New England Leather Alliance

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Description: The New England Leather Alliance, or NELA was an organization dedicated to making the world a safe place for all SM/leather/fetish people, through education, advocacy, and charitable giving. They were a diverse, pansexual group of adults who shared a common interest in leather, SM, or similar fetishes, and who wanted to be active in building our community. They were women, men, and trans folk; heterosexual, bisexual, gay, and queer; married, single, and poly; young, old, and timeless.

The New England Leather Alliance (NELA) was first called the National Leather Association – New England or NLA -New England. It was a chapter of National Leather Association – International or NLA - I. It was formed in 1991 in Boston, Massachusetts. In January of 2000 the organization changed its name from NLA New England to New England Leather Alliance. At this time, the board felt its connection to NLA – International had run its course. The new name had been chosen to be in line with other NLA-I chapters that went independent. NELA also incorporated in March 2000. In 2001 NELA trademarks the Fetish Fair Fleamarket® name. In 2002 NELA becomes a registered 501(C)3. NELA was also a coalition partner of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF).

The Fetish Fair Fleamarket® (also known as The Flea or FFF) started in 1993 at a Holiday Inn, Somerville, Massachusetts. Initially, it was a private event run by Cecilia Tan with the intent of being a fundraiser for NLA: New England. It was Cecilia Tan who came up with the idea to do this kind of fundraiser. The members of NLA-New England didn't like the idea. So Cecilia Tan did the event on her own and took a gamble on her credit card. 250 people attended this first “Flea”. When it was all over and done, the event raised $400.00, and the members changed their minds and got behind doing this again and helping out putting it on. They produced two events every year, one in the summer and one in the winter. In 2001, the Winter Flea became a three-day event. Between 1993 and 2020, the New England Leather Alliance produced 54 Fetish Fair Fleamarkets®. Because of the success of the Flea, NELA was able to donate over $100,000 in charitable giving.

In December 2021, the board of NELA announced that, as of December 31, 2021, NELA would cease operation.

Country: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Status: Inactive as of December 31, 2021

Founded: In 1991

Panel Added to the Quilt: Panel mailed to the caretakers August 2023




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