Okay, I know the last thing I should be doing is linking to an article written by daft, biased “reporters” for the organization Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality, but the following is just so fucking ridiculous that I had to make my response, snarky though it is. Yes, it is feeding the trolls, but in some ways I feel it is my responsibility to publicly state some of my own truths and expose the opinions masquerading as facts meant to scare vanillas.
My comments are in red italics
AFTAH Writer Is Grossed Out by ‘International Mr. Leather’ Perversion-fest Hosted by Hyatt Regency Chicago
Already we can tell this will be a highly informative, perfectly balanced and well-researched article. The use of the term “grossed out” is particularly useful in relating facts and “truth”.
WARNING: Highly Offensive and Graphic Images and Subject Matter
I have taken the liberty of removing the images, but not the subject matter.
Folks, to people who proudly practice homosexuality (sin), this is “Gay Pride Month.” But there doesn’t seem to be much to be “proud” of in this account of the vendor area at “International Mr. Leather,” Chicago’s annual, mostly homosexual sadistic-sex celebration. AFTAH writer and experienced pro-family activist Lynn Thomas had a hard time reporting on this awful spectacle because, well, she is normal. The sheer perverseness of homosexual sadomasochism (including “consensual” “master-slave relationships”) – embraced and celebrated as the “leather community” under the LGBT umbrella – makes it difficult to expose. Last I read, homosexuality is not synonymous with sin. And if you’re out to tell the truth about homosexuality, you might want to fact check that before you start. And poor, Lynn Thomas, taking one for the team so to speak because “well, she is normal”. What is normal, really? Have you confirmed with her what her favorite sex position is, whether she has orgasmed, whether she does it with the lights off? Because in some circles, many I am sure your members are a part of, if she has ever had intercourse in anything but missionary for the sole purpose of providing her husband with a brood of children, then she is definitely not normal. I don’t mean to single her out, but since you are delving into a private event to examine the sexual practices of attendees at this conference, I think that is a fair question.
Also, there are members of both the LGBT and Leather communities who might take exception to whether Leather is “under the LGBT umbrella”. There are a number of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans folk who are not kinky. And likewise, there are a number of straight people who identify as Leather.
Again, fact-checking is not really a strong-point in this article or for this organization as a whole. We might be able to stop our assessment here for the very reason that this article is perhaps the “truth” of the writer, but is clearly opinion nonetheless. The only thing I find factual so far is that they actually walked through the vendor market at IML.
The country talks about the “Heartland” and “Midwestern values,” but the reality is that Chicago has become one of the most perverted cities in the world. Of course, this is due in part to it being one of the most homosexual-friendly cities in the world. Chicago even has its very own Perversion Museum, our name for the truly bizarre Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) — which carefully documents the sadomasochistic deviancies of mostly homosexual “leathermen,” and some hetero and lesbian perverts. (See below the twisted painting from the LA&M, which is housed in a nondescript building in the city’s Rogers Park neighborhood on the north side.) I lived in Chicago for three years and actually found it to be less progressive than New York City, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, which I have spent significant time in. Have you traveled to other nations, other cities to gain the experience to truly assert this claim? Nevertheless, unless Boys Town has significantly expanded and annexed Cabrini Green, Little Village, Hyde Park and beyond, I’d say that your bias of being based in nearby Naperville, is probably the better comparison. Compared to Naperville, I’m sure Chicago seems like a gay glitter mecca.
Just a small grammatical point, “Pervision Museum” should not be capitalized unless it is the name of the museum. It is not. Although thank you for reporting that it is in Rogers Park, probably the more diverse of Chicago’s neighborhoods, and a modest walk from my old apartment.
This “Leather Museum,” and the welcoming home that the Windy City has become to proud sexual deviants of various stripes, speaks volumes about the slippery-slope of tolerance toward abetting evil; the organizing power of a sin movement; but most importantly of America’s staggering, post-Christian moral decline. – Peter LaBarbera, www.aftah.org
There are too many inaccuracies in your last statement to address them all. Suffice it to say, that as the leader of this organization, you are entitled to your opinion, but I think there are worse evils in this world that we have tolerated such as the systematic applause the American public has given to rampant hyperbole.
