A dark side of our community
Recently I became aware of hate-filled online comments directed at a member of our community by an ‘anonymous’ individual.
The online environment is a space where we can share our opinions and thoughts and feel more in-touch with our chosen communities. Many of us have used the internet to discover and learn more about the subculture of which we are part, make connections and support one another. Unfortunately, it also allows a small minority of people to bully and harass others – often with the mistaken belief that they are doing so anonymously. I find this horrid and I am dumbfounded that a person who considers themselves to be a member of our community would bully and harass any other individual.
Negotiation, respect, and active consent are the foundation stones of the leather and BDSM communities. As leathermen we expect the wider community to be tolerant, understanding and respectful of our lifestyles. Unfortunately, we are not always good at extending these courtesies to others within our community. Discussion and debate are vital to the survival and development of our community. And from time-to-time, some of us will be surprised or concerned by opinions expressed by others. However, such disagreements must be conducted with civility and respect. “A real leatherman” knows this and does not use the online environment to denigrate and intimidate others.
Benjamin Bullivant – Mr. Queensland Leather 2016