Tony Vega captured the win for Mr. LA Leather Bear late last month after an intense competition put on by Bears LA during their ‘TransFURmation’ event at the Eagle. He added this honor to the Mr. GayDays Leather title which he had graciously took over after the prior titleholder needed to step down.
On top of all that he is a prolific adult entertainer and the creator and organizer of MeatUP USA, a fetish event catering to the body modification community. He talks about all this and more in our exclusive conversation with him below.
BWM: What drew you to the bear and leather communities?
Tony Vega: From an early age, I enjoyed more extreme types of p*rn, specifically FF, pumping and body modification. I was definitely more shy about it until I started in p*rn back in 2009. From there, I started gogo dancing as well. That was the gateway that led me into the leather scene. Aside from a leather harness here or there, I didn’t really start my serious leather collection until I started working for LeatherWerks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2021.
What was inspiring about the bear community is that you could be truly yourself physically. I had a few mentors that were very encouraging. Embracing and owning my body has been so empowering and healthy for my wellbeing.
BWM: What made you want to compete for titles in the first place?
Tony Vega: In 2019, I attended a kink festival called Pig Week in Fort Lauderdale. It is a weeklong event full of sex parties, demos, classes and dance parties. At the end of the week, they had a closing party and that’s where they bestowed me with my very first title of Mr. Pig Week. They had big plans for me to attend and compete for various other titles but we all know how 2020 turned out. Aside from virtual events, I couldn’t really do anything with the title. I was stunted because of the circumstance. So, there was a deep sense of incompletion. When things were finally “back to normal,” I threw my hat in the ring for another title, Mr. Eagle Wilton Manors. Since my first title was essentially given to me, I had no clue what I was getting myself into with actually competing for a title. Let’s just say that it was A LOT. Oh, and I didn’t even place in that competition.
BWM: Can you give me a bit of background on the Mr. LA Bear and Mr. GayDays competitions?
Tony Vega: GayDays Orlando is an event that happens every June. It is a 5-day festival that is best known for LGBTQ+ community and friends wearing red shirts to various theme parks. They have a Mr. and Miss GayDays competition. Their title holders go on to represent the organization, spreading love and education throughout the country.
Bears LA serves the greater Los Angeles area. It is an all-inclusive group, supporting camaraderie, fun and friendship, while giving to charitable causes and encouraging community service. They produce the Mr. LA Leather Bear Contest.
BWM: What are the responsibilities associated with your titles?
Tony Vega: The responsibilities are very similar for both organizations. They require you to produce events that give back to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and make appearances at local, regional and national events. Both are feeder contests, meaning, LA Leather Bear enters me into the Los Angeles Leather competition in March 2024 and Mr. GayDays enters me into International Mr. Leather in May 2024.
BWM: What are your goals for your title year? What is your platform?
Tony Vega: I am at a point in my life now that I have been embracing my truth/ kink. So, in 2022, I started a bicoastal fetish event called the MeatUp USA. It brings together body modification individuals and chasers in a safe, friendly clothing optional weekend. The event consists of pool parties, the Mr. MeatUp contest and Phallic Frolic dance party. My goal for that is to raise awareness of the silicone fetish and encourage safer medical practices.
BWM: What are some important issues you feel that need to be addressed in the bear/ leather communities?
Tony Vega: There are many issues still plaguing us as bears or persons of leather. Kink shaming and systemic racism are two very real issues that first come to mind. There are a lot of kinks out there. Just because I do not understand or I am not into some of them doesn’t mean that I lash out, take offense to them or anything like that. We already get enough flak from conservatives who misunderstand us. Who am I to judge someone who has a different kind of kink than I do? Being Puerto Rican, I have first-hand experience being treated unfairly because of the color of my skin. To say that racism is a thing of the past, is incorrect. It is still something that this country is working through and will continue working through for generations to come.
BWM: Anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
Tony Vega: I would like to add that it took me a while to get to a place where I could love myself for who I am. Owning my truth has been one of the most fulfilling things that I have ever done in my life. Just know that if you have a certain kink/ fetish, that you think is too taboo, there’s somebody out there that has the same one as you. You are not alone!
BWM: Where can we find you on the internet?
Tony Vega: You can find me on X @tonyvegaxxx Instagram @tonyvegaxx. You can find all of my other profiles at linker.ee/tonyvegaxxx. The MeatUp USA is on all social media and at our website themeatupusa.com.