The Chuck Renslow President's Award
Every year individuals and organizations are recognized for their contributions to the Leather Archives & Museum. These individuals and organizations have gone above and beyond the call of support.
2023 Marianne "Lady MJ" Candido
Lady MJ has been an active and passionate leader of the leather and kink community in Chicago for nearly 3 decades. She has created, led and supported numerous clubs and organizations including Trident Windy City, whose 30th anniversary run provided the opportunity to present Lady MJ with the award.
Lady MJ also has a long history of support for LA&M. She worked to raise the money to create the Teri Rose Memorial Library, and put in the "sweat equity" to create the space that is now the most visited part of LA&M. She continues to support the library's ongoing growth and development, making it one of the strongest and most accessible collections of published works on leather, kink, fetish and BDSM.
2020 Leslie Anderson
Leslie Anderson's impact on the Leather Archives & Museum is unparalleled. While Leslie is currently employed by LAM as a Leather Preservationist, her connection to the organization dates back to 2009. Leslie saw the need for a better plan to care for the growing collection of leathers housed in the archives, and began to work as a volunteer on a few leather treasures in 2014. Leslie spent three years developing ideas and proposals for the LAM board to demonstrate how best to triage the collection, and put in place a better system of long-term preservation. She joined the staff in January 2018, and continues to work tirelessly to ensure that these important artifacts are treated with care. Leslie does far more than simply preserve leather history. With each piece, Leslie works to uncover its story and its history and to ensure that this history is preserved along with the physical item itself.
2019 The Freeman Foundation
Organizations such as the Leather Archives & Museum that are focused on issues related to fetish and kink often struggle to find financial support. Fortunately, the Freeman Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports work done in the areas of eros and sexual liberation. The Freeman Foundation has helped to fund the work of LAM for many years. In 2019, a generous grant was awarded to help acquire the extensive archives of Bill "The Hun" Schmeling, ensuring that this important collection of erotic art found a secure and safe space for generations to come.
2018 Mark Ensinger
Mark Ensinger was a true community builder whose legacy and impact will live on for generations to come. Mark was an original member of DELTA, a proud member of The Chicago Hell Fire Club, and a Mason. Mark was perhaps best known for hosting over 300 play parties in his Number 6 Dungeon located in Novi, MI up until his death last year at the age of 83. Mark’s attention to detail created one of the best and best used dungeon play spaces in the country. In his will, Mark left the contents of his dungeon to the LA&M to be sold as a fundraiser for the Archives which raised over $10,000 and led to many happy kinksters bringing his euipment back out into the community. Mark also donated 25% of his estate to the LA&M, to ensure that our important work continues.
2017 John Palatinus Trust
John Palatinus was a remarkable artist whose iconic photographs in the 1950’s dared to showcase the male body as an object of desire. His early work of men in posing straps or nude was published in Tomorrow’s Man and other bodybuilding magazines which were popular among gay men. While his models often appeared solo and in nonsexual poses, Palatinus was nevertheless investigated by the US Postal Service and the NYPD who raided his apartment and studio. In 1961 he was found guilty of the lesser charge of conspiracy, and released after spending one night in jail. Palatinus then focused on commercial shoots and other creative work until 2009 when he began to show his beefcake work again. This “second act” in his life brought Palatinus recognition for his courageous work that influenced many future artists and helped defined the male physical archetype. Palatinus died in 2014 at the age of 85. Today, the John Palatinus Trust provides support for the work of the LA&M under the guidance of Chip Beam and Joe Barlow of Full Kit Gear, helping to ensure a bright future for our historic collections and leather artifacts.
