Don Thompson passes
Don Thompson, perhaps best known as San Francisco Leather Daddy VIII, passed away on the morning of January 5, 2018 in Cathedral City, CA due to a long time illness. Don studied at Cambridge and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, country of his birth. Professionally, Don was a concert organist and president of Pipe Organ Presentations. Much of Don's Leather community service was as producer of Fetish Balls in San Francisco in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a member of the California Eagles Motorcycle Club. For several years he was co-emcee of the Pantheon of Leather Awards. One proud moment in his early years was as the organist for The Beatles' Mr. Moonlight. Thompson is survived by his husband Henry Jordan. A memorial service is being planned for Don. Photo gallery which will not leave one with dry eyes https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157037282395968&set=rpd.1132007819&type=3&theater
As in every year, there are stories that define a year, mark a change for the better or worse, establish the end or beginning of an era, lend recognition to achievement, or just simply make a statement that cannot be forgotten. Here are ours.
The Leather Journal's Top Story of 2013
US Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8 - Marriage-ban states fall like dominoes
Not long after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs who sued to have Proposition 8 reinstated had no standing, enabling same sex marriages to resume in California, marriages resumed.
Only a handful of states allowed same-sex marriage at the beginning of 2013. By the end of the year, 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, permitted same-sex marriage, with a few more likely to change. The last of the bunch, Utah on December 20 because a court judge ruled their same-sex marriage ban that was voter-approved in 2004 is unconstitutional. This was the biggest surprise of all. A dagger was struck into one of the main arteries of the devil that has fought against same-sex marriage.
CODE: Dress Rehearsal
CODE: Dress Rehearsal - MAL Discount Tix Night will be hosted by CODE at the Glorious Health Club on Saturday, January 6 at 9 PM. With MAL just around the corner, try out your best gear at CODE - it's "dress rehearsal" time! Harnesses, chaps and jocks, oh my! Don't be caught by surprise - it's always best to have a Dress Rehearsal. Glorious Health Club, 2120 West Virginia Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002. https://www.facebook.com/codedc/
Rough House, Toronto’s popular BDSM dungeon party, will hold three Leather parties at Steamworks Baths Toronto, 540 Church Street, Level 2, Toronto, Ontario, Canada between October and February coinciding with Steamworks’ popular Sunday Service party. Also organized by the Rough House gang is the annual twisted Squeal party at Steamworks, which will return in April 2014 as part of Eastern Canada Leather Sir and Leatherboy weekend.
The Leather Leadership Conference 2014, to be held at the DoubleTree Hotel and the William Way Center in downtown Philadelphia April 11-13, has done an internal inventory of what it has offered, combined with conference feedback forms and with the results of their 2012 community survey, with the result of that inventory being the creation a new Do It Yourself (DIY) program that will debut in Philly with a new delivery system for that program.
LLC has been the offering leadership training for Leather/BDSM/Kink/Fetish and LGBT communities for nearly 18 years. During that time, several changes have taken place and there has been more acceptance for those in alternate lifestyles, including more positive media. The Internet has given endless opportunities for contact, communication, and networking. There are a multitude of groups, munches and events to attend; sometimes so many that one could go to at least one event a week or have to choose where to participate.
Prominent San Francisco Leather community activist Race Bannon will begin writing a new leather column for the Bay Area Reporter, the nation’s longest continually published LGBT newspaper, on January 23, 2014.
Bannon’s first column, penned while attending the annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington, DC, continues the traditions started by the preeminent gay news weekly.
In his first column, Bannon wrote:
“San Francisco and the overall Bay Area has one of the most vibrant leather and kink scenes in the United States and indeed the world. Yes, it’s changed and morphed as various factors have influenced how LGBT kinky folk live and express their alternative erotic identities and sexualities. But the scene is still rather awesome here, and I’m comfortable saying it’s in pretty good shape nationally as well.
“Thus all the more reason I am honored to have been asked to carry on the legacy of the original writer of this column, Mr. Marcus (Marcus Hernandez), who established the Bay Area Reporter’s leather column as one of the preeminent leather news and information sources in the world. Upon Mr. Marcus’ passing, Scott Brogan took over this column and truly did justice to Mr. Marcus’ memory. I promise to always try to live up to both men’s history as I embark on being the caretaker of this important piece of journalistic real estate.”
