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Gay Leaders Should Demand Folsom Street Fair Prevent Children from Attending

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:57 pm - October 2, 2007.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay Adoption,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics

Pretty much a libertarian on how people act out their sexuality, I would normally have little to say about this past weekend’s Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. The fair, billed as “the grand daddy of all leather events” takes place every year in San Francisco and features scantily clad and fully nude men as well as public displays of sexuality, particularly the S & M variant. It even features a man “masturbating in public.”

Leather and S & M aren’t my thing, but if that’s how guys (& gals) want to express their sexuality, well, that’s their choice.

It’s one thing, however, for adults to express their sexuality as they see fit, it’s quite another to bring children, particularly toddlers into such displays. Yesterday, Michelle Malkin reported that one gay couple brought their twin two-year-old daughters to the event clad in a “a leather-studded harness.” This couple even decked the toddlers in “black leather collars purchased from a pet store.

I agree with those there who “said children should not be allowed inside.

If gay leaders are serious about promoting adoption in our community, they then should join me and those fairgoers who believe it is “inappropriate to have children at the event.” By taking a stand against this behavior, they will make it clear that they understand the responsibilities which inhere in raising children.

They will also make it clear that not all gay people support the sexual license so prevalent in the gay (particularly the gay male world). Such public opposition would help Americans recognize that we see our sexuality as more than mere physical gratification, but as a force which can serve as the foundation for strong families.

Gay leaders should not mince their words in criticizing parents who bring children to such gatherings as the Folsom Street Fair. Let those who adults who wish to attend do so and express themselves as they see fit. But, let’s also understand the distinction between that freedom of sexual expression and the responsibilities of parenting.

If we gay people believe ourselves worthy of the privileges of marriage and adoption, we need to show publicly that we recognize such distinctions. It is inappropriate for children to attend a sexually-themed celebration.

I hope that gay leaders will join me in criticizing the fair for allowing children to attend and demanding that, at future celebrations, it limit attendance to those over 18.

– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

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79 Comments

  1. Agreed. Is public nudity allowed in San Francisco? What are the lewdness/indecency laws/ordinances? Is this another example of libertarian-ness simply because the alternative is too difficult (particularly electorally)?

    Comment by HardHobbit — October 2, 2007 @ 8:05 pm - October 2, 2007

  2. I should clarify. Public nudity/lewdness/indecency are apparently allowed, but do laws allow it? I doubt it.

    Comment by HardHobbit — October 2, 2007 @ 8:07 pm - October 2, 2007

  3. I’m going to go further. Exposing young children to such behavior (and some of the visuals) constitutes child abuse.

    Comment by HardHobbit — October 2, 2007 @ 8:16 pm - October 2, 2007

  4. Oh my.

    That link really made me cringe. A gay couple brought their 2 year old twin daughters to a leather festival wearing a harness and dog collars bought from a pet store? And people say Britney Spears is a bad parent!

    You do NOT pawn your sexual fetishes off onto your children. That’s wrong on so many levels.

    I can’t much comment on the nature of the fair otherwise, since I’ve only ever heard of it in passing and am not very familiar with it. I think I’d have to see it to truly judge if all areas of it are inappropriate for children. But dressing your infant/toddler up in a leather costume intended for sexual gratification seems grossly inappropriate and downright abusive.

    Comment by Chase — October 2, 2007 @ 8:23 pm - October 2, 2007

  5. Actually, I agree with the post in principle. My only caveat at the end of my above post was in regard to my lack of familiarity with the festival, not my belief that it would be appropriate for children. Since I haven’t seen it, I can’t say all areas of it are inappropriate for children, but it certainly sounds like most, if not all, would be.

    Many gay people tend to confuse sexual orientation with sexual fetishes. It’s healthy to be unashamed of your sexual orientation. Sexual fetishes on the other hand are entirely different. One’s sexual fetishes should be kept private, at least to the extent that they are quarantined from your children.

    Comment by Chase — October 2, 2007 @ 8:36 pm - October 2, 2007

  6. HH and Chase, I’m basically echoing your thoughts.
    consenting adults have a lot of leeway in their sexual behavior, but hasn’t anyone heard of PRIVACY? This does not belong out in the streets of any city.
    Hire a private club, or rent out a park for the day and really check on who is entering.

    And yes, this is child abuse. Of course at some point all children come to the conclusion that their parents had sex enough times to have children. No more. Which is fine, children should see affectionate behavior between their parents, but sex should be private – whether it involves fetishes or not.

    Oh and if you think this isn’t a big step backwards for gay rights, think again. These things get noticed :http://www.townhall.com/columnists/FrankPastore/2007/09/30/folsom_street_fair_reminds_us_of_what_%e2%80%9cgay_pride%e2%80%9d_means
    and here’s the money quote: “We’re reminded of why we oppose all the efforts to normalize homosexuality, gay marriage and “alternative lifestyles”—and why we will never give them direct access to our children and their curricula.”

    When a minority community is trying to prove to the world at large that they deserve all the rights of the majority. They must show that they accept the responsibilities as well. A primary responsibility in our society is protecting our children. Giving them a healthy childhood without the intrusion of blatant sexuality. Adults, go ahead enjoy your fetishes, but please, keep the children out of it.

    Comment by Leah — October 2, 2007 @ 8:47 pm - October 2, 2007

  7. […] Update: A call from B. Daniel Blatt for gay leaders to demand that Folsom Street Fair prevent children from attending. […]

    Pingback by Michelle Malkin » Miller Lite-approved: Toddlers at the Folsom Street Fair — October 2, 2007 @ 8:47 pm - October 2, 2007

  8. Agree, completely, with the notion that sexually active events such as this should be closed to minors. No question.

    I don’t agree that “we” have to do things like this to prove that “we” should be allowed to adopt children. “We” don’t have to police the actions of other gays to establish our own place in society.
    That’s like asking straight people to close down Mardi Gras or Spring Break Cancun before we’ll allow “them” to adopt any more.

