I work at Area 51’s Fetish Ball every month as a demo artist and, if you’ve never been, it is a unique and awesome event. It’s coming up on theth saturday of the month and, volunteers or no, I would love to see representation from the kink community — so to try and spur that, in no particular order, here are the four big reasons I think even established community members should come on out if you have the chance.
Fetish Night was my first real-life introduction to kinky shit, and I know a lot of other people for whom that’s true. It’s a big event in a safely public space that still tries to respect our community and present it accurately — exactly the sort of place that curious potential kinksters might show up, even if they’re nervous about coming to a munch (or don’t yet know that munches exist). There’s basically no better single time and place to help teach people what our community is really about.
2. It’s fun!
Do you enjoy dancing? People-watching? The music they play at kink parties? Beer? Attractive scantily-clad people? Laughing at terrible goth dancing? Doing terrible goth dances? If you answered yes to any of those, there is something at Area 51 for you. Seriously, it’s a great place to observe the local color (the color is black).
3. Show off!
Showing up as an established kinkster at fetish night makes me feel like kind of a badass. All these people are here because they’re curious about, intrigued, maybe intimidated by this thing that’s just a hobby to me. It makes me feel like the lamest possible rock star, and being a rock star is kind of like sex — even when it’s lame, it’s still pretty awesome.
The club has been truly amazing to work with — since the management change earlier this year, I’ve never doubted for a second that the people behind this event sincerely want to support our community. I’d love it if we could return that support in kind.
Plus, if you mention Utah TNG at the door, you get half off the cover price! How cool is that! So, if you’re free that evening, come on down and help us turn Fetish Night into the badass parade of awesome kinky weirdos that it should be.
On Sunday, June 7th, Utah TNG returned to the Pride Parade to march as its own entity within the larger Kink/Leather contingent for the first time in several years. While the turnout wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for, we made a hell of a lot of noise and got our message out to many, many people – hundreds of pass-along cards were handed out, and thousands saw our banner, our protest signs, and most importantly our people.. The crowds seemed to really enjoy the kink community’s presence in the parade; they expressed it with cheers and statements of support.
75 kinky people from a dozen different organizations marched with us this year. We really hammered home the message of liberation and protest; the spirit of Stonewall was alive and well, and it was infectious.
Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the media coverage, or from the official photos released by the Pride organization. I’ve been watching lots of news footage, digging through photosets on Flickr, on Advocate.com, and based on those sources it’d be entirely acceptable to conclude that the kink community just didn’t march this year.
I don’t know whether to ascribe that to coincidence or deliberate exclusion, but I have my suspicions. Regardless of the reason: Fuck. That. Shit. Our community deserves more visibility than we received.
So. On to next year:
- We’re getting our own goddamn photographer(s). If you’re interested in being part of that, inbox me – the sooner we get ideas together, the better prepared we’ll be to make sure we aren’t conveniently ignored.
- I want to see more marchers from TNG – I understand schedules are tough and marching three miles sucks, but this is about our freedom to love (or fuck) as we will without worrying about Officer Bigotsworth and Judge Puritan getting involved in our bedroom activities (unless we’re into that sort of thing.) If you care about your right to be kinky without persecution, isn’t it worth getting up at 7am on ONE Sunday?
- I will be exploring options for our own interaction with the media either before or after Pride (perhaps City Weekly) – I’d like to see us at *least* be an interesting footnote, rather than mysteriously absent from the narrative.
Thanks again to everyone who marched; you represented your community, and our little corner of it, with aplomb. I’m proud of you all, and pleased to call you my friends and family.
Looking forward to next year.
After months of delays, UtahTNG.org is alive in a shiny new WordPress home. Now, witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational TNG website!
For the foreseeable future, we will be operating UtahTNG.org as a WordPress blog while we get custom development rolling again on the original site. This shouldn’t hamper group progress in any way, as WordPress provides a wide variety of really nifty integration options (And Jane and Ikon are both solid tech people so anything we can’t find a plugin for, we can probably make).
For now, features of the interim site include:
- User sign-up (No member-only sections yet)
- Integration with Utah TNG’s Google Calendar
- News Section
- About TNG (Mission, History, etc.)
- People (Profiles of the Steering Committee and, eventually, our Auxiliaries and Event Organizers!)
- Contact info
- Live chatroom!
We are currently working on:
- Member-only content
- Educational Materials
Please take a few minutes to take the new site for a spin and let us know what you think. Much more content will be coming, especially as we gear up for the Pride Festival this weekend! Thanks for your patience and support!