Leather Family Anthology Call for Submissions

Please share and forward widely!

We are seeking submissions for an anthology about Leather family, tentatively titled, “How I Met My Brother (and other relatives): stories and reflections on Leather family.”

Leather culture has produced a multitude of written work that focuses on hook-ups, scenes, kinks, fetishes, and the particulars of BDSM. But there is very little written about one of the most fascinating and unique aspects of Leather culture: the formation of chosen family.

Whether you have a Leather sibling, an extensive family network, are interested in building family, or have a critique of Leather family, you are invited to submit.

The purpose of this anthology is to explore the meanings Leather family holds for individuals, families, and the larger community.

While the anthology will have a focus on telling the stories of how people have formed relationships and structured their families, we also welcome illustration, photography, fiction, poetry, and critical reflection on the topic of Leather family.

We do not have a strict definition of Leather family, but have in mind long-term committed relationships formed within leather/bdsm/kink contexts that exist outside, alongside, or beyond romantic, sexual or play connections.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

–       Personal stories of:

  • How you met your Leather brother/sister/sibling or a member of your family/pack
  • Forming, joining or living in Leather family
  • Ending a Leather relationship
  • Balancing more than one family
  • Integrating Leather relatives into other aspects of life
  • Choosing not to live in Leather family
  • Ceremonies, rituals and protocols around forming bonds and establishing relationships
  • Indirect relationships (ex. how you relate to your Domme’s other sub)

–       History of the concept of Leather family

–       Origins and evolution of terms used to describe Leather relationships

–       Contemporary debates around terminology, such as FetLife relationship category options

–       Leather family as a response to heteronormativity and the nuclear family

–       How Leather families differ from or resemble other types of chosen family

–       Families organized around a particular kink, such as ‘rope family’

–       Proliferation of Leather family websites

–       Critiques and personal choices not to form Leather family

–       Differences in understanding and expression of Leather family across gay Leather, Leatherdyke, and pan communities

–       Whether and how it may be important to publicly acknowledge Leather relationships

Submission Details:

Please submit work to leatherfamilyanthology@gmail.com.

You may submit up to three works at a maximum of 2500 words each. Re-prints and simultaneous publication will be considered, but you must give us the details.

Submissions are welcome from all who self-identify as part of Leather culture. We seek representation from diverse geographical locations, sexual orientations, gender identities, kink identities (you do not need to be a submissive to submit!), ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities, and experiences. While the book will be marketed to a primarily English-speaking audience, we do welcome submissions in other languages accompanied by an English translation.

Please include a short (two or three sentence) bio telling us how you identify within Leather culture, where you live, and any previous writing/illustration experience.

There is no need to be a published writer. If you have a story to tell but are unable/uninterested in writing it down, please let us know as we will also be collecting oral stories through interviews.

Deadline: February 15, 2014

All contributors selected for publication will receive a free copy of the anthology. We are not expecting any profit, but if any should arise, it will be used to further the project. We welcome your suggestions on how to do this; current ideas include recording interviews, developing online content and presenting findings.

Authors will retain copyright for their work. Be sure that you own the copyright to your previously published work.


The volume will be edited by Stella S. and Danny Cass.

Stella is a queer femme domme academic. Lately she’s been interested in developing (and giving back to) community, creating and maintaining queer and kinky family, and mentoring, learning, and skill-sharing. Now a PhD student, Stella has had the pleasure of holding jobs as diverse as editor and internet marketing manager for a children’s publishing company, director of a queer crisis, support, and resource phone line, and dog groomer. Once in a while she takes her show on the road to present about the History of Tattooed Women at Unholy Harvest, or to talk about Hoarding and Scavenging at Women’s Studies conferences. She is proud to call Danny her sibthing.

Danny is a parent, poet, activist, submissive, and queer living in small-town Ontario. Danny has been amazed at the deep bonds easily formed in kink community, and the complex, thoughtful and committed ways people negotiate their relationships. Danny has worked as a writer, a community organizer, a performer, a facilitator, and an interviewer, and has been published in a variety of places (under other names) including Siren Magazine, Shameless Magazine, the Jewish Daily Forward, and the anthology Queer Youth Cultures. Danny is grateful to be a member of the Leather Bindings Society, where they first met their leather sister, Stella.


While we do not want to jinx it by announcing it here, we have an exciting prospect for publication of this anthology. Publication date is anticipated for summer 2014.

We hope to hear from you!

Stella and Danny



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