Aside from the movie Crusing, I can't think of another instance where gay or leather entered the countrys psyche.
I remember The Village People back in the day (though I was but a small child), and I even went to see "Can't Stop the Music", the horribly wonderful movie (starring the group, Steve Guttenberg, Valerie Perrine, Bruce Jenner and director Nancy Walker) with my sister and friends and btw we hated it!
Back then I had a crush on the Construction Worker played by David Hodo mainly because of his jeans and sunglasses. I found him very sexy even as a ten year old kid and man did I want those sunglasses! Later on, I found the appeal of the Leatherman Glenn Hughes who sadly died of lung cancer.
Through the years, band members came and went and some came back again for a time but they were never quite the same. I also remember when their album "Sex On The Phone" came out in 1985 and laughing at their image change and marveling that they were still around. I wish I would have bought that record. Sex On The Phone was actually pretty decent and the video is a hoot. I would have posted some of their videos but for some weird reason TVP have joined the ranks of "embedding disabled by request" on youtube which pisses me off. How selfish and short-sighted of their powers that be.
I think The Village People reflect (albeit in a small measure) the fun side of leather, and I am a huge fan of the boys to this day!