Welcome to the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District Web Site

Hi.  The San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance has set up this Web site to assist the new “Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District” in the SOMA area of San Francisco, to honor, support, and protect the unique and special culture that has flourished in this area.

We feel it is critical to this effort that anyone with any interest in the leather or kink community have a chance to learn about this project, and an opportunity to participate and offer their input and their opinions.

Huge thanks to Rachel Ryan & Nate Albee for initiating the Leather Cultural District legislation!

There are lots of ways to get informed and involved:

  • Read this brief introduction.
  • Read the Resolution as approved by the Board of Supervisors, and signed by the Mayor on May 9, 2018, here.
  • Attend the Community Meetings (see below).
  • Read the Vision and Mission Statements for the district here.
  • Join the Leather District Slack team, where you can engage more interactively.  (After joining, you can participate using the Slack app on your desktop or mobile device, or just browse to leatherdistrict.slack.com.)
  • Click here to add your name to the Leather Cultural District mailing list, to be notified of meetings and other events, or volunteer your skills.
  • Like the SF Leather Cultural District on Facebook. where you can view live streaming of community meetings.  
  • Follow sfleatherdist on Twitter
  • Write to our group’s Chairperson, Robert Goldfarb, using the email address  LCD@hellobob.net.

Let’s see what we can do to make this happen, and make it happen right!


Sunday Streets Is Coming To Folsom!

It’s official:  the “Sunday Streets” event on August 19th will take over Folsom Street, stretching from a kiddy hub below 2nd Street to the adult/leather hub from 8th to 10th Street.

OK, what is this “Sunday Streets” thing?  It’s a series of free, fun events empowering local communities to transform 1-4 miles of car-congested streets into car-free community spaces for kids to play, seniors to stroll, organizations to connect, and neighbors to meet.  You can read all about it at sundaystreetssf.com: no cars, and no outside vendors or fundraisers; just local community folks doing their thing.

Now here’s where we fit in:  For the August 19 event, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance and the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District have each agreed to “adopt” the intersections of 8th and Folsom and 9th and Folsom respectively, sending out our volunteers to greet and welcome locals and visitors alike, offer them information and entertainments of various kinds, and let them know that we are a part of the neighborhood and the community.

We have some great ideas for making the event fun:  flagging lessons; a clothes check for sun-lovers; an STI testing truck; a puppy mosh; gay/bi men’s wrestling; a visit from the Imperial Court and/or the Sisters of P.I.; line dancing; voter registration; a whip-cracking demo; the possibilities are endless!

And of course all our local queer and kinky businesses and organizations will be invited to take part in various ways:  some organizations may just provide a banner or a stack of organizational brochures, businesses along the Folsom Street route may have their own outposts in the street, there may even be a “passport stamping” promotion involving local businesses.

All in all, it will be great fun, and also a great way to boost the visibility of — and support for — the new Cultural District among our South of Market neighbors and other San Francisco residents and visitors. 

But it will take lots of people helping to make this event happen.  First and foremost we need a whole bunch of volunteers to be our “Intersection Troops”  — you can sign up to volunteer here, and be sure to include your t-shirt size and indicate that you want to be part of the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District troop!

If you are a business located within one block of Folsom Street, you should definitely consider signing up as an Exhibitor.  You should also sign up to appear on the “Shop Local” map that will be distributed a the event.

Musical, dance, or cultural performers are also encouraged to sign up as an Exhibitor. Be sure to indicate if you plan to have amplified sound, and if so what kind of sound (i.e music, speech, etc.).

If you are a local Leather, kink, or LGBTQ organization, you have several options.  It would be fantastic if you decide to sign up as an Exhibitor and have your own booth.

[NOTE:  When filling out the Exhibitor form, there is a question “Which theme zone best fits your outreach goals?” — if none of them look appropriate, you can leave that blank for now.  But please include a comment somewhere identifying yourself with the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District, so you get placed in our activity hub. ]

If staffing your own booth is too much for your group, consider getting us a banner we can display, and/or a big stack of flyers, brochures, or fun & kinky swag we can give away at the informational table.   

To coordinate that, or to chat about other ways we can make this event a success, please write to DavidHyman “at” leatheralliance “dot” org.

You can also plan to attend the next Sunday Street planning meeting, on Saturday, August 4th, from 10:00 to 11:00 am, in the Livable City Offices, 301 8th Street, Suite 235.

Let’s hit the street!

General Community and Committee Meetings

Community Meetings

The next Community Meetings to discuss the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District are set for Wednesdays, August 15, September 19, October 17, November 14, and December 19, 2018, at 6:30 pm, at SF Catalyst, 1060 Folsom Street.

Click the buttons below to add these events to your Google Calendar:

August 15, 2018   

September 19, 2018   

October 17, 2018   

November 14, 2018   

December 19, 2018   

The minutes of the meeting of July 18, 2018 will be posted soon.  You can view a live stream of that meeting here.

You can view the minutes of the meeting of June 20, 2018 here.  You can view a live stream of that meeting here.  The Board Structure that we approved at that meeting can be seen here.

