There was a must-read article in Letherati that deserves a lot of cross-posting. “New Blood in an Old Guard World” by Papa Tony. Essentially he argues that the crusty old farts need to loosen-up and be more welcoming the younger kids (oops – we’re not supposed to call them “kids”).
I tend to think of myself as part of that demographic segment that floats in-between TNG and the Old(er) Guard. I base this on two things: (1) The single biggest thing to change the community (to change everything) has obviously been the internet and digital communications revolution; Google, blogs, twitter, Fet, Recon, etc. Entering the community around the time I did (late 90’s – early 2000’s) that stuff was just emerging. So I’ve been able to see the changes that have come in the last 13 years. (2) Being in my late 30’s, I’m about equidistant from the 20-somethings on my right and the 50+ guys on my left. It’s not uncommon for me to go to an event and be one of the youngest guys there… and then turn around and go to a TNG event and be one of the oldest guys there. So I see it on both sides. (Even in terms of community leadership I guess I’m the BDSM world’s equivalent of middle-management. LOL.)
Let the kids take the lead!
Now, one of the myths that Papa Tony attacks is that “kids” these days don’t care about tradition. I really agree with him that most of the younger crowd are interested in the older leather traditions – at the very least they are curious about the history… they just don’t want to be bound by them or held to out-dated standards and expectations. It’s like my Alpha Pup recently said in a post – something along the lines of taking traditions lightly w/o being disrespectful. I think that’s good stance.
I like to take things light and have fun w/ it all. If your idea of “leather” is some kind of high-protocol, stick-up-you-butt, offended-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, psudo-military thing… then I’m happy to be kept out of it. I mean, I’m not going to run that down; if that’s really your thing, go for it. But I’m a puppy; I like to have fun, be silly, laugh, and sniff people in inappropriate places. Are you going to judge me b/c my boots aren’t polished or my leather jacket is dirty? Well, don’t judge me! (LOL) I actually ride a motorcycle. I’ve logged god-knows how many miles in that jacket in sun and rain and added a pound of encrusted bug-splatter to it. I like it! When I was a child my mom used to call me “Pigpen” b/c I spent so much time playing in the dirt. When Ma’am and Sir gave me my leather vest, the joke was about how long it would be before I went out and rolled around in the dirt in it. (Have I mentioned that I’m a puppy? I’m a bootblack’s worst nightmare. LOL)
(And, also, it so happens that I don’t think we need to be choosing our community leaders based on how they rate in a formal-ware fashion show, but that’s another rant.)
Anyway… read the article by Papa Tony at: http://www.leatherati.com/2013/03/new-blood-in-an-old-guard-world/ and share it w/ your friends.
(And, no, I haven’t rolled around in the dirt in my new vest. Yet.)