    Rights, privileges, position, etc. in society are individual, not group, based. We don’t need to take a poll, establish that 50% +1 of us are having safe sex or don’t smoke or some other benchmark before we petition society to accept us.
    Besides, the religious right will demonize us collectively whether we are all acting responsibly or not, and I refuse to accept that FSF keeping out kids will somehow convince *anyone* ala, “Hey, look at that! FSF is closed to under 18-year-olds now! Gays should totally be able to adopt!”

    Comment by torrentprime — October 2, 2007 @ 9:31 pm - October 2, 2007

  9. So, would Tom Horsville and fnln care to lecture us on the superiority of blue-city culture, now?

    Comment by V the K — October 2, 2007 @ 9:32 pm - October 2, 2007

  10. I don’t recall seeing a lot of parents bringing their toddlers to Mardi Gras. I also don’t think too many straight couples have sex in full view of the public … even at Mardi Gras. And if they did, they wouldn’t defend it as part of their “culture.”

    Besides, the religious right will demonize us collectively whether we are all acting responsibly or not, and I refuse to accept that FSF keeping out kids will somehow convince *anyone*

    That’s not the reason you close these events to kids… or ideally keep them in private, closed areas… You close them off because it’s wrong to expose young children to this depravity. I know the left is uncomfortable with idea of right and wrong, but there you are.

    Is NAMBLA excluded from Pride Marches because the organizers have a moral aversion to molesting children… or just because their presence would be bad PR? One might draw a conclusion by the attitude of people at the FSF.

    Comment by V the K — October 2, 2007 @ 9:42 pm - October 2, 2007

  11. […] Original post by GayPatriotWest […]

    Pingback by Politics: 2008 HQ » Blog Archive » Gay Leaders Should Demand Folsom Street Fair Prevent Children from Attending — October 2, 2007 @ 9:58 pm - October 2, 2007

  12. “We” don’t have to police the actions of other gays to establish our own place in society. That’s like asking straight people to close down Mardi Gras or Spring Break Cancun before we’ll allow “them” to adopt any more.

    Oh really? Is it?

    It’s an empirical question, really: Do straight people bring their 2-year-olds into the thickest of outright sexual exhibitionism in Mardi Gras or Spring Break Cancun? Yes or no?

    And if one of them did, say Britney Spears: Would other straight people smile tolerantly (as opposed to “policing” her with words and dirty looks to get her kids out of there)? Yes or no?

    Though I’ll accept intelligent corrections, I dare hazard a guess that the answer to both questions is “no”, and that if a straight couple did have their 2 year olds on hand while college students did their absolute worst, they would be considered unfit parents.

    I don’t agree that “we” have to do things like this to prove that “we” should be allowed to adopt children.

    But straight people do (see above). Why should gays be specially exempt?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 2, 2007 @ 10:45 pm - October 2, 2007

  13. I know I wouldn’t take my kids there, Southern Decadence or even a pride parade. I may not be a parent (gracias a Dios), but I have a pretty good idea of where they would and wouldn’t be allowed to go.

    A thought occurs, folks don’t want others telling them what they can do in their bedroom, but what about when they bring their bedroom out into the public?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 2, 2007 @ 11:26 pm - October 2, 2007

  14. Oh and if you think this isn’t a big step backwards for gay rights, think again.

    Oh, I know. If people are going to be parents, then people need to use common sense. You don’t sexualize a 2 year old! Granted, at some point in time a child is going to begin to want to sexualize themselves and it’s a matter of judgment by the parent(s) on how to deal with that. But you don’t thrust it upon a child, especially at 2 years old. That’s gross negligence.

    And I didn’t read that whole article before because I had to get to the gym. Having read it in it’s entirety now, I am appalled. Here is the money quote:

    Father of two, John Kruse said it is an educational experience for children. He said there were conservative parents against having kids at the event.

    “Those are the same close-minded people who think we shouldn’t have children to begin with” he said.

    Um, NO. There is politics and then there is parenting. I’m politically liberal, but some parenting tenets are universal. Not bringing your child to a sex festival is one of them.

    And you know, reading about this Folsom Street Fair has really surprised me. I didn’t know it was such an explicit event. I will take my shirt off at a nightclub, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable at an event like this.

    Comment by Chase — October 3, 2007 @ 12:09 am - October 3, 2007

  15. But straight people do (see above). Why should gays be specially exempt?

    I think all torrentprime was trying to say in his post was that the ill advised actions of a few bad gay parents shouldn’t be held up to disqualify all gay people from becoming parents. But Leah is right in stating that our enemies will project this onto the whole group. That’s just reality. So no, it’s not helpful at all and we should call people out that are messing it up for the rest of us.

    Comment by Chase — October 3, 2007 @ 12:22 am - October 3, 2007

  16. The key words for the fetish / BDSM community are ‘safe sane consensual’… very VERY disappointed to hear about kids at an event like this. One of the key things in BDSM is self control and personal responsibility.

    Comment by Etain P — October 3, 2007 @ 1:28 am - October 3, 2007

  17. I’ve been to Folsom when I lived in SF. Im also very libertarian when it comes to adult sexuality, but it is absolutely NO place for children, not even near-adults. Its not just a fetish-themed fair, theres actual sex acts going on all over the place.

    And if the gay communtiy in SF doesnt show the same outrage over this, and work to prevent it, then Im sorry, but its appropriate for people to fault the whole group for it.

    Lastly, and most importantly, that this couple saw fit to involve children in ANY way, in what is nothing more, nothing less than a sexual fetish is a HUGE red flag to me. Someone needs to investigate and make sure those kids are safe.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 3, 2007 @ 1:53 am - October 3, 2007

  18. Malkin. Wow.

    Do you know the schedule of the events at the fair? Do you know how long the children of the guys were there? Do you have any facts?

    Or are you just doing your own public lewd act on Malkin for your conservative friends to see? Play to the audience…..

