Spilling the Tea in Sin City

By Jennifer Howe (they/them)
Photography by Curtis Joe Walker of Studio Bang Bang

Our biggest announcement of 2023 is that PROUD & Kinky will be sponsoring Leather Titles.

Nominations are currently open for these four title categories:

  • Mr. Las Vegas Leather
  • Las Vegas Person of Leather*
  • Las Vegas Pup of Leather
  • Las Vegas Bootblack

If you or anyone you know deserves to be nominated for a leather title, please email us at hello@proudandkinky.com. We are collecting nominations until the end of February 2023. Then we will move into the next phase of the nomination process, which will be a process of vetting and peer review. *The Las Vegas Person of Leather will get a specific title that is characteristic of the individual who accepts the nomination, a few possible options: Mx. / Mrs. / Miss / Trans person or leather / Leatherboy. This title is open to anyone who thinks they would be a good fit as a representative for the community. All the leather title holders will get the opportunity to compete in International Mr. Leather (IML) as well as travel and serve as PROUD & Kinky’s representative for the 2023-24 year.

Las Vegas PRIDE 2022 Royalty with Pups

Service and showing up to help foster community are big components of being a titleholder. I had the opportunity to ask our current royalty members a bit more about what serving in that role means to them and what opportunities they got to experience in 2022.

Mr. Las Vegas Pride 2022, Kevin Heward

What does pride mean to you, Kevin?

Pride means being your authentic self, allowing you to feel comfortable where you are, and allowing others to feel that vibe. It’s hard to be LGBTQ+ in this world, and we need to push forward for everybody to understand that we’re here and that we need to love ourselves too. It’s just about making sure that everyone is loving everybody.

What have you learned while being more in the limelight this year as a royalty representative?

It can be quite taxing. I’m personally not all about the pomp and circumstance. I did the military, and that was good enough for me. It is something the community really thrives on, having that type of representation. For me, it’s been a fun, humbling experience and enjoying the limelight, but at the same time, it’s been go, go, go, rush, rush, rush, doing all the background stuff, then coming out on stage and being that representation with a smile and the outfit.

What is the best part?

The best part is just how much fun everybody is having. One thing I had to learn is whether you’re in the back, on stage, or you’re just dealing with the meshing of everything going on, you just have to look around and notice, oh yeah, everyone is really, really, really enjoying themselves and having a lot of fun, having that camaraderie and enjoying the pride that is (all around).

What has been your favorite travel opportunity?

San Diego was amazing; they put on a great pride, and everything was so close. They obviously have a huge community, so it is nice to step into a community that is so big and has that neighborhood experience. Another one was Reno. I did not expect the turnout that Reno got. Reno was this amazing gathering of all sorts of LGBTQ+ people, and it was just shocking to see because I didn’t realize how much was out there. I want Vegas to experience that. We have many just hidden in the shadows that need to join us in the sun and the fun.

Miss Las Vegas Pride 2022, Jolene Secrets

What does pride mean to you?

Pride for me is about feeling proud of my accomplishments. It’s about being able to appreciate who I am, what I am, and what I can achieve not only as a drag queen but as a Deaf drag queen. It’s also about freedom, expressing my gender, and having the confidence to just be me. To have all parts of me accepted.

What does being a Royalty representative mean to you?

Being Royalty means that no matter your barriers, you can make your dreams come true. I had never seen someone representing me as a part of Royalty, so I thought that someone with my kind of disability wouldn’t and couldn’t be Royalty, but I worked through my fears and tried anyways and, to my surprise, won! Being that kind of role model to others is a huge sense of pride and honor.

What has been your favorite travel opportunity?

By far, San Diego was my favorite travel opportunity. Not only were there lots of people that I met but the sense of community while we were there was amazing. Meeting the LGBTQ+ and Deaf community made me feel proud that both cultures can coexist and show others that one little dream can become true, and if they have such dreams, they can do it!

What do you think the local queer community needs?

The local queer community needs more involvement with the disabled community, including the Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing. To show them that they too can be a part of not just the royalty group but also that they are welcome, to give them a sense of belonging to not just limited in their own groups but that they are welcomed in the LGBTQ+ community. Let them know that we are all human no matter our barriers, and we all can do what we dream of doing and that someday they too can be a representative of their own culture and perhaps influence the next generation of LGBTQ+ DHHl. Also, opening communication for the Deaf community includes the importance of clear communication for both the hearing and Deaf peoples.

The Las Vegas pup community is full of diversity and the sweetest pups. We had a blast getting this pack of pups together for the cover shoot. I wanted to hear what they had to say about the pup lifestyle and get the paw on the pulse of the local community.

Pup Alffy

How long have you been a Pup?

Pup Alffy: (Stands with his Blue tail wagging) For three years.

What drew you to the lifestyle?

Pup Alffy: A lot of things I enjoy about being a pup are the people; I like them.

You’re an exhibitionist, I know you are, I can tell.

Pup Alffy: Yes! I am so much.

Pup Red

What type of master do you like?

Pup Red: I like one who’s more of an Omega, who does both. Who can switch between the two. I am a switch and can be more dominant and then be taken over from time to time, so it just depends.

