Wednesday, April 28, 2010


You just know those pesky homosexuals are coming for your children when muppets -- MUPPETS! -- are enlisted in the battle to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Enjoy the video! And don't forget to read the streaming banner at the bottom!"

Monday, April 26, 2010


First, a group called GetEQUAL rattled the chains of gay complacency with a series of "zaps," chaining themselves to the White House fence, heckling President Obama during a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer, staging sit-ins at the Washington and San Francisco offices of Nancy Pelosi. Seeming to come out of nowhere, they brought new passion to the struggle for equality with their willingness to get confrontational.

Today, Equality Across America , following in the footsteps of GetEQUAL, struck the Phoenix office of Senator John McCain. Five members of EAA entered McCain's office and refused to leave, eventually being arrested.

Now, GetEQUAL is calling for thousands to rally in LaFayette Square at the fence where their members, including Lt. Dan Choi, have twice been arrested, on May 2nd. Watch their video. One month ago, two people chained themselves to that fence. This month six people chained themselves. How many will chain themselves in May? Enough, I hope, to collapse that fence under the weight of Americans demanding equal treatment.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


"Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black" - Tim Wise

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure - the ones who are driving the action - we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. Wise has spoken in 48 states, on over 400 college campuses, and to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. His latest book is called Between Barack and a Hard Place.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


On Tuesday afternoon, Lt. Dan Choi, with Captain Jim Pietrangelo and four other uniformed members of the military, engaged in a new protest by handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. After a brief time, all six were arrested by capitol police and are now being held at the Anacostia police station. This was the second arrest for Choi and Pietrangelo, who chained themselves to the same fence last month during an HRC rally.

Before a group of reporters, Choi challenged President Obama to submit “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal language to Congress for inclusion in the defense authorization bill, which is now before the the Armed Services Committees of both the House and Senate. “We call on our commander in chief, the president of the United States to take bold action, to show firm resolve and real leadership on his promise to repeal 'don’t ask, don’t tell. To make good on that promise, he has an opportunity to transmit to Congress for the defense authorization bill repeal language.”

When a reporter asked, “Do you feel the president has let you down on this issue?” Choi fell silent and remained silent for the rest of the action.

The group also included Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, Cadet Mara Boyd, and Petty Officer Larry Whitt.

Robin McGeehee, co-founder of the new activist group GetEQUAL, worked the crowd with a blowhorn while other members held a banner demanded the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Meanwhile, police worked hard to squash any coverage of the protest, closing the area entirely and forcing both reporters and public back as far as two blocks. Reporter Brian Hinkley was one the scene. Listen to his cell phone conversation during this taped coverage:


Leather Archives Seats Two New Board Members

CHICAGO, IL - April 20, 2010 - The Leather Archives & Museum announces that two individuals have been seated on its Board of Directors. Ms. Catherine Gross of New Jersey and Sarah Humble of Colorado were ratified by the Voting Membership of the museum on April 16th, 2010.

Catherine is an educator and a PCC certified life success coach. She offers classes and focused weekend seminars on a wide variety of subjects. She's logged 4000+ education hours teaching Servant's Retreat alone. She has served on both local and national boards, judged contests, staffed conferences in a variety of positions, and emceed and produced events/fundraisers. She is currently the co-producer of SouthEast LeatherFest in Atlanta, GA, a board member of Community Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities.

Sarah is a co-coordinator for the Women's Leather History Project at the LA&M. She was the 1994 American Leatherwoman. She has won three Pantheon of Leather Awards including Woman of the Year in 1996, Reader's Choice Award in 1997 and Business of the Year (Play House Studios in Baltimore) with Glenda Rider in 1998. She wrote the Leather Link column in the Baltimore Gay Paper for 5 years and has traveled the leather circuit since the early 90's. She was also a co-founder of FIST (Females Investigating Sexual Terrain) in Baltimore/Washington DC. Sarah now resides in Arvada, Colorado with her partner of 10 years Leigha Fleming and their dogs.

About Leather Archives & Museum
The Leather Archives & Museum is a library, museum and archives pertaining to leather and alternative sexual communities. The geographic collection scope is worldwide and includes all sexual orientations and genders. The library collection contains books, magazines, scholarly publications, films and electronic resources related to the subject matter. The museum collection contains original erotic art and artifacts from alternative sex organizations and individuals. The archival collection contains unpublished papers and records from notable activists, artists, businesses and organizations related to the subject matter. For more information about the LA&M, please visit

Leather Archives & Museum
Rick Storer
Executive Director

Thursday, April 15, 2010


What's New at the Leather Archives & Museum
April 15 2010

The Leather Archives & Museum announces the International Mr. Leather Pre-Party and Jeffrey Payne IML 2009 Roast!

The event will be held on Thursday, May 27th at the museum, 6418 N. Greenview Ave. in Chicago, IL. Doors open at 7pm and the Roast will begin at 9pm. The event is free and open to the public, age 18 and older. Reserved priority seating is available for $10 through May 10th, 2010. General seating will be available on a first come first served basis. All proceeds will be used to support the mission of the Leather Archives & Museum

Purchase Priority Seating tickets here

Buy your International Mr. Leather and Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend Packages...Make Leather History, Support Leather History!

May 28-31, 2010

April 22-25, 2010

RESTRAINT: The Closing Party!

Stop into the LA&M
for your last opportunity to view John Randle's gorgeous
April 17, 2010

For a $10 admission, you can partake in a light buffet and witness bondage demos given by the Windy City Bondage Club. All admission proceeds and a portion of all painting sales go to the LA&M.

