Den Talk: So You Think You Know What Leather Is?

The question “What is Leather?” is one I get often. I always try to answer that Leather is a community of those who like Leather and hold the same values. We are a passionate bunch who care about our history and work hard to volunteer to help make things better for all alternative lifestyles.

Den Talk is an occasional column by GLD staff reporters.

Den Talk is an occasional column by GLD staff reporters.

Something I tend to be getting more often these days is people who don’t identify as Leather telling me what Leather is. To all of those people let me share this with you. Leather is not just Hairy Gay Men who like to Fuck Hard. Sure that is part of the demographic but it is not the only thing leather is. Leather is SM, Leather is Pups, Leather is Bears, Leather is Bootblacks, Leather is Ponies, Leather is Bondage, Leather is Age Play, Leather is Furies, Leather is Foodies, Leather is Ms, Leather is Ds, Leather is Transgendered, Leather is Pansexual, Leather is Straight, Leather is Polyamorous, Leather is Roleplay, Leather is Fetish, Leather is Kink, and yes Leather is even Gay Hairy Men to like to Fuck Hard.

You don’t have to identify as all those things to be Leather but you can identify as any of those things and be Leather.

Mr. Friendly brought the hashtag #STIGMAFREE to IML this year in the context of being stigma free in regards to HIV & AIDS, but that message resonated as more for me this weekend. As I walked through IML and watched Shibaricon presenters, Littles, Furries, Bootblacks, Leather clad Men & Women, Batman, Wonder Woman, a Dragon, and yeah even some Leather clad Gay Men who like to play rough; I realized that #STIGMAFREE spoke to the Leather Community as a whole.

You can be what ever you want in the Leather Community as long as you do so with Honor and Respect for the others in the community now as well as those who came before you.

Leather is not just a kink, Leather is a lifestyle and you can have many different kinks and still live it.