Peter LaBarbera Celebrates Memorial Weekend at Leather Event

Timothy Kincaid

May 30th, 2008

lababs2.jpg This past weekend I went to Disneyland. It was a little rainy so the lines were short and we had a wonderful time. The next day we went to The Magic Castle for a great meal and to be amazed by prestidigitation. Throw in dinner at Saddleranch (so my friends could ride the mechanical bull), a walk on Venice Beach, and a showing of Indiana Jones and it was quite the gay weekend.

Meanwhile, Peter LaBarbera was living up to his nickname and having quite another type of gay weekend. He spent his Memorial Day celebration at the International Mr. Leather competition in Chicago. IML is an event, mostly for gay men, that celebrates the leather community. It also appeals to fetishists including those whose sexual tastes run to the unconventional or peculiar.

IML really isn’t my cup of tea – I tend to think leather is best when made into a belt or a pair of shoes. So it would never cross my mind to trek out to Chicago and spend my time in a hotel ballroom gawking at fetish porn.

But LaBarbera never misses a year.

And, yet again, Memorial Weekend found him oogling men in leather regalia and taking pictures of every bare butt cheek or risque poster he could find. Pete could hardly wait to get back to tell his buddy Matt “Bam Bam” Barber about all of the pig sex and watersports and “sodomy on steroids” that he found. Just think, gasp, of all the raunchy sex that was going on right in the very hotel where he was standing! Pete and Bam Bam almost worked themselves into a froth going on about anal sex and fetishes and all sorts of “satanic, depraved sodomitic orgies involving feces and urine”.

Now I’m a tolerant guy. If you’d rather check out the Pecs and Personality contest than sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s no business of mine. If your idea of fun is a boot shining contest rather than watching a really impressive card trick, who am I to complain?

But if you go, I have a word of advice: avoid getting your picture taken by LaBarbera. I don’t even want to think about how Pete uses those pictures. Ick.

See also:
LaBarbera Blames Gays for Heterosexual Beastiality Porn

Jim Burroway

May 30th, 2008

Gosh, after all the things that LaBarbera talks about in his post, maybe next year I’ll go and see it for myself.

It would never have occured to me to go otherwise, but gee — LaBarbera seems to have so much fun there…


May 30th, 2008

Pete gets to go on all the fun trips. Folsom, IML, Steamworks…..

None of them are really for me personally but hey, if Peter wants to let his freak flag fly who am I to stand in his way.

Jason D

May 30th, 2008

I’ve been to IML a couple times over the past few years. The first few times it was just to check out the leather market — which runs the gammut from simple hats, boots, vests, to all kinds of things I don’t think you want me to describe on a work-friendly site :) I noticed that there are just as many people there to gawk and go “ohmygod” as their are people who are serious enthusiasts.

There’s also all sorts of events, most of them way overpriced. Last year I attended the Black & Blue Ball, with my partner, which wasn’t any different than what you’d expect – dancing, Madonna Remixes, and people in leather outfits.

Margaret Cho said it best, “there’s some weird connection between the leather community, star trek conventions, and the renaissance fair.” It’s a lot of dress-up and playing make-believe, some of it healthy, some of it creepy. Most of it not all that shocking when you stop to think that if wearing a costume makes you feel happy and doesn’t hurt anyone, what’s the big deal?

Emily K

May 30th, 2008

“Most of it not all that shocking when you stop to think that if wearing a costume makes you feel happy and doesn’t hurt anyone, what’s the big deal?”

Sometimes it DOES “hurt” someone.. (S&M, anyone?) but I agree with that statement. As well as I agree with the right for consenting adults to practice S&M in a safe, legal environment.

Jason D, please go again and this time try to find Pete and photograph him!! The gay blogosphere would be abuzz to no end!!

Seriously though, I think LaBabs is the only guy outside the serious gay leather enthusiast crowd that never misses an IML convention.

Jason D

May 30th, 2008

“Sometimes it DOES “hurt” someone.. (S&M, anyone?)”


Guess I should’ve said:

“Most of it not all that shocking when you stop to think that if wearing a costume makes you feel happy and doesn’t hurt anyone who DID NOT specifically ASK you to hurt them, what’s the big deal?”

JJ in Chicago

May 30th, 2008

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I was at the Hyatt on Friday and went to the Leather Market, as I do each year.

What Pete is not being upfront about is the Hyatt was closed to the public that weekend. There was a sign at the door, right when you enter, stating that the Hyatt was closed to the public and was sold out.

He also doesn’t mention that you MUST show a government ID (3 times!) as you wind your way through the checkpoints and finally sign in, in order to enter the Leather Market (which is where he heads each year).

(Keep in mind IML is a series of events, culminating with the contest on Sunday night.)

He also never mentions that there is never reports of trouble with the leathermen. You know, like the spring break crowd of heterosexuals in Florida.

The Hyatt and the Palmer House want their business, because IML is a good crowd. That’s a known fact here in Chicago that he just can’t get over.