TAKE ACTION: Tell the Hyatt Regency Chicago [XXXXXXXXX; hit “0” and ask for the Executive Offices] that it is wrong and un-hygienic to profit off perversion-fests like IML – no matter how much the Hyatt was paid by IML organizers for this revolting event (see photos). We don’t know what kinds of special chemicals are required for the clean-up after the orgies and sodomies committed in spades at “International Mr. Leather.” (And pity the poor maids.) But would you want to sleep in the same bed where a homosexual orgy – or drunken, orgiastic encounter between two “leathermen” — took place – with body fluids and feces flying here and there? Neither would we. Call the Hyatt at: xxxxxxxxx; hit “0” and ask for the Executive Offices.
Thank you for providing the phone number. As I wrote this, i called the Hyatt to congratulate them on having the courage to host an event such as IML. Thank you for such a lovely idea.
AFTAH Writer Is Grossed Out by International Mr. Leather Perversion-Fest Held at Hyatt Regency Chicago
By Lynn Thomas, Special to Americans For Truth
CHICAGO — Walking to the front of the building, there was nothing noticeable on the outside that I could see that identified the fact that Mr. International Leather was being held at the Hyatt Regency. Other than men dressed in leather boots or leather pants who gathered at the front of the building hugging each other with their luggage, ready to catch a cab, and the fact that few females were visible walking the grounds, it could have been a convention of any type. Except there was a flagrant homosexual theme if you sized up the men: some were holding hands; some were cuddling or kissing. Coming in through the front door, this sign warned that the entire hotel was reserved for a “private event.”
Just a reminder: Private event. This will be addressed later.
There were a lot of ‘sentries’ at the top of escalators, and traveling down one level there was a ‘desk’ by the escalator, where a number of flamboyantly dressed men were gathered and making small talk. They told me to go downstairs to ‘register’ and pay my $5.00 for admission. When I got downstairs, they told me to go upstairs, I wound up by with that same group of men, and so one of them escorted me personally to where I needed to go. I was met with sneers along the way as though they knew I didn’t belong there. I tried to play up the illusion that I am ‘pro gay.’ I stood in line, took out my ID, which I had to show when I paid. There were a number of circular tables in between where you paid and showed your ID and where you got your wrist band put on. At the tables everyone had to take their waiver form and fill it out and sign it. With that filled out and in hand, people travelled down a line toward the booths to receive the wristband that would allow you to come in and out of the vendors’ area. While in that line, they checked IDs again. Then we reached the last area where we had our wristbands fastened to our wrists, and showed ID’s one last time. I can forgive some of the opinion already asserted here such as “flamboyantly” and “sentries”. But is the meaning of a desk really in question? I would love to hear how the reporter was dressed for this event. Was there any effort to blend in? However, I commend you for a mostly thorough explanation of a registration line as I have ever seen. However, I must say the description of what the waiver actually said is missing. In quite a few Leather events throughout the U.S., typically waivers specifically state that you assert you are not a reporter and provide the event organizers a legal right to sue you for any misrepresentation of that fact.
From there it was another escalator ride down to the basement level. The basement was dark, and there were double doors to enter the vendor area. From experience “basement levels” are not usually dark. Did you ask the hotel staff about the lighting? I am sensing the start of a story that is starting with “in a dark and scary dungeon…”
Going into the “leather market” was an experience. I started at the back of the room, with the intention of weaving my way through the aisles, so as not to miss anything and see all of the vendors. But I was inundated with images of rough men doing rough things to one another, and paraphernalia on sale for people to do rough and obscene things to one another. There were whips and chains and straps to tie people down; dildos [fake penises] in the size and shape if animal species’ erect penises. They were labeled baby elephant, donkey, horse…and the thought of where those things would go and what would be done with them, made me nauseous. Can you provide a better description than “rough”? My definition of rough may be very different from yours. You were kind enough to provide a definition of what a dildo is. But not “rough”…curious. Then again dildo descriptions usually don’t make me nauseous. And you might have misunderstood the descriptions (I don’t know, I wasn’t there), but I don’t think those dildoes were modeled after actual animals, but were designed specifically to entertain and titillate those who prefer size and girth. Then again, I normally not get nauseous from dildoes.
Earlier in the day, I went to NightTours.com, where I read a description from someone about “International Mr. Leather at Hyatt Regency Hotel Chicago”:
The exhibits in the host hotel are for examination or purchase of just about any and every type of leather, bondage, or fetish gear you can imagine. Many are small distributors (or designers) alongside major national and international labels. From cock rings and handkerchiefs, to electro shock and stimulators, to rubber cat-suits and body armor: it can be found there and purchased with credit cards. As an added bonus, most major adult studios have booths for their stars to take photos with fans and sell the latest DVDs and give away free promotional material.”
