Listen Up, Leather Daddies! CLAW Has Returned For 2018

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Cleveland has the distinction of hosting monumental events every year like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions and The Labor Day Air Show, but it's also the home of one of the biggest annual conferences for gay men in the country.

If you're downtown near The Westin this weekend, be prepared to see a flood of about 2,000 men with an interest in leather, fetish and BDSM. Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend (aka CLAW) sounds like a glorified sex fest, but it's also a legitimate 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity dedicated to fundraising, education, volunteerism and other charitable needs of the leather community.

Last year, 22 charities received donations from CLAW. According to their website, approximately 60 percent ($50,000) was donated to leather-related charities; 39 percent ($33,000) to Cleveland and Ohio-area LGBTQ-focused charities; and 1 percent (1,000) to LGBTQ charities outside Ohio.

Because we're sure you're bursting with curiosity, leather-related charities include educational resources, safe-sex awareness resources, emergency financial support for those within the community, a historical museum dedicated to preserving and maintaining the history of this subculture, and the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom just to name a few.

CLAW also adheres to a strict code of conduct to ensure all participants are engaging in consensual and non-predatory interactions in addition to having a zero tolerance policy for any and all drug use. Pool parties, dance parties, informational lunches and other themed events go down all weekend long.

Since its inception in 2001 and including money raised at CLAW Nation parties, CLAW has now donated more than $800,000, and supported almost 200 community charities.

For more information on the event, head to the CLAW website here.

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