Our current reigning Mr. Eagle 2022 and co-founder of the Gotham Kennel Club, Pup Kenzo Onyx embraces kink aplenty while doing good for the world. [Cover photo: Joshua Rodriguez]
Thotyssey: Thanks so much for talking to us Kenzo, and much belated congrats on winning Mr. Eagle 2022! When you’re not wearing it, where do you keep your sash?
Kenzo Onyx: I keep it hanging next to my big mirror, right by my bed.
If that mirror could talk, lol! Was Mr. Eagle your first competition?
No, my first competition was the Northeast Puppy and Handlers Contest.
The “pup play” kink scene has been around for awhile, but seems to have only recently blossomed in New York. What about it appeals to you?
What I love about pup play is that anyone can be a Pup. I always tell people that a lot of puppies are here to escape from life, and just be their authentic selves.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in The Bronx, but also lived in Louisiana for over 10 years.
And when did you get into the leather / kink scene?
I found kink at a really young age, when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was scrolling through the internet trying to find a cure for my bedwetting, but digging a little too deep I found a community of people who enjoyed life as Adult Babies. I was in such amazement, the ways these people where so happy about there lifestyle. So I had to try it out, and I fell in love. As I grew older in the community, I realized there weren’t a lot of people that looked like me. So I went searching for them, and I found a family that taught me the fundamentals of what it means to be in BDSM, and a family of Black Men who taught me what it means it be Black in the community.
Did you ever present as a Pup and an Adult Baby simultaneously?
Yes! In fact, the the two correlate very well. The majority of it all is about headspace and relinquishing control, and accepting your vulnerability.
Lots of people are shy or afraid to explore their kinks. But do you think doing so brings more happiness to one’s life?
From my experience, kink has been such an amazing, life-changing experience. When I started out, I was very shy and quiet. But kink has allowed me to become the person I wanted to be when I was ostracized for being gay. When I picked “Kenzo” as my scene name, I vowed that I it would be my opportunity to re-define who I was a person. What I mean by that is that as a child, I was taught that a man was to act and talk a certain way. Kink has allowed to just be open and as free as I choose to be.
ONYX is a large national organization of men of color involved in the leather and kink scene. How did you hook up with them?
I got introduced to ONYX after enjoying one of their bar nights. I didn’t officially know I wanted to join ONYX until after our Black Gay Pride. The environment was so queer and amazing that I knew that this was a place were I could be comfortable as a Black Queer Person.
So the leather community and it’s competition winners are often devoted to charity, and the title of Mr. Eagle traditionally plays an important role in that respect. Tell us about the CHOMP benefit event Saturday, April 9th at Etcetera Etcetera, sponsored by The Eagle NYC, which you’ll be attending!
CHOMP is an event that Team Eagle does every year to rise money for HIV and AIDS services at The Center. This year is the first one that we are having since the pandemic. This year will also be my first one, so I am excited to experience a form of connection with leatherfolx and hear there stories.
Yes. So in 2019, a group of pups and I founded Gotham Kennel Club with the purpose of providing a space where pups and handlers can just be themselves without any sexual expectations. The April 19th event was created because we needed a new stage pet since Pup Bandit–who is usually the stage pet for Fire Island Bear and is the current Northeast Puppy–will be hosting it. The idea was to create an opportunity for pets to show off their stage presence and see how they can engage the crowd.
And on April 22, the Adult Babies will be in the crib for “The Littlez Party!”
April 22nd will be the Littlez Party at Smittens Lair, which is own by Miss Smittens. This one is particularly special because it will be sponsored by AB Universe, which is an ABDL company that sells adult size baby diapers. I started hosting these parties because for a very, very long time I would see people on forums say that they wish they had a space to be free to explore. So I gathered all my own toys, and set it up so everyone had the chance to explore a side of themselves that they usually don’t get to experience.
What else is coming up for you?
I am teaching classes around the country, and competing in IML in May.
Good luck! So, last question: what’s your favorite dog breed?
Ooh,this is hard. Lol! I resonate with a pit bull lab mix. They’re so playful and excited about anything.