Take Off Your Leather

Many of you came to Leather during or after the AIDS crisis. Those of you that came during helped our brothers with HIV/AIDS. You stood with us as we fought for our rights and fought for AIDS research funding.  Those that came later got to take part in the renaissance of modern Leather. Traditions passed to you.  A community that is strong again.  You did not witness the injustices we as the LBGTQ community faced politically and socially. We were the outcasts. No one would ally with us other than celebrities. We were the pariah, the unloved, the convenient scapegoat and target.

We rose again, 60% of our brothers gone but not forgotten. Those of us still here suffer tremendous PTSD.  The scars we try to hide as many new folks enter and get to enjoy our Leather world.  We let out a deep breath when DOMA was partially overturned and same-sex marriage became recognized by the highest court in the land. Many of us “retired” from activism. We were wrong to let our guard down. We should have known the White-Wash was coming. The push back so fast and so furious we hardly know where to focus.

Some pansexual folks were given the keys to our Leather Culture but you have turned your backs on us. How? You voted for a tyrant and the most homophobic GOP platform in history. Yet, you still wear your leathers and call us brothers and sisters.  You did not check in on your LGBTQ leather brothers and sisters after the election. You are not affected by what is happening in AmeriKKA so you go on with your life as usual. You are not allied with us. You must denounce the GOP and #45.  Your refusal to denounce sends a message that you condone the hate. You say you only wanted protected borders and you do not believe LGBTQ are affected. In the 80s and 90s we had no allies, but now we do. We must ally with all marginalized groups and stand together for when the storm comes it will be the one of the worst to ever hit our community.  Being okay with the hate spewed by #45 while on the campaign trail should have been enough to stop you from voting for him but somehow you convinced yourself he didn’t really mean it or if he makes our borders more secure it will be worth it.

You sold out the LGBTQ community. You do not get to stand with us and call yourself leather. You have smeared the memory of those we lost in the AIDS crisis and all those persecuted throughout history for being sexual outlaws. You also stand against those in our community that are People of Color, female, disabled, and those that hold a different faith than you.

If you voted for #45 and the GOP platform you must denounce him, the GOP and the hate NOW or take your leathers off and never wear them again.