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It isn’t your Parade!

Update 2017-07-03: The original article has been removed, but as nothing is truly deleted on the web you can find a print screen here.

Earlier today I stumbled upon this comment where the author don’t want to see kink in her pride parade. Well, I got news for you honey, or it isn’t news, it’s a short history lesson.

The gay leather subculture have existed at least from the fifties, with gay motorcycle clubs or just leather clubs. SLM Oslo (then SLM Norway) is the oldest gay club in Norway, it started in 1976. First they may just have been to there to celebrate masculinity, but there has always been some elements of BDSM and kink. Anyway, over the years the community have grown and embraced different types of kink, for instance rubber, neoprene and puppy play. So kink has been in the LGBTQ* community from the start.

I find it narrow minded to deny a straight cisgender person who is into kink, the right to show their support to their brothers and sisters by joining us in the parade. Actually I know of several straight cis-men who have no problem playing with other men, so the premise for the article falls away.

It is interesting to see how this author in other posts tries to remove stereotypical stigmas, but walks right into one here. Kink and BDSM does not require use of sexual organs, they do not even need to be accessible. It does not even have to be sexual.  For instance the Japanese art of bondage, Shibari.

Another point that comes up in the article is that it is not appropriate to minors to see people with kinks in the parade. Let me ask, is it more appropriate to see men with perfect bodies dancing around with less clothing than I have in one of my hankies? Why should they be able to show their body as an object of sexual admiration, and i don’t?

I’m into leather, the first time I had leather jeans at work I got comments. I have stopped counting how many times I have been called Nazi when I’m in full leather on the street. Leather is not directly sexual for me, I have even baked cakes dressed in leather.

The parade is not yours alone, it is for everyone in the LGBTQ* community and those who support us! So please, do not try to limit the expressions of your brothers, sisters and fellow human beings, there is enough of those who want to do that already.

Leather Pride Belgium

A big fetish event in Belgium’s largest city, Antwerp. The main events are located indoors in a big, old storage building at the docks. It is called “Darklands” during the pride. Inside there was this year three parts, a marketplace, a party area and a cruising area. Some parties and meetups was at other bars in the vicinity, like The Boots and Down Town.

The pride started on Thursday and ended on Sunday. The Darklands was open from Friday about five in the afternoon until Sunday evening.

In the marketplace, all the big fetish stores were represented, Mr. B, Boxer, Rob, Underground and Regulation, as well as different brands of toys, makers of slings and organisations. At some stands you could participate in competitions or try gear. For instance, a vacuum bed.

leatherpride_vac

My boyfriend tried a vacuum bed in the marked area. I have to admit I got flash backs to Star Wars and The empire strikes back.

The marked area of Darklands was open till about eight in the evening. A couple of hours later the main party of the night started. This year it was Fusion on Friday, Rage on Saturday and Alphatribe on Sunday. I did not notice the big difference between the parties, but what more than good music, sexy men, and a but it was fun. On Sunday, the party was a bit smaller, but that was expected since quite a few people had already left.

At the big stage in the party area they also had the Mr. Leather Belgium and the Mr. Puppy Europe competition. The X-Awards was held at the main stage on Sunday, giving out ten different awards. I can’t find an official list of winners online, but BLUF won the award for the “Association of the year” and Thorsten Buhl won the “Man of the year”.

leatherpride_xaward_bluf

BLUF won the “Association of the year”, received by Nigel Whitfield, it was given by Thorsten Buhl who later was awarded “Man of the year”.

It was fun to meet new and old friends. And if you stay until Monday, I would recommend to go the Boots on Sunday evening. We had a blast in Antwerp, and will be back next year.

leatherpride_darklands2

Leather events in 2017

A new year is almost here, and there is a lot happening throughout the coming year. I have gathered a list here of the events that came to mind. It is at the moment just events in Europe.

