BLUF made a statement yesterday, and it's already been published on Leatherati's and Dan Savage's blogs. I think it's absolutely perfect. It's everything I've ever fought for as a kinkster through this blog. Read their whole statement here.
Their point is to get kinksters off their computers/smartphones, put their gear on, and get out to the leather bars in their communities. So many of our favorite, most cherished of places have been closing down in recent years. The Chicago Eagle, Detroit Eagle, and now the SF Eagle are the latest of the casualties. Please, consider making the 12x12 resolution. Visit your local leather bar 12 times in the 12 months of 2012. Without patrons, these bars will close. Let's stop this downward spiral. Let's remember that leather (or rubber or whatever your kink is) is something to be celebrated, embraced, and worn proudly; it's not just something you wear at home, alone, behind closed doors while you cruise Recon or Scruff.
In Minneapolis, we make the resolution pretty easy to meet. Gear/dresscode night is once a month, every month on the 2nd Saturday at The Minneapolis Eagle, and they're always a blast. But I would encourage the regulars at MPLS Gear Night to double down on this resolution. Keep going to gear night, but gear up, and go out at least one other time during the month that it's NOT a gear night. I try to wear leather or latex whenever I go to the Eagle, which is pretty frequently. If more guys bring back that energy to the bar, just imagine - maybe dresscode night wouldn't just be once a month? Maybe it would be every day?
If you live in one of the following cities, you still have an Eagle you can, and should, support:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Washington D.C.
- New Orleans
- New York
But the list doesn't stop there. There are many leather bars in the US and elsewhere that don't use the name "Eagle". I'm emphasizing these only because the name "Eagle" is an iconic name for a leather bar, and it's always heartbreaking to hear of another one closing (and also because my googleing skills aren't good enough to find every leather bar in the USA). Whatever the name of your leather bar in your city is, get out there and support them! These leather business owners deserve our support. It's not easy being an entrepreneur in this economy, and being a leather entrepreneur has its own set of drama to go with it. Without these brave individuals, there would be no leather bars in the first place. And personally, I think MY life has gotten better since I started going to the MPLS Eagle....
If you DON'T live in or near a city that has a leather or other similar alternative bar, don't be discouraged. Living in Rochester, MN, Kirksville, MO, Iowa City, IA, Marquette, MI, Springfield, MO, Jackson, MI, Appleton, WI, Buffalo, NY, and other smaller, remote places can be a real challenge for leather people. We don't always get to choose where we live, but no matter where you are, you're probably not alone. If you can safely, consider being the voice for the community in your hometown. Consider starting a leather group, organization, or even just speak to your local gay bar (or the most liberal of straight bars you can find) about having a leather night once a month. These events and clubs just don't come from nowhere. If you need help or advice on these smaller communities/areas, e-mail me. I can give you a little advice on those smaller communities.
If you can find the strength inside of you to lead a community in a small town, then you will have everything you will ever need to face the world.
Check out the Facebook Page for the 12x12 campaign here. Post their badge on your blog, your website, your tumblr or your twitter. Spread the word. We can stop the closing of our most sacred of places. We can revitalize this community, and remind ourselves that leather isn't just something you wear to get off. We were first a community, a brotherhood. We can still have that. And when we find it, we won't ever have to see another Eagle or other leather bar or shop shut down again.
Stand strong, kinksters!