Leather Life: Plenty To Be Proud Of

Proud memories: “Vote No” lawn signs in 2012. Photo by Steve Lenius.

Proud memories: “Vote No” lawn signs in 2012. Photo by Steve Lenius.

It’s Pride season. And this year, in spite of the current political ugliness (which will probably continue through November), I am finding plenty to be proud of. For example:

Recently, a new documentary film called How Love Won: The Fight for Marriage Equality in Minnesota received its world premiere at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. The film, which splendidly recounts how Minnesota first voted down a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and then made marriage equality the law, was voted the festival’s Audience Choice Award for Best Minnesota-Made Documentary Feature. The film was created by Michael McIntee and local news organization The UpTake.

I remember feeling proud when, only four years ago, in the same year as our most recent U.S. presidential election, the “Vote No” campaign spearheaded by Minnesotans United for All Families succeeded in defeating the Minnesota marriage amendment.

I remember feeling proud when, only three years ago, the Minnesota legislature passed marriage equality in Minnesota.

And I remember feeling proud when, only one year ago on June 26, 2015, marriage equality became a reality for all 50 states, courtesy of the Supreme Court of the United States.

As I watched How Love Won, I felt proud all over again of the progress we have made in a relatively short time. I invite you to watch this film and see if you don’t laugh, cry, and feel a renewed sense of pride in our community, our neighbors, our allies, and our state. I haven’t heard if any showings have been scheduled during Pride this year, but visit the film’s website (www.howlovewon.com) and sign up to receive information on future showings. You want to see this movie.

We have much to be proud of. Happy Pride, everybody!

Minnesota Leather Pride 2016: 

“Think Kink”: the Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag for 2016. Photo by Andrew Bertke.

“Think Kink”: the Minnesota Leather Pride dog tag for 2016. Photo by Andrew Bertke.

The theme of the 2016 Minnesota Leather Pride celebration is “Think Kink.” This year’s dog tag, inspired by American pop art and combining bright silver metal with cloisonné (enamel) coloring, was designed by Andrew Bertke of Everett Allen Photography. Get your dog tag, while supplies last, at any Minnesota Leather Pride event or at the Minnesota Leather Pride booth at the Twin Cities Festival of Pride in Loring Park (Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26).

Plenty of Minnesota Leather Pride Events for 2016

More events may be added, so visit www.mnleatherpride.org for the most up-to-date event information.

Saturday, June 11: Pride Picnic. Location TBD, 1 p.m. Presented by PEPRMNT.

Friday, June 17: Floggapalooza at The Saloon, 8–10 p.m. Presented by Knights of Leather.

Sunday, June 19: Coffee Bust at Twin Cities Leather & Latte. Time TBD. Presented by Minnesota Leather Pride board (come meet the board members!).

Tuesday, June 21: MAsT Swap Meet at Camp Bar in St. Paul. Time TBD. Presented by Twin Cities chapter of Masters And slaves Together.

Wednesday, June 22: BDSM Creative Collective Anthology Publication Party and Reading at Twin Cities Leather & Latte, 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 23: Atons Leather Pride Social & Smoker on the patio at eagleBOLTbar, 7–10 p.m. Cigars and bourbon shots for $10, plus a class taught by Scott. Presented by Atons of Minneapolis.

Saturday, June 25/Sunday, June 26: Stop by the Minnesota Leather Pride booth at the Twin Cities Pride Festival. An information table at the booth will be staffed by Minnesota Leather Pride’s sponsor groups. Everyone is welcome, whether you are just curious about leather or have years of experience under your belt. The 2016 “Think Kink” dog tag will be available for $10, along with a Pride weekend special: Buy any two vintage Leather Pride dog tags (from 2015 or earlier) for $5 each and get a third vintage dog tag for free while supplies last. Loring Park (northwest side of the tennis courts), 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Sunday, June 26: March with the kink and leather community in the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade and help carry Minnesota’s giant leather pride flag. Meet at the corner of 3rd St. S. and Hennepin Ave. by 10:40 a.m. for a group photo; parade begins at 11 a.m. After marching, stick around for a group photo on the hill near the corner of Yale and Willow, at the edge of Loring Park, facing the Whitney Fine Arts building.

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