Meet Marco Antonio Valadez: Mr. Regiment Leather 2017

Why is your current title important to you?

The Mr. Regiment title represents who I am as a person. To be honest, I didn’t know much about the Regiment of the Black and Tans until I met Leo Iriarte and Esteban Bartholo, a couple that has been heavily involved in the leather community for many years. It was when Leo and Esteban introduced me to the organization that I became interested. Because of the Black and Tans’ purpose and objective to “foster brotherhood and be of service to the community,” I grew to love and respect its members. Through these men, I have learned to grow in my identity, as a Leatherman, and grow in my understanding of masculinity and sexuality. In addition to this, the title of Mr. Regiment is important because I can be myself: a proudly educated, passionate, sex-positive professional who seeks brotherhood and to be of service to others.

In addition to representing a group of men unified by a fetish for leather uniforms, Mr. Regiment also represents sex positivity and philanthropic support of a variety of communities. For example, I have seen previous title holders of Mr. Regiment who are dedicated to the leather community and provide financial support and care to others. In addition to this, these men have numerous sex parties and donate the money to the AIDS Lifecycle. Through these events, I witness these men express their sexuality with dignity and pride. This is who I am and who I want to be, and that is what Mr. Regiment represents to me.

What do the colors of the leather pride flag mean to you?

I smile at this question because I tend to use emoticons constantly – especially the heart emoji. That is what the leather pride flag means to me. It is a flag about love, acceptance, and pride in your sexuality through leather. I could Google the meaning of the colors and the history behind it and basically copy and paste, but I am not doing that. Instead, I will tell you a short story. About a year ago, I began a job as an Analyst for a bank holding company in Pasadena. When I got to the location on my first day, I drove around the parking lot looking for a space to park in. I found an open spot, and right next to me was a car with a Leather flag sticker. For about six months, I would always park next to the car hoping to see the driver. I never did, and I still haven’t. However, every time I park next to the car with the Leather flag sticker, I feel comfort. I feel a sense of unity. I feel safe. I feel horny. I feel like we know each other, through the flag and the community to which we both belong.

If somebody contacted you about visiting LA, what would be on your must see/do list?

The first thing that came to mind was Elysium Park because I cruise there, and I have had some crazy hot sex there. But I also think about places like Slammer, the Zone, and Midtown Spa for some fun. Also, I would hope that this person would be come during the summer because there are tons of play parties, especially the Payaso pool parties and Stan’s naked parties (splash and pig emoji).

But for others that may like to enjoy Los Angeles in a different way, I would recommend a visit to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives near USC, the Tom of Finland house in Echo Park, and the bars of Los Angeles like the Eagle, the Bullet, Precinct, and Faultline.

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What is your favorite movie and why?

My favorite movie is based on a true story set in the early 1900s called “The King of Devils Island” because there is a metaphor that is told throughout the movie. The metaphor is about a whale that is captured and is ultimately killed. The story goes that the whale fought and fought and fought all day, and didn’t give up until its final breath. At the same time (in the movie), there is a teenage boy sent to a rehabilitation home on an Island where clergy are supposed to help those admitted. Instead, the clergy mistreat and abuse them. The relentless boy becomes a protector of another boy which is targeted by the clergy. As the story develops, the viewers find that the teenage boy does not give up and thus is like the whale in the story. This relentless boy is very much like me.

What is the funniest thing to happen to you during sex?

…I can’t think of anything funny. I guess something that is close to being funny is that someone threw up on my dick, and I make them clean it, with their mouth. I said, “well it came out of you, so clean it up!” (Hey, some guys like that. Who am I to judge?)

What do you hope to accomplish in your title year?

I don’t know yet. I will know when I get there, but I have some ideas. I would like to do some kind of Latino Tom of Finland art juxtaposition. I would like to continue the sex parties to raise money for various communities in need. I would also like to strengthen the understanding about the leather community in mainstream society by creating a documentary around title holders. And I am also inspired by Jeffry Erdman’s activism/passion with the aging community. I don’t know yet. I am very teachable, so with guidance and the passion I bring, I know I will accomplish what I set out to do.