LA&M, Leather Archives & Museum

Sept. 18 now known as Leather Archives & Museum Day in Chicago

CHICAGO — With the assistance of Chicago 44th Ward Alderman Thomas M. Tunney, the Chicago City Council recently passed a resolution to acknowledge the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) and to recognize September 18th as Leather Archives & Museum Day in Chicago.  Although the LA&M is a national charity, support from Alderman Tunney and the Chicago City Council has been instrumental in establishing a physical headquarters.   The official resolution, adopted September 14th, 2016, reads as follows and is on display at the LA&M:

WHEREAS, the Leather Archives and Museum is celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary on Saturday, September 18, 2016; and

WHEREAS, The Chicago City Council has been informed of this milestone by Alderman Thomas M. Tunney; and,

WHEREAS, Mr. Chuck Renslow, a highly respected lifelong citizen of Chicago, called a meeting of his friends in 1991, to explore the ways and means available to preserve the suppressed and disappearing history of America’s Leather Communities, regardless of sexual orientation or geographical location, and

WHEREAS, from that meeting, the Leather Archives & Museum was established as the first formally organized archival collection of artifacts, ephemera, and other materials relating specifically to the history and subculture of the leather community; and,

WHEREAS, as a library, museum and archive, the collection contains published books, magazines, scholarly publications, films and electronic resources, original erotic art and artifacts from alternative sex organizations and individuals; and,

WHEREAS, the archival collection contains unpublished papers and records from notable activists, artists, businesses and organizations related to the subject matter; and,

WHEREAS, in addition to activities in Chicago, the Leather Archives & Museum serves the leather world by preserving material from all leather communities, sending “traveling” exhibits around the country, and providing email and telephone research assistance; and,

WHEREAS, this vital institution has been maintained and developed over the past 25 years and has become a world-renowned institution which brings honor to the City in countless ways, including by way of the unofficial motto of the Leather Archives & Museum, known across leather communities worldwide: “Located in Chicago and Serving the World;” now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that we the Mayor and Members of the Chicago City Council, assembled the 14th Day of September, 2016, do hereby acknowledge the fine work that the Leather Archives & Museum does and express our gratitude to all contributors to the success of this institution by declaring that the 18th day of September 2016 is and shall be known as Leather Archives & Museum Day in Chicago; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to the Leather Archives & Museum. CITY COUNCIL OF CHICAGO
via press release

New Mr. Central Illinois Bear sashed

PEORIA – The River City Bears held their First Annual Mr. Central Illinois Bear competition this last Friday and Saturday. The competitors were Micheal Edwards, Bob Roemer, and Don Barnett from Peoria, Brandon Williams from Champaign and Dalton McBride from Danville. The first day of the competition was held at Brandy’s Beer 30 and consisted of the Jean and Boot Strut along with the Boxer and T-shirt runway segment. There were many drag performances before during and after each segment of the competition. Mr. Heartland Bear, Lew Sutton along with Miss Flo NoMo, Amy Wyckoff, Adam Drake, and Darren Jackson-Adams judged the event and Miss Sparky’s Crayola S. Holiday was the MC for the event.

TransReelization: “A Celebration of Transgender Film”


CHICAGO — The Chicago Premiere of FREE CeCe! at The Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave): On her way to the store with a group of friends, CeCe McDonald fell victim to a brutal and malicious hate crime . Despite defending herself from a transphobic attack, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. FREE CeCe! is a deep investigation into the realities of being a trans woman of color in a time when they are disproportionately targeted for hate crimes, lack access to employment and healthcare, and are at a much higher risk of attempting suicide.

Squire’s Corner: Re-inventing yourself

I recently went to GLLA’s (Great Lakes Leather Alliance) 15th Anniversary in Indianapolis. It’s one of those great events where you can reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while, go to the contest, workshops and enjoy the diverse play spaces offered depending on your interests. I’ve attended at least half of their 15-year event history and I keep coming back no matter where I am in my life or in my leather journey which has undergone much change through my 18 plus years. As many of my readers and extended families in and outside the community will attest, it continues to be a struggle balancing the many wondrous interests I have and the stamina it takes to keep it all together, as well as the motivation to remain in service to the community especially when you are no spring chicken. Seems I’m not the only one that has experienced this minor disconnect as I discovered that weekend.

Chicago Leather Community Outreach announces holiday schedule

CHICAGO — Here is a schedule for upcoming volunteer opportunities throughout the rest of 2016. Please read the details for each of the opportunities. There are caps we need to put on the groups so if you are interested in a specific date, ***please Facebook message us directly*** to sign up for that date. I will be adding to this calendar throughout the next few weeks and I also hope to have a 2017 calendar started within the next month. Please consider signing up for one or all of these upcoming opportunities so we can show our Chicago community how much we care!

River City Bears to hold the Mr. Central Illinois Bear Contest

PEORIA — The River City Bears (RCB), based in Peoria Illinois, will be holding its first Mr. Central Illinois Bear Contest this fall. The contest, to be held Oc. 28-29 is the first for the area and the club. “We felt that the contest was a great idea to try to bring the bear community in Central Illinois together.” states Mark Lasswell, President of the RCB.

LA&M to host new exhibit “Part of the Party” by Erica Brooks

CHICAGO — The Leather Archives & Museum announced a new GAG Gallery Exhibition “Part of the Party : The Visual Story of the Onyx Brotherhood and Walter Houston III”. The exhibit opens Friday, January 27th, 2017 and runs through June 4th, 2017.  The show features works from Chicago artist Beatrix Erica Brooks in a variety of media, focused on ONYX and one of its members, Walter Houston III”. About the artist, Beatrix Erica Brooks: “As an artist and arts educator I love to delve into the connections we all share as humans. I also love to dissect the differences between us that cannot be overlooked. I do this exploration through arts based storytelling.

New play Malefactions explores female empowermenin Midwestern Premiere

CHICAGO —Choices, Background, Diversity, Social Injustices and Female Strength are all explored with the Midwest premiere of new play Malefactions, by New York playwright Matt Minnicino. The show will open on Oct. 20 at 7pm at Gorilla Tango Theatre Company 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago 60647. Performances will be October 20, 21, 26, 27 at 7pm and October 22 and 30 at pm. Tickets are $15; to purchase tickets call 773-598-4549 or visit


Once More, With Feeling: The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Musical

CHICAGO — The Scoobies are returning for TWO PERFORMANCES of ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING, the Season Six musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Monday, October 31 2016 at 7:30pm AND 10:00pm at Mary’s Attic in Andersonville. The cast includes (in alphabetical order): Diego Colón, Danny Dauphin, Theresa Egan, Whitney Jones, Kent M. Lewis, Larissa Lynch, Kelly Maryanski, Kat Prush, Wade Tischhauser, Larry Trice, and Francesca Vitali. The reading is directed by Kent M. Lewis with choreography by Kelly Maryanski. ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING delves into the relationships of the main characters and features a demon that forces everyone to randomly break out in song – exposing their concealed truths. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.