2016 Randall “Bearman” Klett
Known to his mother and his banker as Randall, the rest of the world knows him as The Bear Man (close friends call him Bear.) The Bear Man has been an S/M player and a top since his first husband forced him to tie him up out in the barn 30 years ago The Bear Man is the CEO of The Werks Company and Stompers Boots in Fort Lauderdale. The Companies leave Florida several times a year to take the store on the road to events like Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend, Bears Bikers and Mayhem, CLAW, IML, and several smaller events. The Bear Man is very dedicated to the success of the company (read “a workaholic”). What little time he spends away from work is spent with his partner Christian, their boy matt and pup grayson.
In addition to his duties managing the business, The Bear Man is active in Fort Lauderdale politics having served on Neighborhood Association Boards and Citizens Advisory Boards. He has also served many years as a member of the Board of The Leather Archives & Museum.
2015 Kinky Kollege
Established in 2001, Leather SINS (Social Interaction of the North Shore) is a kink friendly Social Dinner Club made up of like-minded individuals. The organization was founded by Master Z (Chicago) and Master Michael, in order to meet the social needs of residents of the North Shore of Chicago. Since then, our membership has grown and we now have over 400 members from Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the entire Metropolitan Chicago Area.
Leather SINS holds two national events a year that are open to the entire community in an effort to bring all disciplines of the Kink/Leather Lifestyle together. So far over 2,500 event members from around the world that have attended a Leather SINS Event! These events include both Kinky Kollege Spring Break and Kinky Kollege Homecoming. In addition to the events, Leather SINS also operates the SINS Center, a BDSM Social Club, play space, and fetish art gallery in the Chicago area, open to all interested in the lifestyle.
Profits from endeavors benefit our Leather SINS “We Care Charities”, which has benefited the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), the Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M) and the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN). Other charities include Streetwise, Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Abuse, the Howard Brown Health Center, AIDS Research and Katrina Hurricane relief. We have raised close to $200,000 to date and have completed multiple “adoptions” at the Leather Archives and Museum.
Leather SINS promotes the safe, sane and consensual practice of all fetishes and alternative lifestyles through fellowship, education, information and the sharing of knowledge.
2014 Centaur Motorcycle Club
Centaur MC consists of a group of men with an enthusiastic interest in motorcycles, leather and other men. The club sponsors Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL); Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Contest (Mr. MAL); and the bi-annual woodsy recreational Labor Day Weekend event, Olympia.
Centaur MC has both created and supported leather history in significant ways. Recently celebrating the 40th annual Leather Cocktails reception (2014) and the 30th annual Mr. MAL (2015), they keep important traditions alive while celebrating new generations of leather. Centaur MC has supported the Leather Archives & Museum from the beginning, recognizing the importance of keeping our history and culture safe and accessible.
2013 Lambda Men’s Brotherhood
The Leather Masked Ball® is the premiere annual dance party and charity event in South Florida’s Leather Community. The event takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The Leather Masked Ball® was founded in 2006 and is produced by a local group of dedicated volunteers from Leather Men’s Brotherhood. Ticket sales and the funds donated go to charity. Beneficiaries have included Tuesday’s Angels, The Stonewall Library and Archive, Care Resource and Equality Florida and The Leather Archives & Museum. By the end of 2013 The Leather Masked Ball will have awarded over $100,000 in grants.
2012 Cowboi Jen
Cowboi Jen is a proud Philadelphian who has been immersed in the Levi/rodeo community since 1992 and the Leather and kink community since 2000. She had the honor of being the first Mid-Atlantic Leatherwoman in 2009 and created the Pantheon award winning Philadelphia Leather Pride Night as her title year fundraiser. She had helped found The Leather Heart Foundation, MAsT: Wilmington DE, the Liberty Gay Rodeo Association and the Philadelphia Leather Alliance. She is a member and associate member of multiple other organizations including the pride of her hometown, the Keystone boys of Leather.
Jen has volunteered at numerous events and fund raisers and has taught DM classes throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. She has judged leather contests across the United States and in several countries, making history being the first female judge for the Mr. South Africa Leather Contest in 2012. Cowboi Jen has won several awards including the Pantheon of Leather President’s Award as well as the Diabolique Foundation Community Service Award in 2010.
