CHICAGO – Touché, 6412 North Clark Street in Chicago, proudly announces the 2nd Annual Leather Club Rush Party to be held 10pm on Friday, Oct. 18. Besides being home to the Leather Archives & Museum and International Mr. Leather, Chicago boasts over 15 local leather/fetish clubs, some for play others strictly social. This Club Rush Party allows those interested in the club scene to meet members of these clubs and talk about their group’s activities and membership.
Before the IML and the LA&M were established, Chicago was had several local clubs, a few that continue to today. Early leather clubs were motorcycle riding groups. In the early 1970s, gay life was limited to a few bars or cruising areas. Gay men in these clubs could gather with others and ride as a way to meet or just be with other gay men. Sometimes these clubs would ride to another city to gather with clubs, expanding their network of friends.
Over time, non-riders were drawn to the leather gear and brotherhood of these clubs leading to the gay social leather/levi clubs that came into being in the late 70s. Many of these clubs took leading roles in our community, spearheading fundraising and food drives and providing volunteers for other events around Chicago.
When the AIDS epidemic hit Chicago in the 80s, most of these clubs saw their members decimated and in turn were on the early forefront of supporting those affected. Agencies like Chicago House and Howard Brown relied on volunteers and support from local clubs to respond to the early challenges AIDS placed on our community.
Several of the L/L clubs folded but several continued with new clubs were founded. The walls of Club Room at Touché are lined with the colors of past and present clubs in Chicago and across the Midwest.
Traditionally, leather clubs are men only but a few have opened their membership to all, men/women and gay/straight. Anyone that may be interested in the leather scene should check out the local clubs that are a big part of our community, is welcome to attend the Club Rush Party at Touché and find out more about each club.
For more information about the 2nd Annual Club Rush Party or Touché contact David Boyer at 773-465-7400 or David@ToucheChicago.com
Via press release