Leather columnist out of touch with reality

For the last several months my friends and I have read with some amusement “Master’s Class,” the leather column in Out written by Colin Morgan. We’re not amused because the column is entertaining or informative so much as we’re discussing the vast distance between its author and the reality of what goes on in the Pittsburgh leather community.

        For example, in his April column, Mr. Morgan’s major complaint seemed to be that he went to a leather bar recently and there wasn’t enough sex going on for his taste. Where does he point the blame? He takes issue with those working to raise money for important causes in the community, both locally and internationally. That sounds like a convenient and somewhat callous scapegoat for his inability to get what he was looking for.

        I know a wide range of people in the Pittsburgh leather community, including pretty much everyone in both leather clubs and a number of local BDSM players. No one seems to know who “Colin Morgan” is. To me, that suggests one of two possibilities: either he’s a complete outsider who is saying a lot of things about a community he has little to no experience with or, more likely, it’s a pseudonym for someone who’s been around for a long time, has grown bitter and feels the need to grind his ax and settle some imaginary score. 

        Out has nothing to gain from publishing Mr. Morgan’s column in either case. Pittsburgh’s leather community knows he’s a sham, and leather-curious neophytes who could actually benefit from useful leadership will most likely be steered wrong by Mr. “Morgan.” He speaks for no one but himself, and his views are at odds with what the Pittsburgh leather community stands for and tries to accomplish. He presents opinion as fact and hides behind anonymity, which is shameful and unfortunate.

        Having written for Out myself, I know what a credible source of information it is and what a vital role it plays in the Pittsburgh GLBT community. I would hope in the future only legitimate writers are allowed space to present information in Out’s pages. Let’s relegate the anonymous columnists to the gossip pages, and let the honest, out-of-the-closet authors present the news and the facts about our community.

Mike Natale

Mr. Pittsburgh Eagle Leather 2004