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Leather Leadership Conference announces Keynote and Endnote speakers

By February 27, 2014

LLC 2014 Logo 225The Leather Leadership Conference and Philadelphia Leather Pride  announced this year's Keynote speaker as Jaco Lourens and Endnote speaker as Jo Arnone.

Keynote Speaker Jaco Lourens
Living through Apartheid as an openly gay man Jaco Lourens took Cape Town by storm. In 2009, he won the title of Mr. South Africa Leather and went on to take fourth place at International Mr. Leather in 2010. Jaco runs the Cape Town Chapter of South Africa Leather and along with his legal husband, Herman, has cofounded the Golden Gays Foundation, which is a  non-profit organization that cares for aged gay men and women in their community.

Jaco strives to bring diversity to their Leather community and has hosting such events as the Corbin Street Fair, a pansexual street fair similar to Folsom Street Fair. He also moved the Mr South Africa Leather contest to a venue that allows women to attend. He plans on introducing a Ms South Africa leather title to their 2014 contest weekend.


In 2011, Jaco was awarded the Pantheon of Leather International Award for his efforts. He also became Mama’s SA Leatherman. With strong bonds formed with Leather brothers and sisters internationally, Jaco continues to help move his community forward and assist others around the world.

Endnote Speaker Jo Arnone
Jo Arnone is one of the four founding mothers of the women's S/M movement, co-founding of LSM in 1981 as a sex positive feminist's response to the anti-pornography movement. She was also instrumental in organizing the "Speakout on Politically Incorrect Sex" in 1982 as the sex positive communities response to the fallout from the Barnard Conference in New York. Jo has also marched in the New York Pride parade since 1975 and began announcing the March for Heritage of Pride, from the steps of the New York Public Library, in 1985.

For over 30 years Jo Arnone has been a community fundraiser. She is the original and resident auctioneer for Leather Pride Night in New York City and Philadelphia Leather Pride Night. In 2009, the Leather Heart Foundation presented her with the Million Dollar Heart Award in recognition of having raised over $1,000,000 for charities including Brother Help Thyself, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Gay and Lesbian Antiviolence Project, National Coalition on Sexual Freedom, International Antiviolence Project, Heritage of Pride, Capital Pride, Whitman Walker Clinic, The Leather Archives and Museum, and In the Life.

Her awards are many; among them are Heritage of Pride’s David Norrie Award, for behind the scenes volunteerism, The Hero of Leather Pride Award, The American Brotherhood Award for Community Service, DC Eagle Community Appreciation Award, The Legend Award, Lifetime Achievement Awards from both Pantheon of Leather and the National Leather Association, and The Mister Marcus Hernandez Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the first woman given Honorary Membership to GMS/MA in 1984.

Go to http://www.leatherleadership.org/Philly/index.html for more information and to register now for this historic weekend taking place April 11-13 in Philadelphia PA.