The 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.
Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2016
I produce a monthly gear event called Clutch at The Bike Stop
My favorite piece of leather is my harness boots.
Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about all your Sponsors (feel free to include a copy of their logos and a urls to their websites) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less. The Bike Stop owns the Mr. and Ms. Philadelphia titles. Their owners and staff are like family to me. Thebikestop.com
Philadelphians MC produce the Philadelphia Leather contest and I am an associate of the club. Philadelphiansmc.org
The Leather Man creates custom pieces for me. Theleatherman.com
Tell me about your favorite charity. Youth charities have long been my focus, but there’s a new organization that I have been focusing on lately, the LGBTQ Home for Hope, that has really galvanized the community. The only LGBTQ homeless shelter in Philadelphia, it is a 37-bed facility that also aids those in recovery and is funded exclusively from private donations.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. I feel that community service is an integral part of the leather community, especially as a title holder, and it is enriching to me to be a part of a group that I believe is like-minded. Community service is the most rewarding aspect of being a titleholder.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? Leather and kink have been a part of my entire adult life. Forgive me for being trite, but I think that I was born this way. Being able to participate in the community has allowed me to be a teacher, a leader and resource which is truly what's at the heart of being a leather woman.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? My favorite Leather Woman (excluding my Philadelphia predecessors, of course) is Christy Lee, Ms. New Jersey Leather 2016. From the moment I met her she has been nothing but welcoming, kind, and generous and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and the overwhelming support she is receiving is reflective of how much she means to so many.
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.
John C. Anderson Apartments Move-In Scheduled for January 2014, with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony in February 2014
The Leather Journal reported on the ground breaking ceremony on this story in 2011 when covering Philadelphia Leather Pride. Now the complex is ready to accept residents.
The John C. Anderson Apartments - the nation’s pioneering LGBT-friendly, low-income senior housing apartment complex, located in the heart of the Philadelphia Gayborhood – has passed all city, state and federal inspections and is now certified to accept residents. Accepted applicants are now receiving notification and information about move-in, which will begin in January 2014. To mark the completion of this significant project, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in late January or early February.
The apartments - named for John C. Anderson, a Philadelphia City Council member from 1979 until his death in 1983, instrumental in the passage of Philadelphia’s civil rights bill for sexual minority individuals – broke ground in November 2012. Financing for the $19.5 million project was provided through a Philadelphia HOME grant, Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Programfunds, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Pennrose Properties, one of the nation’s top 10 affordable housing developers, oversaw the project. WRT Design was the architect and Domus Inc. was the general contractor.