Pride Stories – Mr. Leather Ireland
We reached out to a group of out-and-proud members of the LGBTQ+ community to ask what Pride means to them. This is the first in a six part series where we hope to touch on every color of the rainbow, and get stories and insights about Pride from six beautiful souls. First up in Pride Stories, it’s Fionn Scott, Mr. Leather Ireland.
Fionn Scott – Mr. Leather Ireland
Dolly Parton is credited with once saying, “Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.” For me, there is no more relevant a motto for Pride Season. Especially in 2019, when we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot. Pride, to me, is political. Existing as yourself in a world which frames deviance on the fringes of society is political. Pride, to me, is about owning your deviance, celebrating it, and using it as a tool for social change. It’s not just for those you represent through shared identity, but bringing that change forward for others who also sit on the fringe.
My First Pride
My first Pride was Dublin Pride 2010. I was part of a group of young people performing in the parade for the LGBTQ+ Youth Service, and I was wearing a mask. Part of it was a fashion choice, I will give you that, but it was a fashion choice fuelled by uncertainty. It was the uncertainty of a teenager who had only just put a name to what he was feeling, and who he was: gay, queer, and deviant! I had yet to learn what it meant to experience solidarity amongst people who, in their cacophony of wonderful differences, come together to celebrate shared identities, and to battle for our rights! The mask was my separation from the community around me, a protection of an identity I wasn’t yet willing to share, and that was okay. That was part of what I needed to experience.
Unabashedly Deviant Queer
Coming into my 9th year of celebrating Pride in Ireland and abroad, this time as Mr. Leather Ireland 2019, I enter the season with an entirely different step. I live my life as an unabashedly deviant queer, who is more than happy to use my identities as a kinkster and a deviant as a point of conversation, to challenge and push. No longer do I wear a mask to feel safe with my identity, as I did in the past. I wear my identities and the politicism they inspire, as an expression of my commitment to be who I am, and do it purposely. That is itself a political act in a world which doesn’t always accept the deviant. Being unashamedly you this Pride isn’t just about being you. It gives permission to those who cannot yet do the same – to feel Pride in themselves by seeing themselves represented.
PRIDE Stories – Asis D’Orange
The next Pride story will be Asis D’Orange from Israel.
What does Pride mean to you?
Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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