My first "Leather Hall of Fame" Selection Committee meeting

My first "Leather Hall of Fame" Selection Committee meeting

I am honoured to have been invited and accepted the position to join the Leather of Hall Committee, to bring my International knowledge of history of Dominatrices and BDSM to the group. I am, I think, it's youngest member (at 43 years old), alongside Rostom Mesli.

On Monday just past, I had my first Zoom meeting for the Leather Hall of Fame Committee. 

It was my 7 am in the Monday morning Australia time, Sunday afternoon in USA, and late evening in UK and Europe. So it's a miracle we managed to all mostly make it. (I was up early on coffee and freshly showered to try and be on form.)



Amongst the selection committee's present members are founder and leatherman community legend Robert (Bill) Miller, academic and author Gayle Rubin, author and educator Guy Baldwin, executive director of CARAS and academic Robert Bienvenu, educator & founder of SM Gays Derek Cohen, SM activist and latex clothing maker Nancy Irwin, speaker and author Viola Johnson,  founder of FOLSOM Europe Daniel Rüster, and a list soon to be updated further. (See:



For those unfamiliar with the Leather Hall of Fame awards, it was established in 2009, to recognize the contributions of individuals, organizations and institutions who have contributed to the leather community and history of kinky subcultures.

In particular it focuses on the 20th Century period, and for example the end of post-WW2 / early 1950s and onwards. Nominees must have made contributions dating back at least 25 years ago.

There are many reasons people may view this as important; to shine a spotlight onto and recognize the important figures, organizations and institutions which contributed to community. To gather the historical background and biographies, and help preserve important information and artifacts into the archives.

For myself, it's also about what I refer to as "Ava / Avus Spiritus" - which loosely translates as Spirit of the Ancestor(s), the inspiration, vision and acts of predecessors, who walked before us, which guide and inspire us. 

Last year, the 3 Inductees into the Leather Hall of Fame for 2022 were the leather artist Rex, the GMSMA (Gay Male SM Activists), and the 15 Association.

And over the preceding years since 2009, the Leather Hall of Fame has faithfully been taking on the task of recognizing the important and influential figures and organizations.

Although a majority of the inductees are of course leathermen and organizations including in the gay SM scene, a number of women also feature on this list.

These include Pauline Réage the French author of the Story of O (real name Anne Cécile Desclos), Jeanne Barney who was the first editor of Drummer magazine, Cynthia Slater who was a leather pioneer and Dominatrix, and the famous Dutch Dominatrix Monique Von Cleef who worked in the USA, and won her appeal against the overreach of the police's search and seizure of her dungeon, and by then had moved to the Netherlands and set up her House of Pain near the Peace Palace in the Hague.

The Leather Hall of Fame Inductees can be found here: 



For each year, nominations end on December 31st at 12am Chicago time. 
Anyone in the community can nominate any individual, organization, institution whose contribution dates back at least 25 years. The LHOF also focuses on the history of kinky subcultures starting roughly around the end of WW2/early 1950s. So at the date of this email, the contributions must have been made somewhere between 1945-1950 and 1998.
Nominations are to be made at
People who nominate are invited to submit a list of achievements. The list can be as exhaustive or as short as they are able to submit. For some nominees, filling the blanks is easy (say, Drummer Magazine: we all presumably can situate the nominee); for less famous nominees, a more detailed list will only help make the nominee competitive so that's something people who nominate should keep in mind. 
The nominees from across the world and across genders, sexual orientations, national origins, etc. are welcome. 
I will do my best to faithfully administer to my role on the committee, and bring my historical knowledge to contribute to the panel, advance biographical information through research skills, and cast my votes on the annual nominees.
This year 2023 all of the nominees are incredibly worthy and it's a tough decision, aided only by knowledge that some who may not make it through this year will hopefully in forthcoming years.
I'm using my Blog post also to bring knowledge of the existence of this Leather Hall of Fame to my readers, and it will form a valuable historical archive for the future. I welcome also suggestions of people who others think belong on the nominees list for future years, and will aid where I am able to the biographical research process through knowledge of archival resources.
Anne O Nomis
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