Conflict of Exclusivity Within the LGBT Community
June 3, 2014 9:04 AM Subscribe
Eric Berry goes to the International Mr. Leather event
posted by josher71 (106 comments total)
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"Much like the leather community in general, IML is overwhelmingly represented by gay males. While leather fetishes are by no means exclusive to gay men, the amount of women I encountered at the event could more or less be counted on two hands, as compared to the thousands of men I saw.
But the more time that I spent at the event, the more I had to question whether or not the ratio of men to women I saw was truly representative of those within the leather community, or whether or not there was some sort of institutionalized segregation of women." EVERYTHING IS NSFWDan Savage responds
: "You know why the ratio of men to women at IML wasn't representative of the leather community? Because IML is a gay leather/fetish event. Complaining that gay men made up the majority of attendees at your first IML—and insisting that this is evidence of the exclusionary, misogynist rot at the heart of the leather/fetish community—is like going to the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs and complaining about how few gay men you saw there. Or going to Bear Week in Provincetown and complaining that hairless twinks must have been kept away by the forces of 'institutionalized segregation.'
IML is a gay leather/fetish contest and convention. All are welcome to attend. Anyone can stroll into the host hotel (although security guards give a heads up to people who 1. look like they might not be kinksters and 2. might be distressed by what they're going to see in the lobby), anyone can go shopping in the Leather Market (where else can you get dolphin-dong dildos?), or buy a ticket and attend the open-to-all IML parties at various nightclubs (they're basically circuit parties and most IML attendees skip them and party at the hotel instead, which essentially becomes the world's biggest leather bar for four days). But, yes, most IML attendees are fags. Because IML is not 'one of the biggest leather and fetish events in the world,' it's one of the biggest gay leather and fetish events in the world. IML got its start in a gay leather bar and it continues to be a gay contest for a gay leather title. (Although Seattle—always ahead of the curve—sent a bisexual leatherman to compete for the title nearly 20 years ago.)"