As some may know, I used to own the leather shop, THE-PX, inside the Boston Ramrod form 2002 to 2006. I look back upon that time as some of the greatest times in my life. I was able to talk directly to the leather folk. Learn from them, teach them, and help them though some of their rough times with my shoulder. I would donate items/time for events, help advertise events, and not just the leather and bear community.
Three years ago, I joined the DC boys of Leather because I wanted to reach out to the DC community, not just to help with my expertise, but to learn about the local neighborhood as well. During that time, I became known as ‘shutterpup’. I earned this name because of the work I did recording the life of the leather and bear community. Something that I loved, but even that, at times was not a great way to interact and help people.
I think back over the last 6 months that I have been traveling to gay pride events as a leather pride vendor, I have seen and talked with a lot of leather folk. Some of them are curious and don’t know how to interact with the rest of the leather folk. I hear numerous reasons, and wonder, why does it seem that these people cannot interact with each other.
We have social events, and it’s typically at a bar or sex event. Not everyone wants to be around alcohol, or be at a sex event. I think about how many people I have a chance to help out, but usually don’t have enough time to help them because of the flood of people coming to me. I do not like having to ignore the ones who need help and can use it.
I propose that during local pride events, a leather community booth be set up to help let people get to know us. Having the current title holders man the booth on shifts so that people can come to us without feeling pressured, or ignored. A booth could be a great way to help educate the next generation. It will help those who do not know the protocols and how to interact with others.
We are all in this together, let’s start showing solidarity. We will always have issues with others. We wouldn’t be human without it. It takes more courage and strength to overcome these issues than to hide behind them.