This man has impacted your life whether you know it or not.
He has designed and participated in various efforts which have bettered our health, our accessibility, our political structures, art, fun and our opportunity to find ourselves.
Generations of people have been provided a hands-on opportunity to learn and create understanding between communities that did not know what they had in common. Attendance at that event became personal, enriching and fostered generations to set the bar higher.
He’s been tying people up for 30 years and dressing the rest of us since 1995. Through his business he has provided meeting space, classes and another outlet for education and community gatherings for decades. His support of GLBT and Bear communities has kept the party going. He made room for women when it wasn’t easy, simple, or politically advantageous. He practices what it is to be a good ally.
He has sponsored and supported more events, parties, gatherings, dances, balls, tea dances, banquets, then you or I will most likely attend in a life time.
His charitable concerns and efforts through the years have exceeded in raising 7 figures and benefited political movements, social organizations, and many non-profit organizations.
His contribution to Leather Archives & Museum could not be summed up here and you won’t find it online. He’s not a man to tout his accomplishments—he’s a man who chooses to get the work done, while supporting causes for change much to the improvement and the betterment of others.
He is the longest seated LA&M board member, after Chuck Renslow, at the Leather Archives and Museum. He has spent 18 years, 0 months and 21 days since he was first persuaded by Bill Kostamiris and Tony DeBlase to get on board, so to speak. He was instrumental in creating “Fire in the Belly” that raised $400,000 to burn the mortgage within five years of buying the building.
At the mortgage burning ceremony at LA&M, he said, “The first question we all ask, once we’ve been fed, clothed, sheltered, and been laid, is: “Who am I, how do I fit into this world that I live in, and what makes me special?” And we answer those questions by creating a religious space. We create a holy space. That space preserves our heritage, our stories, our literature, our art, our fiction. And this, my friends, is a holy space to the leather community. . . .”
It is not just at LA&M where you have created holy space. Thank you for creating holy space for people of all walks, for every attendee that walked through the door of Leather University, for the clubs who needed space, and providing vast opportunities to find what is holy in ourselves and look good while doing it from our leathers to our boots!
I’m taking a page from Tony and Bill’s playbook. I believe you’re used to the presence of Jack (place the bottle of Jack Daniels on the podium) when reflecting on the importance of the past. I have brought you Jack Daniels to celebrate a lifetime of creating history on the night you are the recipient of the Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award that celebrates heroes. Thank you, Randall “Bear Man” Klett for a lifetime of service.