I have always been proud of the diversity of the leather community in Baltimore. Maryland’s first leather club, the ShipMates Club of Baltimore, was founded in 1974. Although originally a club for men, currently the ShipMates counts both a female and a transgender person among the club’s full members. The Baltimore Eagle was the first of the “eagle bars” to add a Ms. Baltimore Eagle titleholder – and did so in 1992 when after founding a leather club called “Lesborados,” Glenda Ryder was selected Ms. Baltimore Eagle 1992. In 1993 Glenda went on to start a leather club for women called FIST (Females Investigating Sexual Terrain), which is still a big part of Baltimore’s leather community today. The Mr. Maryland Leather Contest began in 1991 and in 1993 Tony Hash became the first African-American Mr. Maryland Leather titleholder.
In the history of women’s leather, one of the most important groups is Lesbian Sex Mafia, the oldest continuously run BDSM support group in the U.S. The group is coming back to the forefront and kicking some ass in N.Y.C. and beyond. I met Bianca Spencer last year during a women’s history panel with LSM members. I met her again when I had the good fortune and honor of marching with LSM in the N.Y.C. Pride Parade. The Brooklyn resident made an amazing impression on me, seeming to have a quiet strength and desire to help the group flourish and the dedication to help make that happen. If you have not met her yet, I hope you have the opportunity sooner rather than later.
Harvey Milk once said “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” Among many of today’s LGBT advocates, Towson University senior and Point Scholar Nicole Sterling is a tour de force as she champions for the rights of today’s LGBT youth.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
ADVERTISE IN BALTIMORE OUTLOUD WITH PRIDE!
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