April 3-5 1998: $1,000.00 each given to Rachelís Womanís Center and San Diego Hospice. Closure of the dungeon during play party because attendee went into shock.
Directors: Kim S and Mark O'Keefe
Program Director: Madoc Pope
Michael McKeon: PR, Leatherfest Logo, Leatherfest website
DungeonFest takes place in the converted parking garage below the hotel.
Over 1,000 men and women at one event to celebrate diversity. The need to meet, the desire to share with and learn from each other is epidemic.
People cried from what they heard. Truth found the heart, over and over, and pierced it. Many of us are permanently changed.
We personally left with a new level of interest in spending more time with any who are interested in sharing time with us, and with a new dedication to spending more scheduled time with each other.
A thought we're exploring, as a result of Leatherfest, is to schedule a monthly get-away. We've used one in the past that is privately owned and located at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains, near Los Angeles. They charge a very small fee for day-time use of the facility, and provide a wonderful facility, environment, and location. Good quality time with each other and with others is now a priority. More on that as the thought develops into a plan.
I'm impressed with the level, the depth, and the genuine character of those who are willing and able to contribute to Leatherfest. This is a volunteer organization. Men and women who are the best of what they do share what has taken years, if not a lifetime, to learn. They expose their souls and risk criticism to help make a difference.
When the world sometime starts to look like there's more wrong that right in it, Leatherfest is a wonderful shot in the arm of optimism. This is an event that demonstrates what's right in the world.
Leatherfest is also the place to catch up with friends and acquaintances from all of the world. It is a great place to see how others have grown since the last visit. Whenever I ask great men and women about their lives, they never explain that things have been dull. Great people have lives filled with trials and tribulations, challenges and change. What makes them great is that they learn from what they have experienced instead of criticise and form the story of their victimization from the experiences.
My personal thanks to Mark O'Keefe, co-chairman of Leatherfest, without whose personal interest and intervention we would not have been at Leatherfest. My congratulations, as well, for the award of recognition he was presented to acknowledge the tremendous contribution he made both this year and in years past. Additional thanks to the dozens who worked with him to produce Leatherfest, and the hundreds who came to share and learn.
San Diego Leatherfest is one of the biggest and one of the best. It takes a lot that's right to make that happen.
the first panel is the Diversity Panel. We make it along with 13 others and about 10 floaters. The panel had Graylin Thornton as facilitator. He is still the first African American Mr. Drummer ('93), and editor of Gay Black Male Magazine. Graylin says it's not his responsibility to bring out men of color into the Leather community. He says the opportunity is there. What his responsibility is is to be accessablle and visible. There is an Apache lesbian Jo Blas; a differently-abled woman called Sue Byrd and our good friend the Dragon Master himself George Wong .
The group is good. It covers a lot of territory. Questions are answered. Lessons learned. Everyone should have the opportunity to attend - and should attend such a discussion. Bottom line is that most of us need to be a little more welcoming to all newcomers to our midst. We should take the time to walk over and speak to those who may appear just a bit different than ourselves The panel guarantees no one will bite - unless that's their fetish.
The very next panel was the Master's panel. Six panelists: Facilitator, Matt Masterman, Phil Ross, Taylor Burke - facilitator, Stephanie Houfek, and slaveMaster Mike McDade. A true cross representation of successful Masters. The audience is packed. The energy is the highest to be found anywhere. It's a great group.
the slave's roundtable begins. Six more presenters up front. Facilitator, Keath Butterworth; Pup to Matt, Wade Brown; rodtney ross, slaveboi to Master Ross; Leslie Finney, who's Master Peter, slave to slaveMaster and Dan Hughes, International Drummer boy 1997. Equally good panel. Peter is brilliant with humor that reflects his contentment. He should be the facilitator next year for sure. And another full house. One important outcome of both the Master and slave roundtables is the extent of love and spirit that prevails - and humor too. Sometimes we can't imagine how life sometimes just isn't quite like the fantasy. It's far far better in this instance.
|LeatherFest X was a success. Like any other experience in life, reality turns out to be different than expected: Sometimes better; sometimes not so good. But even if our expectations come up short, there's always the unexpected blessing that balances things out. Such was the case at LeatherFest X for staff and those attending alike.|
Our most gracious hotel host.
monica and her
assistant during registration
KIM, LeatherFest Co-Director,
'On The Job'
Mummm, These stocks look inviting.
"A little spank?"