Bob Miller Leather Leadership Award Acceptance Speech at Creating Change Conference

"Thank you to the National LGBTQ Task Force for creating this award. There was a time, not so long ago, when many in the LGBTQ community wished the people into leather would dress normally at gay pride marches, and worried that we held back progress. Back then, I argued and won gay rights impact litigation by day as a practicing lawyer, but snuck my boots and leather pants out of the house at night so I could change in my car…out of sight...twice a night…night after night."
By |January 29th, 2016|Opinion, People|1 Comment

Beyond Blue, Black, and White: Race in the Leather Community

"I walk into the Eagle Los Angeles on a busy Friday night. After getting my drink, I notice one of my friends walks in with someone I don’t recognize. This stranger has a thick beard with a shaved head. He stands six feet tall. He has a stocky, muscular body adorned by an intricate harness and tight leather pants. His nipples stand on end. Mine do too. My friend makes small talk with me and proceeds to introduce me to this new stranger. This stranger interrupts, “We’ve already met. You’re Rahul. We hung out last week at the other leather bar.” Baffled, I disagreed, “No, we’ve never met before because I was working last week.” He responded, “I couldn’t forget someone as hairy as you are. You have an excellent brown skin tone too. Very hot.” Then I say, “I’m not Rahul. I’m Ali.” After inspecting my physique and my face, he says “I’m so sorry. You look exactly like . . .” I’ve had this conversation many times after moving back to Los Angeles from San Francisco. The truth is that Rahul and I are good friends, but we look nothing alike. We are different people. I turned to the internet for answers."
By |December 8th, 2015|Opinion, People|3 Comments

On the Merits of Being Out.

An essay by Saint St. James

On November 1ST, 2015, Mr. Hardy Haberman presented his keynote address, “Welcome to the War on Sex,” at Leather Fiesta, an annual celebratory and educational event for kinksters, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his powerful speech, Hardy claimed that now that the LGBT Rights campaign has been essentially won, […]

By |November 21st, 2015|Community, Current Affairs, News, Opinion|0 Comments

Ask First meet Anonymous

Walking through the horde of bodies at this year’s Folsom Street Fair celebrating kink and diversity, I noticed people wearing big yellow stickers with two words – “Ask First” – printed in cursive. These stickers were meant to send a bright and friendly message for others to: “Ask first before groping me,” “Ask first before […]

By |October 29th, 2015|News, Opinion|1 Comment

Adventures in Black Leather: It’s Our Anniversary!

"Adventures in Black Leather is a monthly series about the life and times of a Black Gay Leatherman living in the big city. On the occasion of ONYX’s 20th anniversary, I thought it would be appropriate to repost my lover letter to the organization that I love, with a few addendums."
By |September 28th, 2015|Opinion, People|0 Comments

On “Building Community” (Master/slave Conference keynote)

Thirty-five years ago, and again ten years later, I worked for a television show named Guiding Light. Now, I realize those of you who don’t watch soap operas think they are all alike, but in truth, each of the shows has its own personality. We had a character who was born when the show was […]

By |September 5th, 2015|Events US, Opinion|2 Comments

Adventures in Black Leather: The Hypocrisy of Josh Duggar

"The Family Research Council is a conservative lobbying group in D.C. whose mission is “to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.” This week, it was revealed that Josh Duggar, the Pillsbury Dough Boy come-to-life former Executive Director of the FRC, cheated on his wife and had a paid account on Ashley Madison, website for connecting hussies with cheaters. There is also evidence that he had an account on OK Cupid."
By |August 25th, 2015|Opinion|0 Comments

Introduction: Leather, c’est cuir par Youkali Youkali

"TLP 2015: Rue du Cuir, par Youkali Youkali. En août 2011, j’ai été témoin de la scène la plus surréaliste qui soit, et cela ne s’est produit ni dans un donjon, ni à un spectacle du Cirque du soleil, mais dans la rue Church à Toronto. Un labrador noir aboyait de manière frénétique devant un chiot humain à quatre pattes plantigrades et tout vêtu de cuir, lequel jappait en retour devant le chien à quatre pattes digitigrades, le tout sous l’œil perplexe d’un bambin de quatre ans qui tenait son père par la main, sur fond de grande roue, de château gonflable et de stand où l’on vendait des martinets."
By |August 12th, 2015|Events, Events Canada, Opinion|0 Comments

Introducing: Leather, c’est cuir by Youkali Youkali

"Editor's Note: Please welcome Youkali Youkali to the Leatherati Team. She will be lending her voice in both English and French, broadening our reach to our International Readers.-Tyesha Best TLP 2015: Leather Street, By Youkali Youkali. In August 2011, I witnessed the most surreal scene, and it did not happen in a dungeon or at Cirque du Soleil but on Church Street in Toronto. A black lab was barking excitedly at a human puppy all clad in leather and on all-fours who was barking back at the four-legged dog, all this being perplexedly watched by a four-year old kid holding their father's hand, on a background of Ferris wheel, bouncy castle, and flogger vending booths."
By |August 12th, 2015|Events, Events Canada, Opinion|1 Comment

Alongside the Sash: Momentary

"“Pride, envy, avarice - these are the sparks have set on fire the hearts of all men.” - Dante Alighieri I think it would be safe to say that envy is the most difficult emotion to handle when supporting a partner through their title year. We’re barely over a month in and it’s already reared its head a few times. “He just got asked to another event, and this one’s happening next week. I want to go... I don’t get to go to another city’s Pride all of a sudden... I get to stay home and do laundry...that’s sexy...”"
By |July 24th, 2015|Opinion, People|0 Comments

Adventures in Black Leather: After our Victory, Our Struggle Continues

"It’s been 3 weeks since that email notification flashed across my iPhone’s screen. It still sits in my inbox, a daily reminder that elicits a tiny thrill as I am reminded again of the power of those words. I was in the middle of a conversation with a work colleague when I saw the alert. I broke off, mid-sentence, and rushed to my car. I wasn’t sure if I would scream, or shout, or dance, or cry. In the end, I sat in silence in my car for 30 minutes and let the joy wash over me."
By |July 21st, 2015|Opinion|0 Comments

Sarge IMsL 2015- Oklahoma Ms Leather Weekend Keynote

"Good afternoon Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and the kinky fucks could use more chucks, when the floggers and whips wield pain. I’m a wedding photographer in my vanilla life, and I always hate when bridesmaids and groomsmen start their speech “For those of you that don’t know me..." Weren’t they just introduced before they stood up? But it’s like an ice breaker, right? Hi my name is Sarge and I’m a kinky leather woman. I’ve been kinky for 30 years. God, grant me the serenity…"
By |June 29th, 2015|Opinion, People|0 Comments