Amazon Video Direct is banning Robert Dante's bullwhip instructional video Bullwhip - Art of the Single Tail Whip. Amazon.com has been selling the hour and seven-minute long single tail instructional video for $19.99 for 8 years. They continue to sell the DVD released through Amazon in February of 2008, and at least 6 other similar titles, while simultaneously banning it on the re-seller giant's own digital services.
Dante applied to have the video streamed on Amazon Video Direct. It was rejected. They refused to give any reason - perhaps it was because it is about consensual BDSM, but whatever their reasons, this video scared them. Want to see the video? Well lucky for you Dante quickly found another, friendlier provider, to www.bullwhip.xxx and see what the hullabaloo is all about (or just a topless chick getting her titties bullwhipped cause...Dante's work is hawt!!!).
The interesting thing is that Amazon has been selling Dante's video for 14 years with no problems. It was vetted by the Ontario Film Board in 1995 and approved. The instructional video received only positive reviews, including in Adult Video News.
"I must assume it is being rejected not for its content, but for what it actually is: a factual, educational DVD about consensual BDSM, with no sex, no nudity, no injury, no humiliation, no degradation. This is from the same company that brings the execrable "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Secretary" to its audiences." Dante ruminated in his letter to us.
Dante sent TLJ the full Orwellian exchange, in chronological order, after it had been rejected at lower executive levels:
The Board of Governors of the Leather Hall of Fame (LHOF) is pleased to announce the 2014 inductees: Chicago Hellfire Club, Cynthia Slater, and John Embry will be inducted during CLAW (Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend) in Cleveland, Ohio in April.
Chicago Hellfire Club (“CHC”) (1971-Present) CHC is a groundbreaking and extraordinary leather club. Established in August,1971 by a group of thirteen men in Chicago, the CHC was formed explicitly for BDSM interaction, as distinguished the “motorcycle” and “leather” clubs that preceded it. With their annual run, Inferno, the CHC grew to include hundreds of members from around the world.
Mufasa Ali is Great Lakes Leather Alliance keynote speaker
By Christina K. Court
Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) announced that Mufasa Ali will serve as the GLLA 2018 keynote speaker. Mufasa Ali, a member of the Leather community for over 20 years and the inaugural Mr. World Leather 2006/2007, is the founder of ONYX, an international club supporting Leathermen of Color and the recipient of the 2013, 2016 and 2017 Pantheon of Leather Large Club of the Year Award. He currently serves as the Chair of the ONYX National Council, and he is the founder and primary facilitator of the People of Color Leather Caucus seminars at IML and Black Beat, Inc. GLLA 2018 will occur September 6-9 in the same Indianapolis, Indiana host hotel as GLLA 2017. Event registration will open January 1.
The 2014 version of the Folsom Street Fair took place in perfect Leather weather on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets on Sunday, September 21, one week earlier than the usual fourth Sunday of September. It was cloudy, not sunny, but was perfect for Leather/BDSM/Fetish/Kink/Gearfolk wearing plenty of Leather - not too cold. The Fair seemed to be crowded earlier than normal and several booths were open just after 6 PM as that usual 5 PM wind did not arrive.
The move one block west did what organizers hoped it would do. That, and the stage moved to 10th Street not far from Howard made for better viewing. The short walk from Folsom Street over to the San Francisco Eagle at Harrison and 12th Streets worked. What had been a parking lot across from the Eagle was converted into a party area with a $20 admission.
Most of the usual suspects had vendor or social booths including The Society of Janus, Steamworks, the San Francisco Bare Chest Calendar Men, Mr. S Leathers, Orchid and Serpent.
Dr. Brad Sagarin, one of the leading researchers in the physiological and psychological effects of BDSM, will return to the Southwest Leather Conference in January 2013 to share the latest scientific research on BDSM/Leather in the post-pathology era and will continue studies during the Sunday afternoon Dance Of Souls event at the conference.
A learned research team will join Dr. Sagarin at Southwest Leather Conference to discuss the results of previous studies including a large-scale comparison of personality traits in BDSM practitioners and non-BDSM controls (spoiler alert: BDSM folks come out looking pretty good), experimental evidence that empathy softens sadism, and an academic analysis of the benefits of explicit discussions about consent over silent assumptions. The team will also share the latest results from their lab including a Switch Study that produced the first known objective evidence that BDSM causes altered states of consciousness.
