Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

First Overseas Fireside Chat with Douglas O'Keeffe

By Douglas O'Keeffe November 16, 2016

fireside Chat amsterdam with Douglas OKeeffe and Martijn BakkerIn the first ever overseas Chat, Inside Leather History, a Fireside Chat was a hit in Amsterdam during Amsterdam Leather Pride.  Chat host and co-producer Douglas O’Keeffe enjoyed the privilege of interviewing Martijn Bakker, owner of Rob Amsterdam, and former owner of Drummer Magazine and The Argos Leather bar.  Held at Amsterdam’s Club Church the Chat was co-produced by LeatherHistory.eu, and was the first Fireside Chat to be broadcast live on the internet.

“The Chat was amazing” enthused O’Keeffe “I was so honored to be able to include European Leather history in the Chat series!”  Pieter Claeys of Leatherhistory.eu organized the Chat on Saturday afternoon October 29th during Leather Pride Amsterdam.  Martijn Bakker, a long time Dutch Leatherman was candid in his interview.  When asked to depict the differences between the North American and European Leather scenes Bakker depicted a different social construct.  In Europe the Leather scene isn’t as stratified as in North America Bakker explained.  Over the years Bakker saw the growth of gay liberation in Holland, the expansion of civil rights like gay marriage, and the devastation caused when HIV/AIDS decimated the community.  When HIV/AIDS struck the Dutch Leather community Rob Amsterdam (Amsterdam’s premier Leather, fetish store) saw a dramatic drop in the sale of Muir caps.  “The community was solely focused on survival” Bakker explained.  

The Dutch audience was receptive and appreciative, “but when I called for audience questions following the formal interview they fell flat” O’Keeffe said with a chuckle!  Dutch culture isn’t as loquacious as North American audiences!   The Amsterdam Chat is the first in what O’Keeffe hopes will be future Chats in cooperation with other European Leather groups.  Already Manchester Leathermen is talking about a Chat in the UK next year!

O’Keeffe co-produces the Fireside Chat series with Christina Court and Mistress Joanne Gaddy, with technical direction from Vonn Tramel.  In Amsterdam O’Keeffe was assisted by Pieter Claeys of LeatherHistory.eu, and Mr. Leather Europe 2009, Arnaud Housenard, Mr Leather Europe 2014, and Michael Roks, manager of the Eagle Amsterdam, all of whom were instrumental not only in organizing this historical Fireside Chat but also in affording critical technological capabilities.