We’ll do our best to avoid the puns and double entendres from this point on. Pig Week events begin across 18 different venues in Broward County Nov. 29 – at leather-themed bed and breakfasts, guest houses, bars and clubs – most are located in Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale.
This is the sixth Pig Week, which was started by Chad Bush – the main thrust behind the week and also a longtime (12 years and running) bartender at Ramrod.
The venerable gay leather bar with different theme nights, DJs and parties serves as host to many of the week’s festivities.
“You’re looking at seven parties a day at major venues – everybody takes part,” he said.
Bush said almost 34,000 attended a Pig Week event in 2018.
New this year, is the Psycho Circus Party – “kind of cray, huge party,” Bush said. (The location had not yet been announced at press time)
After being “in this town for a long time” and going to bear parties and being involved in leather charities and leather events, Bush decided he’d “start [his] own deal.”
Ideas came easy as Ramrod had been hosting its Pig Dance around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday since time immemorial.
But Bush wanted to offer people options to extend the weekend into a week; to give gay men a weeklong buffet of things to do.
“The weekend is always very, very big – so the thought process was: How do we get people to stay in Broward County?” he said.
And Bush wants gays to know that all men are pigs. This is an inclusive event.
“People say: ‘I’d love to come, but I don’t identify as a bear; I don’t identify as a leather guy,’” he said.
Bush said events are open to leather men, bears, jocks, twinks, regular Joes, bodybuilders and gay men of all varieties.
About 70 percent of registrations come from outside of Florida and 50 percent of those are from outside of the country, Bush said.
“It’s been an odyssey,” he said. “All the bars work together and everyone has been so great over the years.”
For Bush, there’s also a macro-view of Pig Week that he stays connected with.
“For years and years, people stifled their sexuality,” he said. “And here we are in the age of PrEP and people are starting to free themselves and relax their brain about what turns them on and what makes them a pig. The sexual revolution is back. People are no longer afraid. The mindset about how men think about their sexuality is not constrained by fear anymore – [Pig Week has] opened up a whole world for people.”
Pig Week runs through Dec. 8. The best way to stay connected with all the parties, options and pricing is at PigWeek.com.
Leather Masked Ball
It’s promoted as part of Pig Week festivities, but is an event that stands on its own, too.
The Leather Masked Ball is described by organizers as “South Florida’s premier annual charity dance party centered around the leather community.”
No convincing needed.
The Lambda Men’s Brotherhood is once again the host, in this, the 14th year.
DJ Herbie James will spin tunes and there will be bondage demonstrations by the South Florida Minotaurs.
Of course there will be leather men and exotic dancers everywhere you look. Mr. Ramrod 2019 is expected to make an appearance as well.
If that’s not enough, you can feast your eyes on various jocks in athletic gear, doms in uniform and puppies and furries.
All the ticket proceeds benefit the group’s grant recipients – Tertium Quid, the Leather Archives and Museum and Gilda’s Club South Florida.
Since 2006, the event has raised more than $215,000 for nonprofits like Care Resource, Pridelines, the Pet Project for Pets, Tuesday's Angels, the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, the Pride Center, Equality Florida and the OneOrlando Fund.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. The event will be held at Scandals, located at 3073 NE 6th Ave. in Wilton Manors.
Note: Pig Week registration does not include a ticket to the Leather Masked Ball. Go to lmbftl.org for more information.