So today I’ve attended my first regional pride festival here in the UK – Hampshire Pride which took place in Winchester. When people think of Pride, they tend to think of the larger festivals such as London, Brighton and Manchester and yet there are 82 pride festivals taking place in the UK during 2017. Obviously I can’t attend all of them but I will be attending as many as I can.
When I spoke at the Mr Leather UK competition, I pledged to take leather to the smaller Pride festivals to be a visible leather presence so that people don’t have to hide in their leather closets. I believe that visibility is the biggest weapon in fighting discrimination.
I was lucky to be accompanied by Mr Puppy UK, Piglet, and ‘Ripper Moff’.
This year as well as attending many of the prides I want to see if I can host a few of them to bring the leather community to a wider audience. I have been asked to host two at two of the events so far and I think I may end up being the first Leather Man to do so in the UK. I’ll give further details when everything has been confirmed officially.
The Pride Events that I will be attending this year are:
- 13th May: Exeter Pride
- 3rd June: Oxford Pride
- 10th June: Gloucestershire Pride
- 11th June: Coventry Pride
- 8th July: Pride in London
- 22nd July: Pride in Hull
- 29th July: Swindon Pride
- 5th August: Brighton Pride
- 12th August: Margate Pride
- 19th August: Folkestone Pride
- 26th August: Manchester Pride
- 2nd September: Reading Pride
I may add other prides through the year.
So this weekend I returned to Antwerp for Leather and Fetish Pride. I went for the first time last year shortly after ‘you know what happened’ and my attendance was unplanned. I had received a recon message (yes I have needs) asking if I was going and I had to explain that I has originally intended to go but things had changed somewhat. Suddenly a dog sitter appeared and I found myself sharing a car and apartment with 3 other guys I didn’t know and heading to Belgium. It was my time attending an event like it and for those that know what happened the month before, a break was very much needed. I booked to go again as soon as I got home.
After being elected Mr Leather UK 2017, the lovely Brock asked if I’d like to be
one of the judges for Mr Puppy Europe 2017. I was slightly reluctant as I didn’t know much about the Pup scene but I said yes anyway. My reluctance was short sighted as the pup community embraced me for the two days I was involved. I could be wrong, but to me the pup scene is an innocent introduction to the world of kink. Observing, it was clear that the lads entered a head space where their sense of logic were replaced by that of reactive animal and they forget all their cares and ignore small talk. Through my input as a judge, I started to recognise that the pup scene contains the leather, rubber and neoprene that we have become accustomed to on the fetish scene. When I won the contest, I pledged that we have to be the shoulders for the next generation to stand on and maybe the pup scene is where this starts? I certainly look forward to exploring the pup scene more and well done to Farex who was crowned Mr Puppy Europe 2017.
Leather Pride was my first European outing as a title holder and I was slightly nervous as it would be the first time I’d be meeting other title holders and representing the UK in Europe but the other misters made me feel welcome. Cheers guys.
So it seems I haven’t posted for quite a while! Me bad!
Well I guess I can say a that a lot has happened! I think I ended up doing 14 pride events last year plus attended Bear Week in Sitges and then Folsom in Berlin. It was the first time I’d been to either of the big events so I was pretty much like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Sitting here now writing this blog post, I’ve come to realise how much I have changed since I started writing this blog a year ago. Even though I always describe myself as the shy guy, there seems to have an injection of confidence that arrived from somewhere!
I guess can’t update anything without announcing that i am also now a title holder and am now Mr Leather U.K. 2017. I entered the competition in January and was shocked to find that I had won. 3 weeks on and it’s starting to sink in and it looks like I’m going to have a very busy 2017. I pro,isle I’ll get better at updating this blog!