    Comment by sean — October 3, 2007 @ 2:00 am - October 3, 2007

  19. “It is inappropriate for children to attend a sexually-themed celebration.” This post is a treasure trove of laughable pieties. So should we keep young boys out of the stands at football games when professional cheerleaders are performing? What about those kids I saw in Hooters one day? And how about those kids on the beach?

    Was anyone having sex with these kids? No. Do you have any facts about when and for how long they were there? No. Are you a pontificating moralistic pundit jumping on the bandwagon of a shrill nonsense talker? Yes.

    Comment by sean — October 3, 2007 @ 2:06 am - October 3, 2007

  20. Sean, you demonstrate the problem here; your sense of normal behavior is so warped that you can rationalize what goes on at Folsom as being the same as watching football cheerleaders or going to Hooters.

    And unfortunately, you open your mouth and say it.

    Have you ever been to Folsom? Or are you just having your usual “gays did it, so it must be right” knee-jerk reaction?

    And by the way, gay liberals and Democrats who are expressing shock at this, the sole reason this is happening is because you have let people like Sean make excuses for this kind of behavior in the name of “tolerance” for far too long.

    Feel free to give him both barrels. In fact, I would suggest you do it now, because if he can rationalize bringing two-year-olds to Folsom, heaven only knows what the next step he will blame on his sexual orientation is.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 3, 2007 @ 3:06 am - October 3, 2007

  21. And also, it’s interesting….”Grammy” Pelosi screams bloody murder about child molestation when Mark Foley is instant-messaging teenagers over the age of consent, but is quite silent about people putting their two-year-olds in dog collars and “showing them off” at sex fetish fairs.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 3, 2007 @ 3:47 am - October 3, 2007

  22. Do you know the schedule of the events at the fair? Do you know how long the children of the guys were there? Do you have any facts?

    I can’t speak for Malkin, but I have been to Folsom and have all the facts. You obviously have not or you wouldnt make such incredibly asinine ignorant comparsions. Folsom is a fair for people into leather and the sadomasochism lifestyle. Virtually every booth there is for a sex shop seling sex toys, a sex toy manufacturer or a porno company selling leather and bareback porn. There are men walking down the middle of the street completely naked, with and without erections. being led on leashes, wearing every kind of sexual fetish gear you can think of, there are women with bustiers pushing up their exposed, pierced breasts, there are hundreds of men wearing next to nothing, such as a chain mail sock that barely covers their penis., chaps with nothing on underneath, codpieces, you name it. there are live flogging exhibitions in the middle of the street. ive seen a man testing out an electricity sex toy strapped to his exposed erection. ive seen men performing oral sex on other men, having bareback sex and engaging in watersports on the street and sidewalks. And those are just some of the things ive seen with my own eyes right out in the open. Ive heard stories of much worse that i wont even go into, but they are perfectly credible and plausible knowing what i know about Folsom.

    But you dont have to take my word for it, just do a google image search and see it for yourself. But be WARNED. You will see graphic sex images.

    So my guess, judging by your asinine comments, is Michelle Malkin probably knows much more about the FolsomStreet Fair than you do.

    And shes absolutely right that its NO place for kids. And I’ll go even further than her, anyone who does take kids needs to be investigated because exposing kids to wht goes on at Folsom is sexual abuse, and Id be very afraid its not the only sexual abuse theyre suffering.

    isnt it ironic that you assume others dont know what theyre talking about when its clear that youre the one who doesnt have a clue what hes talking about. Not uncommon for libs by any means mind you, just ironic.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 3, 2007 @ 3:59 am - October 3, 2007

  23. And also, it’s interesting….”Grammy” Pelosi screams bloody murder about child molestation when Mark Foley is instant-messaging teenagers over the age of consent, but is quite silent about people putting their two-year-olds in dog collars and “showing them off” at sex fetish fairs.

    EXCELLENT point. Sex fairs in her district.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 3, 2007 @ 4:33 am - October 3, 2007

  24. Chase Said:
    I’m politically liberal, but some parenting tenets are universal

    Holy crap! Looks like most all of us are in agreement on this, with the exception of Sean. I’m scared. 😉

    Actually, Chase, you’re right. Unfortunately, there are those who either don’t get that or don’t care. They’d rather raise their kids their “own way” and expose them to whatever for “enlightenment”.

    Sean says:

    Do you know how long the children of the guys were there?

    WTF difference does that make? If you took 2 year olds to a haunted house for Halloween, do you think it would matter if they were there for 5 minutes or 20? The fact that they were there at all is disturbing enough, even if they were just passing by on their way to see Sexual Harassment Panda.

    And aside from that, what kind of sick fcuk would put a dog collar on a child?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 3, 2007 @ 5:18 am - October 3, 2007

  25. Yes, public nudity is allowed in SF. (Read the Zombietime site’s photo coverage of the nude bicycle riders there.)

    Declaring the Folsom St. Fair off-limits to kids would be good, from a long-term strategy of promoting gay officials to project (and embody) confidently modest standards of conduct.

    But the cow is so far out of the barn in terms of the (im)morality of this event. Like so much of the gay subculture it exists in order to subvert and/or mock — in seriousness and/or hilarity — all manner of norms.

    Banning under-18 year-olds still means that those who do attend are still guilty as sin.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — October 3, 2007 @ 6:05 am - October 3, 2007

  26. If gay leaders are serious about promoting adoption in our community…

    This isn’t just “a gay thing.”
    No doubt non-LGBTetc. BDSMers were in attendance.
    Even if every single attendee age 18+ were LGBTetc., many youngsters, esp. pre-teens, will be straight kids. (The younger they are, the less likely they are to have made their decisions or discoveries about their sexual preferences.)
    Gay leaders, elected officials certainly, are accountable to entire districts, municipalities, etc. – not to a particular identity group.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — October 3, 2007 @ 6:24 am - October 3, 2007

  27. Hell, I’m in the BDSM community (well more peripherally) here and Folsom revolts me. If someone brings a kid to something like that, we’d call DHS on them.

