SharkBoy, BobaDoug and I trotted off to the Church Street Village Fair on Sunday, which use to be called The Church Street Fetish Fair, which is now called Leather to Lace but way back in the day was called The Church Street Fetish Fair, created as competition for Folsom Fair North (or FFN when they lost the right to use “Folsom”) but now is called something else and will probably be in direct competition with Folsom Street Fair on September 25, but not in Toronto.
Confused? Not as confused as the crap we saw on Sunday afternoon!
Gone was the public demos of S&M which I am told by the rumor mill was pre-requisite if the Church Street BIA wanted to get licensing from City Hall. Instead an outside company of carnival like “rides” were inserted to keep the tops and bottoms on their toes. This is Rob Ford’s new Toronto, I guess. We can be gay but just don’t show it.
I could have taken pictures of the ferris wheel or the mechanical bull or the surf board bouncy play thing but I had forgotten to put my freshly charged battery in my camera, which in hindsight was a good thing… there wasn’t much I wanted to take a picture of, compared to the previous years. The Leather and Lace site has photos but metaphorically the gallery is broken and doesn’t work in Firefox.
We walked up and down the street twice and witnessed a few proud individuals displaying their fetishes, but in terms of it being a “fair”, I would say it was more like a funeral. Oh sure there were the trans, the rubbers, the plushies and the leathers, but they didn’t seem to have a place to congregate and the crowds weren’t “sticking” to one place. I saw more hopeful photographers (including the creepy boobie photographer guy from Pride – no, not Councilor Mammoliti) than actual participants in the Fair. When we arrived there was a leather “flash mob” as it were: a large group of people in full S&M gear walked through the crowd but quickly dissipated when they did two circuits of the Fair.
The Lettuce and Lace Fair was the perfect example of “design by committee” ever to come to life.