I have been hosting gatherings at the House of Void. (Yes, there really is a physical House, dear Virginia.) So far there have been three of them, and they are being very well received by the local community. I have been happy to host them.
I have been fortunate to have NCMaster be able to attend all of them. He is, as I have mentioned in the past, a well respected Elder in the local Lifestyle community. He is big on Leather and Leather traditions. At this event, he spoke about earned leather, and the significance of it.
For those of you unaware of what earned or gifted leather is (and definitions do vary), leather was given in the Leather community of old to recognize accomplishments. A boy would not be entitled to wear leather, until he earned it. Boots, maybe belt next. Pants, vest and hat all had to be earned as well. In our modern community, everyone basically buys our own. There is no stigma at showing up at a fetish event in leather you bought online or in a local store. But earned leather is special.
I have witnessed NCMaster be awarded his lid (leather cap) by a local BDSM group. I have seen him award it to several in the local community. This Friday, I was tremendously surprised in finding that I was the next to be awarded leather. It was simple, but beautiful.