    I do find it interesting that the events I’v gone to here in Ohio have security to keep the mundanes away from the entire convention, we wear pseudonametags, coloured bands etc.

    I teach newbies I meet online and in person ‘Don’t freak the mundanes’. I guess midwest kinky people are different than the coastals.

    Comment by The Livewire — October 3, 2007 @ 7:44 am - October 3, 2007

  28. if the gay communtiy in SF doesnt show the same outrage over this, and work to prevent it, then Im sorry, but its appropriate for people to fault the whole group for it. To the extent the community supports or condones this event, it is right for the community to be tainted by it

    Interestingly, if you read the text of the article Malkin links to, the tone is at best neutral and at worst approving of the presence of children at this event. Check this quote from one of the event organizers:

    “We do our best that these people know that this is an adult-natured event,” said Darryl Flick, executive director of Folsom Street Events. “I’ve seen a thousand dotting aunts and uncles, and a kid having the time of his life.”

    And there are several other people quoted who think this sort of thing is just great for kids.
    Creepy. In most other places, you can arrested for exposing a minor to pr0nography, but in San Fransicko, it’s touted as testament to diversity and open-ness. .

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 8:51 am - October 3, 2007

  29. BTW: The official poster for the FSF was a parody of ‘The Last Supper,’ with Christ and His Disciples replaced by leather fetishsists and drag queens with an array of sex toys on the table. Obviously, the whole impetus behind this event was always to “shock the mundanes.”

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 9:12 am - October 3, 2007

  30. V #29, about that… Sometimes it strikes me as exceedingly odd that the participants in these extreme public events should be relaxed, smiling, etc., yet the elephant-in-the-room is that the fundamental premise of the event, “shocking the mundanes”, is fundamentally a form of hate. A form of hate serious enough to involve toddlers in sexual fetishes, and practiced not by the most open-minded people and tolerant on the planet, but rather, by some of the most narrow-minded and intolerant.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 3, 2007 @ 10:05 am - October 3, 2007

  31. Yikes! I’ve been to several Pride parades but nothing THIS explicit has gone on at any of them. I would feel uncomfortable attending this. Guys walking around with boners & wacking off shooting their load for all to see. I’ll pass thanks.

    Comment by Jimbo — October 3, 2007 @ 11:21 am - October 3, 2007

  32. I don’t think you’re going to find many people who think bringing the kids was a good idea. The dog collars? I probably would have called Child Services had I seen something like that.

    This is so not my scene anyway, but adults should do whatever they like. Just drop the kids off with grandma for the day before you head to the leather event.

    I do think these people are the exception and not the rule. I don’t know any couples who would do this, gay or straight.

    Comment by Houndentenor — October 3, 2007 @ 11:37 am - October 3, 2007

  33. torrentprime, you are a fool, and that’s putting things lightly. As others have pointed out, yes, straight people are involved in all kinds of sexual acts. But it mostly happens in private, without children present.
    You may not be aware that many a straight couple has has their children taken from them for exactly that kind of behavior. So don’t give me your line that gays shouldn’t be held to any decent standard.
    And tough luck kiddo, gays are a minority, whether you like it or not, and that puts much more of an onus on the community. You can’t have it both ways.
    Those ‘parents’ are wrong, there actually are conservative people who are in favor of gays adopting, but people like them will change that very quickly. One such person is David Blackenhorn. I highly recomend spending 40 minutes watching this dialog about gay marriage between him and Jon Rauch. This is what adult conversation should be like. http://bloggingheads.tv/video.php?id=386

    Comment by Leah — October 3, 2007 @ 11:41 am - October 3, 2007

  34. I’ve never been to a Folsom street fair, but have been aware for quite some time as to what goes on there. Do these people drop out of the blue to this event or do they have an idea of the type of folks that attend. Never having been there myself, there is absolutely no way in heck that I would even consider taking someone under the age of 18 to this event. and, yes, I do agree that dressing up children in this manner is sexualizing them and dangerous, however I believe it’s on par with the “beauty pageant” mothers who make their 5 year olds look like whores.

    Unfortunately, this story is indicative of some areas of parenting in this country (which seems to be growing) where parents have no idea how to take care of themsleves, let alone kids. I hope someone has made these 2 boneheads aware of what an idiotic thing they’ve done.

    I’ll bet they let kids in the event, but I also wonder if they make you dispose of your own bottled water for “security” issues, forcing you to buy the over-priced water being shilled bythe “proud sponsors” of the event. I’ve seen this kind of thing at gay pride events. God bless the almighty dollar…

    Comment by Kevin — October 3, 2007 @ 2:04 pm - October 3, 2007

  35. I believe it’s on par with the “beauty pageant” mothers who make their 5 year olds look like whores.

    Only if adults at the beauty pageants are having live sex and committing acts of BDSM in front of the children and defending it in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance” is it “on par” with FSF. Both of these things are sickengingly wrong, but taking children to a BDSM sex orgy is way worse than taking them to a beauty pageant.

    And while it isn’t even close to as bad as what went on at FSF, there are heterosexual “mothers” who need to be whacked with the clue bat.

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 2:15 pm - October 3, 2007

  36. Clearly, the couple in the article (who brought their twin daughters to the fair) consider their children as trophies to be held up and displayed as proof of their openness, of their rejection of standards, as tools used to push the cultural envelope. Since the fringe of sexuality is in itself a fetish, what now, since we have made public sex of all kinds permissible, resides on that fringe? The sexuality of young children and toilet functions, i.e. what is now going on at this fair.

    This is yet another example of our society having rejected reason and supplanted it with one of its children, tolerance. We now worship tolerance for its own sake even to the point of the abuse of children and agnosticism re. the ‘cultural imperative’ of terrorists. (In a way, the proud fathers of these two young girls are terrorists — they are part of the cabal of cultural crumblers that prefer the insidiousness of corrosion to the shock of dynamite. It’s much more effective.) We have achieved the fait accompli: We tolerate explicit intolerance.

