo, said of the leather community, “You are the heart and soul that has fed me since I returned to New York.” Asked which judge he’d most like to torture and tease, Montana named AC Demidont, while Grant detailed a potential bondage scene with Brendan McSherry.
Stepping down, AC said “This has been a dramatic year … The leathermen of this city are the hottest in the world” and spoke of his IML platform, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) for HIV. AC presented the 2013 sash to Arsenio and Vern Stewart, the prizes to the two runners-up.
This is the Eagle NYC’s 42nd anniversary and 12th year at its current location on West 28th Street.