ONYXMA History

ONYX Mid-Atlantic serves the Mid-Atlantic Region area, including D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  The Mid-Atlantic Chapter was ratified by vote at Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL) 2010, although the chapter recognizes October 7, 2007 as the founding date. 

Vision ONYX is the world’s leading resource for the empowerment of gay and bi-sexual Men of Color in the Leather Lifestyle.

Mission The mission of ONYX is to educate and empower gay and bi-sexual Men of Color who explore the Leather Lifestyle.

ONYX is a resource that centers the needs and desires of gay and bisexual Men of Color while welcoming everyone. We are a safe space to EDUCATE yourself about the Leather Lifestyle and Leather/Kink/Fetish Play. We provide a welcoming place to EXPLORE your Kinks and Fetishes in an affirming judgment-free environment, which EMPOWERS all people and ESPECIALLY Men of Color to live their lives more freely, safely, and happily as Leathermen and Kinksters.

501(c)(3) Nonprofit

ONYX Mid-Atlantic, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an effective date of November 10, 2020. Contributions to ONYX Mid-Atlantic are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers of ONYX Mid-Atlantic are:

  1. Sir Charles B.
  2. Jalan B.
  3. Mark C.
  4. Reggie H.
  5. DeNareo H.
  6. Rod M. (President)
  7. Kanili S. (Vice President)
  8. Brian S. (Treasurer)
  9. Justin T.

Our motto, since adopted nationally, is:  Educate | Explore | Empower

Education and Community Service are of tantamount importance to being a member in ONYX Mid-Atlantic. Members are expected to be in service to the ONYX organization, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and to the greater LGBTQIA+ community, particularly with respect to initiatives related to People of Color. ONYX Mid-Atlantic is proud of our rich history providing education and service to our membership and the LGBTQIA+ community.

For many Men of Color in our region, ONYX Mid-Atlantic is an introduction to Leather, Kink and BDSM through our social media, education materials / sessions, events, bar nights, parties, kink demonstrations and community service initiatives.

Our formal lecture and demonstration program, called T.E.A.C.H. (To Educate and Cultivate Hotness) provides education on wide array of Leather, BDSM and Kink / Fetish topics. Our in-house education programs help others expand their fetish skills with demonstrations on Bondage, Electro Play, Flogging, Impact Play, Insertion / Ass Play, Fire Play / Cupping, Sensory Play, Sounding and much more. Likewise, we lead education sessions to improve understanding of other often marginalized groups (transgender community, polyamorous relationships, etc.), while also covering such important areas sexual health, mental health and financial management.

As a part of the T.E.A.C.H. program, we partner with multiple educational human rights organizations and institutions, including:

  1. Widener University
  2. Bowie State University
  3. Muhlenberg College
  4. DC Black Pride

Our long-term partnership with Widener University’s PhD Human Sexuality Program exposes future clinicians and educators to the Leather community through a variety of education and panel discussions. We also actively work with Muhlenberg College and Bowie State University to provide in-person kink, leather, BDSM and sexual health related education. In addition, we partner each year with DC Black Pride to provide ONYX University as a half day, interactive educational pride event open to the general public.

In 2020 we made a concerted effort to include all members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in our initiatives by funding ASL Interpreter Services for our events and education sessions. We’ve also planned and funded formal education sessions with educators from the Transgender, African American, Asian American / Pacific Islander and Lesbian communities in an effort to promote increased awareness and understanding across the LGBTQIA+ and public spectrums.

ONYX Mid-Atlantic is committed to community service and charitable services in support of a wide range of LGBTQ+ organizations. Throughout our history ONYX Mid-Atlantic has raised nearly $60,000 for the Ali Forney Center; Black, Gifted & Whole; Brother Help Thyself; Casa Ruby; Eagle Wings; Hearts & Ears, Inc.; HIPS; Joseph’s House; Leather History Preservation Foundation; Mama’s Family; MANDATE; MAST; Scarlett’s Foundation and SMYAL.

ONYX Mid-Atlantic Overview Video
An overview video about ONYX Mid-Atlantic, presented during the ONYX 25th Anniversary Celebration (held December, 6, 2020), is shown below:

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