Press Release – February 2, 2022
The Selection Committee is pleased to announce the nominees selected for induction in the Leather Hall of Fame in 2022:
Rex, GMSMA, The 15 Association
Born in 1944, Rex West (known professionally as just “Rex”) is among the most significant American leather artists and illustrators. After being trained at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan in the 1960’s, Rex quickly became one of the artists most closely associated with the emerging SM scene of the 1970s and 1980s. His distinct black and white, pointillistic pen-and-ink drawings adorned the walls of countless leather stores and gay bars, and covers of numerous magazines and books. His explicit, raw and uncensored sexual art was and is unparalleled. Rex’s most famous works include the posters he drew for legendary New York City Mineshaft that sold in the tens of thousands and thereby entered the interiors of tens of thousands of leathermen throughout the world.
Started in 1980 by Bryan O’Dell and David Stein in New York City, GMSMA (Gay Male S/M Activists) was the first social-political-educational organization specifically aimed at gay men. It was inspired by the Eulenspiegel Society, the Society of Janus, and, more directly, by Samois. It was distinct from those and other preexisting leather institutions by explicitly announcing its SM purpose its name, as opposed to a cryptic or euphemistic term such “leather” or “motorcycle.”. GMSMA held bi-monthly meetings for nearly four decades, often drawing hundreds of men from New York City and from around the world. Many influential community leaders got their leather education from of GMSMA. The organization disbanded in 2009.
THE 15 ASSOCIATION
Started in San Francisco in February 1980 by 6 men returning from Inferno X, The 15 Association is a social and fraternal organization for gay men into SM and it is one of the oldest-standing organizations primarily dedicated to SM play. After “Scene One,” their first play party attended by 150 men in June 1980, the 15 opened its first play space. It has held monthly parties almost without interruption until the COVID epidemic. The 15 has also been a key pillar of the community, supporting educational events, fundraisers for HIV-related causes or various charities, and offering an inclusive space for play for men of any age, race, body type — and it can pride itself on showing the way long before others for the inclusion of all who identify as men, regardless of the gender they were assigned at birth.
The 14th Leather Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Brunch will be held on November 27, 2022 during the Thanksgiving Leather Getaway in Los Angeles, California. All leather and fetish folks are invited to join us to learn about, celebrate, and honor the lives and accomplishments of this year’s inductees. Tickets can be bought beginning this spring at clawinfo.org