Folsom Street Fair

Today is a big event in San Francisco: from Wikipedia:

The Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair held on the last Sunday in September and caps San Francisco’s “Leather Pride Week”. The Folsom Street Fair, sometimes simply referred to as “Folsom”, takes place on Folsom Street between 7th and 12th Streets, in San Francisco’s South of Market district.

The event started in 1984 and is California’s third largest single-day, outdoor spectator event and the world’s largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture.

There are posters, which have to be publicly presentable, but can skirt close to the line. This year’s:


Last year’s:


And the controversial 2007 poster:


Wikipedia on the controversy:

For the 24th annual event held September 30, 2007, the official poster artwork was a photo featuring well-known LGBT and BDSM community members in festive and fetish attire including Sister Roma “as players in an innovative version of the culturally iconographic” The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, complete with table draped with the Leather Pride flag and “cluttered with sex toys, whips, and various (BDSM) restraints”. The image by FredAlert was used on the official event guide and produced as collector’s posters that were displayed throughout the city as advertising for the event. Some conservative religious groups criticized the image as anti-Christian and blasphemous, although media outlets noted that parodies and homages of the Last Supper painting like Renée Cox’s Yo Mama’s Last Supper are numerous, including ones by The Simpsons, The Sopranos, Phish, That ’70s Show, Robert Altman (in the film MASH) and the Boston Red Sox.

On the flag:

The Leather Pride Flag is a symbol used by the leather subculture since the 1990s. It was designed by Tony DeBlase in 1989, and was quickly embraced by the gay Leather community. It has since become associated with Leather in general and also with related groups.

… DeBlase gave this explanation of the design: “The flag is composed of nine horizontal stripes of equal width. From the top and from the bottom, the stripes alternate black and royal blue. The central stripe is white. In the upper left quadrant of the flag is a large red heart. I will leave it to the viewer to interpret the colors and symbols.” (Wikipedia link)

2 Responses to “Folsom Street Fair”

  1. Up Your Alley | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] about the Folsom Street Fair yesterday reminded me of another BDSM street fair in San Francisco. From the fair’s […]

  2. Puppy play | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] my posting on the Folsom Street Fair, a 2007 poster for the fair including this […]

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