A year has come and gone since I visited the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco and here we are again with the fair coming to town tomorrow, complete with all of the free love any gay hippie can dream of. For the people that don’t know what the Folsom Street Fair is let me explain: The fair bills itself as the largest leather event in the world but more than that, it’s also a massive gay orgy. Now gay sex is all well and good but when I was there I couldn’t help thinking about the fight for gay marriage and how this whole event, where if you take a wrong turn you end up in a circle jerk, couldn’t possible help gay people fight for equal rights. The event if anything it makes people less tolerant and supportive of the stereotypes that we all know and love. Personally, since my sense of humor is partly based on stereotypes, I thought the whole event was hilarious but the people who take things more seriously might be horrified with the events that were happening on public streets.
As soon as I walked into the area where the fair was there was a man chained to a fence, a black hood over his head while a smaller man stroked his member and gave his balls a little cup. Of course this was just the beginning of the whole man in leather event. In fact, there were so many nude men, I couldn’t look in any direction without seeing a gay man in leather chaps and a goofy little outfit sure to give any conservative nightmares (I’m sure the poor Hispanic family that happened to take a wrong turn into the fair still has them). In this environment it wasn’t strange to see various men expressing their love for their fellow man and all of his friends as I made my way through the crowd keeping my hands up in above waist level so I didn’t accidently brush them against any of the people expressing their sexuality.
What does all this have to do with gay rights? Well it only takes one person with a camera to spread and demonize the entire gay population. One of the arguments against gay marriage is how immoral the gay population is and this event plays right into the hands of the people expressing that point of view. Once the pictures did make it out, even the more tolerant people would have a problem with outright sex in the streets by the gay men who attend the event. For pictures of what really happens at the fair, just go to this website. I can’t imagine anyone who would argue that this event would help gay, lesbians and transgendered people fight for equal rights.
This fair is just another example of a society which has strived to become so tolerant where people can get away with almost anything that they want to. It shouldn’t be a surprise with events like this that the bill legalizing gay marriage in California proposition 8, much to the dismay of the gay population, was voted down in California in the last election. The fight for civil rights is as much of a public relations fight as it is one for equality and sadly events like this only degrade the publics opinion of the gay population.