Written by Papa Tony
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Many thanks to Wish Linda,
who organizes our wild and willful crowd
in the Pride Parade every year!
The very beginning of the parade. 100% soaked.
International titleholders on parade!
Poor Scott's camera got very soggy,
but he stuck to his job like a champion!
slave larry was a hugging machine!
And yes, ALL of us were that happy!
Photo is from this collection.
Thanks to slave larry, we tried something utterly new, and we plan to expand upon it in the years to come. Two of us carried signs saying "HUG A LEATHER MAN", and as you will see below, it worked superbly.
Here is slave larry's publicity write-up:
Happy Pride from Fetish Men San Diego (FMSD)! As in years' past, FMSD will be a visible presence at the San Diego Pride Parade and at the Leather Realm festivities. We will be there to celebrate gay pride with all San Diegans, and to celebrate the joys of the gay fetish. Pride Weekend is a wonderful opportunity for FMSD to reconnect with old friends in the kink/fetish world, and to sign up new members. Our theme this year is "Hug a Leatherman".
Why this theme?
Firstly, FMSD is a brotherhood of wonderful, caring men who are bountiful in openly expressing their affection and support for each other. There is plenty of hugging and camaraderie at our events. FMSD hosts weekly events at our clubhouse, The Stomping Ground, for lively discussions and hands-on demonstrations of fetish topics.
Our emphasis is on healthy, sane, and exuberant expression of the joys of gay fetish. We also host play parties and numerous fetish events throughout the year at different venues. Maybe you have joined the fun with us at The Eagle or Numbers, or Urban Mo's, or elsewhere!
Secondly, FMSD recognizes that coming out as a fetish man can be a scary thing. In many ways, it is like coming out as a gay person. Everything is new, and exciting, and frankly, a bit scary. We want to welcome new members to FMSD, and help them to safely explore their kinky fetish side. We want to show our new brothers that there is nothing to be afraid of. We are here to welcome you, and we want to do this with a big hug.
So, please come by our booth at the Leather Realm during Pride. We will have information about our activities and photos from past events, and will be delighted to answer any questions you have. There will also be hunky leather daddies and cute leather boys there for you to meet and hug.
"Hug a Leather Man".
"Hug a Leather Woman".
"Hug a Trans Man".
"Hug a Trans Woman".
And, instead of trying to KEEP UP with our contingent, we are going to relax, saunter along, and do it sweetly and honor the value of each person or (or group) that wants to embrace and treasure us right back.
Why? Because it WORKED really, really well. Pride for leather folk has two components: The Leather Realm and the parade. The Leather Realm is an intentional, gentle breakdown of the barriers between us and what we may secretly want. "Come get flogged by a certified, affectionate Top, for the first time in your life! You will be transformed, and will remember this, no matter how old you become!"
Thanks to Larry's superb idea, the PARADE can now break down the barriers as well, and open minds even more. The interface becomes more intimate. It's the next step. Rather than fifteen feet between the marchers and the onlookers, we are reaching across the gap, and CONNECTING, but only with the folks who show that they are available.
When I'd hug one participant that approached me with open arms, I'd yell out "GROUP HUG!", and would get swamped with love all around. I'd say "Happy Pride! It's my 39th San Diego Pride!" and the palm-slapping would start. Then, I'd move to the next place and start over. It was completely sweet and affectionate.
It's the next level of breaking down walls of bias and stereotyping!