Master Sponsors

Square Peg Toys
Mr. S.
RECON
Ben Orson Leather
ABUniverse
Pig Solvents

Press Releases (archived)

CLAW Distribution Press Release July 2018

CLAW Corp
a national leather charity

P. O. Box 111282, Cleveland, OH 44111
Fed Tax ID # 223887040
Contact: Bob Miller, Executive Director
269-588-9100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cleveland, Ohio, July 2018 -- CLAW Corp. distributed $75,000 to community charities, representing the net profits of CLAW 18, held in April.  Since it began in January 2002, CLAW’s annual event has raised $596,000 for 49 charities. CLAW Corp. has helped raise an additional $282,000 at hundreds of smaller events around the country -- bringing CLAW Corp.’s fundraising total to $878,000.  This year’s total is the second highest for a single year.

23 different charities were awarded money, each with important missions.  The largest shares were awarded to the Leather Archives and Museum ($20,000), the Leather Heart Foundation ($8500), LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland ($8000), and Rainbow Railroad ($8000).  A complete list of beneficiaries and their missions is attached and is available at clawinfo.org.

Big thanks to everyone who made these exciting results possible, especially our five Master Sponsors:  Square Peg Toys, Mr S Leather, LeatherWerks, Twisted Headz Smokeshops, and FLEX Spas.

CLAW voted to increase the size of the Board of Directors from 12 to 15 people over the next three years.  CLAW is pleased to announce new Board of Directors members Jonathan Schroeder, Tom Stebel, Steve Givens and Dr. Ralph Bruneau, as well as the renewed terms of Jack McNulty and Noel LeBoeuf, and the election of Scott Douglas as Treasurer.

The 23 Charities of CLAW 18

Twenty-three community charities were awarded a total of $75,000 by CLAW 18.

52% ($39,000) was donated to leather related charities; 35% ($26,250) to Cleveland and Ohio area LGBT/AIDS focused charities; and 13% ($9750) to LGBT/AIDS charities outside Ohio.

Leather Charities (“National” Charities) ($39,000; 52%):

1. Leather Archives and Museum ($20,000) compiles, preserves and digitizes our history. $10,000 to continue free Thursdays, $10,000 for the Leather Preservation Project

2. Leather Heart Foundation ($8,500) emergency financial assistance to our tribe

3. Team Friendly ($3000), volunteers combat the stigma of HIV all year long

4. CARAS (Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities) ($3000) promotes excellence in the study of alternative sexualities

5. National Coalition for Sexual Freedom ($1000) advances equal rights for kinksters through direct services, education, advocacy and outreach

6. IMsL Foundation ($1000) education on alternative sexuality and sexual freedom

7. Woodhull Freedom Foundation ($1000) produces annual Sexual Freedom Summit

8. Western New York Anti Violence Project, Buffalo, NY ($1000) education, including workshops on BDSM and consent

9. Tom of Finland Foundation ($500): promotes and preserves kinky art

Cleveland and Ohio LGBTQ and AIDS Charities ($26,250; 35%)

10. LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland ($8,000) The Center. CLAW’s grant continues to fund a seniors’ drop-in program

11. Prince of Peace Neighborhood Center ($4000) computers, gardens and other support to 600 families in Cleveland’s Stockyard area

12. Equitas Health ($3000) includes HIV/AIDS Camp Sunrise, a 13-CLAW beneficiary

13. AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland ($2500) Pantry and Jon Brittain Food Drive

14. Trials for Hope ($2000), backpacks of provisions for Cleveland’s homeless youth

15. Cleveland Aquatic Team ($2000) logo speedos build community through swimming

16. Equality Ohio Education Fund ($1000) advocates for fairness and equal opportunity

17. Center for Integrated Therapies, ($1000) complementary alternative therapy for pain

18. B. Riley Sober House ($1000): Cleveland LGBTQ+ sober living facility

19. Plexus ($1000) promotes LGBTQ businesses and improves the workplace

20. Out Support, Medina County ($750) health and equality just south of metro Cleveland

National LGBTQ Charities ($9750, 13%)

