WE ARE ONYX MID-ATLANTIC
Educate | Explore | Empower
ONYX is a Leather organization for gay and bisexual Men of Color focused on educational and charitable endeavors serving the LGBTQIA+ communities. Our Mission is to EDUCATE, EXPLORE and EMPOWER. We educate Men of Color about the Leather / BDSM / Fetish / Kink community, provide a safe space for exploration and empower all to live their leather journey more freely, safely and happily. There is much more to ONYX than just having a good time or wearing leather / kink / fetish gear. Our Brotherhood is about togetherness, being present, helping our Brothers through thick and thin, giving rather than receiving and supporting our Community through service to those in need.
Our ONYX Mid-Atlantic in-house education programs help others expand their fetish skills with demonstrations on Bondage, Electroplay, Spanking, Fire Play/ Cupping, Flogging, Assplay, Sounding, and many more.
Our long-term partnership with Widener University’s PhD Human Sexuality Program exposes future clinicians and educators to the Leather community. We actively work with Muhlenberg College and Bowie State University to provide kink, leather and BDSM related education. Likewise, we partner each year with DC Black Pride to provide ONYX University as an educational pride event open to the general public. We deliver frequent public-facing education and discussion panels on a wide range of topics of import to the LGBTQIA+ communities.
ONYX Mid-Atlantic is firmly committed to community service and charitable services in support of a wide range of LGBTQ+ organizations. Throughout our history we have raised more than $40,000 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.
To become affiliated with us, as either a Full Brother or Associate, you must complete the application and be interviewed. You must also live in the DC/MD/VA/WVA/PA/NC/DE area. If you live in another part of the country, please refer to onyxmen.com to find a chapter in your area.
Advice Before Submitting An Application
Before you apply for membership in this, or any organization, we suggest you learn and explore the organization and what it does. Here are a few ideas describing how you might do that with ONYX Mid-Atlantic:
- Reach out to several ONYX Mid-Atlantic members with a proper introduction of your interest in the organization and chapter via social media and / or during a local, regional or national event. Ask questions. If you are truly interested in joining the organization you should want to get to know us.
- Research ONYX at the national website (www.onyxmen.com), this website (www.onyxma.com), in social media and by asking others. Likewise, actively pursue the expansion of your leather and kink knowledge using resources listed on the ONYX Mid-Atlantic website as well as those that are publicly available.
- Openly and honestly convey your interest in the chapter, the organization and interests in the leather and kink culture.
- Openly and honestly convey your personal interest and experience in fetish, kink and BDSM play. Ask questions.
- Review the ONYX Mid-Atlantic Code of Conduct to ensure you can adhere to our principles and values.
- Attend local, regional and national events, when possible, including those where ONYX Mid-Atlantic members are attending or hosting. Attending and participating in our events is an excellent way to get to know our members – and it allows members to get to know you!
- Have appropriate conversation regarding any questions, concerns or comments regarding the organization, the chapter and/or the culture with its members until you are completely satisfied with the answers.
- Volunteer to help with the setup and breakdown at events, success of the event outcomes, and/or volunteer to help with chapter initiatives where applicable.
- Ensure you understand and can fully embrace the requirements of the organization and pledge process, including your ability to meet time commitments, financial commitments and demonstrate on-going service to the organization and overall leather / kink community.
Here’s an article from 2020 that discusses the importance of the space ONYX provides in the leather and kink community:
Opinion: Men of Color deserve space in the leather community. ONYX provides it
bearworldmag.com, Kyle Jackson (Golden Eagle ONYX), 9-28-2020
Full Brotherhood & Pledge Obligations
Full Brother Application Process Opens: August 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.
Brothers have voting rights and other privileges of membership and participation within the chapter, as well as the honor of wearing an ONYX back patch. Brothers are expected to participate in all club functions and be active in the community. The purpose of the Pledge Process is:
- To provide the pledge with a knowledge base to be a resource to all people, particularly people of color, who seek to know more about the leather / fetish / kink community
- To provide the pledge with tools to advocate for the leather / fetish / kink community and people of color in the community
- To facilitate the pledge’s personal journey by providing him with Brotherhood and bonding opportunities, and broadening his leather / fetish / kink horizons through experiential and academic learning opportunities
Collectively, the Pledges will be required to
- Host and manage a Bar Night
- Complete a Community Service Project
- Conduct an educational seminar on leather / fetish / kink topics of their own choosing
- Host a social for the Brothers
- Participate the weekend of Mid-Atlantic Leather (typically MLK Weekend each year)
Associate Membership and Process Obligations
Associate Application Process Opens: April 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022.
