September 15, 2020 at 10:12 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend 2021 cancelled due to COVID
Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, gay news, Washington Blade
A scene from MAL Weekend last year. The 2021 event has been cancelled. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The annual Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend scheduled for January 2021, which draws well over 1,000 LGBTQ leather enthusiasts and their supporters to the nation’s capital, has been cancelled due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter posted on the event’s website.

Todd White, president of the Centaur Motorcycle Club, which organizes Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, said in the posted letter that the cancellation decision was made at the organization’s Sept. 13 meeting.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this letter,” White wrote. “Following a long discussion and a lot of consideration the membership voted to cancel MAL 2021. This was not an easy decision, but with current trends and local regulations there wasn’t a way to hold the event in a safe and responsible manner,” he said.

White added that D.C.’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, which has served for many years as the host hotel for the event, will automatically cancel room reservations and refund any deposits already made for the event. He said those who made reservations in other hotels will have to contact the hotels directly to cancel their reservations.

He said for those who purchased a “full run package” to attend the various MAL Weekend events that payment will also be automatically refunded to the purchaser’s account.

“We have already started planning MAL 2022 and look forward to welcoming you back to the Mid-Atlantic for an amazing weekend,” White wrote in his letter. “Stay safe and look out for one another. Until once again we can gather together, reminisce with old friends, and create memories with new ones.”

The announcement of the cancellation of the 2121 Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend comes shortly after the DC Eagle, the District’s only LGBTQ leather-Levi bar, which had been in business for 30 years, closed its doors permanently due to COVID restrictions and other financial problems it had been facing.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.