Home Page of the LA&M

Leather Persons of Color Project

Extending Our Rainbow One Personal History at a Time!

Over the almost quarter century since its founding the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) has sought to ensure that the history of leather and kink communities is preserved for future generations. As we prepare to celebrate 25 Years of Leather History in 2016, the LA&M  is looking towards its future. To that end we are seeking to expand areas of our collection that we feel can be better represented. Just as we began our initiative to see the history of women in leather take a prominent place in our collections with the “Women’s Leather History Project” at our 20 year mark we have assessed a need within our collections for more material from People of Color.

While the archives currently houses the papers of Viola Johnson, the artwork of Etienne (Dom Orejudos) and journals such as Black Beat and other artifacts from contests, leaders and authors of color we recognize that this is the tip of a very big iceberg. Wanting to dig deeper into this valuable and too often unsung history the LA&M is working to develop an ongoing program centered on collecting, preserving and exhibiting materials from people of color who are LGBT members of leather and other alternative sexual communities. While the program is under development we have decided to start our efforts in our own backyard, Cook County.

As a grassroots and community driven organization we are looking for materials that document our communities’ histories. This includes:

As part of the LA&M, these materials will be preserved for future generations to learn from, we will make them available for research and they will be exhibited in on-site and traveling exhibitions. The first exhibition was a six month pop-up exhibit in the museum’s Guest Artists Gallery [see slideshow below]. To learn more about making donations and how your contribution will help to preserve the stories of LGBT people of color in leather and other alternative sexual communities please contact us at

Contact us or call 773-761-9200.

This program has been funded through the generous support of the LGBT fund of the Chicago Community Trust.

Donate your history to the LA&M
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print Share on LinkedIn Share on Stumble Upon

Images from the Exhibit

Excavating Experiences