The leather community has lost a kind-hearted Old Guard Master.
Mr. Bratman was a true bondage enthusiast who dished out plenty of restraints, discipline and protocol — and lots and lots of love. He grew up in Baltimore and lived in New York City and San Francisco before moving to North Carolina, where he frequently hosted play parties at his facility.
“He died peacefully of complications from his heart condition. He was alert and socially active up until the end,” wrote Dan in an email.
Richter says there will likely be a memorial in the fall.
I spent an entire week with Mr. Bratman in San Francisco back in the early 1990s. He took me out in public every day with a fresh mohawk and a VERY big collar. The picture of myself in front of my then-employer’s corporate headquarters that I posted recently, was taken by Mr. Bratman on that visit! Each night it was a different form of bondage. I’ll never forget those experiences.
I am sharing this with love and respect for Mr. Bratman. There will never be another like him.
There’s an empty cage right now where a happy occupant ought to be. Paul, aka Bear Paul, a kind and loving man, died last week as the result of a health issue. Paul enjoyed bondage, especially locking metal restraints, and most of all, cages! He was a native of Ireland, but he spent much time in the United States with his companion and “partner in crime,” Mike, aka Master Mike, with whom he shared many memorable experiences over the years.
Metal would like to express heartfelt condolences to Mike, whose heart is broken over Paul’s passing.
Check out these vintage pictures of Colt Thomas, who was the winner of the International Mr. Leather contest back in 1983! According to Facebook postings from leather pioneer Peter Fiske and Leather Archives Executive Director Gary A. Wasdin, today would have been Colt’s 61st birthday. Colt died in 1992.
The pictures below of Colt are re-posted here (without permission) from Facebook and from various sites on the Internet.
“Coulter came to IML as Mr. Texas Leather,” Mr. Wasdin wrote today on Facebook. “There were 44 contestants that year, and the devastation of AIDS was growing. Coulter embodied the IML ideal. He was top of his class in medical school, while traveling and fundraising during his title year. He became muse to many artists, and is one of the few models captured in works by Etienne, Tom of Finland, The Hun and photographer Jim Wigler.”
As the year comes to a close, it is nice to reflect upon those we have lost. Among them is the beloved Andrew Harwin, who was a longtime leather activist, a member of Delta and the Chicago Hellfire Club, and one of the organizers of New York City’s annual Folsom Street East.
Andrew died in May of this year, and on Sept 28, a beautiful gathering was held at the LGBT Community Center here in New York to celebrate his life. The service was lovingly organized by his friend Matthew and attended by dozens of people whose lives Andrew touched over the years — many of whom wore leather and/or club colors. Andrew’s own well-worn vests, adorned with his patches from CHC/Inferno and Delta, were hung for all to see. A photo collage and objects from Andrew’s home were also set out. A portion of a video interview with Andrew was shown, and a musician played some of Andrew’s favorite music, on soprano saxophone and flute. Several participants read poetry. The celebration concluded with a champagne toast.
Movingly, a number of people who knew Andrew particularly well shared their thoughts and feelings, and even more stories began to flow during the open sharing portion of the afternoon. So many had stories and anecdotes to share. We laughed, we cried and we reflected upon the life of our beloved friend.
There will be a celebration of the life of Andrew Harwin this coming Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the LGBT Community Center in New York.
Andrew, who was a friend and mentor to so many, was a member of Inferno, Delta, GMSMA and many other organizations. He was one of the organizers of Folsom Street East here in NYC. He is greatly missed.
Those of us “of a certain age” have warm remembrances of “The Hun” series. Bill Schmeling was best known for his gay male erotic art, with scenes of raw, rough sex that went far beyond what anyone else was doing at the time. pic.twitter.com/En6Z6oPcXo
Andrew Harwin, who died recently, was a member of Inferno, Delta, GMSMA and many other organizations. He was one of the organizers of the popular Folsom Street East block party here in NYC. There will be a memorial service for Andrew on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the LGBT Community Center in New York. It will be a wonderful opportunity to reminisce, to connect with those who knew and remember Andrew, and to help celebrate his life.