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A photo from gallery slideshow in the Excavating Experience: The Presence of LGBTQ People of Color in Cook County, IL exhibit. Read about this exhibit by clicking "MORE" button at right.
Chicago is arguably the birthplace of the leather and fetish scene in the US. The exhibit “Excavating Experience: The Presence of LGBTQ People of Color in Cook County, IL” shows how people of color contributed to this culture.
The Leather Archives & Museum is a precious gem of a museum in the Rogers Park/Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. The leather and fetish world, not unlike the court system in the drag world, is a stabilizing substructure of the LGBTQ world at large. Organized balls, events, parties, and special interest bars have assured a cohesive community that documents its history.
The Leather Archives & Museum, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this fall, has been repeatedly named to popular offbeat tourist destination lists (Chicagoist, RoadTrippers, Chicago NPR station WBEZ, and more), and acts as a community hub for adult programming throughout the year, welcoming locals and tourists alike. Lectures, screenings, and events at the museum are diverse in nature, and its programming — such as the "Excavating Experience" exhibit — seeks to reflect contributions from everyone involved in the BDSM/leather/fetish/kink communities.
"Practicing kink is universally a part of sexual exploration,” says museum executive director Rick Storer. “The LA&M is excited for this exhibit to show how people of color in Chicagoland have practiced and performed leather/fetish sex, and how they have built community around it." Storer says exhibits like this one are critical to the museum's core mission, and that contributions to BDSM/leather/fetish/kink communities by people of color must be visible.
"Excavating Experience: The Presence of LGBTQ People of Color in Cook County, IL" runs until January 8t at the Leather Archives & Museum, 6418 N. Greenview Ave. in Chicago.