One thought on “Old Guard leather scene vs. the New Guard”

  1. The opening photo really takes me back, showing the Jeep that i rented to be GMSMA’s “float” in the 1984 Pride March. The caption says it was the 1980 March (and calls it a “parade,” a term we never used back then), but that was half a year before GMSMA even got started. In any case, it was a great day — what could be more joyously butch than a classic black Jeep filled with leathermen?

    Since i was the designated driver in the rental contract, i stayed behind the wheel for most of the march. Some folks have said the driver in the photo isn’t me, which is possible since i did take some breaks. But if so, who’s my handsome lookalike? :-)

    Ah, those were the days! We set out to change the world — and succeeded! GMSMA hadn’t even reached its peak of size and influence when the photo was taken. That happened in the mid-1990s, when it was the biggest gay SM organization in the world. By the turn of the new century we’d essentially done what we had set out to do in 1981 — bring SM out of the closet and show that it can be a positive, healthy way for people to connect with each other. Unfortunately, no one had any vision for what we could do next, and in less than a decade the group ran out of steam and finally, in 2009, officially disbanded.

    How typical of the New York Times to notice a minority phenomenon only after it’s over.

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