Leather 101 - Enrollment Open
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, beginning Wednesday, April 22, 2009 (4 Week Series)
Join Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N. Halsted, for a fun and informative, 4-week lecture/discussion series on the history of the leather community.
Leatherman Mark Austin (Finalist, 2007 IML, pictured above) and Mistress Joanne Gaddy (retired Mistress of IML) will welcome all LGBT, straight or questioning leather novices as they lead you through four important eras in leather history.
The beginnings of leather post-WW II, the leather world during the Gay Liberation Movement, the loss of many in the leather community to complications of HIV/AIDS and the influence of the internet on the leather community. Get ready for IML 2009 with a deeper and richer understanding of the history of leather.
Admission is $5 at the door.
The general outline divides subject matter into 4 chronological periods. Each section is a “stand alone” though and doesn’t require attendance at the other 3 for the section to make sense.
Those sections are:
1. Leather Soldiers - Beginnings of leather post WW II
2. Leather Out of the Closet - The leather world during the Gay Liberation Movement
3. Lost Leather - The lost leather generation due to HIV
4. Cyber Leather - The influence on the leather community from the internet & societal changes.
The class uses a lecture format but with a great deal of group participation, music, video, photography, discussion and Q&A.
CONTENT: Each section of the seminar will start with an audience participation piece, asking them to define “leather, leatherman/woman, leather community” etc.
What follows is a history of the leather community, starting in the mid 1940’s and we will compare these definitions to the community at that point. We’ll then go through the changes in the community over the next 50 years, especially how the leather community was impacted by things such as gay liberation, integration of SMBD practices, HIV, and finally the internet. At each point we’ll have open discussion of how the community defined itself along the way, where it is today, and speculate about the future.
Support materials come from filmmaker Scott Bloom (Original Pride) and from Guy Baldwin (lectures, books and articles), as well as from others. Longer versions of the class will see excerpts of the film “Original Pride” and may have guest celebrities. The Leather Archives and Museum has provided research materials and some interesting “period” pieces of advertising and clothing.
This seminar is suitable for anyone (LGBT, straight & questioning) of adult age who is interested in the leather community.While adult topics will be discussed, there is no graphic or physical display of nudity, and there will be no sexual contact of any kind. There are also no displays of any sexual/fetish/kink activities, although the topics may be discussed in a general format.
Images from The Leather Archives and Museum.