Friday, November 20, 2009

Leather Life: A Valedictory, of sorts

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #378, November 20, 2009)

Back on June 9, 1995, one of the features of the first issue of Lavender Magazine (then called Lavender Lifestyles) was the first edition of this Leather Life column. Since then, for almost fifteen years, the Leather Life column has appeared in all but a few issues of Lavender.

The magazine recently decided to change the editorial direction of the column appearing in their Bar Scene section. So the column you now are reading will be the last every-issue installment of the Leather Life column. Henceforth, the Leather Life column will appear quarterly.

With so many items still on my “future columns” list, I am surprised, and somewhat saddened, to see the column’s frequency being reduced. But there’s much for which I am thankful. Because of this column I have met many fine people and had many great experiences, the memories of which I will always cherish.

I am very grateful to Lavender for giving me the freedom to write what I wanted to write, and for not editing me too much. I have enjoyed having the support of everyone who has been a part of Lavender over the years, including editors, art directors, office staff, ad sales reps and fellow contributors.

Special thanks to George Holdgrafer, who has been with the magazine from its beginning. My deep gratitude to Lavender’s publisher, Stephen Rocheford, who always has had the good sense to know that a publication, if it is to survive, must be run as a self-sustaining business, not a social cause. That, I think, is one reason why Lavender is the longest-running GLBT publication in the Upper Midwest. I always have been proud to have my column appear in its pages.

Thanks to everyone at for linking to Lavender’s website, thereby including me in their fine slate of leather writers. Thanks to my partner, Bill, for reading each column moments after it’s been written and offering helpful critiques.

Thank you to everyone in the leather/BDSM/fetish community—individually for being who you are, and collectively for creating such a vibrant community and culture that has given me so much to write about for all these years. Leather Life has always been your column—I’ve just been the one who happened to be writing it.

And finally, thanks to you, the person reading this column. Whether you’re leather, BDSM, fetish or none of the above; whether you’re G, L, B, T, heterosexual, pansexual or refuse to be labeled; and whether you picked up the magazine and flipped to this column, or pointed your browser to Lavender’s website and found the column there—thanks for reading. I’ll be back with another edition of Leather Life sometime next spring.

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