Her life motto is don’t just live… live well.
2011 Chicago Hellfire Club
Thanks to the generosity shown during Inferno 39, The LA&M and the CHC Preservation Committee have begun the process of preserving Chicago Hellfire Club's rich history. With monies raised, the LA&M hired an Archivist specifically to deal with the CHC collection.
At Inferno 40, the Chicago Hellfire Club was presented the Chuck Renslow President's award in appreciation for their efforts in preserving the club's history, artwork and memorabilia.
The Chicago Hellfire Club is a brotherhood of men who share interests in Gay S/m safe sex. The purpose of the Club shall be to provide education and opportunities for participation in safe, sane, and consensual S/m sex among consenting adult men and to foster communication among such individuals.
2010 Sir Top and slave bonnie
Sir Top, SE Master 2007, is a gender fluid individual that has been active in the lifestyle since 1999 as a Dominant and Master. He was presented the “Leather Archives & Museum President’s Award 2010”, Pantheon “Couple of the Year Award 2010” with slave bonnie and the "Jack Stice Community Award 2009”. Sir Top is in a very successful 24/7 M/s relationship with collared slave bonnie, since 2002. Sir Top loves educating and feels that his title year provided him with much needed growth that now allows him to pay it forward in teachings. Sir Top resides in FL and was a nurse on the heart team and is now retired from the field although still has a strong precision for needles, creative needle play, and decorative cuttings.
Sir Top is co-owner of Beyond Leather, Top’s Boot Camp, the International Pony Play Championship, the International Power Exchange contest and is also the director for F.L.U.I.D. Sir Top and slave bonnie raised $6k for the renovation of the women’s restroom at the Leather Archives and Museum, is a member of the LA&M, NLA-I, NCSF and NLA-CFL and has presented at TESfest, Kinky Kollege, Black Rose, SPLF, SELF, GD2, Floating World, GLLA, IMsL, Beyond Leather, Sinsations in Leather, DomCon, APEX Summer Bash, Master/slave Conference, COPE, Beyond the Edge and Thunder in the Mountains. Sir Top also judges International contests and has been an emcee since 2008.
slave bonnie, SE slave 2007 was presented with the “Leather Archives & Museum President’s Award 2010”, Pantheon “Couple of the Year Award 2010” with her Master, Sir Top and the "Jack Stice Community Award 2009”. she is a femme gay female slave, was born and raised on Long Island, NY and has been living in FL since 1988. slave bonnie has been part of the lifestyle since the late 1970’s (for kinky fun) and found her place as a slave since 2002 with Sir Top. Today she has a successful private practice as a neuromuscular specialist in pain management.
slave bonnie is co-owner of Beyond Leather, the International Pony Play Championship and the International Power Exchange contest. she helped raised $6k for the women’s restroom at the Leather Archives and Museum with Sir Top and is a member of NLA-I, NCSF and LA&M. slave bonnie has presented at Black Rose, TESfest, Beyond Leather, GD2, SPLF, SELF, Floating World, IMsL, Sinsations in Leather, DomCon, Thunder in the Mountains, Kinky Kollege, APEX Summer Bash, Master/slave Conference, Great Lakes and many more as well as judges International contests.
2009 International Ms. Leather
International Ms. Leather (IMsL) was founded in 1987 by San Francisco based Mst. Enterprises in association with “Up Your Alley Productions.” The first contest was held at Club DV8 in San Francisco on Saturday, March 21, 1987. Often touted as the Sister Contest of International Mr. Leather in Chicago, IMsL drew participants from around the world.
Unlike International Mr. Leather, IMsL never really settled on a permanent home in the early years. Traveling to Atlanta, Philadelphia and even Toronto Canada, IMsL finally settled on a home in Omaha, NE under the direction of Amy Marie Meek who herself won the title in 1993.
