Community Comment: American Brotherhood Weekend First Timer

American Brotherhood Weekend in Chicago, Illinois was a one of a kind event. It was powerful, intimate and truly a stand-out Leather gathering.

Community Comment is an occasional column written by community members on various topics of living a leather, bear and kink lifestyle.

The unique mixture of about 100 individuals coming together to celebrate the history of Leather at the historic Leather Archives and Museum was nothing short of a breathtaking weekend. I had an amazing moment while viewing the display in the museum dedicated to transgender individuals who have been involved in the Leather community, both past and present. I began to cry and was comforted by a fellow Leatherman while having that vulnerable moment. Being embraced by a cis-gender gay Leatherman while at LA&M for this weekend was a very surreal moment.

The community had gathered together whole heartedly with resounding openness, to support each other as Leather folk, and celebrate together.  The contest itself was spectacular to watch. You got to see each and every contestant put their heart and soul out on the stage for us to view. We laughed with them, cheered them on, and cried with them.

As a transgender Leatherboy and a gay man, I sometimes feel that my manhood, gayness, and status as a Leatherboy is sometimes called into question by people. This weekend I felt nothing but respect and love. American Brotherhood Weekend is an event well run and well loved by its producers, staff, volunteers, attendees and contestants. Be assured, I’ll be back next year.

Thank you ABW. Congratulations to OB American Leatherwoman 2013, Tank American Leatherboy 2013, and Aaron Duke American Leatherman 2013.

Boy River