    It’s difficult to say what kind of damage such exposure might inflict upon a young child, but we might begin by listening to the 10 year-old attendee: “Its pretty nasty because a lot of people here are naked.” Yep, it certainly is. And that his mother would insist on his attendance since his fourth year is, in my opinion, possibly worthy of legal action.

    If any of you who have read the referenced story, are repulsed, and yet still liken the idea of a ‘gay conservative’ to a ‘Jewish Nazi’ or a ‘black Klan member’, think again. This isn’t merely about good parenting skills that ‘transcend political ideology’.

    Comment by HardHobbit — October 3, 2007 @ 2:15 pm - October 3, 2007

  37. There are men walking down the middle of the street completely naked, with and without erections. being led on leashes, wearing every kind of sexual fetish gear you can think of, there are women with bustiers pushing up their exposed, pierced breasts, there are hundreds of men wearing next to nothing, such as a chain mail sock that barely covers their penis.

    Just out of curiosity, how does this not run afoul of public decency laws? Or does San Francisco have no public decency laws? Cause the way I see it, the reason there are public decency laws in the first place is so we can choose who we want to see naked. I don’t want to be forced to have to see a 45 year old bear walking down the street with an erection! It’s bad enough you have to see ’em at the beach in a bathing suit. 😉

    there are live flogging exhibitions in the middle of the street.

    OK, that’s just gross. Surely in San Francisco that’s considered to be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment?

    LOL

    I couldn’t resist 😉

    Comment by Chase — October 3, 2007 @ 2:21 pm - October 3, 2007

  38. Manufactured outrage rocks, huh?

    Never mind that this story is actually two years old. Also never mind the fact that Folsom takes place on a public street – meaning the organizers cannot legally bar anybody from coming in. They can only discourage people from bringing children in, which is exactly what they did in this instance.

    Comment by tservo — October 3, 2007 @ 2:22 pm - October 3, 2007

  39. I love this.

    and, yes, I do agree that dressing up children in this manner is sexualizing them and dangerous, however I believe it’s on par with the “beauty pageant” mothers who make their 5 year olds look like whores.

    Another example of the convoluted thought process of the gay leftist.

    He can’t simply say gays are wrong when they do something; he has to rationalize and claim that heterosexuals are wrong too.

    And in doing so he compares children’s beauty pageants to the Folsom Street Fair.

    What this means is simple. Hee doesn’t think that what the gays are doing is actually wrong; he’s just upset about the PR consequences. It’s the same reason that Dan Savage attacked Michelle Malkin for pointing out this article, even though he babbled (as if he had any choice) that he didn’t agree with bringing children there. It’s simply paying lip service and spinning to cover up the fact that they DO support it — because gays did it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 3, 2007 @ 2:24 pm - October 3, 2007

  40. Of course San Francisco has public decency laws.

    They’re just not enforced because gay leftists and Democrats insist that doing so is antigay.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 3, 2007 @ 2:25 pm - October 3, 2007

  41. I’ve never been to that kind of event but it’s no place for anyone under 18 by the sounds of it.

    The organizers should be punished with a severe flogging but then they’d probably enjoy that. 😉

    Comment by Ian S — October 3, 2007 @ 2:33 pm - October 3, 2007

  42. I just read they are going to be having a such a “event” here in New York. Hopefully the cops/social services will do their jobs. I wouldn’t trust on the organizers to keep kids out. Such acts don’t belong on the public streets, keep in it your house or rent someplace indoors for a display of your “culture”, which borders on some psychological disorder.
    The kids are nothing more than props and accessories to those two morons. I agree with American Elephant, their behaviour raises a lot of red flags and they should be investigated.

    Comment by ousslander — October 3, 2007 @ 2:33 pm - October 3, 2007

  43. I’ve been to several Pride parades but nothing THIS explicit has gone on at any of them.

    But this isn’t a gay pride festival. I’m gay, but i’m not into flogging, leather or watersports. It sounds like the Folsom Street Fair is simply a sex fetish festival. Now i’m not saying people who do like it should be ashamed of it, but it’s not the place for children and it’s not something you should force others to see just by walking down a public street.

    Comment by Chase — October 3, 2007 @ 2:36 pm - October 3, 2007

  44. And in doing so he compares children’s beauty pageants to the Folsom Street Fair.

    Yea, I wouldn’t compare the two. Obviously many people don’t think it’s right to dress a five year old girl up in costumes that make her look like a prostitute. But taking your two year old daughter to a sex festival where there is public nudity and open sex acts is definitely worse.

    They’re just not enforced because gay leftists and Democrats insist that doing so is antigay.

    Well then, if I lived in San Francisco, I might consider voting for the Republican or a fellow Democrat who is more in line with my thinking.

    Comment by Chase — October 3, 2007 @ 2:48 pm - October 3, 2007

  45. Well then, if I lived in San Francisco, I might consider voting for the Republican or a fellow Democrat who is more in line with my thinking.

    Trust me: You’ll be almost the only one and you’ll get tired of it fast.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 3, 2007 @ 3:10 pm - October 3, 2007

  46. What Hooters restaurant does Sean go to? Joe Francis would love to know.

    Comment by BrianP — October 3, 2007 @ 5:03 pm - October 3, 2007

  47. I think this kind of fetish is one of those things that you don’t introduce to your children.

    I have to admit I have only vaguely heard about this fair, know very little about it, but at the very least if it is your thing and the place you want to go hire a sitter for the event, don’t bring the kids along dressed up in the fetishwear.

    As for the mardi gras comparison-I am a straight mom, if I was interested in mardi gras, I would hire a sitter, but it isn’t a place I would take my kids. Actually anywhere there is an overly sexually charged atmosphere I would take a pass on having my kids present.