If you know of an event I should have listed let me know and I will update the list. (Last updated 2017-03-06)

January

20: Mr. Leather UK, London, UK

27-29: Leatherpride Dublin, Dublin, IE

February

15-20: Leatherpride Belgium, Antwerp, BE

March

03-05: Mr. Leather Hamburg, Hamburg, DE

April

12-18: Easter Fetish Week Berlin, Berlin , DE

30: Mr. Leather Italy, Padova, IT

May

11-14: Paris Fetish, Paris, FR

June

01-05: Cologne Fetish Pride, Cologne, DE

23-02 (July): WorldPride, Madrid, ES

July

09-16: Fetish Week London, London, UK

15-16: Lesbisch-schwules Stadtfest, Berlin, DE

22: CSD Berlin, Berlin, DE

August

10-13: Leatherparty, Hamburg, DE

September

06-10: Folsom Europe, Berlin, DE

22-24: UK Leather Pride, Bristol, UK

October

06-08: UK Leather Pride, Bristol, UK (moved til september)

06-08: Manchester Leather Weekend, Manchester, UK

20-21: Baltic Battle XL, Stockholm, SE

November

03-05: Mr. Leather Spain, Benidorm, ES

December

A couple of days at Leather Pride Amsterdam

Almost a week after the Leather Pride in Amsterdam I finally got some time to do a little write up of this small, but fully packed event.

We arrived on Thursday, and soon found our self in the Mr. B store. It ended with a couple of high boots, and me naked on the hotel room polishing them – the shine on the boots must at least be as good as the shine in the leather pants. Of course, it did not have to be done naked, but I like the feeling of leather against the skin.

That night we went to the piss party at Dirty Dicks. It is not quite my thing, but my partner in crime/life/travel/love/play enjoys it. He had lots of fun drinking beer and finding some pig for some recycling. At one time one guy asked the bartender where the toilets were, and the answer he got was epic “You ask where toilets are? On a piss night? They are sitting all over the place.”

On Friday, we went to the bondage workshop with Master Dart and Sir Bart, quite an eyeopener. The subject was predicament bondage, let the submissive choose between the fast and painful or the slow and not so painful, at least not at first. The possibilities are endless. I went only to one workshop, while my partner for the rubber workshop as well. He got to try out a rubber sleep sack, it will be interesting to see if that is something he would like to repeat.

After a late dinner at Getto, we ended the night at Eagle.  They had a bit earlier presented the Mr. Leather Amsterdam contestants. The place was packed with hot leather guys, even found a friend from Berlin there.

We lived some blocks south-west of Leidseplein, a 30-minute walk from Eagle and Dirty Dicks, especially in new boots. Five or ten minutes after we got back to our room, it knocked on the door. At four in the morning. Outside in the hotel corridor a guy in the beginning of his twenties stood and asked if he could be my slave for the night. I firmly said no and told him I wasn’t interested. After I had closed the door, I began to wonder if he lived at the hotel or if he had followed us. I hope he lived there…

What would a trip to Amsterdam be without a canal cruise? And on Saturday they had a leather canal cruise. It was a kind of meet and greet at Mr. B before we went to the boat. Here both Mr. Leather Amsterdam 2015 and the owner of Mr. B, said some words. The latter was talking about the importance of the leather community and the challenges we are experiencing. I say “we”, even though he was probably thinking mostly at Amsterdam, because the challenges are similar all over. If we want a community, we should use and support it.

The boat was almost full. Interesting people to talk to, and the scenery of Amsterdam from the canals are truly astonishing. Afterwards some of us went to The Web, a small bar that had a second-hand flea market, there was some interesting articles, but I did not get anything.

We were discussing what to do in the evening over dinner. The choice stood between going to the invasion party or to the BLUF party at Dirty Dicks. As we had to leave quite early, we decided to go to BLUF. It was full of leather guys, and I had several interesting conversations with both new and old friends. Several of them recommended the leather pride in Antwerp, we must see if it is possible.

Some pictures from Oslo Pride 2016

Here is some pictures from this last weekend in Oslo. I was a bit too busy to be able to take any more, sorry.

Oslo Pride has started!

Oslo Pride stated already last Friday, but it is first now I’m back in town after a short trip to London. Just in time to join most of the parties at SLM.

Tonight SLM Oslo have a young fetish party, where the age limit upwards is 35. Tomorrow (Thursday) it is an open fetish party, this time for everyone, also women are allowed to enter (that is not often). I’m not sure if I will go, early and long day on Friday. Then it is the Official leather pride at SLM, a party I’ll have to go to.

On Saturday the pride parade starts at twelve from Grønland. All the way to the Pride Village via Oslo Spektrum and Stortorvet. I will probably walk with SLM this year. That evening is the Pride closing party aka “Skeiv Natt” at Rockefeller Music Hall.

All week there is activities, stands and shows in the Pride Village. It is located in “Spikersuppa”, between the parliament and National Theatre.

Which reminds me that the Pride Village opens today at three o’clock, and I have to get into my leather and on my way. Will try to get some pictures out in a day or two.

PS. Check out the whole program for Oslo Pride at oslopride.no