On October 5, CeeJay, from Onyx, was chosen as the new Mr. Eagle NYC 2014, besting seven other contenders at the annual contest held at the leather bar on West 28th Street. Vern Stewart was contest coordinator, Mr. Eagle 2004 Brian Kent hosted, and Susan Weinstein, from Mama’s Magic Fingers, interpreted the proceedings for the hearing impaired. Rico, a self-identified “tantric shaman leatherman,” and hairy, pierced bear Keith were first and second runners-up respectively. DJ Oscar was responsible for music.
Blond, bearded, and tattooed Ken; Montana Vasquez and Buddy, who also ran in last year’s contest; Team Eagle’s Barry, an audience favorite; and Stephan were the other contestants. Mr. Eagle NYC 2013 Arsenio Amadis, who stepped down with a speech about his experience being an openly HIV-positive leatherman; Mr. D.C. Eagle 2013 Nigel Williams; Onyx’s John John; Scott Hamm; and Mr. Chicago Leather 2013 Nick Zuko were the judges. Former Mr. Eagle NYC Christophe André was the tally judge.
Contestants were judged on introductory walk, Q and A with appearance in jockstrap, speech on a subject of their choice and appearance in formal leather, and an earlier one-on-one with the judges. As the winner, CeeJay receives $250 gift certificates from Man Skins and FM Leather, a weekend package for Mid-Atlantic Leather weekend from the Centaurs Motorcycle Club, and sponsorship by the Eagle NYC to represent the bar at various community events.
CeeJay’s question was what kind of cupcake would best represent him as a leatherman and his answer was, “As I man of color, I would pick dark chocolate.” Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, he moved to New York City three years ago and his first visit to the Eagle then was on a Jockstrap Wednesday. As Mr. Eagle, he would, he said, want to provide the kind of mentoring he received.
Rico, who brought a riding crop with him to go with his black-and-red leather, in the jockstrap section of the contest, was asked how he would change the mind of someone who felt the Mr. Eagle contest was a waste of time, and responded that the contest was a great opportunity to really get to know people and learn about leather history. He said that his goal is “to help our wounded community heal,” drawing on ancient wisdom.
Keith was asked, about “Brady Bunch” figures Peter, Alice, and Mike, which would he kill, which would he marry, and which would he have sex with, and said he would kill Peter, have sex with Mike, and marry Alice. He gave an emotional speech about abuse and said he wants to raise awareness about “abusive same-sex relationships” to try to make a difference.
During the evening, former Messrs. Eagle NYC Rick Weber and Peter Schwartz spoke about the seven-year-old bike Team Eagle, which they lead in Cycle for the Cause, and which has raised more than $150,000 a year for the LGBT Community Center’s HIV/AIDS Services. The team of 24 has raised more than $168,000 this year, as compared with $135,000 raised this year by Goldman Sachs.
Look forward to the New York boys of Leather’s Frat Night on October 26 and the Halloween Party several days later at the Eagle at 554 West 28th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.