TRLC president cites group’s positive work

 I am writing in regard to the “Colin Morgan” column [“Looking for a hook up in bars, not a Jell-O shot,” Out, April 2007]. As the current president of the Three Rivers Leather Club, I’m concerned as to the misrepresentation of the leather community that self-proclaimed leather authority Mr. Morgan is giving to the gay community in general. 

        Let me address the fund-raising that goes on at our events. When the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force outreach testing program in the bars ran short of funding a few years back, it was the Three Rivers Leather Club, in conjunction with the Eagle, that stepped up to raise the money to carry the agency through until funding resumed. 

        The TRLC proudly boasts its continuing sponsorship of Shepherd Wellness Community dinners, two of which have been funded in the last year.

        Recently TRLC has received a citation from Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato for collecting an estimated $5,000 worth of toys for foster children in the county. Locally, we also have supported the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, Persad Center and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

        On a national level, we have contributed over $1,000 to the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago and raised money for the Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend and the Upper Ohio Valley Task Force in West Virginia.

        This is the positive image that I would like to see portrayed to the gay community. The leather community is a brotherhood/sisterhood that fosters a non-judgmental acceptance of like-minded individuals, like a fraternity on a local and national level.

        As for Mr. Morgan, I suggest that what he is looking for might be better found at a bookstore, truck stop or bathhouse.

Dave Vey

President, Three Rivers Leather Club