[[quoteright:274:[[Music/VillagePeople http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/VillagePeopleBiker.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:274:Glenn Hughes. [[Music/VillagePeople Village Person]]. 19502001. Buried in this very outfit.]]

->'''[[TransparentCloset Tobias]]:''' I need something that says, "Dad likes leather."\\
'''Store Clerk:''' Something that says... leatherdaddy?\\
'''Tobias:''' Oh, is there such a thing?
-->-- ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''

The LGBT community has a variety of subcultures and groups. One component has historical roots in the BDSM community and to biker culture, resulting in a noticeable number of gay men wearing a LOT of cured animal hide in suggestive cuts.

The leather tradition is generally traced back to gay servicemen returning from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. They became the biker gangs of TheFifties, and the subculture grew from there. The BDSM part sort of merged in later, though it's not a bonafide requirement that a leatherman be into kink. In fact, some of the older leathermen (the "old guard") have few, if any, BDSM tendencies. Just [[GoodOldWays a strict code of honor, obedience to tradition and hierarchy and a strict set of rules]].

A related but distinct group are [[TheBear bears]], masculine types with body hair, heavy-set builds, and/or "traditionally" [[ManlyGay masculine behaviour]]. There is a lot of overlap between the two groups, but the same way not all leathermen are into BDSM, not all bears are into leather. Both groups formed in part because the gay community itself had developed certain stereotypical expectations - typically, hairless young "[[TheDandy metrosexuals]]". Or [[DragQueen drag queens]].

The defining characteristic of both groups was a certain visibly identifiable look and behavior. Which, of course, meant that once TV got around to even acknowledging that there was a gay subculture, these two were mashed together as possibly ''the'' stereotype to portray, after "classical" gay archetypes. Especially if the setting involved jail at any point. The popularity of The Music/VillagePeople and the artwork of Creator/TomOfFinland probably helped.

Needless to say, character development seldom proceeds beyond "big, hairy, aggressive gay biker".

[[BadassGay May]] or may not be HellBentForLeather. Not to be confused with the multitool of the same name. Or [[Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre Leatherface]].

Compare ManlyGay and MachoCamp.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* One of the last episodes of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' had one of these as a World Tournament challenger who seemed to take a liking to Trunks.
* Dante in the ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' anime looks nearly exactly like the picture, just tint his hair blue and make the mustache bristle-ier. He also kisses his victims full on the mouth.
* [[SociopathicHero Mello]] from ''Manga/DeathNote''. He is a ''much'' more {{Bishounen}} example of this trope than the standard (to the point of ''[[DudeLooksLikeALady frequently]]'' [[ViewerGenderConfusion being mistaken for a girl by first-time manga readers]]).

* The artwork of Creator/TomOfFinland.

* The exploits of comedian Masaki Sumitani's character Razor Ramon HG (a weird combination of the Leatherman and the FlamboyantGay; Sumitani claims Hard Gay's mannerisms are inspired by actual {{Flamboyant Gay}}s he has met).

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Leatherboy was a rather notable version of this when he tried out for the Franchise/MarvelUniverse team Great Lakes Avengers. [[AmbiguouslyGay Turns out he wasn't the gay member.]]
* The Midnighter from ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'' embodies this trope. He's also an AlternateCompanyEquivalent of ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'', only with the HoYay between him and the Superman-{{Expy}} as ''canon'' rather than subtext.
* ComicBook/XFactor's and formerly ComicBook/XForce's Shatterstar wears primarily white leather outfits with some [[FemaleGaze suggestive]] seam placement.
* Several appear in the ''ComicBook/MsTree'' story "Skeleton in the Closet", attempting to rough up Mike, Jr. after he is exposed as a homophobe.
* David from the FurryComic ''ComicBook/AssociatedStudentBodies'', the resident macho type. In one story, he takes the protagonist Daniel to the local [[WhereEverybodyKnowsYourFlame leather bar]], dressed in full leatherman attire himself. Daniel's reaction to the outfit:
-->'''Daniel:''' I look like a Music/VillagePeople. [sic]\\
'''David:''' My favorite! Music with ''meaning''!

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The denizens of the [[WhereEverybodyKnowsYourFlame Blue Oyster Bar]] in the ''Film/PoliceAcademy'' movie franchise.
* In ''Film/{{Serial}}'' (1980), Christopher Lee plays a man who is a scary gay biker at the weekend and a highly respectable 'suit' the rest of the time.
* Australian actor Vernon Wells is best known for playing this type of character: Wez in ''Film/TheRoadWarrior'' and Cpt. Bennett in ''Film/{{Commando}}'' are probably the best known.
* In ''Film/{{Cruising}}'' (1980), Al Pacino plays a rookie cop who must go undercover in the New York leather scene in order to catch a serial killer.
* In ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreetPart2FreddysRevenge'', Coach Schneider is revealed to be one when Jesse encounters him at the underground club.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* This is one of the many, ''many'' gay stereotypes unintentionally evoked by Tobias on ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''. See the above quote. He even joined a ''barber shop quartet'' of leathermen.
* Matthew from ''Series/NewsRadio'' once dressed up as what he insists was a "motorcycle enthusiast" for Halloween. In fact, the words "Butch Biker" was written in rhinestone on the back of his jacket just so people wouldn't be confused. It didn't work and [[ComicallyMissingThePoint he couldn't understand why]].
* Trey from ''Series/NoahsArc'' posed as one of these for a calendar shoot.
* [[{{Gayngster}} Vito]] was seen by some low-ranking soldiers attending a gay bar in one of these outfits on ''Series/TheSopranos'', which sealed his [[BuryYourGays fate]].
* There was a short-lived ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' recurring sketch called "Leatherman" about a man (played by Creator/JimmyFallon) who owns a leather clothing store.
* Referenced in a ''Series/MrShow'' sketch in which a heavy metal band plays Fire Island to a packed crowd of leathermen.
* ''Series/TheBenStillerShow'' features a ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'' parody sketch in which one of the high school students dresses and acts, rather inexplicably, like a leatherman. He's played by Creator/BobOdenkirk.
* The main stereotype played with by Razor Ramon "Creator/HardGay" (though his outfit is more PVC than leather).

