Stonewall 50 Celebration with Tiona Nekkia McClodden

Whitney Museum of American Art

THU, Jun 13, 2019

7:30–9:30 pm

Floor 1, Kenneth C. Griffin Hall
John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery

In collaboration with 2019 Whitney Biennial artist Tiona Nekkia McClodden and inspired by the Meatpacking District’s queer club culture, the Whitney celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with a free after-hours event featuring DJ SHYBOI, performances, and viewing of the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

The celebration will include drinks with music and performances by McClodden and other guest artists.

This event is for visitors age 21 and over. The event is free but registration is required.

Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove is a leather pride event prioritizing the SM community through performance, intervention, and series of readings set to take over the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 13 for two hours. Thematically set as a cruising party to retain knowledgetied to the material culture of the SM community, attendees will be asked to declare themselves as either voyeur or player before entering the building. All attendees are encouraged to flag in respect to all LGBT flagging systems (Hankies, Nails, Keys), which will be recognized and respected. Consent is core to this event.

The event will feature 4 hotspots each with small amp speakers equipped with a long mic. cord and microphone set throughout the museum. Each will be accompanied by a reader/performer. Music will be provided by DJ SHYBOI who will play throughout the entire duration of the event only pausing for the recognition of the honorees.

Performer Bobbie Hondo and I will be the Cruisers providing a performance/reading in the lobby area during the entire run of the show, providing knowledge on key figures within the SM community and related architecture in the Meatpacking district that no longer exist.

Students from my Black + Queer in Leather: Black BDSM Material Culture course will be situated within the fifth-floor galleries where an amp is placed. Anyone who is interested in providing SM related text readings as well as uplifting names in memory of the SM community members and bars in the area can join.

The event will run from 7:30pm, ending promptly at 9:30pm. Starting at 9:45 -10:45pm, Honoree Efrain John Gonzales will give an abbreviated version of his walking tour of the sex clubs and SM history of the Meatpacking District. He will lead the audience around the neighborhood while sharing images he's taken since the 70s and 80s. The tour will end at the subway station for the attendees’ easy access home.

Leather Pride.


Tiona Nekkia McClodden

blkdocs [she/hers]

Flagging Black Velvet

(left side) all night long.


Bobbie Hondo


Always being on the pulse of what's happening with downtown, Bobbie is a classically-trained dancer that received their training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School before heading to the New York City to pursue a career in theatre. A native to El Paso, Texas and graduate of Parsons the New School of Design, she has found her way to become apart of the East Village scene where she received her formal education. You can find Bobbie performing with various groups, venues across town and the world. [photo by Alice O’Malley]



Mama Vi is a leatherwoman, activist, author, and archivist who embarked on her journey in the Leather/BDSM scene in the early 1970s. A strong advocate for the necessity of preserving leather/fetish/erotic history, Johnson speaks and writes with a single-minded focus on the broad spectrum of issues that concern her and her community.

A mentor and confidante to many in the fetish world, she has a protective fondness for the ‘boys / bois’ of the community and those who choose to serve as slaves and submissives and is often referred to as the “Mother of all Submissives.”

The Carter/Johnson Library & Collection is a collection that includes thousands of leather, fetish, S/M, kink and alternate sexuality books, magazines, posters, art, newspapers, ephemera and memorabilia dating back to the 1700’s. 


Steven Fullwood’s work as an archivist and curator for over 19 years at the Schomburg Center brought him closer to his dream as a culture keeper. Over the course of his career, his work has been recognized by The New York Times (NYT Librarian Award in 2005), and the New York Public Library (Bertha & Franklin Feder Award for Outstanding Service in Librarianship in 2010.) The most important acknowledgment about his work, however, has been from the Black community.

His published works include Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam's Call (co-edited by Charles Stephens), 2014, To Be Left with the Body, (co-edited by Cheryl Clarke), 2008, and Carry the Word: A Bibliography of Black LGBTQ Books (co-edited by Lisa C. Moore), 2007.

He founded the In the Life Archive, an archival project at the Schomburg Center to collect and preserve materials created by and about LGBTQ people of African descent, the largest archive of its kind currently in existence. He is the Co-Founder of Nomadic Archivist Project.


Efrain John Gonzalez, known as the Underground Archivist to many, is a Brooklyn-based photographic artist whose talents with camera and darkroom, has allowed him to document the unusual, the erotic, the unique, the wild and slightly crazy, from the world of body modifications to the underground universe of radical S&M, from sensual beauty of the flesh to raw sexual desires. He is an internationally published photographer who for the past 40 years has been traveling down dark and mysterious paths trying to capture on film, real life images that illustrate stories of people finding the path to their souls and gathering together to celebrate their uncommon lives. His patience has created a rare historical archive of original and candid photographs of underground clubs, transgender people, tattoo and body modification events, cities at night, and leather cultures.


Yin Q. is a Chinese American, Queer, BDSM practitioner/educator and writer/producer of Mercy Mistress, and founder/producer of Kink Out events, and Mama to two domineering daughters. Yin’s activism is focused on destigmatizing Sex Work and uplifting the most marginalized and vulnerable. They are particularly interested in the transformative powers of BDSM and eating Dim Sum.

Mercy Mistress is a webseries, co/exec.produced with Margaret Cho, based on the memoirs of Yin Q, focusing on a queer, Asian American dominatrix in New York City. Created with a primarily femme and non-binary identified crew, this film was intended for the kink and sex work community to feel seen, heard, and championed.

Kink Out brings people of intersectional identities with lived experience in BDSM culture together to share activism, art, work, and respectful conversation. It is a container for the diverse leather and kink communities in NYC to celebrate and build alliances with one another.

Kink Out Events are helmed by rotating artists and producers who are queer, sex workers, people of color, femme, butch, gender non-conforming, parents, non-monogamous, and/or leather dykes/fags. | | IG: @kinkoutevents

Photo documentation by Filip Wolak. 2019.


Honoree Steven Fullwood

Honoree Steven Fullwood

Honoree Yin Q

Honoree Efrain Gonales

TNM reading Honoree Mama Viola Johnson's speech

Honoree Mama Viola Johnson

Jun 13, 2019, 1:36 PM

Honoree Speech

I remember…

the anger, the hurt, the frustration.
the “one more thing and I’m / we are gonna blow.
And we did.
I remember.
I remember…
when it wasn’t a parade but a march for our rights
and we chanted as we walked the “Lavender Line”
a thousand strong
ten thousand strong
a million strong.
No longer just in New York City, but around the world.
I remember.
I remember…
Putting my hands on that wall…that STONE WALL opposite
The bar and hearing every voice, feeling every soul
whose labor and love,
whose work, sweat and toil
brought us one step farther down the path
one step closer to the freedom…to be, without fear.
I remember.
I remember promising in that sacred place
that I too would hold space as a living memory for these
modern day Daughters of Bilitis and Sons of Mattachine
as they too travel further down the road to freedom…
to be who we are
to love as we choose.
And now I see…
in the faces of our youth…
in the clasped hands of a couple free to celebrate their love…
in our transgender family stepping out with their own voice.
They keep memory with their ancestors.
They are the promise of that “Stonewall.”
They will *not* break faith with yesterday as they step toward tomorrow.

SPecial dedication to Alvin Baltrop


Bobbie Hondo

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