The application process for those interested in becoming an Associate member is anticipated to open from April 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022. Those interested in Associate membership should not apply during the Full Brother application process. More details about the associate application process will be available in early 2022.
Associates have the privilege of wearing a membership patch that is identical to the ONYX back patch, but smaller. ONYX Mid-Atlantic does not confer patches based on friendship or familiarity. Associates are expected to conduct themselves with the honor and integrity expected of anyone wearing our patch. Associates are expected to participate fully in the life of ONYX Mid-Atlantic. The patch is a symbol of your commitment to help us achieve our goals summarized in our motto: Educate | Explore | Empower
Associate members of ONYX Mid-Atlantic may be men, women, or gender non-conforming individuals of any race/color/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identification. A prospective Associate is required to complete a 6-month Associate Process. This requirement may be waived by exception for prospective Associates who are established members of the leather / kink / fetish community. The purpose of the Associate Process is:
- To provide the Associate with a knowledge base to be a resource to anyone who seeks to know more about the leather / fetish / kink community
- To introduce the Associates to the ONYXMA brotherhood and prepare those eligible to become future brothers of the chapter.
- To facilitate the Associate’s personal journey by providing them with Brotherhood and bonding opportunities, and broadening their leather / fetish / kink horizons through experiential and academic learning opportunities.
During the Process, the prospective Associates must participate in a series of educational sessions, support ONYX activities, and otherwise actively contribute to the Chapter. Collectively, the prospective Associates will be required to:
- Host and manage a Munch
- Complete a Community Service Project
- Conduct an educational seminar on leather/fetish/kink topics of their own choosing
- Host a social for the Brothers
Upon satisfactory completion of the Associate Process, an Associate’s patch will be granted.
Full Brother Application and Interview Process
All parties interested in pledging for Full Brother membership must complete the application, available via the link at the end of this page on August 1st. There is no fee for the application, but you must be 21 years of age or older to complete the application, and must upload a photo (no nudes, please) as part of your application.
****** Update as of September 12, 2021 ******
The application process for those interested in becoming a Full Brother will be open from August 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. The application was posted and available on August 1st (see the end of this page).
Other key dates potential applicants should be aware of include:
October 4, 2021 – Notification to All Applicants
No later than October 4, 2021 any person that submitted an application by the September 30 deadline will receive an official email notification from the Pledge Masters as to whether or not they will be invited to the next phase of the applicant process: The Interview. This email will also contain any relevant information regarding applicant instructions for the interview process.
October 8, 2021 – Interview Time Slot Sign-Up
Due to the on-going resurgence of COVID and our focus on health and safety of members and applicants, we will hold the interviews virtually. The email sent on October 4 (see above) will provide directions on how applicants can register for their virtual interview time slot. Registration will be open on October 8 starting at 12 Noon on a first come first served basis.
October 16, 2021 – Applicant Virtual Interviews
Applicant virtual interviews will be held on October 16 (planned from 10 AM – 5 PM) using Zoom. Anyone wishing to pledge MUST sit for an virtual interview. An alternate virtual date will be coordinated for those who cannot make the initial interview date, but the availability of slots for the alternate interviews will be extremely limited.
All applicants will be evaluated on the quality of the responses provided on their application, as well as their responses to a small set of standard questions asked during the interview. Please take the time to consider your answers before submitting your application. You may edit your responses to your application until the deadline. A link to your individual application will be provided to you automatically via email with your initial submission.
Please direct any questions about the application process to firstname.lastname@example.org
All applicants must note ONYXMA reserves the right to:
- Reject an application if the applicant is not from the DC/MD/VA/WVA/PA/NC/DE area
- Limit the number of slots available for the 2022 pledge class
- Limit the number of new Associate Memberships available
- Decline an application entirely
- Offer an applicant a class of membership other than that for which he applied
- Remove a pledge or associate at any point during the process
We will announce our new Pledges in October (within 2 days of interview completion), with Pledging Activities to begin in November. The minimum requirements for Pledges will include attendance at scheduled pledge meetings, completion of pledge assignments, and active participation in ONYX events during the pledge period. Any pledge who voluntarily chooses not to complete the process must re-apply the following year, with no guarantee of being accepted again.