Leather is all of those to me. I've been a leather fetishist from when I was born. When I was a little boy, my parents used to hold pleather and leather to my nose, and I would pick out of many which were "real" leather and which were not.
My uncle, who died when I was very young, was also a leather fetishist, and he was big in the gay BDSM culture in New York. I take after him in many aspects. I love leather for wear, I love it just to smell it. I identified as homosexual for many years, so whether or not my love for leather has something to do with that, I am not sure. I do not believe that it does though. My father and mother, who are heterosexual, are also into leather, though they do not partake in that any longer. My father has his leather pants in the back of his closet, and my mum has her leather full-body harnesses somewhere in her closet.
Even though I absolutely love leather, and it does get me excited to wear it, I do not enjoy seeing it on my little girl because I enjoy for her to be more cutesy (she only wears leather in corsets, cuffs, and collars). For me though, it is a very masculine fashion statement. Even if I do not wear full leather garments, or wear leather pants or suits every day, I constantly have it somewhere on my person. I wear leather belts daily, own leather wallets, and will only wear leather gloves when it is cold. I have two leather ties as well, but I do not wear them often. Leather is something that is a must have for me, end of discussion.
Leather does not only express my masculinity, it expresses my dominance. I have had a couple of people shocked by the fact that I am not only into BDSM, but a Daddy and a sadist. I apparently look "vanilla." I personally feel that this is how it should be - I know what I am, and if they cannot tell that I use my leather belt to give my partner a beating with, then that's just a shame. For me, however, I know exactly what I do with my leather pieces of clothing, and that alone makes me satisfied.
I do not feel that, today, leather is only for the gay BDSM community. Not at all, no. Plenty of heterosexual men enjoy wearing leather, I do not think that it necessarily has to do with sexuality. Perhaps originally, it started out as this, but my parents are fairly old and they were in the leather scene from a young age, same time as the gay leather community was rising. Perhaps, like the article stated that a masculine community isn't very much talked about, a straight leather community dating back to those times also is not talked much about.