    Unfortunately, this story is indicative of some areas of parenting in this country (which seems to be growing) where parents have no idea how to take care of themsleves, let alone kids. I hope someone has made these 2 boneheads aware of what an idiotic thing they’ve done.

    I actually think this is a good point. I would say in general a lot of parents have lost their sense of what is or isn’t kid appropriate. Not to the extent of dressing kids up in dog collars and taking them to a leather fair, but I am appalled at some of the movies people will haul their young kids to see, or the kinds of TV shows, video games, etc they expose their kids to. When 7 year olds talk about Grand Theft Auto being their favorite game to play, you have to wonder whether their parents have any sanity.

    So I do think there are a lot of examples out there of “dumb” parenting, but taking your kid to a fair is pretty icky, but I think dressing them up in the fetish gear crosses a major line-it is drawing them into the events and putting stuff that is sexually tantilizing to others on very young children.

    Comment by just me — October 3, 2007 @ 5:18 pm - October 3, 2007

  48. Yes, tservo (#38), I’m aware that the tale of the toddlers is two years old. Does that make my point any less relevant?

    The only thing that would change that is if the organizers of the Fair have since changed their policy.

    As to its taking place on a public street, well, here in LA, they have Pride on a public street, but somehow manage to close it off so that you must pay to get in. They should do something similar with this gathering.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — October 3, 2007 @ 5:24 pm - October 3, 2007

  49. The only thing that would change that is if the organizers of the Fair have since changed their policy.

    Which they have not. The FAQ’s for this year’s FSF includes the following: “While we don’t have any age restrictions at the gates we do inform attendees of the adult oriented nature of our events.”

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 5:29 pm - October 3, 2007

  50. Like I said, apparently kinky people in the heartland are more mature than kinky people on the coasts.

    Every ‘event’ I’ve been to was closed off to the public. Heck some of the older people here don’t think anyone under 25-30 should be involved.

    just me, I’ll be the first to agree you don’t expose your kids to it. Some people believe they need to keep it away from people of age (18-30) but no one I know of advocates taking your baby, or 16 year old for that matter, to a party.

    And yes, V the K it does look that they’re intentionally freaking the mundanes. Any people wonder why the Mundanes then reply with stomping on any deivation from the norm with a large boot.

    Ian, this is the first time we’ve agreed on something. Though I’m pretty confident I could beat those people in a way they wouldn’t enjoy it.

    Comment by The Livewire — October 3, 2007 @ 5:51 pm - October 3, 2007

  51. @48

    I didn’t get to go this year, due to a last minute change in plans, to what me as a straight man is basically a Halloween costume type event crossed with Renaisance Faire overtones (and is a great place to take a date, really!).

    But I have gone in the past many times, and I can tell you that the entrences to the fair (which is spread out over many blocks and side streets) DO have gates, and do ask for charitible donations for local causes.

    The “action” tends to be away from the main line of vision of the gates. Closer by all you will see is people in costumes enjoying bands on stages you can see at any fair.

    I have seen older teens at this event, just as I have seen at Pride events across the country. They are able to be themselves, and somehow seek out community in a safe environment. There are many non-profits exhibiting there devoted to the mental health of the LGBT community, located on EVERY block and bless them for reaching out.

    I can’t recall seeing children there before, although I wouldn’t rule it out. Probably not appropriate, but also not appropriate for children to be in lots of other places I see – violent and/or sexual movies, watching violent or sexuallized stuff on TV, hanging around with teens lerning to preen and prance amongst themselves, and so on. This is an issue that haoppens EVERYWHERE across America without regard to the parent’s sexuality.

    Sadly what else is comon across America, and even SF is not immune:

    Last year while walking with my GF towards our transportation home after the fetival. several blocks from the festival itself, a yellow school bus full of middle school age boys rolled by.

    Upon seeing a few men who were merely dressed in colorful clothes and makeup (not leather or uncovered or flamboyant at all), the boys let loose a stream of insults designed to spew hate and impress their buddies.

    I couldn’t have felt sadder for the men, except for the boys – who probably will be attending Folsom Street Fair trying to come out of the closet in future years.

    That kind of hate, and the kind shown in the comments on this blog and others (including the Malkin piece and the Dan Savage piece) can only come from self-hatred turned outward. Rational thinking has nothing to do with it.

    So two guys made a stupid parenting decision. Be outraged. But it has nothing to do with being gay.

    Would you have been any less outraged if the article says they were two guys who left their wives at the Local Mall for the afternoon while they babysat the kids?

    I think not and I hope not.

    So, outraged ones, let it be about an occasional bad choice, and try to recognize the difference between that and your internal hatred. Judge not lest ye be judged, to paraphrase a book I read once, and maybe you should read again with an open mind this time.

    Comment by Too much misdirected outrage — October 3, 2007 @ 7:44 pm - October 3, 2007

  52. Where to begin with that last comment?

    Exposing children to depraved BDSM and public sex is nothing more than a questionable parenting choice? In any other part of the country, a parent gay or straight would probably lose custody of their kids for that.

    And objecting to the exposure of young children to depraved BDSM and public sex can only come from self-hatred? Cheese. I suppose people who oppose NAMBLA are also motivated by self-hate?

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 8:14 pm - October 3, 2007

  53. Ah, Leah. The voice of sweet reason o’erwhelms me quite:

    torrentprime, you are a fool, and that’s putting things lightly. … So don’t give me your line that gays shouldn’t be held to any decent standard.

    Skipping your (expected) personal attack, you are hereby called out for inventing a total strawman. Actually, lying completely, but I understand it’s ok when you do it to a (ND30-invented) Democrat. I never gave any such line that gays shouldn’t be held to a standard (remember, I agree that events such as this should be closed to minors). What i did say was that my rights as a citizen and participant in the civic and social life of this country is not dependent on the actions of others. The OP said that

    If gay leaders are serious about promoting adoption in our community, they then should join me…

    All I am saying is that gays ability to adopt children is not and never should be predicated on whether one street fair in SF enforces age restrictions sufficiently. We are individuals in this country, not part of a class or caste, and we don’t need for every member of our mutually-oriented brethren to act perfectly according to my or your moral values before the whole group is treated equally in this society. I’m not sure which part of that offended you so much, but I’m sure it’s an evil liberal/leftie/commie thing.

