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History of New Mexico Leather
& Alternative Communities

OverviewVenuesArtisans • GroupsEvents

Updated 15July24

History is a foundation that helps us approach the future with more understanding.  Awareness of history helps us realize not just what came before us, but also understand how things have changed, are changing, what was attempted, successes, struggles, and the great time had by many in alternative lifestyle communities.  It reminds us that time passes by quickly and to be sure to be kind as you travel through your journey through these alternative communities.

What does alternative and leather community history mean you?  Explore pages here on Venues, Artisans, Groups, and Events that list past and current examples.  Some summary observations are mentioned below on this page.

Note: This is a work in progress.  If you have information, content, ideas, and comments, they are welcome!  Copyright 2024, Domum Corium Cordis, House of Leather Heart.  Provided to NM-REAL as a service to their mission and New Mexico's Leather history and future.

OVERVIEW & WELCOME

This history is divided into five sections.  This overview covers high level concepts and summary conclusions.  You can also explore sections on Venues, Atisans, Groups, and Events.

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Public and private places we gather, meet, and socialize become some of our most safe spaces to explore alternative lifestyle communities, and help us through our journey. 

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Our community events are times to gather and celebrate our freedom to express our alternative lifestyles in safe spaces, socialize and enjoy.  We consider significant events and those nomadic, wandering locations with their clan. 

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Some artisans capture their vision of the Leather and Alternative Lifestyle communities, brining us the emotion and record of what they experienced. Other artisans create the tools we need or care for them. 

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Our chosen family and clans create safe space for exploring our true selves in alternative lifestyle communities, providing harbor from oppressive normative culture, while we mentor and learn from each other, and find friends.  

Poster (version 1)

A poster was created early in development of this history, intended to visually summarize some of the information on these page.  This poster will be updated as new information is gathered.   You can find this poster at Sidewinders Bar & Grill and Wired Events.

Acknolwedgemnts

© 2024 , by Domum Corium Cordis, House of Leather Heart.  Additional content and information, thanks to Casey Newkirk, Dave Rhodes, Dennis Dunnum, Eldest Saint, Jayson DaBoi, Leslie Anderson, Scott White, Sera M., Sky F., Tyler McCormick and others noted in "Sources." The Internet Archive is used extensively where possible to obtain website and online information where possible.

New Mexico Leather & Alternative Community - Titles, Groups, Events, Venues

You can see this poster at Sidewinders Bar & Grill and Purgatory Dungeon.

Summary Observations

What might we gather from histories of alternative communities such as this and how might we use it?  Each of us may perceive different things from history in our community.  Perhaps some of the following could be valuable for you.

  • Understanding the past helps you know why we're here and were to go next.

    • There are great ideas from the past that you can select, adjust, or leave behind and use as a plan to move forward.

    • Consider approaching leaders of past and current activities to learn more.

    • Understanding the past doesn't mean you need to follow the past.

  • While you can, have fun, be kind, make safe space.

    • Our alternative & leather communities exist within a dominant vanilla society that is often extremely repressive and unsafe for us.

    • This history is about having fun and enjoying life by making safe space.

    • All of the venues, groups, and events listed here were focused on these things.​

    • Need a new safe space?  Approach an existing organization to help or start your own (join their table).  If that doesn't work, create your own safe space (create your own table).  Collaborate with others.

  • A small number of people usually lead us forward to fun space - Now and then, be one of them!

    • A small group of people can make great things happen.​  It's about service to the community.  But the small number of people will burn out, so it is better to have more involved.

    • When you can, find an existing activity, get involved and help with the work of making fun.

    • It's OK to sit back sometimes and enjoy the work of others by participating in what they created.  Celebrate with them.

    • Success often comes from a closely bound group of friends that create safe space for a chosen family that spends time together and evolves common values.  Energy from this core helps create the broader organization and safe space for others.  Grow the core.

  • A small number of rude or uneducated people in the community can ruin safe space or damage trust.

    • It can take just one unchecked individual to ruin safe space or lead to the downfall of trust.  One such person can easily metastasize into multiple.  This may be a person that is uninformed or may be someone who is malicious for their own benefit.

      • That is why our community ethics must be enforced.  It is too easy to ignore and sweep things under a rug - but that can easily become a future disaster. Rather, try to guide and educate those who can change.  Ethically isolate those who are malicious in order to protect safe space.

    • Wonderful safe play spaces that are informal and small are often successful due to the trust in those who attend.  If these spaces grow in popularity, becoming more public and populated, then less-trusted individuals often show up.  These individuals do not know the norms and value of the safe space.  They may ruin or eliminate the safe space.  One example in Colorado is Thunder in the Mountains.

  • Things change - Embrace change - Defend safe space.

    • It is important to accept change and evolve. This includes having a purpose, accomplishing, and moving on.​  This includes adjusting a group's policies to address change.

    • It is OK for some organizations to end rather than move forward - for many different reasons.

    • It is OK for an individual to leave an organization that has evolved away from their interests.

    • Change comes from many sources.  These sources may include:

      • Code of conduct, ethics, honor, brotherhood, standing by one's word - something strong from WW2 changes or fades with broader culture over time.  Different transactional cultures have emerged.

      • Perceived need for safe space changes with broader culture having more acceptance or growing rejection of alternative lifestyles.​

      • The Internet allowing people to connect online.   Less in-person engagement.

      • The 2020 pandemic.  Less in-person engagement.

      • Individual conflicts between good people will happen.  Seek to resolve these.

      • Unsafe and unredeemable people (such as narcissists) will emerge, those that care more about themselves than community and other people.  These unsafe people seek their next refuge or hunting ground in your community.  They will inject chaos into safe spaces.  Defend your safe spaces or they will be consumed and disband.

  • Not all venues, groups, and events are welcoming or safe for you.  Why?

    • Some activities forget to think about inclusion and being diverse.

    • A safe space for all may not always be safe for a particular individual.  ​Sometimes "less than full inclusion" is necessary to create safe space for some.  TNG is a great example.  This makes sense for a private event.  As a group holds events that are more public, inclusion for all becomes necessary.  Hate is never OK.  When we must exclude, do it with compassion and kindness.

  • Our safe spaces and activities are precious - support them.

    • Many venues, groups, and events are projects of love of one or a small number of people​.  When they leave, the resource is gone from our community.

    • Most activities are financially fragile.  They need a community to exist.

  • Our artisans are precious - support them.

    • Many artisans give their time and energy to the community.  Support them the best you can.

    • Our artisans need your support to exist.

Have more ideas to contribute or critique of these thoughts?  Let us know.  Write head@houseofleatherheart.org.

History References

​New Mexico

United States

  • Leather Archives & Museum, leatherarchives.org.

  • Carter Johnson Library & Collection, https://www.carterjohnsonlibrary.com/.

  • Leatherpedia, Leather Culture, leatherpedia.org/leather-culture/.

  • The Leather Journal, theleatherjournal.com.

  • Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_subculture.

  • Erotic Heritage Museum (eroticmuseumvegas.com) holds a history of sexual freedom and eroticism in the museum and has events.  It is located in Las Vegas, NV.

  • Evil Monk, Leather & BDSM history, https://www.evilmonk.org/a/history.cfm.

  • Evil Monk, Leather History Timeline, https://www.evilmonk.org/a/deblase01.cfm.

The history compilation on this page is courtesy of and Copyright 2024, Domum Corium Cordis, House of Leather Heart.  head@houseofleatherheart.org.

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