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Legends Archive

The Legends Archive was created to recognize those people who are profoundly shaping the LGBTQ+ community that we live in. Each year, The Academy selects one individual who has truly become a Legend.

The Legends Archive Award

The Academy Legends Archive honors someone each year who has become a legend, someone who has drawn the attention of the lights and all those around them. They are asked to contribute a personal artifact that represents the impact they have had on our community to be enshrined in the permanent collection of The Academy Legends Archive.

2022 Legends Archive Inductee: Graylin K. Thornton

It is our honor to present this year's 2022 Legends Archive inductee, Graylin K. Thornton! Named International Mr. Drummer in 1993, he is still the only man of color to ever hold that title. As co-founder of Onyx Northwest, Graylin currently serves as President and Education Coordinator for the organization which represents men of color within the leather lifestyle. As an active member of The Leather Cultural District, a founding national board member of the Leather Leadership Conference, and Selection Committee Member for the Ringold Alley Leather History Walk, Graylin’s impact in the community is widely felt. 


Join us on November 12, as he is officially inducted into the Academy Legends Archive and takes his place in the pantheon of San Francisco LGBTQ+ Legends!



International Mr. Drummer 1993, Graylin K. Thornton is the only Man of Color to ever hold that title. Graylin is one of the Founding Members of Onyx Northwest, formed and operated by Men of Color who enjoy the leather lifestyle. there he serves as Vice President and Education Coordinator for the organization which has raised funds for charities including SF Suicide Prevention, AIDS Memorial Grove and Stop Hate Project with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Locally, Graylin is active with the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District and served on the name selection committee for the Ringold Alley Leather History Walk. While a board member of Leathermen’s Discussion Group (LDG) he produced the annual Fetish Fair Weekend as well as the LDG Tom of Finland art show and auction. This past year, Graylin Thornton was featured in “Unsung Heroes: The Leather Community’s Response to AIDS” for the HIV Story Project series JOINING FORCES, SURVIVING VOICES. Graylin’s greatest joy however, comes from working alongside the next generation of men of color as they navigate their way through the experience of leather/BDSM/kink. He would like to thank his partner, leather family and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for over forty decades of support for the leather/BDSM/kink community and their leadership in fighting for the lives of Black Americans.

Past Inductees
2021 Legends Archive Inductee: Dr. Tim Seelig

Dr. Tim Seelig completed his final season in 2022 as Artistic Director and Conductor of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. He is the Conductor Emeritus of the Turtle Creek Chorale, made his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall, and conducted there and The Lincoln Center for 25 years.

2020 Legends Archive Inductee: Juanita MORE!

Juanita MORE! For almost three decades, the tireless hostess has blitzed San Francisco with high glamour, drag irreverence, danceable beats, culinary delectables, political activism and her philanthropic heart. Juanita remains a creation of fashion and glamour, generosity and nerve, inspiring those around her to make a positive difference in their lives and in their communities.

2019 Legends Archive Inductee: Sister Roma

For over 30 years, Sister Roma has been one of the most outspoken and highly visible members of the infamous Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Roma is recognized around the globe as an activist, fundraiser, public speaker, Master of Ceremonies, and glamorous clown. She has been on the front lines in the war against HIV and AIDS as an educator, activist and fundraiser helping to raise over $1 million for the LGBTQ global community. 

The Diane Jones Solidarity Award

The Diane Jones Solidarity Award was created this year to honor someone able to see beyond themselves and embrace the common humanity of others who might be part of a different group, who sees the ties that bind us together, strengthens those ties and reminds us of our common purpose.

This year's honoree could only be Race Bannon, constantly creating connections between generations of leather people and a diversity of LGBTQ+ communities.

2022 Honoree: Race Bannon
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Race Bannon has been an organizer, writer, educator, speaker, and activist in the LGBTQ, leather/kink, polyamory, and HIV/STI prevention realms since 1973. He is an author, widely published writer, active speaker, community organizer and project leader, and has received numerous national and local awards, the latest of which was the Palm Springs Pride 2021 Spirit of Stonewall Lifetime Achievement Award. You can currently see him in a new online series, On Guard Cigar Salon. You can find links to Race’s writings and social media here.

Past Honorees

2020: Suzie Jennings & Shannon Amitin
2021: Leo Herrera

The Architect Award

The Architect Award honors those who have been instrumental in creating something new that adds to the overall LGBTQ+ community; in recognition of the fact that community doesn't create itself, it relies upon individuals or groups of individuals to build it. It relies upon people who are brave enough to imagine something new, and tenacious enough to see it through to completion. 


This year’s honorees are the artists responsible for countless murals including the magnificent Oasis mural.

