questions with JD Buchert
JD Buchert, 47, is special events coordinator for the Leather Knights, which is currently conducting its annual Christmas drive to benefit residents of AIDS Services of Dallas.
How and when did the Leather Knights get started?
About 15 years ago some friends met at Throckmorton Mining Co. one Sunday, and Jim DeWeese proposed we form a club that “partied with a purpose,” meaning we enjoyed the social aspects of being together while helping others through fundraisers. That is how the Leather Knights’ motto of “in chivalry, camaraderie and compassion” was established.
What does the organization do?
The Knights are more than 50 strong, including active and associate members. Each year we hold four big fundraisers: Military Maneuvers, Buy Daddy’s Box, a holiday drive and the club’s annual run Camelot. We’ve helped AIDS Services of Dallas, the Nelson-Tebedo Dental Clinic, AIDS Interfaith Network, the AIDS Food Pantry and many other organizations.
How is this year’s Angel Tree Christmas drive going?
Last Sunday night was my annual Christmas Show & Wreath Auction, and I’m proud to say the last of the angels was taken, and the gifts are already being dropped off at the Dallas Eagle and Woody’s Sports Bar. My lover and I started the Angel Tree project four years ago to help the adult residents of AIDS Services of Dallas and we could not be happier with this year’s response. For those who were not able to get an angel before they were gone, the Knights have a cash and gift card drive in conjunction with Angel Tree to benefit ASD at the Dallas Eagle.
Do you feel that groups like the Leather Knights have been successful over the years in lessening the stigma associated with BDSM?
The Knights are not a BDSM club; we are a social club that helps organizations and individuals that our government turn its back on. However, many of our members are into BDSM, and I believe they continue to do a fantastic job of showing the good that is done, regardless of what people may do in the privacy of their bedrooms. The leather world once was misunderstood as was the drag community; but remember, if it was not for these two groups, Stonewall would have never happened, nor would we have many of the rights we enjoy today.
Between the Leather Knights and your other activities, I understand you keep a pretty busy schedule.
I’m very involved. I’m an officer for the Leather Knights, Emperor 25 of the United Court of the Lone Star Empire, founder of the Eagle Bears, Mr. International Fantasy 1995 and Mr. North Texas Leather Sir 2007. My lover Steve and I also own Bad Boys Catering. I know I left out something or someone, and I apologize, but the important thing is I am involved and will remain involved as long as the good God will allow me to be.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 7, 2007