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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Social Column

-=-=-=-=-=-   DATE FOR FOLSOM STREET FAIR CHANGED

Evidently, nerdy non-kinksters hogged up all of the hotels a year in advance!  Details can always be found here as well, but I have asked to get their alerts from now on, so I can pass them along here.

-=-=-=-=-=-   BULLYING COPS

Will is a young leatherman with high spirits who likes to wear provocative gear.  I say good for him! 

He got bullied by a cop and arrested at San Diego Pride Festival this last summer (story, pictures and video here), and he is taking the police department to court and suing them.  It's a compelling story, it shows that he is a champion by nature, and we need to support his efforts.  We all need to fight back.  In fact, I am taking suggestions on ways that we can bolster his efforts.  Lawyers aren't cheap.

During the Pride parade that same weekend, there was a large Leather Contingent marching peacefully along, feeling mighty fine, when we all passed by the looney section with the anti-gay protesters.  One of the cops standing guard came running up to harass one of the men with us, who was wearing assless chaps with a butt-strap (as required by law).  He repeatedly threatened to arrest the guy unless he covered his ass-cheeks. Somebody loaned him a bandanna to cover his shameful body, and we moved on, after I spent a good amount of energy shouting at the the cop to back off. The cop insisted that the law does not allow buttocks to be visible.  I told him that the law allows for it if there is a one-inch strap, but he insisted that the law had been changed. Anybody know about this one?

Personally, I blame 9/11.  Suddenly, cops could do no wrong. Ever since then, cops have been getting away with more and more thuggeryThere was a recent study that found that as many of 41% of all Americans have been taken into custody or arrested by the age of 23!

San Diego's culture has gotten a little too body-phobic.  Nearly EVERY other city that hosts a World Naked Bike Ride actually allows full nudity with zero hassles. San Diego requires UNDERWEAR to be worn, so very few people actually show up for it.

Let's be honest here - We live in the Age of the Internet. ANYBODY can easily see other people's wang-dangs, boot-tays, hooters and vajayjays.  Isn't it time we quit pretending that we are emotionally and permanently scarred by seeing each others' bodies?

Back in 1982, I was given the Rodney King treatment in a gay bar.  I was dancing at Mister Dillon's, which is now RICHS. I saw two cops shoving and punching their way through the crowd.  I approached, trying to look at their badges so that I could report their behavior.  Unfortunately, I'm not really built for unobtrusiveness, and the cops changed their focus to me. I was clubbed to the ground by one cop, while the other one radioed for backup. Four other cops came in and the six of them kicked and beat me while I lay helpless, trying to shield myself. My nose was broken (which is why it looks this way), both eyes were blackened, and multiple ribs were broken. I had major bruises and lacerations. I was shocked that they would do this, and never raised a hand in anger.

My boyfriend, the bar manager and I were all arrested for "Assaulting an Officer" and "Resisting Arrest".  In court, I was found guilty by a jury... I assume that members of the jury were certain that a large guy like me was naturally a bad man. The judge wouldn't allow the fact to be used in court that the ringleader of the cops had over 150 citizen's complaints against him for excessive force. Since I had a spotless record, I was given 200 hours of community service.  I became very afraid of cops for a long time.

I'm not sure what changed to cause our bars and gatherings to become safer in the decades since then, but now I fear that the Bad Old Days are coming back. 

Send me your comments, your ideas and your feedback.

-=-=-=-=-=-   SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL BARS:  GEAR UP AND GO OUT!

Thanks to Mark for the suggestion…



Back at our most-recent Men's Discussion, Switchmaster Luke and I came up with the names of seven leather bars in San Diego that aren't around any more. Who can name them all for me to post later?

The point being made at the time was that we tend to LOSE local resources, but not get new ones to replace them.  The Internet has become the primary place for hook-ups, but hasn't been a good friend to those of us who like to be part of a larger community.  

There is a movement growing to encourage fetishmen all over the world to get geared-up and show their pride. Ruff's Stuff and Leatherati have covered this, and it's a great idea.

I'm glad to see momentum growing, because it's hard to own a leather bar in 2012.  Many cities have none left, INCLUDING SAN FRANCISCO. Nicholas bought the San Diego Eagle because he couldn't stand the idea of San Diego having no dedicated leather bars. He didn't need to do it financially - he already has a successful catering business. The previous owners had tried to turn the bar into the Arena, a brightly-lit Euro-style video bar. When that failed, Nicholas and a large team of volunteers turned it back into what we all want in a leather bar.

I've heard a lot of belly-aching about the Eagle in the years since, but nobody seems to understand how HARD it is to keep the bar going. The economy sucks, the local political climate is touchy at best, and the target audience is at home, in front of the computer, with closets full of dusty fetishwear. 

One of my original goals for FMSD was to provoke people into showing up and being a Tribe, in public, in gear, and supporting businesses that support US.  I'm glad to say that the project has been a success, at least here in San Diego.  I'd love to see other major cities being able to gather together such handsome, diverse crowds of men.

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