Payasos: Leather, Laughter, and Latino in L.A.

Saturday, March 5th 11am-1pm

Those of us living in what was once called Alta California tend to forget that until 1848, we were a territory of Mexico. In fact, California was under Spanish and Mexican control twice as along as it has been one of the United States (which you would expect to blur our perspective on who the “unauthorized aliens” are).

But even in California, despite the ubiquity of porn sites like and gay icons like Ricky Martin, there was no visible, culturally Latino presence in the leather community before this decade. That such a presence not only exists now but has been enlarged and embraced is owing in no small part to a group of Southern California men equally comfortable in clown make-up and leather jockstraps, working tirelessly to support gay, leather, children’s and Latino community causes — and to have beautifully sexy, proud, fun, committed leather lives.

Join us for a conversation with four of these hot amazing men about their histories, accomplishments, mission, how they work and how they play, moderated by Patrick Mulcahey

 Leo IriarteLEO IRIARTE founded Payasos-L.A. in 2010. The very next year, seven of the nine contestants for Mr Los Angeles Leather were Latino, and Leo (competing as Mr Regiment 2011) became the first Latino to take home the title. Leo is a member of the Regiment of the Black & Tans, a Los Angeles men’s uniform club, and is also founder of Brothers In Need, for the support of community members in difficult times.

Esteban BartholoESTEBAN BARTHOLO, Mr Bullet Leather 2015, has received multiple Southland honors for community service. Alongside his roles with Payasos, Brothers In Need, and the Black & Tans, he is co-producer of “Clown Fucker” with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and active with OUTfest, the Tom of Finland Foundation, California Men who Enjoy Nudism (CMEN), Bienestar/Fuerza Positiva, AIDS Project L.A., and Autism Walk/Autism Speaks. Originally from Medellin, Colombia, he is famous for his nude desert hikes, and loves wax play, water sports, bondage, piercing, CBT, dancing, and Burning Man.

Fernando Buenrostro FERNANDO BUENROSTRO moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 2008, at the age of 19. His introduction to the Payasos came in 2013, when Esteban Bartholo responded to his social media post about wanting to make a real contribution to Los Angeles community life despite being an undocumented resident. Attracted to leather since boyhood, Fernando wore a leather harness for the first time at Los Angeles Leather Pride that year and has never looked back.

Justin Tate EmerickJUSTIN TATE EMERICK, a.k.a. Payaso Chipa Guazu, began his career with the Peace Corps in Paraguay as a Rural Health Volunteer. An LGBT activist from an early age — he is a proud gay Eagle Scout — he founded an anti-Proposition 8 organization called Roots of Equality and produced an interactive event on L.A.’s pre-Stonewall LGBT history. Justin is a friend of Avatar-L.A., enjoying bondage, flogging, and exploring new kinks. He was Mr Regiment 2013, Mr Los Angeles Leather 2013, and is Community Outreach Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Labor.


Making the Connection was an educational concept introduced in 2012 by Mr SF Leather Darren Bondy.

imgresThis year,  Leathermen’s Discussion Group is producing the seminars for LAW 2016. Founded in 1996, SFLDG has an educational mission with a once-a-month presentation of a kink/fetish/leather/BDSM skill or topical discussion, interview, or panel relevant to kinky guys and their allies. Every month, 60-150 people join us for 2 hours to meet new people, learn, and have fun. Come with a friend, or drop in on your own. With a huge audience of the most interesting folks in the Bay Area, we tend to be the best place to meet and socialize and hang out with other kinksters. You’ll be welcome.