21. Rainbow Railroad: ($8000): Saving lives of persecuted LGBTQ people around the World

22. Center for Lesbian Rights ($1250): The Born Perfect campaign to outlaw conversion therapy everywhere, championed by IML 2017 Ralph Bruneau

23. Being Alive: People with AIDS Action Coalition ($500) Los Angeles area AIDS agency


Post CLAW18 Consent Statement

From the Board of Directors of CLAW Corp.
May 18, 2018

Last year:

Responding to community concerns regarding the issue of “Consent,” the CLAW Board of Directors decided to take a hard look at Consent at our event, forming the CLAW Conduct Committee. Through the Committee, we researched, learned and engaged in a thorough and rigorous exchange of ideas. We sent delegates to the NCSF’s Consent Summit in NYC, and spoke to many informed leaders, straight and gay, about this dynamic topic. We discovered that Consent is not a “one size fits all” type issue.

  • We crafted a Code of Conduct for CLAW’s public spaces, one that acknowledges that some touching between Leathermen occurs without explicitly verbalized consent. We framed that as “Casual, respectful touching”, but affirmed that “No” absolutely still means “No.” There is no license for predators to grope.
  • We identified a team of mediators and social workers to be CLAW’s Incident Response Team (“IRT”), to provide independent and immediate attention to any incidents reported during CLAW and, together with them, established a standardized reporting mechanism based on the best practices of experts in the field.
  • We organized an education track on the issue of consent, including an open community discussion called Consent in the Lobby.

This Year:

We continue to evolve. After our first year, we have identified these areas for improvement:

  • “No still means No” should be more prominently displayed in our Code.
  • Many people didn’t know of the existence of the IRT, how to report incidents, that it is available year-round, and that it is formed from community professionals independent of CLAW. Some others didn’t understand that it is independent on purpose, so that it can be trusted by everyone. Every expert on the issue advises against an IRT controlled by the organization holding the event.
  • Some people don’t understand that a report is the only way the IRT can officially step in and assist, or that it is the best way to identify a predator that has infiltrated our event as opposed to someone we know who might just need some coaching. For the IRT to be effective, people must report incidents as they happen.
  • We strive towards better training and oversight of volunteers, and intend to include additional training on Consent and our Code of Conduct, and reporting to the IRT.

On Repercussions and Reporting:

There’s been a public push for accountability and calls to ban individuals from events. “Banning” is never off the table, but we have learned it should only be done as the last resort, not the first. CLAW is about education, learning, growing. Banning someone takes away an opportunity to educate that person and get them to change bad behavior.

We want everyone to understand that the role of an IRT when an assault occurs is to serve in a support role for the victim. Unequivocally, the Police must be called for assault. Our IRT is there because it has been shown that statistically most incidents at fetish events aren’t assault, but occur either because a signal was read wrong, there was poor negotiation before a scene, drugs / alcohol were involved, or someone is being obnoxious and just needs some clear feedback.

In Conclusion:

CLAW endeavors to create the safe spaces that have been lost with the disappearance of men’s leather bars and play spaces. There are many event options for Leather folk around the country, but none that focus so clearly as CLAW on Leathermen -- including transgender Leathermen -- and the unique dynamic found in male Leathersex. Unique among events, a large focus of the CLAW weekend is dedicated to education, and passing along the technical skills and know-how to one another. No other event does more, all while raising large amounts of money for charities important to us, thanks to the work and donations of hundreds of people.

CLAW’s simple goal is to bring together self-identifying Leathermen for four days every year and maintain and strengthen our sense of community. We work hard to make each year the best CLAW ever. We continue to trust the good will of CLAW leaders and attendees, while listening carefully to the observations of those affected by unacceptable behavior. Patience, caring and a policy in place will produce the positive result we all want.

Leather Stallion Saloon
Payasos
Bullet Bar
Leather Daddy Skin Co
Le Mensch
Cybersocket
Horse Market
Jim Support
Darklands
DomCon
JustFor.Fans
Torso
Alphatribe
Eagle LA
Chicago Hellfire Club
Los Angeles Leather Coalition
Avatar Club Los Angeles
Mr. Michigan Leather

CLAW has a 0% tolerance for illegal drugs at our event. If you think you might have a problem with crystal, heroin, cocaine or other party drugs, visit Partnership to End Addiction.