* In their early days, the Music/BlueOysterCult tended to the leather look. (Check out the inner sleeve photos on ''On Your Feet - Or On Your Knees''.) They had a substantial following garnered from two New York groups - gays and bikers. A stage look[[note]] and songs - check out the ''very'' ambiguous lyrics to ''Dominance and Submission''[[/note]] that appealed to both was a no-brainer. Bass player Joey Bouchard recalls they got their stage leather from a BDSM boutique specialising in gay bondage. The gay bar in the ''Film/PoliceAcademy'' series is called ''The Blue Oyster'' and could well be {{Homage}} to this...
* Glenn Hughes (important note: '''not''' the one from Music/DeepPurple and Music/BlackSabbath, who is a different guy with the same name) provides the page image. He was an actual motorcycle enthusiast even before joining Music/TheVillagePeople.
* Rob Halford's fondness for Leatherman costumes while on stage with Music/JudasPriest somewhat lessened the surprise when he came out.
** Hell, all five members are usually dressed to the nines in leather (look at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Essential_Judas_Priest The Essential Judas Priest]] album).
** Rob Halford made leatherman/BDSM getups an integral part of metal fashion, unbeknownst to the (largely straight) metal bands that spread like wildfire during TheEighties.
** Then again, Rob Halford's sexuality was pretty obvious when "[[IntercourseWithYou Turbo Lover]]" was released.
** Speaking of songs: "Hell Bent For Leather" from as early as 1978.
** Rob Halford plays the leader of the fire barons (essentially wearing his old outfit) in ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend''. Interestingly, he also plays a preening Hair Metal singer, and the fire barons hate him.
* Referenced in the song "Real Men" by Joe Jackson:
-->"All the gays are macho/ Can't you see the leather shine?"
* Music/XJapan, ''especially'' 87-92 for almost everyone at one point or another, but the ones that really took the trope and ran with it were [[Music/ToshimitsuDeyama Toshi]] and [[Music/TaijiSawada Taiji]].
* Freddie Mercury of Music/{{Queen}}.
* Music/AdamLambert, the openly gay, eighth season runner-up of ''Series/AmericanIdol''. He even sports a leather jacket on the cover of his album ''Tresspassing''.
* Creator/LouReed's look on the front cover of ''Music/{{Transformer}}'' is pure Leatherman.

* In ''ComicStrip/ACoupleOfGuys'', Eric and Joey enjoy wearing leather. This includes going to a leather bar, as well as annual trips to UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} for its (real life) annual leather convention.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Adrian Adonis originally wore a black leather jacket and cap to the ring, long before he became the CampGay "Adorable Adrian".

* ''Theatre/AngelsInAmerica'' features a scene in which Louis has sex with a random leatherman in Central Park. The character is aptly named "(leather)man in the park", and is supposed to be played by the actor who plays Louis' ex-lover Prior.
* Michel Tremblay's ''Hosanna'' depicts a relationship between a DragQueen (the title character) and a Leatherman biker named Cuirette.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Wolf O'Donnell in ''VideoGame/StarFox'' and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' is increasingly this with each new outfit, providing a (possibly) heterosexual example.
* Hsu Hao in ''Franchise/MortalKombat''.
* Paul Phoenix from ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' is a heterosexual example, having worn plenty of studded leather outfits across the series.
* Flak the weapons dealer in ''VideoGame/Fallout3''. The ''player character'' in ''Fallout 3'' and ''[[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas New Vegas]]'', can be this if they like (and are male); a lot of raider armor in particular is suited to it. And then there's the Confirmed Bachelor perk, which gives you some rather suggestive dialog choices with men.
* Ash from the third edition of ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage''. Only in the Japanese version, though.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/AcidRain'' has Daniel, wearing a leather jacket, biker gauntlets, combat boots, tight leather chaps, with black jeans beneath. Like Paul Phoenix, it's also a heterosexual example.
* ''Webcomic/BlurTheLines'' has quite a few, including a [[http://www.blur-the-lines.com/?p=80 BSDM leather daddy]] and a [[http://www.blur-the-lines.com/?p=254 biker.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Mr. Slave on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.
* Meatwad from ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' became this temporarily. Ironically, in an attempt to prove his heterosexuality when Shake accused him of bisexuality.
* [[CampGay The General]] from ''WesternAnimation/RonalTheBarbarian'', complete with a chain between his pierced nipples and [[ThongOfShielding bare buttocks]] to whip himself.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' had Roberta give Junior a makeover that got him mistaken for a lesbian. After the plot has concluded, Junior remarks that the next time he gets a makeover, there should be no doubt that he's a man who likes the ladies. Cut to Junior entering the house dressed like Glenn Hughes. "Why do I listen to you?!?"