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Thursday, June 27, 2013

SWATHED IN ROBES OF GLORY: Marriage Rally in Hillcrest 2013-06-26

Photos by the superb Scott, who is our group's Event Photographer.

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, there was a rally and march starting at the Hillcrest Pride Flag to celebrate the defeat of the odious Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the resumption of same-sex marriages in California.

The flag that will be replaced with an equal-sized Leather Pride Flag 
during the weekend of August 23rd-25th, 2013

Michael, the gent in the Boy Scout uniform is the Real Deal.
He is aggressively acting to change the Boy Scouts from within.

There is all sorts of coverage of what happened from the usual perspectives… I mean, there were SIX TV station vans with the satellite towers around the rally. That . story . can . easily . be . found.  I'm writing from a different perspective, because I'm noticing something momentous for our local Tribe:

Mr. San Diego Leather 2012 Aaron Duke, and
Ms. San Diego Leather 2012 Wish Linda.
They get more done in one year than twenty years of titleholders in the old days!

There is a ferocious drive in our new leaders to REPRESENT the kink/leather/fetish Tribe to the larger community.  These men and women show up at huge, wildly diverse events and "work the crowd", while wearing garments that clearly identify them as members of the kink/fetish/leather Tribe.  They joyfully interact, pose for pictures, answer questions, hug, and share information that can help people in various ways.

At the Marriage Celebration Rally, they gathered together, set off in different directions, interfaced with people all throughout the crowd, and came back together to compare notes. It was a coordinated team effort.

Why would they do this?  What is the payoff?

They are ready to force change upon the world.

Joe, who is one of our newest brothers.  
He's so new, we just peeled the plastic off of him!

I came out as a gay man in 1975, and I have told my truth at every opportunity since then.  Positive and permanent change in the gay community didn't happen organically or passively. It happened because people with the hearts of lions took chances, spoke out, and took their lives public.  It's much harder to be bigoted against somebody if they are your favorite brother or sister.

LeatherSir Ron - a natural, charismatic leader.

Now, it is happening faster and faster in the kink community.  We have grown tired of apologizing for our existence.  The stereotyping and the scorn don't have any more power over us than we willingly hand away.

The fact of the matter is that (at least in San Diego), kinky folks are TRENDY.  I keep saying that, and it only get truer as time goes by.  The general public sees proof of our existence in increasing amounts on the Internet, and the response is shifting from knee-jerk bias to outright curiosity, and then to affectionate approval. We are good people, and folks like having us around.

In fact, we are eagerly sought-after by local businesses and affinity-groups. We're fun, we're cool, and we're really, really nice.

I couldn't attend a Marriage Celebration without 
holding hands with my non-kinky husband of 23 years, Dennis.
We were legally married almost exactly five years ago. Now anybody can!

When somebody asks me about the kink lifestyle, I just tell them that "Kink is just extreme intimacy".

I would also now add that the folks who are representing us in public are the very finest kinds of human beings.  Admirable, lovable, respectable and honorable.

Leatherboy James, Aaron, and Spike.
These are not average people by any measure.

Gary, one of our hardest-working volunteers.

This new generation of leaders is gladly acting as the very best kind of ambassadors.  I have access to thousands of photos created just within the last few years, showing these men and women traveling to all parts of the community to create positive change, many times a week, EVERY week. They aren't doing it for glory, and they certainly aren't doing it for money. Their hearts are pure, their intentions are honorable, and their fashion-sense is IMPECCABLE.

These aren't posers modeling in borrowed Fashion Leather. They are leaders who are garbed in symbolic raiments of dignity, gravitas and power. They have earned our respect, our applause and our thanks!

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