Inside the Leather Jacket...

Presented by Sarah Humble 

Saturday, Sarah Humble will host an in-depth interview with women in our community as part of the IMsLBB Productions, Women’s International Leather Legacy (WILL) and the IMsL Foundation history collaboration series called Inside the Leather Jacket. The goal of the project is learn more about women we have heard about for years and now get to know them better.

Ruth Marks 

My history in the community is long...I am 54 and have been around since I was 23ish...  As all good stories in our community start, I met a woman, in my case it was I met a girl since when we met I was 20 and she was well younger. 


 Her mom was my intro to the Leather scene and since she was dating not one but two rather well known members of the scene at the time I found myself in the thick of it rather early on.  I waited to join the community with this young woman, I waited frankly for her to come of age.  We were not lovers but best friends bonded over our love of femme identity, dancing, and the excitement that was coursing through us at our anticipation of the door we were opening.

I started in the women's leather scene in SF way back when, I served as an officer in the Outcasts and on their steering committee,  I taught classes on canes, BDSM lifestyle, branding, fireplay and various other topics.  I was also Ms NLA in 89-90/91.  I traveled for something like 32 weeks out of 52 of a year while working full time and with little to no travel fund as they didn't really do that then.  My title was considered the political one and I endeavored to be that...I asked crowds to call congress,   I ranted quite a lot...I find myself doing that a lot now too but I dont have a platform now just kids to teach. 

Occasionally I find myself holding public office as I did a few years ago in my home town as one of the members of the traffic commission,  I lost a bid for the school board last year as well but I will keep trying as getting folks like us in public office is important, more importantly to vote in the electoral college you generally have to hold public office.When I entered the scene it was the ethic that it was beholden on the elders to teach new folks as they entered the scene not just to keep folks safe but to hopefully help folks find a place for themselves in the scene.  I so clearly remember the time when if you saw someone wearing a lock or piercing jewelry it meant they were not so much.  The times they have a changed as it were.  

In 2002 I married the boi I am still with today, we had our first child in 2004 our 2nd in 2007.   I was  injured rather seriously in 2014 and was told I would not walk in any appreciable way again and thought fuck that and worked very hard and now have much of my mobility back if not with out problems.It is good to be able to walk and each summer since 2 years ago when we climbed Mt Kilimanjaro we have continued the tradition of doing some kind of long bad ass hiking project.  Mt Whitney is in my sites this summer.

I also run a custom clothing business specializing in historical fashion out of my home and hope to finish my masters to teach on the college level in a bigger capacity than I have done thus far. So, now, with my life as it is I have mostly been visiting the leather community since my children were born 14 years ago whenever we get the chance.  



Sarah Humble

Sarah found leather sex in 1980 at a conservative southern university and found the leather community in 1988 at Mid Atlantic Leather. In 1992 she co-founded Females Investigating Sexual Terrain (FIST) in Baltimore. In 1994 she was Ms Baltimore Eagle and became the first American Leatherwoman a few weeks later.

Sarah was one of the first two female associates of COMMAND, MC, is an associate of Low Country Leather and a lifetime member of WILI. She cofounded Play House Studios & Gallery, the first full time public play space in the Mid Atlantic region. Sarah was Leather Editor of the Baltimore Gay Paper for 5 years and won 3 Pantheon of Leather awards. In Mama's Family she is known as Humble Sarah.

Sarah has judged many local, regional and international contests including IMsL, IML (2011), ABW and International Mr Drummer (1995). She is Head Judge Emeritus of Women's International Leather Legacy (WILL), an event that promotes and preserves women's leather history and is held in Dallas each August.

In 2010 Sarah co-founded the Women's Leather History Project (now Program) at the Leather Archives & Museum. She served on their Board from 2011-2016. Though she left the Board, Sarah remains committed to making sure the stories of women's lives continue to be recorded and documented.

Sarah is a proud clean and sober leatherdyke living in Denver, Colorado with her dog Berkley. Go Broncos!


Inside the Leather Jacket is a  joint IMsL Foundation, IMsL Productions and Women’s International Leather Legacy (WILL) ongoing program.