Not sure why this is relevant, but thanks for the additional information from someone who clearly enjoys attending IML.
I didn’t get too far through the vendor displays — with leather-clad men gathered in clumps turning to look at me — before I had a panic attack and needed to exit the building. The sadistic-sex “market” was in the basement, the carpet was dark, and the vendors’ wares were horrific.
I exited the market a few times to go back to my car and take a breather and settle my nerves somewhat. I had intended on taking pictures of the attendees like I did at last year’s outdoor Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, where the attendees were happily snapping their little cameras to capture their own personal photos of Folsom. Mr. Leather didn’t have any snap-happy people; I didn’t see a single person with a camera or shooting photographs. Just curious. The waiver form for this private event may have stated that as an expectation.
Leather, and sadomasochism, was everywhere, and far more serious than what I saw at Folsom in San Francisco. There were medical devices for such things as inserting saline solution into a man’s scrotum to expand it. I took a picture of a man who had done that at Folsom; the paraphernalia including syringe was available at Mr. Leather. There also was paraphernalia for ‘cutting’ (skin) which, like other forms of torture, has erotic value to Mr. Leather fans. The “cutting” paraphernalia was in the same booth as the device with the needle to insert the saline solution into the scrotum to blow it up like a balloon. I asked the vendor how exactly that was done, and he pointed out someone who had experience with it. He said it ‘feels good’ and it takes a few days for the saline to get absorbed back into the system. I have news for you, it is not just homosexuals who enjoy these activities. Straight men and women do as well. Syringes are not that hard to come by, nor is saline or knives.
I saw a small Asian man who was in handcuffs–the same man I saw in San Francisco at Folsom, only this time he was wearing a little mesh skirt that you could see through. He was completely naked underneath, and you could see his penis. The same man? You confirmed the identity. Sorry, but there are several Asian men involved in the scene.
Another mam I encountered had a long dark dong hanging down that I was trying not to look at, and what he had to offer is a foreskin that would increase a man’s penis size. For some reason he thought I would appreciate it, and gave me some information about the prooduct; it was disgusting in its detailed description. You were doing great with “penis”. Why start using “dong”? Methinks someone learned a few things while she was there. I’m curious what about the product description really bothered you?
An activist explains more about the hosting hotels for IML [Edtior’s Note: we do not know if the Hyatt Regency allowed non-IML guests to stay in the hotel; however, this phenomenon of surprised outsiders accidentally stumbling upon IML and other homosexual events has been observed often through the years]:
The host hotel has changed through the years. That is where most of the action happens, so if you have a chance to go, book your room early. It fills up fast. Keep in mind that most of the entire hotel will be full, but not ALL of the rooms will be used for IML activities, so you may see some bewildered, amused or frightened MidWesterners in the hotel too, clutching tightly to their children.
I wish you had attributed this quote better. While I cannot speak on behalf of this event, it is typical for the hotels to block out all the rooms for these events so there are no other guests at the hotel, particularly children. However, the hotel and event organizers does not have direct control over the foot traffic and normal hotel business that may be conducted at that time. The photo at the beginning of the article which states that the “hotel is closed for a private event” probably is the most accurate.
He is right–there were masks, dog masks, and medieval-looking shackles on the vendors’ tables, men with kilts walking about, men wearing tight leather pants, and quite a few were shirtless with harnesses of some type on their torsos. I found out in the Mr. Leather brochure what that harness is all about when it showed a picture of two porn stars that were going to do a ‘show’ at the booth for Steamworks, a local “gay” bathhouse where men go for anonymous sodomitic hook-ups. Just a note, men in kilts is not necessarily a kink or gay activity. Doesn’t make it any less hot or amusing, but lots of straight men wear kilts, particularly those of a certain ethnic background. I won’t comment about the harnesses, but I don’t always see them “used” as you describe.
At the head of one of the escalator was a man wearing a dog mask, although I didn’t see anyone in a dog cage like I saw at Folsom San Francisco. They usually wear collars that are attached to leashes, and the ones playing the dogs are on hands and knees; sometimes they bark. I saw this also at Folsom in San Francisco, but the man with the dog mask at the escalator was just sitting on a chair checking for wristbands, giving a thumbs up to passersby who wore their wristband, an indication you could proceed down to the next level to get to the market. Is this one of those “sentries” you mentioned?
