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Watch: Gay Porn Star Max Konnor Says He was Kicked Out of NYC Leather Store Because of Race

Tuesday Dec 11, 2018

Gay porn star Max Konnor took to Twitter Saturday to say that he was racially profiled and was asked to leave a The Leather Man store in New York City because he's black, reports.

Konnor says he and a friend were looking for an outfit for the 2019 GayVN Awards for January, but their shopping trip was stopped short. On Twitter, he wrote:

"Guys, I just experienced racism full force. The owner of @LeatherManNYC just kicked me out after coming in trying to get an outfit made for the @GayVN awards. Please let them know that this behavior will not stand. Do not support this company. Send them a message."

His tweet came along with a video of Konnor talking about the incident.

"Racism. I just basically got kicked out of a store because of the color of my skin," he said. "If you guys ever come to New York or if you frequent this place, please let them know how you feel."

Konnor told AVN he talked to employees about what specific items he wanted for his outfit, but he said the white store owner rushed him and his friend out the door and then locked it behind them. He said that happened as he was trying to call for a car service and was planning to leave.

"I went back upstairs because the leather shop is downstairs and the owner comes up to us and says, 'Guys, we don't have time to watch customers who aren't buying anything,'" Konnor told AVN. "Then he stood there looking at us for like a minute and basically went in for the kill. He didn't care what we had to say.

"We were the only African Americans in the store. He told us he didn't have time to watch us—well no one asked you to watch us. We came in for a specific reason," he added. "It was the way that he approached us. After we left, the other patrons left, too."

Konner went on to say the experience was "horrible" and that he's "never felt like this in my life."

"I'm literally shaking," he told AVN.

Konnor said that an employee for The Leather Man came after them and apologized for the owner's tone.

The Leather Man responded to Konnor's allegations. AVN provided the statement:

"The Leather Man was founded in 1965, a period in American history where the Civil Rights Movement was just gaining traction and the Gay Rights Movement was barely in its infancy. In this pre-Stonewall era, being gay, let alone being a Leather Man could result in arrest, persecution, and discrimination. Civil liberties and the right to openly be who you are have been principles The Leather Man has upheld throughout the decades.

"The Leather Man has a long history of employing women, people of color, and transgendered individuals in both sales and management positions. Throughout the worst of the AIDS epidemic, many HIV positive individuals found both employment and a safe home at The Leather Man when confronted by fear and discrimination elsewhere. As an institution, we take our role in the wider community very seriously.

"We are deeply saddened that the specific interaction was, in any fashion, construed to have any racial overtones. This was a matter of implementing a shop policy with regard to custom work and alterations, and was in no way based on the individuals being men of color.

"We do utilize a buzzer system during busy times to allow our sales staff to adequately serve our customers' individual needs, and it was not the case that any specific customers were ever locked out of the premises.

"We regret that any customer would leave the store with such feelings, but we hope that our five decades of commitment to progressive social values represents The Leather Man's commitment to being a welcoming place for all."


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