April 30, 2010

Come and celebrate the Art of the Tease as we kick
off Leon
exhibit at the G.A.G.
Time: 7-11PM
Friday, April 30
Admission: $10

Leon Grossman's erotic art photography is being featured in his first one-man show at the G.A.G Gallery at the Leather Archives & Museum beginning April 30, 2010 and running through July. Leon's work features many local performance artists and reflects his skill at rope craft and turning bondage into beauty.

Opening night: April 30th from 7pm to 11pm there will be a gala with burlesque & bondage performers to celebrate the art in the photography turned to life.The main performance begins at 9pm.Tickets for the cash bar will be available to those 21 years and older.

LA&M Membership
More important than ever!

The LA&M is a community supported resource. Most public funding and major corporate sponsorship is closed to us.

We understand times are tight .. we understand that the economy is unstable. This is a perfect time to sign up for a monthly donation plan. Rather than making a lump sum donation now, contribute a small amount every month. If your financial circumstances change, you can discontinue this donation at any time.

Visit our online donation center for more information.

The Leather Archives & Museum / International Mr. Leather Raffle!

This year's winner will receive 2 IML Bronze Packages and accommodations for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night May 27-29, 2011 at the IML Host Hotel!

The Bronze level package includes general admission event tickets to Opening Ceremonies, Pecs and Personality and the International Mr. Leather Contest. You also get tickets for entry into the Victory Celebration and Black & Blue dance parties. A transportation pass allowing use of the IML transportation system is also included. Access to the vendor market for the entire weekend comes included. With this package you also receive a weekend registration value pack which includes vendor information, valuable discount coupons and special gifts. Tickets will be drawn at the 2010 IML Contest.

Purchase your tickets at the Leather Archives & Museum, the LA&M Booth in the IML Leather Market or online

Next stops for the Road Show:
International Ms. Leather 2010

San Francisco, April 15-18

The Women's Leather History Project is going to International Ms Leather!

From Thursday, April 15 to Sunday, April 18 the Women's Leather History
Project will be in San Francisco, CA for International Ms Leather.

The Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M)
launched a new project on January 1, 2010 to collect, preserve and exhibit
women's leather history. The Women's Leather History Project!
Collections from women have already started making their way to the vaults
and exhibits of the LA&M including:
- Personal papers from Vi Johnson
- Books and fetish wear from Kat Sunlove
- Memorabilia from Jan Lyon

We need your help!

In addition to your financial support of the project, here's what you can
send to the LA&M to be a part:
- Papers
- Video recorded interviews
- Personal histories-oral, film, and written
- Art and visual resources
- Media-books, magazines, films, and digital media
- Artifacts - organizational and personal

This weekend we are launching limited edition Women's Project LA&M pins!

Less than 250 were made and they will be made available here, for the
first time at $25.00 each. Please stop by the Women's exhibit LA&M table
this weekend and pick one up.

We'll be doing short "woman on the street" interviews. If you have things
you want sent or preserved by the museum, or just want more info about the
project stop by!

We women are the story tellers, the keepers of memory. We are responsible for
collecting, preserving and honoring our own histories. No one will do it
for us.
Please join us and support the WLHP!

We look forward to seeing you at IMsL 2010!

Sarah Humble and Leigha Fleming

Leather History could use your hands, your heart and your time.

2 to 4 hours once a week or every other week can make a huge difference in keeping our history safe and accessible. Whether you call Chicago, San Francisco, New York or somewhere in-between home, the gift of your time can have an impact.

See our volunteer page for more information and to get involved today.

6418 N Greenview
Chicago, Illinois 60626

The Museum is open to visitors & researchers on:

Thursday from 11am - 7pm
Friday from 11am - 7pm
Saturday from 11am - 5pm
Sunday from 11am - 5pm

Save 50%
Admission! Visiting the LA&M soon?
Do you recommend others visit the LA&M?
The LA&M introduces an online coupon to save half off your admission.

Visit the LA&M website to download this valuable coupon

Monday, April 12, 2010


For Immediate Release:

KC Pioneers will celebrate their 35th Anniversary with two nights of celebration including dinner, grants for the community, and a pub crawl. We invite all community members to our celebration and look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

The KC Pioneers support the leather community and local organizations that assist those among us in need. Five organizations have been awarded $500 each: Passages, KC Anti-Violence Project, Southwest Boulevard Family Health Clinic, KC Free Health Clinic, and the Women’s Leather History Project of the Leather Archives and Museum.

Everyone is invited to a dinner upstairs at Missie B’s on Friday night, April 30th at 7 pm. Pioneers are cooking for you, no cost, donations appreciated. Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 28th to so we can make plenty of food!

At 9:30 pm Friday we will move downstairs to the main stage. We will have an acknowledgement of the many years the Pioneers have been active in KC and present checks to this year’s grant recipients. Representatives will be on hand to give info about their organizations. Stay for the show at 10!

Saturday night, May 1st, be a part of the notorious Pioneers’ Pub Crawl. We will start at Missie B’s, leaving at 8pm. Tickets are only $15! Stay tuned for a list of the bars we will visit.

The KC Pioneers wish to express their appreciation to our home bar, Missie B’s, to Michael Burns and staff, for the fundraising opportunities that allow us to give grants and fund regional leather gatherings. We appreciate their long-time support and friendship.