Folsom Street Fair

22nd September

Folsom Street Fair is an annual event celebrating leather, BDSM and fetish culture held in San Francisco. It began in 1984 and is now the third largest outdoor single day event held in the city.

Folsom began in response to the city council’s aggressive gentrification of the working class, industrial and warehouse district of San Francisco. Part of this gentrification involved the closing down of bars and bathhouses, traditionally used by the gay and fetish community as safe spaces for meeting, socialising and education. In response to the closing down of vital services, the local fetish leaders organised a fair to draw attention to the area and draw funding to revitalise the area for the residents rather than allow it be redeveloped.

After the success of the first fair, the organisers made it an annual event which has rejuvenated the area and brought kinky people from around the world together to celebrate their unique and varied sexualities in a safe environment, whilst also raising huge amounts of money for charity. There are now many other fetish events, some going under the ‘Folsom’ banner, across the world as sexual freedom and societal acceptance of more unconventional sexualities begins to spread

Despite famous portrayals in popular culture, the BDSM community and those who engage in fetish and leather activities still suffer from discrimination. People continue to lose jobs, homes and families because of their particular sexual needs. Folsom Street Fair has begun the slow task of changing societies’ perceptions of kinky people as well as highlighting the good that can be achieved through working together, acceptance and celebrating people’s God given sexualities.

A Prayer for Folsom Street Fair:

Lord God, our heavenly Dominatrix, we give You thanks and praise for the work of the Folsom Street Fair. We thank You for the variety of human sexual expression and the gift of intimacy. We pray for all those who experience a fetish or kink and ask that they may be able to express them in a safe, sane and consensual manner free from prejudice and judgment. We ask this through your most Holy Son’s Name. Amen

Suggested Bible verse:

Isaiah 53.10-12