International Person of Leather Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Policy and Procedures


Diversity: the presence of difference within a given setting.

Inclusion: the ability to insure people with different identities feel (and are) valued, leveraged, and welcomed within a given setting.

Equity: providing everyone with access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that we don’t all start from the same place because advantages and barriers exist. It’s a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct the imbalance. Diversity and inclusion are both outcomes; equity is a process we engage in to ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop.


International Person of Leather (IPOL) holds very highly as values: diversity, inclusion and equity. As a reflection of these values, IPOL strives to create an environment where all people involved—regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or identity, physical appearance, education, STI status, HIV status, or disability—feel valued, respected, welcomed, and safe. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for growth and advancement in all of our programs and endeavors. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and hear.

IPOL is committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire leather community, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all. We are committed to pursuing transformative justice with regards to all the fall under our purview and providing individuals with education and opportunity to grow in these matters.


To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, International Person of Leather (IPOL) strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff, our regional producers, our contestants, and the leather community we serve.

  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report IPOL progress.

  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.

  • Advocate for and support organizational thinking about how systemic inequities impact IPOL’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader within IPOL, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.

  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within IPOL.

  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all staff, regional producers, and contestants to embrace this notion and to express it in community interactions and through everyday practices.


International Person of Leather (IPOL) abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our organization and contest circuit:

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout IPOL by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.

  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. Once the content is curated, it will be added to our website for all to access.

  • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of the international leather community.

  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other leather community organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.

  • Develop and present sessions on diversity, inclusion, and equity to provide information and resources internally, and to the leather community at large.

  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the contest production process and the circuit at large. Train our regional producers on equitable practices.

  • Advocate for community policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.

  • Institute a grievance system by which our staff, contestants, regional producers, or attendees can register grievances they perceive within regards to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Create a policy to standardize the review, investigation, action, and follow-up necessary with each grievance.

  • Expect that ALL events producing a regional Person of Leather contest institute a diversity, inclusion, and equity policy and a system by which to address grievances within regards to discrimination or diversity, inclusion, and equity by the time they sign contracts for the 2020/2021 circuit year.

Grievance Procedure

International Person of Leather (IPOL) has instituted a grievance procedure which calls upon the principals of transformative and reformative justice. Without knowledge of discrimination marginalized peoples have suffered within our organization or circuit, we cannot move towards amends, education, growth, or meaningful change.

If you feel you have been discriminated against anywhere within the International Person of Leather circuit, please contact immediately. If you are currently at the event, please refer to their diversity, inclusion, and equity policy and contact the appropriate person first. We will address your grievances as soon as possible.

IPOL’s intention, upon review and investigation of all such grievances, is to examine whether there is an opportunity for education and growth among involved parties or organizations. In the case of an affirmative response to that examination, IPOL will endeavor to support that education/training and give the party/organization the opportunity to display real growth and learning. In the case of a negative response to that examination, IPOL will examine further corrective action.