2022 Honorees: J Manuel Carmona, Simón Malvaez, SERGE GAY JR., Elliott C Nathan, & Xtopher J. McCutcheon



Born in Texas along the Mexican border, raised in Mexico, and then spending the majority of his adult life in the U.S., J Manuel Carmona’s work is greatly informed by his binational Mexican/American heritage, his queer identity, and the intersection of the LGBTQI and Latino communities of San Francisco. He has explored these communities and concepts through varied and diverse artistic approaches, creating murals, posters, sculptures, and art installations that in some way satisfy his own personal curiosity, respond to the immediate context, honor the message, and impact the spectator. As he continues to explore the power of public art, J Manuel hopes to use his work to inspire individuals with the pride and love that he feels for his two countries of heritage, his LGBTQI community, and to bring focus to the duality of millions of Mexican-Americans living and traveling between both sides of this border. 



Simón Malvaez was born in Tijuana, a border city of Mexico and the U.S. He studied graphic design in Mexico City. He currently lives in San Francisco. Inspired by the places he has lived and The Bauhaus founding philosophies. Simón takes basic materials, familiar shapes, and primary colors, pastels, and metallics to celebrate bodies and personalities that have influenced him. Latino culture and the LGBTQ+ community are bold and vibrant in all of his work's. The geometry and composition invites you to disassemble each attribute of the piece and then reinterpret the projected symbols upon the pieces as a whole. It is an invitation to appreciate and deconstruct identity, diversity, representation and inclusion.


SERGE GAY JR. is an American visual artist and creative designer based in San Francisco, California. He has always been an artist. It is in his blood. As a child who recently immigrated from Haiti, his drawing skills were instrumental in connecting with his classmates and teachers. Beginning his practice of painting as a youth and then initiating his formal study at a Magnet Arts High School, Serge was on a steady trajectory for an art college of his choosing. The College for Creative Studies in Detroit became the campus where he refined his illustrative skills and emboldened his voice. Relocating to the Bay Area to pursue an art career, his skill and experience have grown to span a broad range of engagements including graphic design, art directing, gallery exhibitions, event art, and murals throughout the city. His art infuses inspiration reflective of urban realities from coast to coast. Keen to the challenges of our time, influenced by the culture of his homeland, and melded with his life experiences, his voice and the motivation in his work is crisp and clear. His aesthetic incorporates the grit of New York, the beauty of Miami, the wealth of Detroit, and the freedom of San Francisco. All of these places, in their own way, permeate the evolution of his work. Serge owns and operates his own graphic design company named SergeShop and is also a freelance visual art director working with film and video production design teams in Los Angeles, California. One of the major projects he worked on, with longtime collaborator and film director Matt Stawski, yielded a Grammy nomination for best short form music video.


Elliott C Nathan is an artist and event producer in San Francisco. He has spent the past 10 years creating artwork, painting murals throughout San Francisco, and producing "Electroluxx" nightlife events that showcase queer talent from across the bay area and beyond in the fields of music, performance, animation, visual art and design. 



Xtopher J. McCutcheon (b. 1992, Ohio) is a Bay Area based painter, sculptor, and foundry artisan. Xtopher’s art practice is informed by their commitment to craft, community, and queer culture. Growing up in a strong working class family and now a blue collar worker themselves, bringing people together for the sake of celebrating and creating culture is of the utmost importance. Since earning their BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, Xtopher has been honing their skills as a mold maker and patina artist at Artworks Foundry in Berkeley. Though sculpture has stolen their heart, painting was their first love. Their abstracted and suggestive figures employ playful humor relevant to their queer identity. The Bay Area has long been a safe haven for many in the LGBTQ community and for Xtopher, this means it’s time to put in the work to keep it that way. Whether gallery exhibitions, public artworks, or social practice, the future is in finding historically queer spaces that foster creativity, while cultivating new spaces in order to create honest artwork that adds to the conversation of freedom through the arts. Currently: In residence at Sloss Metal Arts and Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama.

Past Architect Award Honorees

2020: Manny Yekutiel
2021: Scott Peterson

The Exemplar Award

The Exemplar Award honors those who set a good example for others in the community and embody values that we can all be inspired by. Especially as America has grappled with dark spots in our past and that continue to this day, it is important to call out the people who stand out simply because of who they are, not just because of what they can do or what they have done, but because they inspire others to do better, and be better versions of themselves.

This year’s honoree, Kochina Rude, has inspired a whole new level of awareness around drug overdose prevention and championed the increased availability of Narcan overdose reversal treatment.

2022 Honoree: Kochina Rude
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Kochina Rude provides harm reduction education and overdose prevention training independently as a consultant, as a professional entertainer, and as a peer. Previous and current partnerships include the Drug Overdose Prevention & Education Project, the SF Entertainment Commission, the SF Leather & LGBT Cultural District, the National Harm Reduction Coalition, Fentcheck, the SF Transgender Pilot Program & SF Department of Public Health. 
Through her wildly successful nightlife event, Princess, at SF Oasis, free nasal spray Narcan and fentanyl test strips continue to be available every Saturday. In one year to date since the inception of the naloxone distribution project (October 2021-October 2022), Kochina and her colleagues distributed 1,400 units of Narcan at Princess alone. Kochina was recently interviewed for 48 Hills and KPIX 5 CBS News (release TBD).

Past Honorees

2020: Honey Mahogany
2021: Tita Aida
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