"I am not leather because some man told me I was."
Women belong in the leather community because we are human beings, equal in dignity, value, and human worth to men. We are radical sexual outlaws and this space belongs to us* as much as it does to men. I don't give a fuck if your dick goes soft because of what I sound like when I cum or what my vagina smells like. Grow up. A room of busted out assholes doesn't smell like roses and I've heard my share of men making ridiculous sounds when they cum. We do not have enough sex-positive playspaces anywhere and excluding women because you're scared and fragile makes no sense. You don't like my vagina, you can look away. If I don't like your dick, I can look away. Grow. Up.
Men are not "giving" us space in the leather community because of work that women did in the 1980s to provide respite care to millions of dying gay men. The space doesn't belong to men. The default is not men.
Those women did that because they knew that those men were equal in dignity, value and human worth to any other person, gay or straight. There is no debt to repay to women who treated gay men as human. Those women did not earn something for me by treating those dying men like human beings. And if there was, you do not repay the debt by telling me you're granting me some privilege of walking into the same bar or playspace as you. Men are not the gatekeepers of leather. I am not leather because some man told me I was. When you pretend you're giving me something you don't have any right to exclude me from, you're rigging the game. Like a child. Who is afraid of losing. Grow. Up.
*And folks of any gender or no gender.