Code of Conduct

Link to Code of Conduct

The ONYX Code

ONYX is an organization formed and operated by People of Color who enjoy the leather lifestyle. Our goal is to provide an informational and social organization to address issues specific to people of color who chose to project the positive aspects of the leather lifestyle and support our community and economic initiatives.

Support, spirituality, safety and saneness are keys to attaining our goals. Toward this end, it is the principle aim of ONYX to develop in its members the highest standards of loyalty to the laws and established code of ONYX and to treat all in society with honor, unselfishness, and tolerance.

It is the responsibility of each member to uphold the traditions, standards and practices of this organization as well as the time-honored principles of democracy on which this country was built.

It is the fundamental belief of this organization that no finer means is offered for the achievement of these aims than the brotherly association of persons with similar tastes, inclinations and goals.

Brother Brian Swilling (Dominion ONYX) is credited with the creation of this motto, which has since been adopted nationally by ONYX

A Commitment to Diversity

ONYX centers the needs and desires of gay and bisexual Men of Color in our activities and policies. Although a majority of our Brothers identify as African-American/Black, ONYX is for ALL Men of Color, including our Brothers of Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American heritage. We are committed to ensuring the unique cultural experiences of all communities of color are incorporated into the life of ONYX.

Our Brotherhood is open to men of all genders. We recognize and celebrate the unique journeys that bring each of us to manhood. It is the responsibility of all Brothers to support and stand for one another and to educate ourselves about Brothers whose experience is different from our own. This means standing up (when necessary and/or asked for) for our trans Brothers, our fem-presenting Brothers, our Pearl siblings and others in traditionally gay male spaces, and in places and locations where transphobic, fem-phobic, or anti-woman language or behavior is exhibited.

Our Brothers bring differing levels of ability, and we believe that these levels should not restrict their ability to participate fully in the life of ONYX. Some of our Brothers are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, so we strive to provide sign language interpreters to our events. Other Brothers have mobility challenges, and may use canes, crutches, wheelchairs, or other mobility devices. We work to ensure that venues where we have events are wheelchair-accessible. Where that is not possible, we see it as our responsibility to ensure all of our Brothers and guests can access our events.

The Men of ONYX come in all shapes and sizes and hues. We exist along a continuum of masculinity and femininity. Our Brothers represent men of many different generations. Through our imagery, programming, and policy, we continue to ensure that ALL Men of ONYX are represented.

The larger ONYX family includes the ONYX Pearls and our Associates of all genders/ gender expressions and ethnicities. The Men of ONYX are committed to participation in the larger community of kinksters, fetishists, and leatherfolk, while continuing to center Men of Color specifically, and all People of Color generally, in our words and actions.

The T.E.A.C.H. program concept is credited to Brother Rod McCoy (HotRod ONYX) and has since been adopted nationally by ONYX

A Commitment to Education and Community Service

For many Men of Color in our region, ONYX Mid-Atlantic (ONYX MA) is an introduction to Leather/Kink/BDSM through our bar nights, parties, events, and kink demonstrations. Our lecture and demonstration program, called T.E.A.C.H. (To Educate and Cultivate Hotness) provides education on various Leather, BDSM, and Kink topics including temperature, impact, and ass play, as well as poly relationships. As a part of the program, we have partnered with educational institutions including Widener University, Bowie State University, and Muhlenberg College, and the DC Black Pride organization.

We are committed to serving our community. Since 2010, ONYX MA has raised money for a number of charities during our Cocktail Party and Gear Show, part of Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend. We have marched in support of gay rights, equal rights for women, and trans rights. Our Brothers, Associates, and Pledges make a specific point to support the LGBTQ+ and People of Color-owned and -operated business and organizations that support us. Lastly, we support our community through service as titleholders.

Standards of Conduct

The attached Standards of Conduct are applicable to all Members of ONYX Mid-Atlantic, including Pledges, Brothers, and Associates. When Members are found to be in egregious violation of or consistently refuse to abide by these Standards, they may be subject to any and all actions permitted in the By Laws of ONYX, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Chapter. The procedure for bring charges against Members, fact-finding, and resolution of the charges are set forth in Paragraph 6 below.

Members are reminded to follow proper etiquette and exercise discretion in their actions and communications. Always remember that you are a steward of the organization’s brand and reputation, whether or not you are wearing your patch.

Link to Code of Conduct

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