This Week's Guest: Ben Fede
How do you know when you're home? Is home a place you find, or a place you make? My guest this week grew up in the US, but never quite felt like he belonged. That all changed after a chance film screening, a lucky visit to a chat room, and a surprise visit to Ireland. After a lifetime of trying to figure out where he belonged, Ben took a gamble on international romance -- and won.
This Week's Recommendation: Leather Pageants
As we make our way into springtime, we're coming up on what is, in many cities around the world, leather season. Atlanta Leather Pride starts April 7, Minnesota's starts March 31, Washington's is March 16, Los Angeles is March 26. Chances are good that there's leather pride happening somewhere near you in the next few weeks.
For my recommendation this week: get yourself to a leather contest. If you're not familiar, they're basically beauty pageants for masculinity. They're generally held at a bar, and there's usually a talent portion, a Q&A with judges, and some kind of jockstrap posing competition.
There's a lot of beauty on display at these events, and not all of it physical. In addition to benefitting charity, many Leather Pride pageants celebrate diverse bodies, community service, and social support. Many contests are growing more adventuresome with gender and sexuality, pushing at the boundaries of what masculinity can mean. One of my favorite winners in recent years was Pup Tugger, who marched out on stage in a corset and high heels.
Leather competitions manage to combine the best things about beauty pageants and raunchy filthy sex -- the contrast is stark and ridiculous and super fun, especially because it's such a tiny community, so everyone knows everyone else.
I often tell people here's nothing like live entertainment, and it's hard to get more live than a parade of hairy men bending over for a cheering crowd.