The minutes of the meeting of May 16, 2018 can be found here.  You can view a live stream of that meeting here.

Minutes of the Community Meeting of April 18, 2018 can be found here.

Notes from the Community Meeting of March 14, 2018 can be seen here.  You can view the live-streamed video of that meeting here.

Notes from the Community Meeting of February 19, 2018, are available here.  You can view the live-streamed video of that meeting here

Notes from the Community Meeting of January 6, 2018, will be posted soon.  You can view the live-streamed video of that meeting here

Notes from the meeting of November 29, 2017, are available here.  Another set of notes are available here.

Notes from the meeting of November 20, 2017 can be viewed here.

Notes from the meeting of November 14, 2017 can be viewed here.

You may view video of the community meetings — live streaming or recorded — at our Facebook Group here

* * *

Outreach Committee

The next Outreach Committee meeting will scheduled soon.   If you wish to be on this Committee, please sign up here.

* * *

Legislative Committee

The next Legislative Committee meeting will be scheduled soon. If you wish to be on this Committee, please sign up here.

Notes from the Legislative Committee meeting of March 7, 2018 may be viewed here.

Notes from the Legislative Committee meeting of February 12, 2018 may be viewed here.

Notes from the Legislative Committee meetings of January 4 and January 30, 2018 should be available soon.

Notes from the Legislative Committee meeting of December 21, 2017 may be viewed here.

Notes from the Legislative Committee meeting of December 5, 2017 are available here.

* * *

Governance Committee

The next Legislative Committee meeting will be scheduled soon.

The last meeting of the the Governance Committee was held on Tuesday, July 10th, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, in the meeting room of Impact Hub, 1885 Mission Street, in San Francisco.

If you wish to be on this Committee, please sign up hereNote that the Governance Committee deals with lots of documents.  To view those documents, click here to join the Leather District Slack team.

Notes from the Governance Committee meetings of February 9 and 28, March 12 and 29, and April 11, will be posted if available.

The notes from the Governance Committee meeting of Friday, February 2, 2018, can be found here.

The notes from the Governance Committee meeting of Thursday, January 25, 2018, can be found here.

* * *

To receive emails announcing meetings, and other important information , please visit http://eepurl.com/djdUyf to join the mailing list.  Be sure to indicate the Committees in which you are interested.  If you are already receiving “MailChimp” messages from us, use the “update your preferences” link at the very bottom of one of those messages to review and adjust your memberships.

Map of District

We are working on a map showing the District Boundaries and some of the important current and former LGBTQ and Leather businesses in and around it.  You can view and interact with it below, or on Google Maps here.  Historic sites are based on the published work of Gayle Rubin, to whom we are very grateful.  Errors are our own, however, and may be reported to web@leatheralliance.org.

Leather Cutural District Vote Gets Major Coverage

The resolution to create a Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District in the South of Market neighborhood passed its first reading by the Board of Supervisors unanimously, with some nice comments from Supervisors Kim and Ronen.  (Video here, 0:06:30 through 0:08:40).

There was extensive press coverage of this achievement, both locally and nationally:  Articles by Janie Har of the Associated Press (here and here) were both picked up widely, including by the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Reporting by Carolyn Tyler was shown on ABC 7 News on Tuesday evening and there was a follow-up story in the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday.  A story by Joshua Sabatini in the San Francisco Examiner is already receiving some thoughtful comments. There’s also a fun write-up in  Pink News (World Edition)., and another in London’s Gay Star NewsKTVU Fox News‘ Rob Roth did a report as well.  

The resolution was scheduled to get its final vote at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 8, 2018; however, that hearing was waived, and the bill was signed by the Mayor on May 9, 2018. 

An article about Cultural Districts, including ours, appeared in the Chronicle on May 21, 2018, and can be viewed here.

Finally, a wonderful story on the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District was broadcast recently on KPIX 5, with great interviews and powerful comments.  Definitely worth viewing: find it here.


More Documents

Here are a few key documents relating to the Leather District Project:

First, the current draft of the resolution here,

Next a map of the proposed district here.

Third, a draft of the proposed Cultural Districts Legislation.

Other documents and discussion threads are available on a Slack workgroup.  You can join Slack and see those files and join that interactive discussion here.



Links to Documents

Just to get things started, here are a couple of articles regarding the proposed district:



As I understand it, the original resolution is #171019, introduced 9/19/2017, sponsored by Jane Kim and Jeff Sheehy, titled “Resolution establishing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Leather Cultural District with the intent of commemorating historical sites, preserving existing spaces, and planning for thriving and vibrant communities that are LGBTQ and Leather affirming.”  You can read the original text of it here.

Our Committees have been making recommendations for changes to the resolution; the latest text reflecting those changes can be found here.

On 9/26/17 it was “referred to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Historic Preservation Commission, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development for informational purposes.” and is currently “Pending Committee Action”.  You can read about that here:

You can follow the progress of this resolution (I believe) here.