What’s your favorite pup activity?

Pup Red: Bathtime

Why is bathtime your favorite?

Pup Red: Because I get all the rubs and scrubs that I want.

Oh yeah? Do you get the zoomies?

Pup Red: (Nods head strongly) Mmhmm!

Pup Baron

What do you like most about being a pup?

Pup Baron: Freedom

How often do you play in the lifestyle?

Pup Baron: As much as I can. Live it!

How often is that?

Pup Baron: 5 days a week.

What’s your favorite pup activity?

Pup Baron: Cuddle time.

What’s your favorite Treat?

Pup Baron: Bones (Jumps up and down and howls as he bounces off).

Pup Major

How long have you been in the lifestyle?

Pup Major: Since 2020 actually, fairly new.

What’s your favorite pup activity?

Pup Major: Throwing pup events with the LVPC. I’m an admin and leader of the group with Muttly. We throw pup events and kink events, and all gender-queer kink parties.

What are your other kinks besides pup play?

Pup Major: Watersports

How long would you say you have led a kinky lifestyle?

Pup Major: It’s always been there, but I just got more comfortable with being open with it. By getting introduced to more pups and introduced to more people in the kink community. How long? A while, I can’t really pinpoint it.

Pup Muttly

What’s your favorite pup activity?

Pup Muttly: So far, it’s been getting the pups together, and actually like doing things, with the other pups. I’m actually not too much of a pup in the bedroom.

Ya just stick with the pack activities, I gotcha. How long have you been in the lifestyle?

Pup Muttly: Three years now, since I was 18. I was like, “I’m getting into that as soon as I can.”

What would you like to see the pup community doing in the next few years?

Pup Muttly: I do want to see it grow and get more unified because I’ve noticed that over time, certain groups pop up, and then they fall, pop up, then fall, so I want to see more unification.

How would you try to do that?

Pup Muttly: Keep doing what we’re doing now, and having events that people want to go to, that people want to see. Addressing concerns within the pup community and outsiders about the pup community. I know that it’s a controversial topic for people who don’t know about it.

It’s the cutest topic for people who do know about it. (We both laugh)

Pup Muttly:(Smiles wide) It’s a lot more innocent than people notice it being.

Pup Rockruff

How long have you been in the lifestyle?

Pup Rockruff: Probably about three-four years

What is your favorite pup activity?

Pup Rockruff: Right now, it’s the Las Vegas Pup Coalition. Getting together at the Eagle for group togetherness with other pups

What other kinks do you have?

Pup Rockruff: I wouldn’t say I had much kink because pup is a kink for me, but it’s also a lifestyle persona for me because it extends beyond the hood. I don’t need a hood to be a pup.

What drew you to the pup lifestyle?

Pup Rockruff: I think I’ve always been that way. It’s kinda funny but I was a Tigger before I was a pup. Because if you think about it, there is a lot of persona that Tigger exhibits that is pup-like. So I think I have always been a pup, my whole life, but I didn’t know about the pup lifestyle until I got a little bit older and got exposed to it.

Pup Leo

How long have you been a pup?

A little under a year.

What’s your favorite pup activity?

Pupping out with Beta.

What other Kinks do you have?

Exhibitionist, fisting, giving and receiving, just anything that feels right with the right person.

You have a newcomer perspective, so what do you think the pup community needs?

I think it needs more unity. But we’re getting there slowly, just gathering pups, like today, on short notice, shows that we’re willing to unify. It’s just having the unified voice to create the community and grow it out. I think it’s definitely achievable; it’s something we can do and something we need.

Pup Gizmo

How long have you been in the pup lifestyle?

Pup Gizmo: I have been a pup for over five years

What is your favorite pup activity?

Pup Gizmo: So my hood is more of an accessory that I wear out in public for pup events, but truthfully, puppy for me is a lot more of a mentality and headspace. I like pupping out with fellow pups, either sexually or socially. You’re not going to find me at the mosh pit with balls being super rowdy. You’re more likely to find me being super snuggly and very affectionate

What do you think the pup community needs since you’ve been in the lifestyle for five years?

Pup Gizmo: 501(c)3 status

Pup Roughf

How long have you been a pup?

I have been an official pup for three years now.

What type of master do you like?

That’s a tough one. As a switch, I can be a Master myself. A Master that understands I submit by choice. One that can never make me unless I give permission, but I can give permission for consensual non-consent. Ultimately, someone I can have open communication with and that I feel comfortable talking to, and will still be there. I wanna worship. Give me a reason.

What’s your favorite pup activity?

As more of a lone wolf pup right now, I dunno know. Still exploring that. Other than the sexual aspect and the daily general derpy horn dog mindset, I like rubs and walkies.

What do you think the local queer community needs?

Actual community. Work schedules that accommodate more puppers being able to attend events, 24/7 schedules fuck crap up. Maybe the rebirth of LAS-PAH. But a community organization like that requires committed people to be a part and support it. If you want it, sometimes you have to help make it.

PROUD & Kinky Magazine - Issue 2

This article was originally published in the second issue of PROUD & Kinky Magazine. You may read it in its original format here.