Hampshire Pride

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. Mr_leather_uk_mr_puppy_uk_ripper_Moff.jpg

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.



Sunday 5th June 2016

So the UK Pride season has begun!

In memory of my late husband I wanted to attend as many Pride festivals as I can this year.  He was a leading figure within the Reading Pride charity and was a founding member with myself and our friends.  I stood back a few years ago but he was committed to the festival and its success so its only right that I attend as many as I can in his honour.  Thankfully, he didn’t mind me being part of the UK Leather Community and attended a few of the leather socials at comptons with me so I know he would have no objection to me attending in my finest cow hide!

So yesterday I started with Oxford Pride.

James Leatherlad bus boundI had secretly hoped that there may have been a few other leathermen on parade but as it happens, I was the only guy in gear. Feeling corageous, I went by bus in gear to the train station and then on a cross country train that took me from Reading to Oxford.  Usually I disguise myself with a hoodie and boots that go under my leather jeans – that way people assume I’m a biker!  This time my leather shirt was exposed and my leather jeans were proudly tucked into my tall boots!

Oxford Pride is maybe a lot smaller that most prides but the parade IMG_4390through the city centre was welcomed by the Saturday shoppers and I noted at one point that we disrupted a graduation ceremony!

During the parade, I decided to try Facebook Live and stream the parade live on facebook – in fact I did that a number of times during the day with the final video taken back at the local gay bar where its pretty obvious that I’m a little worse for wear!

13407396_1717457601876881_714392515_nWhen I entered the Mr Leather UK compeition, I made a statement that Leather exisits beyond London, Bristol and Manchester and so I intend to continue that pledge and gear up at as many of the other pride festivals as I can. After all, we all need to be the ‘beacon’ that illuminates the leather community to the other guys who, like me, live out in the sticks and probably never leave their homes in gear.  By putting leather on parade, we can show them that there is nothing seedy about being a queer in gear and hopefully encourage them out of the leather closet!

IMG_4392I thnk it’s fair to say that I had a few beers or two at Oxford Pride – thankfully we got the train back!

Hopefully by having been seen at Oxford Pride, next year there I may not have to be the only leatherman on parade – fingers crossed!

IMG_4397The day ended with a pint or two at the local bar in Reading where I went in a leather kilt.  Not sure how it went down but lets face it, I was two sheets to the wind to care!

Is this a new me?  I’m not sure.  I was suprised to here people say on facebook that they wish they were that confident to go out on the bus/train in gear.  I just thought everyone did it!  Besides, smetimes you just don’t have a choice! Anyway, enought wittering on from me, I have to decide on what I’m wearing to Gloucester Pride tomorrow!  Until next time, big leather hugs xxx