January 15, 2020 at 11:01 am EST | by Joey DiGuglielmo
QUEERY: Mike Babbitt
Mike Babbitt, gay news, Washington Blade
Mike Babbitt (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Last month may have been “the most wonderful time of the year” for some, but for others, it’s now — Mid-Atlantic Leather (MAL) Weekend. 

“It’s my favorite event every year,” says DJ Mike Babbitt. “I’m lucky to travel to all sorts of gay events and parties and have to say MAL is at the top of my list.”


“I have a harness and an embarrassingly large collection of jocks, etc. I’m a big fan of the kink scene and love men who are adventurous and celebrate what gets them excited,” the 53-year-old says. “I’ve always enjoyed the men in the leather scene.” 

Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend runs all weekend with a full schedule of official events and dozens of piggybacking parties that literally give you round-the-clock options all weekend. Details at leatherweekend.com.

Mike Babbitt will spin on the rooftop at Flashy Leather Edition Sunday at 10 p.m. at Flashy Sundays (645 Florida Ave., N.W.). Cover is $30 and extended bar runs until 4 a.m. Look for the event on Facebook for details.

Babbitt has been spinning for 20 years and travels around the world to spin. He’s at the rooftop beer bust at Uproar every Sunday from 5-9 p.m.

This will be Babbitt’s eighth MAL weekend. He says D.C.’s gay leather community is “large, diverse, inclusive and packed with friendly men.” 

Babbitt grew up moving every two years. After 10 years in D.C., he says it’s home. He works by day as executive producer at Da Capo Music, a record company he co-owns with a friend. 

He enjoys DJing, teaching fitness classes, video games and attending dance performances in his free time. 

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell? 

I’ve been out 25 years. Hardest to tell my mother. 

Who’s your LGBTQ hero? 

Harvey Milk 

What LGBTQ stereotype most annoys you? 

That we are monolithic as a community. 

What’s your proudest professional achievement?

I composed a ballet score for a small company. The experience and joy over the years has been very rewarding. 

What terrifies you? 

I don’t feel terrified much (other than extreme heights or showing up to a DJ gig unprepared) but I do worry sometimes a little too much about what people might think of me or what I’m doing. 

What’s something trashy or vapid you love? 

Where do I start?!!! A simple thing would be an obsession I used to have with Honey Boo Boo and her reality show. I also couldn’t get enough of “Toddlers & Tiaras.” On a different subject, I love trashy clubs including sex clubs. 

What’s your greatest domestic skill? 

I’m pretty damn good at cooking comfort food. 

What’s your favorite LGBTQ movie or show? 

“Brokeback Mountain,” “Call Me By Your Name,” “Hedwig,” “Dead Poets Society” 

What’s your social media pet peeve? 

Everything! I have not been able to find my personal voice or rhythm on any of the platforms and so I mostly avoid them. They seem dangerous to me. 

What would the end of the LGBTQ movement look like to you? 

This is difficult to imagine but I guess it would be a world where we simply didn’t have to make any sacrifices to be totally accepted. 

What’s the most overrated social custom? 

Saving face.

What was your religion, if any, as a child and what is it today? 

I was brought up in a strict Mormon household. I went on a Mormon mission and even graduated from Brigham Young University. Today I follow a mashup of things I’ve learned over the years. 

What’s D.C.’s best hidden gem? 

For me it’s a restaurant called Pho Viet on 14th Street owned by a couple who lives above the shop. Hands down the most delicious Pho in the city. 

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime? 

There are so many but one of the biggest for me was Donna Summer’s release of her “Bad Girls” album in 1979. 

What celebrity death hit you hardest? 

Heath Ledger 

If you could redo one moment from your past, what would it be? 

I would go back and be more watchful over a beloved dog that I took to the park and when I wasn’t paying attention she died. This moment haunts me and I desperately wish I had been paying closer attention. This is personal sadness I will carry to the grave. 

What are your obsessions? 

Music, music, music whether composing, listening, performing, learning. I love to watch ballet and modern dance. People and relationships. 

Finish this sentence — It’s about damn time: 

… we figure out how to ease human suffering across the board. 

What do you wish you’d known at 18? 

That I was gay. 

Why Washington? 

I moved to Washington to open a record company with a lifelong friend who is a native here. 

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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