Letter from the President

Introducing the SLSC Blog

Aug 3, 2022

“The leather scene is not like it used to be.”

“We have nowhere left to go.”

“There are no ‘real leathermen’ anymore.”

We’ve all heard these sentiments, or variations of them, as members of the leather and kink communities over the last decade. And to be sure, the leather community has changed. We have seen interaction transform through the growth of apps and websites. We have been pushed out of or flat-out lost our bars. We have watched helplessly as a new pandemic affected so many of us, resurfacing those horrors we’ve lived down before, and we mourned when we had to. Leather and kink in 2022 are neither dying nor dead, but they are at a frontier of loss and change. How do we respond?

There are as many answers to this question as members of our community, but the answers are not straightforward. I moved to Seattle in 2011 from the Deep South in search of a place where I could grow and even belong, and for the most part, I found that. The vibrance and diversity of our local scene have changed me in ways I cannot count. For that, I am incredibly grateful, and my gratitude drives me to ponder our future and search for ways to help us respond to these changes. At my heart, service to each other is a core value; I know we are all better together than we are apart. Out of this service-oriented heart and with the help of committed friends who share it, we began Seattle Leather Service Corps in 2019.

First, I want to talk about what SLSC isn’t. Change brings growth and pain in often equal measure, and our community has been plagued by infighting, controversy, and recriminations over different approaches to the changes we’ve seen. To be sure, there are times when taking a stand is vitally important. We must always hold the line against the racism, misogyny, anti-queerness, and transphobia that too often plague the leather community. Still, we do not seek to widen our divisions.

Instead, SLSC strives to focus on the growth rather than the pain. Opportunity lies in how we respond to change rather than attempting to ignore it. We exist together with our many community organizations; it is not our place to presume we know what’s best for anyone on their individual journeys. We are here to lift up those journeys as best we can. We believe that driving three things — service, education, and play — will help our community grow into the 21st century.

We want SLSC to be a safe space for all, whether gay, lesbian, bi, pan, queer, trans, nonbinary, asexual or any other sexual or gender identity. We will gather in respect, mutual understanding, and the pursuit of knowledge that will open the leather and kink scene to new voices and new approaches. We want SLSC to be at the vanguard of modern kink while always recognizing where we came from. We want SLSC to remain open, accessible, and transparent, always hearing those new and often ignored voices. We won’t teach the next generation by bickering about the past or the present. We will move forward together, guided by the spirit of those who came before us, and in the names of those we’ve lost.

Our blog will be a place to explore the current and future of kink through interviews with community figures, creators, and artists alongside pieces that explore the issues facing our scene. Expect photos, recaps of our events, and updates on classes and socials. As in all SLSC endeavors, we want the blog to be a home where our community has a voice, so if you have any ideas for content, please let us know! Our door is always open.

Help us build the community you want. Join us in the spirit of cooperation and celebration. We’re here for you, and we need you.

In leather,

Jason Houston

President, Seattle Leather Service Corps

president@seattleleather.org

Jason Houston

President



More Posts

  • An Interview with Doghouse Leathers
    I visited Doghouse Leathers and met with its owner, Dan “Puppy” Daniels, to talk shop about the business and its place in the Seattle leather and kink community.
  • SLSC August Cigar Social
    SLSC held our August Cigar Social on Saturday afternoon August 6th. We are continuing to enjoy the good company, as well as the warm weather while it lasts. Many thanks as always to the Mercury for hosting, as well as our talented photographer Mike Jacobs! Find more of his work at https://instagram.com/mikethesnowbean.
  • SLSC Pride 2022 Photo Recap
    Pride 2022 was a joyful month for SLSC as we held an extra cigar social and got our first chance to perform demos in public since 2020! Below are photos from our Saturday afternoon cigar social, as well as a look at our flogging and rope setup for Daddy Issues.