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Since the original posting of this article, we have added an additional excerpt from Skip Chasey, found at the end of the article. In my keynote speech at Beyond Leather earlier this year, I talked a little bit about leaving the church that I was raised in because of the rigid nature of the traditions and the unwillingness of the older generations to accommodate the younger ones.
And I encourage others to cultivate and celebrate their own, whatever it might be. But religion makes me uncomfortable. When the faithful come together and codify unverifiable beliefs into in dogma which is then enforced onto others or fashioned into tests measuring worthiness or piety, I am hesitant to participate.
Fundamentalism strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline in any form is inherently oppressive. The central core is always designed to suppress new ideas in favor of the old ideas and stories largely myths of people long gone from the world.
Leather is my religion. I sometimes wear leather. But leather is not a part of my identity. And identifying as leather seems to come with all the hallmarks of religion that drove me out of the one I was raised with. For starters, its modern form bears little resemblance to its founding form.
Guy Baldwinconsidered by most to be among the foremost experts on leather history, writes in an article on Leatherati: In some ways, this was a dim reflection of the inter-service rivalries that existed between the Army and the Navy, for example, during World War II, and still exist to some extent.
And this may be why some people become so passionate about the right way to do things in the leather world. Tradition, after all, had to be respected and preserved! This is the leather version of Protestants versus Catholics.
And with the alt-right nazis growing in influence all around us, I simply do not have time to participate in a squabble about which is the correct way to exercise our sexual freedom. Fuck all of that.
Eight years ago, I talked about trying to push my way passed my reluctance and try to embrace leather and its traditions. I no longer feel willing to do this.
Because, as I expressed last April in my keynote: A lot of formal leather protocol is hot as fuck. When I wrote that, I merely meant it as a metaphor. But now I realize that this religious undertone to leather is, in fact, all too literal.
Not in a church, and definitely not in the dungeon. The zealots are merely the most noticeable, they insist, and do not represent the leather population as a whole.
While I am sure this is true, I can only trust my experience. That is my experience stretching back over the last 12 years in the community. I have my code. From what I understand, that is at the heart of what leather was originally meant to be and represent.XCBDSM is a proud sponsor of The Colorado Center for Alternative Lifestyles (CAL).
CAL is committed to creating an environment in our state that supports consenting adults who engage in alternative relationship expressions and structures.
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