I had the feeling of heavy security at this event. And understandably so, considering the extreme subject matter.
There was a contraption for tying someone down to a bed, and the explanation card said the d-rings could be hidden when not in use, apparently a selling point for the device. There was a video of a man tied up in a harness, face down, breathing heavily, his buttocks bright red, with a man sitting or standing while masturbating next to the table. The standing, masturbating man whipped the man who was tied down with what looked like a riding crop. Eventually the masturbating man ejaculated all over the tied up man’s back, and then threw himself on top of him. If I’m not mistaken, he literally bit the tied up man, and then the camera fades. I’ve seen this product as well, usually at straight conventions where it’s some blond wilting flower of a woman who is preening at the camera with an “oh, no, i’ve been so naughty” look on her face. Straight people like these products too. Just saying. Oh and I like biting, crops and ejaculation too.
The most shocking thing I saw at this event was a video of a thin, naked and pale white man hanging from the ceiling in handcuffs. His legs were drawn upward toward his chest, and he was literally swinging from side to side from the force of another man shoving his arm into the hanging man’s rectum, all the way up to his elbow. (This is known as “fisting,” another homosexual perversion.) He pulled it out and shoved it in again, and that was all I could stomach watching before I felt the urgent need to leave the event permanently. Fisting is not a solely homosexual act. I don’t like anal fisting (no thanks to a straight man who thought it was his right to forcibly take my ass) but I know women who do like to give and receive fisting. Again, what about that experience and that image sickened you so much?
Booth after booth of sadomasochistic sickness was too much for me to take, and because of the stares I was getting from groups of men, I was literally afraid to take photographs. Deviance was the “norm” at IML: I went out into the hallway, and saw a woman getting whipped by her female partner – with the one receiving the whipping yelling and swearing. There were other people gathered around, evaluating the riding crop-looking thing that was being used as the whipping device. It had some kind of tip on the end of it to inflict pain. Yes, you should be afraid to take photographs, particularly if you lacked consent of the men and vendors you intended to photograph. They aren’t there to intimidate you, they are there to enjoy themselves with people who have similar interests. Explain what deviance actually is in your view. Again, the definition of “normal” is up in the air, so “deviance” would be as well. And oh! two women were there. Lovely 🙂
I picked up a card showing a miniature version of an oil painting called “Statue-tory Rape, by the artist Pierre Etienne [see covered-up photo]. The actual painting is on display at the Leather Archives & Museum (a sponsor of IML). I picked up another card titled, “Leather Archives & Museum Presents: Multi Media History – The Leather SINS Screening Room.” Thank you for at least crediting the artist. But seeing as how I didn’t seek the artist’s permission to republish his work, I deleted the photo.
With so much evidence in my face of the twisted behaviors these people engage in, and remembering how horrific the homosexual activists were to the pro-family attendees at the recent “Defend Marriage Rally” in downtown Chicago, I packed it in and went home after two hours without taking a single picture of any of the vendors’ tables. I did not attend the Defend Marriage Rally in downtown Chicago, but if that rally was anything like other rallies like that throughout the country it is a festering cesspool of hatred, ignorance and the most un-Christian messages I have ever witnessed. Considering how “defense of marriage” groups and the like treat gay marriage advocates, victims of hate crimes and children who are questioning and discovering their sexuality, often advocating that they all should die, I would look in the mirror before pointing the finger at an already oppressed minority.
But though my camera was empty, I went home with lots of vividly disturbing mental images that I am still having trouble flushing from my mind. The fact that you entered this event with the express purpose of “exposing” the gay Leather community is deplorable and shameful. The fact that you sit here in judgment claiming to expose the “truth” about homosexuality is an outright deception. Invading an event that is intended to be a safe place for these men and even women to express themselves and honor those who have been their leaders and advocates is premised on anything but the truth.
Your organization is dedicated to anything but the truth and acts without the least amount of integrity or honor. To have images of S-M sex in your mind after invading this event is the least you should endure. This event is not intended for you and the fact that you even made it past the front door is surprising at the very least. But you won’t learn from this. You’ll continue to do this because the desperate cries for attention will continue to go unheeded by a growing majority of Americans who want to respect each other for who we really are and not what you tell us to be.