Friday, June 10, 2005

“Spark Your Future” at MN Leather Pride

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #262, June 10, 2005)

PHOTO: 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride Dog Tag on chain with drop shadow

It’s time again for Pride—both GLBT and Leather. In that spirit, Leather Life and your humble columnist present your guide to Minnesota Leather Pride 2005.

This year’s theme is “Spark Your Future.” While it could be taken as an oblique reference to electrical play, the theme is also a call to vision and to action.

Where are leather and BDSM going? Where do we as a community want them to go? How will we get them there? We need to ask these questions and then act on the answers—if we don’t, who else will?

This year’s dog tag, the latest in a long line of Minnesota Leather Pride dog tags, is the first to be decorated on both sides. The front shows this year’s theme; the back displays the names of six of the seven local organizations sponsoring Minnesota Leather Pride 2005: Knights of Leather, MSDB, Atons of Minneapolis, Whipsters, MN Storm and TIES. (Also a sponsor this year, although not listed on the back of the dog tag, is Athenor.)

The 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag is good for free or reduced admission to many 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride events as well as discounts from various merchants. Besides all that, it’s eminently collectible.

You can get your 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag for $5, while supplies last, at Cockpit Project, Rainbow Road, Smitten Kitten, Query Books and Dreamhaven Books, or from Minnesota Leather Pride committee members at meetings, munches and all Minnesota Leather Pride events. A limited edition of 500 tags were produced. They have been selling well, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

This year’s event beneficiaries: At all 2005 events, Minnesota Leather Pride will be collecting non-perishable food items, toiletries/personal care items and cash donations for The Aliveness Project food shelf.

In addition, all net proceeds from Minnesota Leather Pride 2005 will be donated to the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP).

This year’s events actually started May 17 with the first in a series of four Leather Roundtable discussions. The May Roundtable, a spirited discussion on roles and relationships in the leather/BDSM community, attracted about 30 people.

Events during the month of June are listed below. Information was current at my deadline but is subject to change. Updates will be posted at <>.

Friday, June 17: This year’s Minnesota Leather Pride kicks off with Fetish Night at The Minneapolis Eagle. Fetish-of-the-month: Rope harnesses. 10 P.M. to midnight. Free.

Saturday, June 18: Bound for Glory, a bondage workshop for all levels of experience. Patrick’s Cabaret, 2:30-4:30 P.M. $25 admission (or $20 with your 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag). There will also be an Asylum Party in the evening exclusively for workshop participants.

Sunday, June 19: Triple Threat, an afternoon of classes on electricity, fire play and hot wax—plus bonus latex demonstrations. Patrick’s Cabaret, 1-5 P.M. $7 admission (or $5 with your 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag). After the classes, head to the Minneapolis Eagle for their Sunday afternoon Beer Bust.

Tuesday, June 21: Leather Roundtable—Rituals, Protocols and Conventions (second in a series of four conversations). Bolt Underground, 7-9:30 P.M. Free admission with 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag.

Wednesday, June 22: Leather Roundtable and All-Clubs Mixer (third in a series of four conversations). Leather clubs, cliques and organizations—why have them? What do they do? Who joins them, who doesn’t, and why? Get to know this segment of the leather/BDSM community up close and personal. Bolt Underground, 7-9:30 P.M. Free admission with 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag. (Roundtable discussion will be followed by an all-clubs mixer.)

Thursday, June 23: Leather/Fetish Swap Meet. Clean out your closet, then fill it up again! Bolt Underground, 7-11 P.M. Free admission for shoppers, suggested donation from “vendors.”

Friday, June 24: Fetish Ball. Live demonstrations—and a reprise of Floggapalooza! Bolt Underground, 9 P.M.-midnight. Admission: Bar cover charge.

Saturday, June 25: GLBT Pride in Loring Park. Join us at the Leather Pride booth all day, then party at The Minneapolis Eagle’s Scorch Fireball VI that night.

Sunday, June 26: Pride March. Help carry the huge Leather Pride flag down Hennepin Avenue. (Meet at 3rd St. and Hennepin Ave. at 10 A.M.—parade steps off at 11 A.M.) Then spend the day in Loring Park, and be sure to drop by the Leather Pride booth. On Sunday evening you can wind down (or rev up) at The Minneapolis Eagle’s Scorch Fireball VI featuring music by Brat Pack Radio.

Wait! We’re not done yet! There’s one more 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride event in July:

Tuesday, July 19: Leather Roundtable—Sparking the Future (fourth in a series of four conversations). Bolt Underground, 7-9:30 P.M. Free admission with 2005 Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag.

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