Los Angeles LGBT Center Unites California Kink Community for Inaugural Leather Day of Advocacy in Sacramento
LOS ANGELES, April 17 — Over 60 advocates and members of the California leather community gathered in Sacramento today for the first-ever Leather Day of Advocacy. This historic event aims to raise visibility for the leather community and address issues which disproportionately affect them, including STIs and accidental overdose. The advocates—dressed in full leather gear to promote sex-positive and LGBTQ+ inclusive legislation—met with more than three dozen elected officials to garner support for three legislative bills and two budget asks.
Participants received a Legislative Visit training in preparation for meetings with elected officials and legislative staff. A breakfast and rally held on Monday morning featured remarks from Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner, Director of Policy and Community Building Joey Espinoza-Hernandez, Ande Stone of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Jacob Fraker, Legislative staff for the LGBTQ Caucus and Senator Susan Eggman.
“It is believed that the leather community has not actively advocated in this way since the early days of the AIDS epidemic. We’ve lost many friends to AIDS and addiction over the decades, and this is a beautiful way to honor them, in their skins, continuing the fight for our community,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner.
“This community is a diverse coalition unafraid to advocate for the access for all queer people to live safely and proudly,” added Hollendoner.
The Leather Day of Advocacy works to secure support for harm reduction funding, Hepatitis C prevention funding, increased PrEP/PEP access and STI screenings, and adding more protections for trans youth and survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence.
Elected officials who met with the delegation included Governor Gavin Newsom, Speaker Anthony Rendon, California Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, State Senator Scott Weiner, and a wide array of Assemblymembers and Senators from across California.
Leather Day of Advocacy was organized by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, with representatives from Ending the Epidemics, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Sacramento LGBT Center, and various leather organizations in California. Mr. LA Leather 2023, Colin MacDougall, was also in attendance.
About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org