Matthew Friar, 34, PWA Holiday Charities’ reigning Boy of Montrose, is using his title to produce a Sunday Funday event filled with leather, kink, dancing, drag and drink specials on January 9. Proceeds from the Twisted Leather event will go to PWA Holiday Charities, an organization that has been helping people living with AIDS since 1997.
“Inspiration for the event came from traveling around to various parties like DaddyLand, Joining Hearts, Purple Party, White Party, etc., and seeing what made people happy,” says Friar. “I think this event will allow people to come have fun and support a cause they may not know much about. It is also inspired by seeing the younger generation interested in the leather community but not knowing how to get involved. I feel we need to teach people about the leather scene, instead of being exclusive and judgmental.
Twisted Leather will take place at the old Montrose stomping ground Numbers Nightclub. “Numbers has been a staple in the community for decades, and has some awesome staff who are allies, or identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum themselves. They’ve always been supportive of our community, and they have an awesome space perfect for throwing an event of this size while remaining central to the Montrose neighborhood. Rudi Bunch, the owner, has done some amazing work with the community over the years, and I’m excited to work with him,” says Friar.
“Numbers was a gay disco when I started working there forty years ago as a barback,” says Bunch, 61. “Some of my happiest moments are from those days. I appreciate the HIV “charity and awareness” aspect of the event. Numbers has one of the most diverse clienteles of any club in the city—a fact we are very proud of. It is not unusual to see customers from all [parts] of the gay community on any given night. It has been a few years since we have done an event geared toward the leather community, and we are excited to do so and begin an ongoing regular event.”
Bunch also notes that donation jars will be set out during the event to benefit other local AIDS charities, and a portion of the liquor sales is going to be donated as well.
The primary beneficiary of the event is PWA Holiday Charities, though. The mission of that nonprofit organization is to raise funds through donations and charitable events and distribute 100 percent of those funds for the betterment of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS during the holidays.
Friar promises an exciting lineup during the event, including Charlie Nolting, A’Maya Wesley, Marky desade, Periwinkle Blush, Queen Persephone, and Tristan Jaxx. “Starting at noon, we’ll be hosting a cigar social on the patio while hosting a drag showcase inside onstage. There will be a charity auction during the show, and from there the DJs take over and spin away in the afternoon and evening. Expect vendors, food trucks, demonstrations, and dancing! We have some amazing silk dancers joining us, as well as guys from around the various communities such as the Bayou City Pups, NLA, and Misfits providing various services. JD Arnold, Tristan Jaxx, Leo (Glovibes), and Mel are all awesome artists.”
DJ JD Arnold has been performing at Numbers since early in his career. “Numbers, which was called Babylon back in 1981 and ’82, was my first USA nightclub residency after moving here from the UK. It holds many special memories for me, back in the days when I played after-hours on Saturday nights until 10 a.m. Sunday,” he says.
Reigning Girl of Montrose Sean “Jacklyn Dior” Saunders, 38, will also be making an appearance. “PWA is important because they are a lifeline for so many in our community,” she notes. “It is imperative that we continue to support and lift up those in our community who can’t always help themselves, or who have no family to lean on for support.
For more info and tickets ($15 to $40), visit the Twisted Leather Eventbrite page.