    In re: children being around straight copulation. My only point was this: When straight people do crap like this, no one attempts to say, “This is proof all straight people can’t be trusted.” That is exactly what the religious right does every time they see a Gay Behaving Badly.
    Check out Free Republic for examples: every time a teacher molests a same-sex student or some gym instructor fondles a same-sex athlete, it’s trumpeted loudly as proof of how bad “we” all are. What apologists for the religious right don’t seem to get is that they will do this forever. They will find new excuses, they will find new justifications, they will fall back on dogma, as fundamentalists do. The actions of some minority of gays are an excuse for their hatred, not a reason.
    We can and should try to clean-up our backyards as much as possible, but we should do this because it’s the right thing to do, not because our actions will somehow convince the gay-haters that we are good people after all.

    Comment by torrentprime — October 3, 2007 @ 8:16 pm - October 3, 2007

  54. @52: Just for kicks, I have a question:

    Exposing children to depraved BDSM and public sex is nothing more than a questionable parenting choice?

    If the BDSM wasn’t “depraved” BDSM, would it have been ok? I mean, you didn’t just say that exposure to BDSM was objectionable, you further defined the BDSM in question as being “depraved” BDSM. Is there, in your mind, a non-depraved kind of BDSM?

    Comment by torrentprime — October 3, 2007 @ 8:21 pm - October 3, 2007

  55. The thing about CPS is that they would probably cite the parents for having the collars on too tight and that’s about it.

    BTW, pardon my ignorance but would “mundanes” be sorta like Muggles?

    Comment by TGC — October 3, 2007 @ 8:22 pm - October 3, 2007

  56. BDSM is inherently depraved (morally bad or evil; corrupt). It’s part of the kink.

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 8:24 pm - October 3, 2007

  57. torrentprime, I didn’t say that our ability to adopt kids should be predicated on the behavior of certain gays at a leather street fair in San Francisco. The point was that public statements of gay leaders would help make clear that we recognize the responsibilities of parenting, allowing them to distinguish themselves from the more outlandish behavior in our community, the type of behavior extreme social conservatives like to highlight to show how depraved all of us are.

    And yes, we’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. So, if you favor doing the right thing, why are you so averse to my call for gay leaders to support doing just that and denouncing the irresponsible parenting at the Folsom Street Fair?

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — October 3, 2007 @ 8:27 pm - October 3, 2007

  58. We are individuals in this country, not part of a class or caste,

    Except when you demand special treatment e.g. Hate Crimes laws.

    Comment by V the K — October 3, 2007 @ 8:31 pm - October 3, 2007

  59. 54 and 56,

    I’ll disagree it’s inherently depraved. Obiviously I’m biased. I know there’s stuff that goes on that’s steps beyond the kind of ‘play’ I prefer. But if it’s consenting adults, in private, then I’m not going to care.

    It’s when it’s out like this, and anyone can see it, that I object. That’s depraved.

    And the same holds true for vanilla sex in public for that matter.

    Yeah, TGC, that works. Mundanes, Muggles, Vanillas, essentially people who don’t want to be exposed to deviations from the norm. Then again, the norm is relative. I know my mom and her partner wouldn’t want to be anywhere near any BDSM type stuff but they aren’t ‘normal’ either.

    Comment by The Livewire — October 3, 2007 @ 8:52 pm - October 3, 2007

  60. “Mundanes” actually refers to the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. Xanth is a kingdom in which magic works; “Mundania” is the outside world, where it doesn’t, and hence its inhabitants are “Mundanes”.

    Next, to torrentprime:

    We are individuals in this country, not part of a class or caste, and we don’t need for every member of our mutually-oriented brethren to act perfectly according to my or your moral values before the whole group is treated equally in this society.

    Except, of course, when it comes to gay people deciding not to vote Democrat or to criticize the behavior of other gays, at which point they are derided for not keeping “gay unity” and acting in a manner consistent with their class or caste.

    I believe the common epithets are “Uncle Tom”, “Jewish Nazi”, “self-loathing”, and other.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 3, 2007 @ 9:21 pm - October 3, 2007

  61. torrentprime, Dan posted before I had a chance to. So I guess I’m just an echo chamber here. In order for you to have all the rights and responsibilities that the straight majority have, you must convince them that you deserve them.
    Is that fair? I don’t know, I’m not talking fairness, I’m talking reality. Every time some court forces a State to accept gay marriage, 10 more states immediately put forth and pass initiatives that not only forbid gay marriage, but civil unions and in some cases the rights of gays to adopt. So what is gained there?
    In order to get those rights you need to convince the majority. And you are right, every time some deviant person who happens to be gay is caught, the extremists on the right jump on the band wagon. So why give them more ammunition? Why doesn’t the gay leadership come out and condemn these parents?
    Because of those two Dads who proudly proclaimed the fact that they blatantly are sexualizing their children (read the whole article), you now will have hundreds of honorable, upstanding wonderful gay parents who won’t be able to adopt.

    It is ok to be critical of the excesses of your group. Because those on the fringes are doing a lot more damage then you think. Sure we all are individual Americans, but all of us belong to some sort of group or another.
    I’m not telling the BDSM crowd to be completely hidden from view (though not having their events in public would be nice). But they should have the decency to recognize that they should be self policing especially where children are concerned.

    Comment by Leah — October 3, 2007 @ 9:28 pm - October 3, 2007

  62. 39: Thanks for tha mis-guided analysis.

    excuse me, but I’m not against this behavior because it’s bad PR as you say; I’m against it because the sexualization of children in this world, by any people for any reason is hideous, pure and simple.