After several years in Omaha, Amy decided to sell the contest that she loved so much… Glenda Rider stepped in as the new Owner/producer and moved the contest back to its roots in San Francisco. In 2010, IMsL will celebrate its 24th year.
2008 Master Z (Chicago)
Known for his leadership roles in the community, Master Z is the Co- Founder and President of Leather SINS, NFP and is the Event Director of SINSations In Leather and Kinky Kollege. He also serves as the Executive Director of the SINS Center, a fully equipped pansexual BDSM Play Space.
Master Z is proud to have recently been elected to his second term to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. He currently is the NCSF Membership Chairman and serves on their Fundraising & Media Committees. He also represents Leather SINS as their NCSF Coalition Partner Representative.
His passion lies in sharing and teaching basic skills and protocol to newcomers to the lifestyle. His presentations span across all interest ranges and levels, and include bondage, suspension, medical play, impact play and sensation play.
A lifelong resident of Illinois, Master Z lives happily with his two 24/7 slaves. Now, 54 years old and retired, he began studying the many facets of the lifestyle in 1976, at the age of 22, in the gay leather bars and clubs of Chicago. He has been active in the Chicago BDSM Community, belonging to CDG, KBA, DNA, D&S, NCSF, Crimson Moon, Leather SINS and the Leather Archives & Museum.
2007 Eric Lawrence
Eric is from Fort Lauderdale and is the Husband/Partner of renowned erotic artist, Ira C. Smith. Lawrence is co-owner of Leatherwerks and is an activist for over 30 years.
He is a Founding member of, NLA Florida, Founding member of Leather University - Dungeon series, Founding member of Bound South--The Leather Masked Ball. He has given educational seminars and training on the subject of fisting around the world. Along the way, he won a few awards as well: : "Florida Man of the Year 2004", "Forbearer Award -Florida Leather Sir & Leatherboy 2005" and the "Pantheon of Leather XVIII- Presidents Award".
2007 Mary Elizabeth Boyd
Mary Elizabeth hails from the Washington DC area and lives in Arlington Virginia. Her home bar is the DC Eagle.
She has been active in the leather community for many years. You can catch her judging a contest, mentoring a contestant or holding court while supporting a local or national leather event.
Her judging assignments have stretched from Anchorage Alaska, Last Frontier Men’s Club (T.L.F.M.C.) 2003 to Palm Springs Leather 2007, Mr. Leather Toronto (MLT) 2005, Olympus 2001, International Mr. Leather (IML)2004, International Deaf Contests 2005 and many Regional and local contests.
She has been called “The First Lady of Leather”; this is not a contest title but a title given her in the spirit of honor. She also has been honored by receiving the first MLT John Stephen Bassett Leather Pride Award 2005, Pantheon of Leather as “Woman of the Year 2004” and “Mid Atlantic Regional Award 2006”, The Leather Archives & Museum President’s Award 2007, CLAW Miller International Volunteer Award 2007 and in 1999 the Unsung Hero Award. She is an Associate Member of Pittsburgh Leather Central, an Honorary Member of the DC Boys of Leather and Northeast Pennsylvania Leathermen (NEPA), Board of Directors for Scarlet’s Foundation and Advisory Committee for CLAW 2008.
2006 Robert Miller & Dennis McMahon
Founders of Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend. CLAW Corp. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all volunteer organization. CLAW is dedicated to fundraising, education, volunteerism, and all other charitable needs of the leather community. CLAW is dedicated to the principle that people into leather are normal, happy and healthy - and that we teach each other the truth of that principle. CLAW produces a large annual convention in Cleveland every year, and several smaller events around the country throughout the year.
2005 Roger Klorese
As the founder of QueerNet in March 1991, cyberactivist Roger Klorese has demonstrated a long history of commitment to getting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, HIV, and S/M communities online. QueerNet has served the LGBT community with hundreds of email lists and dozens of web sites on sports, regions, religions, health, and every sort of kink of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and S/M community.