The election of Mr. Leather Europe this year takes place in Austria, in autumn as part of “Vienna in Black”. The election and the related annual meeting of more than 40 European leather and fetish clubs, is also the 30th anniversary of the LMC Vienna.
1985 in Austria was a dark time for same sex loving people, not only but especially for those who wanted to get involved with the Leather community. Of course there were from today’s perspective stone age technical options available: the world wide web had not yet been made available to the mass public, newspapers and pamphlets were created by typewriter, scissors and glue, and an answering machine on the landline was pinnacle of modern communication.
The legal and social environment for gay people was grounded even further in the past. The establishment of “connections to favor same-sex fornication” also threatened to jail as the “promotion of indecency with persons of the same sex or with animals” any homosexual behavior. Above each same sex engagement there carried a criminal record equivalent to the sword of the Damocles, and those who were publicly “outed”, had to deal with considerable disadvantages in their professional and working lives.
Despite the adverse environment of 1985 LMC Vienna, the motorcycle and leather men group was formed, involving the activities of the artist Sepp of Vienna and the leather cutter Peter H. who helped the leather men and motorcycle community develop a support group to share a common interest. Initially motorcycle trips and regular meetings were in Peter’s cellar. These were the beginnings of the “leather and motorcycle friends Club”. Less than a year later an event took place in that same cellar, the forerunner of the legendary and now also closed “Nightshift” the first “Leather Ball” with more than 100 visitors. 1988 saw the first participation in an international meeting of leather clubs and the LMC received its present name “Leather and Motorbike Community Vienna”.
In 1990 at the WUK in an exhibition on the subject of “sexuality away from the stereotypes” of the LMC the “Special Night in Black Leather” was organized, and “Vienna in Black” was born, so the year is also celebrating a major anniversary. Vienna in black was seen internationally in the following years an outstanding event, the visitors record (the event was then “mixed”) was more than 1,000 at the main evening.
In the following years, the LMC became very active and the bar “Heaven” became well known in U4 as a leather bar (including darkroom) and there were monthly fetish events in the cellars of the Hotel Burgenland. As a still existing community activity now carried out by the AIDS Help torchlight procession to mark World AIDS Day should be mentioned, which the LMC organized for the first time in 1993. In the first, comparatively still small Regenbogenparade the LMC was represented by a delegation motorcycles and a truck.
A big step for the club was the first local club, the “[lo:sch]” in the 15th district, which was the communities home for many years and with a similar name.
The fetish community and environment have changed greatly in recent years and the LMC has successfully responded, among other things with their new club Location “HARD ON”, where you can meet a surprisingly young and colorful audience. This year marks HARD ON’s sixth summer. Now the LMC has nearly 2,500 registered members, which makes it arguably the greatest organization in the country in the LGBT community and is assisted by active members of this community, partly through donations and partly through support of members. In recent years also by Mr. Fetish Austria, elected since 2012, the LMC has an additional ambassador in the national and international community. The current champion Mr. Leather Austria and Ambassador, Thorsten Buhll, is a candidate of the host nation for Mr. Leather Europe.