Leeds Fetishmen walking group are joining the Leeds Pride parade

 

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Pride has always been about equality and acceptance - and in that spirit Leeds Fetishmen are walking in the parade in an attempt to show that sexual identity can form part of that same acceptance and equality.

There has been a resurgence of fetish wear in recent years and it’s never been more popular to wear gear that ties to and indicates a kinkier sexual appetite - especially in larger cities. But in the smaller cities it has, to date, been tricky to fight against more conservative attitudes and values and to create a momentum for an actual scene (no matter how compact) to emerge.

Following the success of similar groups in Manchester we feel that it’s time Leeds embraced diverse interests and wish to show that not only is Fetish Fun - but pretty sexy and empowering too.

We knew there was an appetite for some form of social activity allowing fetish wearers to share their thoughts, concerns and questions in a friendly space (along with a more focused and locally relevant online presence). We ploughed ahead and set up the Facebook presence, established a logo and slowly we got guys joining the group. Over time we’ve started to show our kinky faces - we had a trip to see the Tom of Finland film, attended Love Muscle and also other events at arts venue, Live Arts Bistro. We’ve also seen a promoter come run a fetish night nearby in Wakefield. Off the back of that we thought it time we come out in the best way possible - to present ourselves at Leeds Pride.

Our message at Pride will be enthusing that Fetish is fun - acknowledging an aspect of your sexuality and allowing everyone to see that Pride isn’t just about showing how we’ve achieved strides towards equality - but that, to be able to identify ourselves as ‘accepted’ we need to be able to show others that it is ok to identify that you’re into diverse sexual practices - and that is healthy and that, as with other aspects of the community, there is no simple identification of what it is to be gay or indeed, what ‘fetish’ is.

We also understand that traditionally fetish and fetish wear has been linked to specific aspects or types of attire - but we’re saying a fetish is personal and should be what you make of it and choose to share with others, whatever it is. So - we welcome the pups, the skin-clad, the rubbermen, those in sportswear, the uniform-wearers and those which admire a be-suited fellow - but also any other attires  which drive your sexual identity.

We are hoping to soon be able to announce a monthly fetish social night in the city, but in the meantime we’re inviting all fetish wearers in or near the city to join with us on August 5th!
 

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