Kinky Kollege and The Leather Archives

I was very fortunate to make a last minute visit to Chicago this past weekend to co-teach at Kinky Kollege and to visit The Leather Archives. Kinky Kollege puts me at six different kink conventions this year (holy shit that is a lot of traveling). And also marks the start of me teaching and demo bottoming for conventions.

Chicago was a great cultural experience for me. Colorado doesn’t have a great queer scene. As a queer woman, there isn’t a strong sense of community and we don’t have many gathering places (insert joke about lesbians just wanting to stay home here). Chicago was booming with beautiful, big, gay culture. Go to the right neighborhood and the streets are lined with rainbow flags and gay bars. Sex shops aren’t tucked away in dingy creepy corners, and instead happily show their sparkly wonderful didlo-full wares.

Kinky Kollege Homecoming

Kinky Kollege was a great event. Nestled up next to the Chicago airport, the hotel was stunning. I found that the whole event had a welcoming and casual vibe. Instead of requiring con-goers to wear their ID or a photocopy of their ID on their badge (which makes me pretty uncomfortable) they had a real ID card printer, which provides safe and easy to see badges with the face of the person on them. I think it was a great ‘beginners’ convention, and one that regulars in the scene can also appreciate.

Kinky Kollege is unique in that it is a biannual event. Kinky Kollege Spring Break will happen April 1-3 2016. So if you plan on being in Chicago in April, I would recommend checking it out.

The Leather Archives and Museum

Mural at the start of the self guided tour at the museum

I was so excited when I found out my group was going to have time to visit the Leather Archives. If you haven’t heard, The Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago is one of the few museums in the world that is focused on leather and bdsm culture. The archives is an effort to collect history from our community and culture and present it in a non-judgemental way.

The best bathroom sign. I wish more bathrooms said this.

While I was walking through the exhibits I felt a little bit emotional. I was so proud to see BDSM portrayed in the way we want the world to see it, and it made me fiercely proud of the community that I call ‘home’ these days. I think that having museums like the Leather Archives is a step in the right direction for BDSM to become more understood and valued. Our history is rich and beautiful even if it is a little different, and I think there is always value in preserving history.

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