tlc: year with
a leather club

a documentary by Randy A. Riddle


Interview Transcripts:
Steve W.

Steve W. as Rev. Happy N. Harness -- photo (c) by Michael Cox

Steve has served as Scribe for the Tarheel Leather Club and has written poetry and other material for TLC's newsletter. His character, the "Rev. Happy N. Harness", the "Leather Evangelist", has been seen acting as MC at several TLC events. He is currently active in the area's Pagan commnity. 

All material (c) 1995, CCD. All rights reserved. 

RAR - Just tell me a little bit about how you first came to TLC and what positions you've had with the club ? 

STEVE - Yeah, I first got into it I guess because of Kevin, because we worked at White Rabbit, and he kept telling me to come the first meeting. I was a little uncertain about it back then. I'm still sort of fighting my fantasies -- doesn't work (smiling) -- and I made some comment at one point about Macho chic, which he still kicks me about. But a month after the club started, I came to my first meeting, it was when Kevin still had his house off of Holden Rd. I really got into it and knew that I wanted to keep being into it when I met William at the inaugual meeting in June of 1990, and we started talking about bondage, and how much we enjoyed it, so I spent the night tied to his motel bed, I haven't looked back since. 

RAR - What kinds of positions have you held with the club? 

STEVE - I was the second scribe of the club in both '91 and '92 and that's the only official position I have had, but I've been doing a lot of functions in sort of unofficial ways. Being a scribe is enough for anyone. 

RAR - What, for you is the most important aspect of TLC's work that you like to be involved in, of all the different activities that the club does? 

STEVE - I think the educational work is most important because while the fundraising that we do is important, it does a lot of good, there's lot's of groups doing that kind of thing, but only the leather people can educate the community about leather, what we're really about. We're not psychologically sick, we're not ogres, we're not people who like to inflect pain on unwilling subjects or that stuff. I think dispelling people's misconceptions is the first step to full acceptance. And that's true in any field that's understood and generally believe to be on the fringe. 

RAR - You connect a certain kind of of spirituality to your leather, would you care to talk about that a little bit? 

STEVE - Yeah, I'm a pagan on the Norse tradition, and I think the ethics of the ancient Norse people has a lot of parallels with the ethics of leather people, paticularly the emphasis on honor and integrity and courage and facing the deep emotions of life. The basic questions like death and hanging with a certain amount of almost laughter, you know laughing in the face of death, embracing pain until I emerge on the other side of it and touch with those deepest emotions that is possible to feel, they're hidden off from us most of our lives. I think that's a pretty important spiritual path in means of self transformation. 

RAR - You're one of the people who is interested in latex, am I correct? 

STEVE - Uh Hm. 

RAR - Could you tell me a little bit about how other people in the leather community react to you since you're into latex. It seems to be a minority within a minoritiy of the group. 

STEVE - Yeah. I think here again you get into some of the old leather attitudes. A lot of people feel that there is only one particular way to do leather or to look leather, and anything else is unacceptable and not really macho, and not really manly. I don't go along with it. 

RAR - How did you get interested in latex? 

STEVE - I like the feel of it, It's comfortable, and the tightness, the slickness. I wish I could afford more of it. (laughs) 

RAR - Is there certain kinds of certain types of images, or imagery that goes along with latex play from fiction, or...... 

STEVE - I think it's a lot more sort of primal, this real kind of stuff, a lot more earthy, less connected with the avenues of pain and submission and more with the getting in touch with earth and dirt and rolling around in the mud and enjoying the sensual aspects more than, more than the kind of ecstasy that you get through the root of pain.