The 2013 change in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual) that depathologized sadomasochism has opened the doors to more mainstream research pertaining to sadomasochism including studies that show positive benefits of BDSM. Dr Sagarin has been a forerunner in scientific BDSM research and this change allows him even more latitude to further his investigations.
Avatar Club Los Angeles and its guests were delighted with the presentation Dynamics of BDSM Encounters by Brian Dawson on February 19 at MCC in the Valley.
63 Leatherfolk attended the first public club meeting of 2014.
Topics included understanding how very different we are as sexual beings, what makes us hard (physically, emotionally and spiritually), and whether we consider our play to be sport or control born out of Dominance and submission.
A huge and impressive Avatar banner created by Nick Drance provided the backdrop for the meeting.
The men of Avatar and the Bullet Bar, 10522 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, will kick off LA Leather Pride Week with the official start of LA Leather Pride 2014, Odyssey: The Road to Mr. LA Leather 2014. The Mr. los angeles Leather 2014 contestants will draw their numbers.
Scene from Southwest Leather Conference 2017. Photo by Dave Rhodes
Southwest Leather Conference - Take the Plunge
Southwest Leather Conference 2018 - Take the Plunge will highlight the annual Southwest Master/slave Contest and Southwest Bootblack Contest in gorgeous Phoenix, Arizona. Southwest Leather Conference also includes Dance of Souls hook pull ceremony, keynote brunch, play parties, a large number of classes and workshops, Leather Tribe Revival and other socials. http://www.southwestleather.org/content/registration NOLA Leather to Geaux 2018 March 16 - 18, 2018 hosted by NOLA Leather to Geaux March 16-18 at 6 PM at the Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117-8535.
The NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) is inviting Leather / BDSM / Kinkfolk to take its Mental Health Survey. They would like to know more about your BDSM practices, mental health and relational violence experiences.
The NCSF is working with researchers at Sam Houston University's Department of Psychology and Philosophy who will compare our responses to two other sample populations - one college-aged and the other LGBT-identified.
The NCSF will use these results to help with its advocacy, benefiting both existing and developing programs. Specifically, the study's results will assist in educating law enforcement, legal and psychological professionals about the practices and mental health of BDSM practitioners.
The survey will take approximately 35 minutes of one's time.
This survey is anonymous. Neither the NCSF nor outside researchers have access to any identifying information about participants.
Folsom Street Events announced charitable giving in the amount of $330,745 on December 15 in San Francisco, CA. With this, Folsom Street Events cleared the $4.6 Million Mark in its 28-year giving history.
Board president Jacob Richards said, “2011 was a solid year for Folsom Street Events and our charities. We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, beneficiaries, beverage partners, and the leather/fetish community for the ongoing support. This check represents an increase from our $326,161 in charitable giving for 2010. Particularly given the depressed economy, we feel that this check is a total success.”
According to executive director Demetri Moshoyannis, “Given that we had a less-than-stellar year with respect to the weather at both Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair, we relied much more heavily on the successes of our Magnitude and DEVIANTS parties. The size of our check proves the potency and spirit of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community. The vast share of the check will support our 16 Major and Supporting Beneficiaries, including AIDS Emergency Fund, Castro Country Club, Central City Hospitality House, Frameline, Project Open Hand, and Transgender Law Center, among others. Given what has been happening locally with other community organizations that distribute funds from special events, we feel particularly proud of our efforts. Combined, we are supporting over 70 great charities in San Francisco and around the U.S.”
Folsom Street Events hosted a special evening to honor its beneficiaries, sponsors, and nonprofit partners with a check ceremony at The Armory, 1500 Mission Street, well known in the Leather/BBSM/Fetish community as the home of Kink.com. Special invited guests included Supervisor Jane Kim (District 6), Supervisor Scott Weiner (District 8), and many others.
Folsom Street Events is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that produces seven annual fetish events: The San Francisco Party at IML, Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley®, SF Leather Week Formal Dinner, Magnitude®, Folsom Street Fair®, and DEVIANTS™. Its mission is to create volunteer-driven Leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self expression while raising funds to benefit charity. In 2011, an estimated 250,000-plus event attendees raised money for charitable donations.