Marlon Morales (born March 1974) is Latin-American leather titleholder, community leader and volunteer. He was Mr. Regiment 2012 and went on to win Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2012. At International Mr. Leather, he placed 4th. He is currently the Chairman of the Los Angeles Leather Coalition (LALC). He is a producer of leather festivals and title contests.
Early Life and Education
Morales was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. He immigrated with his family at an early age and set up roots in Los Angeles, California. He attended Hollywood High School and the University of California, Los Angeles.
In the Leather Community
Morales came out into the leather scene in 2005. He recalls that for as long as he remembers there was always an attraction to all things rough and rugged. Sister Erotica Psychotica helped nudge him along his leather journey. There is a far reaching narrative still unfolding.
His speech at Mr. Los Angeles Leather was called “What’s there to do? How can I help? Whatever it takes” and at IML 2012 was called “Face-to-face, Heart-to-heart, Crotch-to-crotch”.
Quoted in the Fight Magazine (March 2013) article Live Deeply: Marlon Morales, Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2012, On Pushing Limits, Equality and Raw Honesty, Morales stated:
“I knew that the leather community could help me push my limits and explore life deeply. I believe leather men meet face-to-face, crotch-to-crotch and heart-to-heart, and as a result we live out a raw honesty that is vitally needed in our increasingly self-absorbed and alienated world…In the leather community I’ve felt the most connected to the history of what made the modern struggle for gay acceptance and equality so meaningful.”
Morales co-founded the Leather-to-Leather Award with Ray Tilton.
Morales’ Mr. Regiment vest showcases the coat of arms of the Regiment of the Black and Tans centered with black and tan piping. The words Mr. Regiment are embroidered above on a leather pennant sewn on vest with black and tan piping. The year 2012 is embroidered centered on the crest marquee ribbon. His Mr. Los Angeles vest has quilted elements of the leather pride flag with an embroidered overlay of the 2012 branded fetish pride gear with the words Mr. Los Angeles Leather encircling. The abbreviated “L.A.” is highlighted in a font that pays homage to the urban lifestyle of the city and embroidered above is the skyline of Los Angles. Both vests were fabricated by Adrian Bernal at Rough Trade Gear.
Key figures, friends and mentors during Morales’ title year include Jesse Vanciel, Mr. San Francisco Leather 2012, Race Bannon, Guy Baldwin, Mike Gerle, and Leo Iriarte (the founder of Payasos LA).
Career and Personal Life
Morales has over twenty years of experience across diverse industries – commercial and nonprofit – and in a variety of business environments, including business development, sales, project management, strategic planning, global expansion, and social impact initiatives. He began his career in 1996 in the nonprofit sector as an advocate for civil and human rights. His work especially advanced equality and justice for LGBTQ communities, people of color and others on the margins of society. In 2015 he made a career change and joined a leading national commercial venture with ties to over 50 counties globally. Other areas of personal interest include corporate social responsibility and diversity and inclusion.
He lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
Awards and Honors
LALC Brotherhood Award (2012) (Renamed The Bob Tomasino Brotherhood Award)
George Wong Person of the Year (2013)
City of Los Angeles – Mayor Eric Garcetti – Certificate of Appreciation for Exemplary Service as Chairman Los Angeles Leather Pride (2016)
Leather to Leather Award (2017)
Berlin Leather Fetish – Urkunde (Commendation) – for Community Building (2017)
Inductions, Leadership, Clubs & Membership
Payasos LA (2010), Charter Member
Los Angeles Band of Brothers (2012)
The Regiment of the Black and Tans (2013), Officer. First Lieutenant – Recording (cite date served)
LA30. Charter Member, The Founder’s Legion
San Francisco Band of Brothers (2017)
Los Angeles Leather Coalition (LALC) Board of Directors, Chairman (2016-2018), Secretary (2014-2016)
Los Angeles Leather Pride (LALP) Planning Committee. Director, Fundraising (2013), Chairman (2014-2017)