SELF was started in 1995 by Jack Stice, International Master 1995. It was concepted as a BDSM, Master/slave event to welcome all sections of the SM communities, highlighting on the Leather. Modeled after International Mister Leather and Drummer (now International Leather Sir and boy) SELF add classes to this model. And since 1995 has been one of the largest sex education and BDSM education events in the south east region of the United States. Southeast Leatherfest(SELF)holds classes given by nationally known educators from across the country, holds a spokesperson contest, and has various other activities for that promote community and pride. SELF is held during the second weekend in June every year. SELF spokesperson titles are referred to as Mr. Southeast Leatherfest, Ms. Southeast Leatherfest, Southeast Leatherfest boy, Southeast Bootblack, and SouthEast Master/slave, and in the past it was the home of the International Master and slave contest until 2001.
This event for the first time in Atlanta history brought together the straight, gay and lesbian communities. They worked together which had not previously happened at BDSM and Master/slave events in the area. While there had been events in the region for gay men, this was the first event to have all communities present. SELF is a charitable event that has donated approximately $80,000 to charities over the years. Some of these charities are the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and many more. Jack Stice was the founder of this event and the "Jack Stice Memorial Community Service Award" is given in his honor annually.
SELF started mini-grant program in 2007 which is a new program to invest regional money into local groups by funding speakers and educators to be brought to local communities that might not be able to afford it otherwise.
SELF has been nominated for "Pantheon of Leather Large Event of the Year" for the last two years (2005 - 2007) which means that this event has stood out from the other 100 events though independent peer review to be noted as one of five events that has been providing outstanding community service.