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Centaur MC, the 50-year-old leather organization that hosts one of the nation’s oldest, most beloved, and best-attended LGBTQ leather events, Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, officially announced on Monday night that the 2021 event is canceled. MAL is held annually in Washington, D.C., traditionally over the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend in January.
In recent years, MAL participation has exploded, attracting an international crowd of more than 3,000 attendees over a four-day celebration of life in leather. Its hallmarks include a Leather Cocktails event, a massive Leather Marketplace, featuring leather and fetish vendors from around the world, and the weekend’s crowning glory, the Mr. MAL Contest.
After much deliberation, the Centaur MC membership voted on Sunday, Sept. 13, to cancel the event due to uncertainty surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, citing an abundance of safety and responsibility to the health of the community as its primary reasoning.
In a Facebook post on Monday evening, Centaur MC president Todd White wrote:
To our leather friends, family and supporters,
It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this letter. The Centaur MC had their monthly meeting on Sunday September thirteenth. Following a long discussion and a lot of consideration, the membership voted to cancel MAL 2021. This was not an easy decision, but with current trends and local regulations there wasn’t a way to hold the event in a safe and responsible manner….
We have already started planning MAL 2022 and look forward to welcoming you back to the Mid-Atlantic for an amazing weekend. Stay safe and look out for one another. Until once again we can gather together, reminisce with old friends, and create memories with new ones.
White also posted details on refunds for those who pre-purchased host hotel reservations and weekend packages.
For those at the Hyatt Regency, the event’s host hotel, room reservation will be automatically canceled, and deposits will be refunded. (Attendees should watch for an email verification.) A link for MAL 2022 reservations will go live on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET. Reminders of this date and time will be sent out by the club closer to the date.
Those who booked their stay in other hotels will need to contact the hotels directly to cancel their reservations.
Participants who purchased a “full run package” will get an automatic refund back to their credit card or bank accounts.
David Spivey, the current Mr. MAL titleholder, will continue in his role representing the Centaurs for another full year. He will represent the organization at IML (International Mr. Leather) in Chicago in May, 2021, which, as of this time, has not been canceled.
The cancelation of MAL is another in a year where hundreds of other landmark LGBTQ events — including Washington, D.C.’s Capital Pride — have been completely canceled or moved into a virtual setting.
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