A popular gay Atlanta leather enthusiast, title-holder, and leather and BDSM event organizer died on Thursday after suffering a "medical emergency."
Alan Penrod – known as much for his charm, wit and activism as his leather sex appeal – passed away suddenly, according to a Facebook post from his partners, Nitro Hankinson and David Robinson.
It is with a very heavy heart that I am having to type a message I never planned to in a million years.
Without going into specifics - Alan Penrod passed away quite suddenly this afternoon from a medical emergency.
We are still very much in shock at this point, and as soon as there are definitive plans made then we will make sure that everyone knows.
Tributes came flowing in to Penrod's Facebook page, from Atlanta's leather community to friends and supporters and leather enthusiasts he's touched across the country.
Penrod won a revitalized Mr. Atlanta Eagle contest in 2009 and then went on to snag the title of International Leather/SIR two years later. He and Hankinson were a fixture at the annual Mr. & Ms. Atlanta Eagle contest each April as well as at regular fetish nights at the Midtown bar. He also helped represent the bar in the annual Atlanta Pride parade.
Penrod and Hankinson produced the contest at the Eagle during Atlanta Leather Pride Weekend, which Penrod has served as chair. He also owned Southeast Black & Blue Weekend, an annual event in Atlanta each August.
Penrod was also co-founder of Hotlanta Rubber & Gear Club and served as president of Panther Leather/Levi Club from 2011 to 2013.
Penrod started exploring his leather side more than 20 years ago, according to his Southeast Black & Blue biography:
Alan began exploring the heavier side of the leather lifestyle and BDSM over 20 years ago and is an active member of Atlanta’s Leather, BDSM, and Fetish community. He is a full member and past President of Panther Leather/Levi club and the co-founder of the Hotlanta Rubber and Gear Club.
Alan is the co-producer of Atlanta Leather Pride and serves as the contest coach and Den Daddy for the Mr. and Ms. Atlanta Eagle and Mr. Southeast Rubber Contests. He holds the titles of International LeatherSIR 2011 and Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2009.
Alan is the co-owner of Southeast Black and Blue BDSM Weekend and coordinates the Atlanta Eagle’s FETISH Nights and monthly BDSM 101 classes. He teaches classes on a variety of topics including DOM/sub relationships, corporal punishment, whips, hot wax, and wax-mummification.
In a 2014 interview with Project Q Atlanta, Penrod discussed what it took to win Mr. Atlanta Eagle and what he learned from the experience.
What does it take to be Mr. Atlanta Eagle?
Every Mr. and Ms. Atlanta Eagle titleholder we have had since the contest was brought back in 2009 has been very different and unique, bringing something to the title that made their title year and the years that followed memorable. During the past five years our Mr. Atlanta Eagle winners have gone on to bring home one international leather title, two national leather titles and one international finalist. But the one thing I think all our Mr. and Ms. Atlanta Eagle winners have in common is our commitment to find our own way to give back to the community. Every Mr. and Ms. Atlanta Eagle has been very active not only in the local leather community, but in the greater Atlanta LGBTQ community as well.
What have you taken from your reign as Mr. Atlanta Eagle?
My title year was incredibly fun, full of travel and meeting people from across the country. But most of all, the people I met and the support I received from this great Atlanta community helped me to truly discovered who I am as a leatherman. Lessons that have help me grow as a person and helped me build friendships and family that I probably never would have done if it weren’t for my year as Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2009.
Do you have any tips for this year’s contestants?
Relax, have fun and be yourself. Oh, and did I mention have fun! The contest is designed to be fun for the contestants, the judges and everyone who comes out to watch. This year’s contest will be very interactive and entertaining for everyone involved so don’t stress out, just relax and enjoy competing for a great title.
Some of our favorite moments with Penrod:
Daddy swagger, Atlanta Pride parade, October 2013
With friends and family, Mr. & Ms. Atlanta Eagle, April 2015
With his Pup, PALS Bingo, January 2010
Organizer and enthusiast, Mr. & Ms. Atlanta Eagle, April 2014
Commanding a stage, Mr. & Ms. Atlanta Eagle, April 2012
Relinquishing the title, Mr. Atlanta Eagle, April 2010
Bloody and proud, Atlanta Pride parade, October 2014