I pose this question to Pete: Why don’t you ever report on the AVN awards (straight porn awards). It was broadcast on Showtime cable and held in a Las Vegas hotel.

Don’t you care what Ron Jeremy or Jenna Jameson did in a hotel room there?


May 30th, 2008

Oh, good lord. That audio is almost hysterical. I don’t think you could write a better farce than the one they’ve created! But then, in comes the almost: it’s not a farce, but an actual serious discussion in their eyes. Which is pretty sad.

Those are two odd, odd men. Especially LaBarbara.


May 30th, 2008

I think we should go to a straight leather freak gathering and do a report on those evil hetero types.


May 31st, 2008

Scaring poor Christians out of money with exaggerated tales of soiled hotel rooms doesn’t seem very Christian to me. Just think: he feeds his kids with the money he makes off these porno-laced fear-tactics. And NARTH is yet another 501(c)3 tax-exempt bigotry factory on the dole.
Pete never talks about straights (of whom there are many more in this world, getting up to the exact same antics in much higher numbers,) or what their hotel rooms look like. It takes a few “Christian” white lies for him to keep his pockets full, and he knows it. And we pay the human cost.

Regan DuCasse

May 31st, 2008

How many times does LaBarbera have to go to make a point?
Why go at all? Wouldn’t sending for promotional material be enough and leave it at that?

There are billboards all over my neighborhood advertising ‘gentlemen’s clubs’. And there is an Erotica Expo coming up in early June.
I don’t have to go to either place to know what’s happeneing there.
Not my scene, not my interest.

But if I kept going to those places all the while saying it’s not my interest, but I’m just here to check out the fire exits….would any of you question my motives and integrity?
‘Course ya would!

So why isn’t Americans for Truth calling on LaB’s motives and intergrity for REALLY going?

JJ in Chicago

June 1st, 2008


Peter LaBarbera runs Americans for Truth. So nobody will call upon him to explain his real motives. It’s his operation. He is/was a registered lobbyist with the State of Illinois.

News media here in Illinois avoid this guy like the plague. And so do national conservative leaders like Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Pat Robertson. They all know he’s a freak.

He did work for the Family Research Council in Washington DC (“culture facts”), a column that was obsessed with homosexuality, due to him.

From there he came to Illinois to run the Illinois Family Institute, which again had a higher percentage of gay-related articles while he was there.

With AFTAH, it’s all homosexuality, all the time– just the way he likes it. (He says very little about lesbians.)

See, he’s feeding his pathology and miserable existence. If he wanted to get away from all this, he could move to Arkansas. But he won’t, because deep down inside he’s got a fire in his belly that just won’t go away.

In the end, Americans for Truth will go belly up financially and he’ll have no excuse to come into the City (by that I mean Chicago– he lives in the suburbs) and conduct “research” in a Paul Cameron style.

Eventually we’ll all read about this guy getting arrested with his pants down around his ankles at some truck stop. He’ll slink off into oblivion just like Ted Haggard.

And Pete’s wife and 5 kids will have to endure a broken family, simply because their husband and father has a self-loathing obsession with men who love other men.


June 1st, 2008

There a tendency of humans noted by psychology (I’ve forgotten the name) that people who have struggled with something cope with their problem by going to the opposite extreme. It’s why so many ex-gay groups are run by “ex-“gays. By outwardly working against homosexuality their inward feelings will lose potency. It’s another suggestion that Porno Pete motivation.

In all fairness, there was an annual bears conference that met once a year in Chicago. They disbanded a couple years partly because every year they needed a different hotel because no previous hotel would put up with their outlandish behavior. The Be All, however, a transgender woman’s conference in Chicago gets glowing reviews from their hosts.


June 2nd, 2008

Two quick things;

1) IML is one of the best times you could have. If you’re ever in Chicago Memorial Day weekend you have to stop by and walk through the Leather Market (truly unbelievable) and the actual IML competition, essentially a the Miss American contest for Leather Men… they even give speeches.

2)Peter LaBarbera is an interesting character. While I think it’s a small possibility, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a raging, repressed closet case. He might also have figured out an easy way to make a living and get out of the house. A few years ago when the Gay Games came to Chicago I attended a press conference set up by Pete for all his 3rd string homophobic friends. During the press conference he was all arch-conservative and quick to anger. But afterwards he was friendly and approachable and seemed to sincerely apologize to a couple gay (journalists or bloggers, it was hard to tell). His actions and interactions after the TV cameras left was much like an actor after the play. I’m not saying he’s not a potentially dangerous nut job (albeit, one who has a hard time getting the choir to pay attention when he preaches), but there’s definitely something interesting and unexplained going on with Pete. Just not sure what it is.


June 2nd, 2008

You gotta hand it to LaBerbera; he’s got everything on that web site of his! Lists of who’s providing partner benefits, lists and links to the big 20 gay organizations. It’s like a gay wikipedia! He’s doing us such a service, really.


April 25th, 2009

Pete and “Bam Bam” remind me so much of J.Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson…

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