After spending the weekend at the Utah Rebellion, a men's leather gathering in Salt Lake City of all place, I really appreciate spending time with my leather brothers. Though not all of the men at the gathering were gay, some were bi and even straight, I do sincerely appreciate having the time with the guys.
That special camaraderie and intimacy leatherman can share, and I am talking about in public not private, is very special. There is a bond that makes me feel like I am with family. They are the brothers I never had, they are the comrades in arms I never experienced. My leather brothers can exchange big bear hugs without a second thought. Equally they can be mischievous rabble-rousers and can joke about almost anything. No matter how caustic their comments you know it is meant in the spirit of fun. These are all guys who would come to the aid of a fellow leatherman and never ask questions. They are buddies with benefits. They are witty yet coarse, cerebral yet physical.
Spending tie with them makes me feel more part of the community than doing any kind of activism or service. Just hangin' with the guys feels great.
I was recently asked to define leather for an article being written for publication. I found myself at a loss, but I can tell you now that to spend the weekend in the company of leathermen you will know it when you see it. You will know it when you experience it.
Thanks to everyone in Salt Lake City who made my stay so much fun!