On Values, Growth and Presidency

Friends,

I’d like to start by offering my sincere thanks to John Grimshaw for his hard work and dedication as President, and public servant of the Club. Again and again he has stepped up when the club has been in turmoil and kept things going.

On behalf of the ‘younger generations’ of leathermen, I thank him from the bottom of my heart for saving our historic and prestigious club from the ravages of time and cultural vandalism, so that we can be part of it too.

Because of him, and because of so many other people, the club stands as it did in 1973 – able to be a place of fellowship, kindness and kinkiness in London’s thriving leather scene.

Over the last few years, its become clear to me that in a world where Gaydar, Grindr and Recon exist, there is still space for gay men to come together to hang out in gear, build lasting friendships, and forge a community that has stood the test of time.

Over the last few years we’ve seen London’s Leather scene move from strength to strength – under Steve’s guiding hand, The Leather Social grew until it’s bursting at the seams. The Backstreet was saved from redevelopment by a community effort led by Nigel. Fetish retailers and venues have withstood the devastation of the pandemic without letting go of what made them part of our community.

It seems the ideal time to bring London Leathermen back into the fold.

For a number of years the club has been recovering following acts of cultural vandalism, lawsuits, betrayals of trust, which tested many of our friend’s patience with the wider fetish scene. But the club remains – a tribute to its members and to others within the kink community who have worked hard to preserve its history and ideals.

Those ideals – as simple as they ever were, hold up to scrutiny as well today as they did in 1973 – that we should have a place free of religion or politics, a place where good vibes, fellowship and unity flow freely, and being kind is prioritised over being right.

A club exists to serve its community: to make capacity, to fill the gaps, to organise and arrange and work behind the scenes to bring together that community in a way that benefits everyone.

The community is bigger than any one individual. We make decisions through open discussion and substantial unanimity. We look for those who aren’t at our table, and invite them in. We do no harm, but we take no shit. 

Our club is entering a time of growth and renewal.

But I want to be clear:

This will not be a growth that clears out the past. 

This will be a growth that celebrates our past. That honours the people who helped make the club, that listens to their stories and shares them with the world.

Our club’s history is not something to be locked away in a cabinet – it is something we are proud of, that we wear on our epaulettes, that we share with the world.

This club, your club, our club has stood the test of time and has outlasted local catastrophe and global tragedies – and it will continue to do so.

We are London Leathermen, and I am honoured to be able to serve you all as President.

2 thoughts on “On Values, Growth and Presidency

  1. Morning how and where can I join the club? I’m an older man who does not own a lot of leather but I am interested . Do you have an upper age limit?

    1. Good Morning Glenn.
      We don’t, and will never have an upper age limit. We are currently working on our membership policy and will be accepting new members shortly.
      In the meantime, you can sign up to our Supporters mailing list at http://eepurl.com/hUVc2b

      Jack

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