About Us

LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District
584 Castro Street #140
San Francisco, CA 94114


Dates and Facts

Our Cultural District is in the South of Market neighborhood, bounded by Seventh, Howard, the 101 and I-80 freeways, plus Harrison, Fifth, Bryant and Sixth.

We are a fiscally sponsored project of SOMArts, a 501(c)3 organization.

May 9, 2018:
The world’s first LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District was created by a resolution unanimously passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on May 1, 2018 and signed by the Mayor on May 9, 2018.

June 21, 2019: Incorporation

July 17, 2019: Bylaws approved

August 21, 2019: First Board of Directors elected

September, 2019:  First District Manager hired

November 18, 2019: 501(c)3 tax-exempt status received

December, 2019: Logo and branding guidelines adopted

September 27, 2021: First Executive Director hired

Board Meetings:

Board meetings are held monthly, and are open to all.


Members of the public are welcome to participate.

    • Arts and Culture Committee
    • Communications Committee
    • Diversity and Membership Committee
    • Land Use Committee
    • Fundraising Committee

What We’ve Accomplished:

  • Held multiple Focus Groups and an Open House to gather ideas and opinions from a wide range of stakeholders
  • Reached developer agreements to notify buyers & tenants about District and events
  • Created a “SOMA Action Network” for quick response to challenges to our neighborhood
  • Built and maintained a web site to keep public informed of activities
  • Established a monthly newsletter
  • Engaged in community outreach at multiple events and street fairs
  • Hosted the Leather Hub at Sunday Streets SOMA 2018 & 2019, and 2022
  • Held SOMA Bar Crawl with Supervisor Matt Haney
  • Revived LeatherWalk tradition, and hosted it in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
  • For 2020 Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fairs (online)
    • Created “Keep SOMA Kinky Arcade”
    • Established “Fetish Runway” competition promoting kinky designers and fetish-wear creators
  • Hosted informational booths at Up Your Alley. Folsom and Castro Street Fairs, Pride Festivals, and other events
  • Hosted free community events to celebrate District’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th anniversaries
  • Co-hosted a free event in Ringold Alley, featuring a successful Boot Art Auction
  • Co-hosted a “Pride Pop-Up” group art exhibition in collaboration with Heron Arts and Oasis Arts
  • Created “SOMA Second Saturdays!” in conjunction with SOMA West CBD and Folsom Street
  • Supported and promoted the Bearrison Street Fair, making it the destination of LeatherWalk 2022, and integrated with SOMA Second Saturdays in 2023.
  • Provided support for development of Eagle Plaza
  • Created and maintained a Google Map of the neighborhood, showing current and selected former Leather sites, as well as local businesses of interest
  • Created Cultural Catalog promoting local and Leather and LGBTQ-identified artists
  • Used mailing list to keep artists informed about potential commissions and other opportunities
  • Used mailing list to keep small business operators and entrepreneurs informed about educational and funding opportunities
  • Printed and distributed postcards highlighting the businesses and activities of the Cultural District
  • Created database of the buildings and businesses that were most important in our culture’s history
  • Created and maintained page of online resources for Leather and LGBTQ communities
  • Created additional resource guides for Queer and Kinky BIPOC and people with disabilities.
  • Arranged to put leather and kink-themed artwork on Big Belly trash cans throughout District
  • Arranged for Leather Pride flags to appear on District light poles
  • Arranged for colorful Cultural District pole banners to appear throughout the District.
  • Obtained city approval for Leather Pride flag-themed decoration of selected crosswalks along Folsom Street
  • Developed Mural Slideshow and Map to highlight local artwork and artists
  • Sponsored the Eyezen production, “Out of Site: SOMA”
  • Selected and approved a preliminary design for a Cultural District “Gateway” structure
  • Held online kink + BDSM workshop series called “Little Shop of Whores”
  • Held regular online and in-person “Erotic Storytelling Hour” programs, featuring and promoting the work of more than 50 kinky writers so far
  • Facilitated the “Sylvester” and “Showtime!” murals on the walls of Oasis
  • Facilitated the “Pup” mural on the wall of Mr. S Leather
  • Organized Narcan trainings  for SOMA Bar staff, and for the public, led by Cary Escovedo
  • Promoted events at venues within the District on a weekly basis through our popular social media posts.
  • Took over the traditions of the Golden Dildeaux Awards and the Leather Pride Color Guard after the closing down of the Golden Gate Guards
  • Organized and hosted the Golden Dildeaux Awards as a major community fundraiser in 2023 and 2024.
  • Obtained official SF legislation supporting plaques and recognition for important leather community sites
  • Consulted with local businesses at risk of permanent closing due to COVID-19, provided grant and loan information, and supplied support letters for funding programs which singled out significance to Cultural Districts
  • Organized District-wide holiday market days in December of 2021, 22, and 23
  • Began offering regular free guided Walking Tours of the Cultural District
  • Created Entrepreneur Training Program to help create new businesses serving our community
  • Conducted Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity (DEI) training for District board members, staff and volunteers
  • Partnered with SF DPH to sponsor “pop-up” events in Eagle Plaza offering free MPX and other vaccinations


  • Lobbied for repealing the San Francisco Bathhouse ban
  • Lobbied for a new “Adult Sex Venue” zoning category to allow bathhouses.
  • Lobbied for a “Nightlife Corridor” in SOMA to allow bathhouses otherwise excluded.
  • Advocated for the passage of Prop E, to provide Hotel Tax funding for all Cultural Districts
  • Helped organize community support for Landmark Designation for the SF Eagle
  • Worked with the Planning Commission on, and advocated for, Landmark Designation for the SF Eagle
  • Advocated for parklets to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses
  • Advocated for the naming of a new park near our District after a beloved community leader
  • Did community education and direct advocacy regarding SF Redistricting and other important issues.

What We Plan to Do

  • Develop web-based self-guided Walking Tours of the Cultural District
  • Continue and Expand  Entrepreneur Training Program and other business development programs
  • Promote more murals and other public art in the District
  • Construct a Gateway as a District place-making feature
  • Acquire a building for a permanent Leather Community Center and event space to prevent displacement
  • Investigate establishing a Community Development Corporation or land trust to prevent displacement of community businesses
  • Establish periodic pop-ups to display community artists’ work
  • Establish periodic events to draw people to the District and its community businesses
  • Work with local bars and venues on equity and cultural sensitivity, to ensure a welcoming environment for all
  • Encourage local venues to have someone on staff with Narcan training

What is the District Doing Now And how can you help?

More Information

Our Community Partners

  • Castro LGBTQ Culture District
  • Transgender District
  • American Indian Cultural District
  • Calle 24 Latino Cultural District
  • Japantown Cultural District
  • African-American Arts and Culture District
  • SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Cultural Heritage District
  • Friends of Eagle Plaza
  • Folsom Street
  • SOMA West Community Benefit District
  • San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance
  • Bay Area Leather Lifeline
  • Service Pups of San Francisco
  • GLBT Historical Society
  • SOMArts