    Once again, you attempt to prove all your statements by false analogies and connections that don’t exist.

    Comment by Kevin — October 3, 2007 @ 10:27 pm - October 3, 2007

  63. I guess midwest kinky people are different than the coastals.

    that made me giggle

    Comment by American Elephant — October 3, 2007 @ 11:27 pm - October 3, 2007

  64. there actually are conservative people who are in favor of gays adopting

    another good point. Michael Medved also comes to mind. While he favors children being raised by mother and father, he has said many times hed rather see a child raised by two loving gay parents than in a single parent household.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 3, 2007 @ 11:47 pm - October 3, 2007

  65. Surely in San Francisco that’s considered to be unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment?

    bahahahaha!

    Comment by American Elephant — October 3, 2007 @ 11:56 pm - October 3, 2007

  66. BTW, pardon my ignorance but would “mundanes” be sorta like Muggles?

    repello muggletum!

    Comment by American Elephant — October 4, 2007 @ 12:24 am - October 4, 2007

  67. #56:

    BDSM is inherently depraved (morally bad or evil; corrupt).

    What’s really depraved is cheering on needless wars of aggression in which millions of innocents are killed maimed or made refugees.

    Comment by Ian S — October 4, 2007 @ 12:24 am - October 4, 2007

  68. What’s really depraved is cheering on needless wars of aggression in which millions of innocents are killed maimed or made refugees.

    I dont know anyone who is cheering on Saddams war of aggression against kuwaiit, which we are now finishing, unless its libs like you who didnt want to do anything to stop him. :^(

    Comment by American Elephant — October 4, 2007 @ 1:06 am - October 4, 2007

  69. What’s really depraved is cheering on needless wars of aggression in which millions of innocents are killed maimed or made refugees.

    Who here cheered on the Hutus? Better yet, who looked the other way and allowed the Hutus to slaughter the Tutsis? But hey, why screw around with that when you got Gen. Ashley Wilkes Clarke to run defense and play pocket pool while you got an oval oraface waiting under your desk?

    And how about the half million dead Iraqi children?

    Talk about “really depraved”. More like depraved indifference. But then again, how would a liberal know or care what’s depraved or not.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 4, 2007 @ 2:45 am - October 4, 2007

  70. excuse me, but I’m not against this behavior because it’s bad PR as you say;

    Why not? Do you approve of public sex and don’t you think that it does give us a bad image?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 4, 2007 @ 2:55 am - October 4, 2007

  71. 70: Interesting that you chose to cut off my quote and twist it for your purpose. Nice fascist tactic..

    Comment by Kevin — October 4, 2007 @ 4:54 am - October 4, 2007

  72. #71 to further derail this thread, he learned it from reading Media Matters.

    Comment by The Livewire — October 4, 2007 @ 7:25 am - October 4, 2007

  73. Dan, I appreciate your call to fellow gay leaders that they condemn the FSF organizers for allowing kids into the festival –but I think it goes beyond that.

    Any gay activist fighting for civil rights and equitable treatment in law ought to gather that we need to condemn these types of public displays –and even their posters (ugh)– as PR nightmares to our cause in winning over the hearts, minds, and VOTES of average Americans who are repulsed by the routine sex stunts at FSF events. Hell, even I’m ashamed of my fellow gays acting in such a base, depraved, immoral manner. With public images like those recurrent in the media, we don’t even need a ChristianHate bandwagon tied up outside the election booth –we’re defeating ourselves.

    Protecting the kids might show some moral courage but condemning the obscenity and depravity of FSF ought to be the primary thrust (no pun intended). In the bedroom or basement, between consenting adults –go for it. On a public street, these immature sociopaths are screwing all gays.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 4, 2007 @ 10:37 am - October 4, 2007

  74. excuse me, but I’m not against this behavior because it’s bad PR as you say; I’m against it because the sexualization of children in this world, by any people for any reason is hideous, pure and simple.

    Which was why you were so upset at these gays for doing it, you attacked heterosexuals. Just like Dan Savage attacked Michelle Malkin rather than the gays who actually did it.

    One would think if you were actually upset with behavior, you would go after the people who did it. But that would require you to criticize your fellow Democrat gays, and you’re simply incapable of that.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 4, 2007 @ 12:43 pm - October 4, 2007

  75. I just got this bit (in #0): “Gay leaders should not mince their words…” LOL 🙂 Well, GPW probably didn’t intend it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 4, 2007 @ 2:59 pm - October 4, 2007

  76. why does everyone link to an article written two yrs ago? i won’t say there weren’t kids in attendance but most were of an age where they couldn’t make heads or tails out of the events in front of them.

    A bigger issue is parents spending a day in the sun with a young kid and not seeing fit to get the child some h2o. After 5 – 6 hrs in the sun I am beat, can’t imagine who the young uns are feeling.

    to beat the dead horse, it may have started out as a gay event, but it is not just a gay event – it is fun for the whole family

    Comment by ralph — October 12, 2007 @ 3:27 am - October 12, 2007

  77. […] http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/10/todays_folsom_street_fair_item http://gaypatriot.net/2007/10/02/gay-leaders-should-demand-folsom-street-fair-prevent-children-from-… […]

    Pingback by Anglican Mainstream » We are being conditioned - but see the end result please — October 12, 2007 @ 5:45 am - October 12, 2007

  78. […] will make it clear that they understand the responsibilities which inhere in raising children. Gay Patriot » Gay Leaders Should Demand Folsom Street Fair Prevent Children from Attending As for your request on social science evidence: In a study published in the January 1996 issue of […]

    Pingback by If you care about civil rights you should be a Republican - Page 10 - Debate Politics Forums — January 31, 2008 @ 5:55 pm - January 31, 2008

  79. heres a thought how long would tollerance last at folsom if that was all girls masturbating and things in front of guys and nothing for the ladies to look at the women of that city would freak

    Comment by john — April 15, 2009 @ 9:23 pm - April 15, 2009

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