Last Sunday, September 25, thousands of people gathered in San Francisco for Folsom Street Fair 2022.
Since its debut in 1984, the annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair that is now known as Folsom Street Fair, also referred to simply as Folsom, has grown exponentially. It has now become one of California’s largest single-day festivals and it generates significant revenue for numerous charities.
The event caps San Francisco‘s Leather Pride Week, attracting members of the BDSM and leather community from all over the world. The city has a long history of leather-loving, with its very first leather bar, the Sailor Boy Tavern, opening in 1938 to cater to navy sailors looking for some same-sex action.
An earlier precursor to Folsom was the CMC Carnival (California Motorcycle Club Carnival), a gay leather BDSM fair that took place from 1966-1984 and was organised by gay motorcycle clubs, like the Warlocks, San Francisco’s first gay biker gang.
The beginnings of the Folsom Street Fair are closely tied to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, when city officials began to enforce stricter regulations for bars and crack down on bath-houses. In response, community activists decided to organise a street fair to raise awareness, as well as funds, and to offer members of the leather community the possibility to access information and services around safe sex.
Over the years, the event evolved into an iconic celebration of free sexuality, drawing an estimated 400,000 each year. Here is a selection of the best pics taken at Folsom Street Fair 2022.
1. Some good ol’ bondage
2. We do generally hate them, yes
3. …well, maybe not all of them.
4. Clowns and pups joined
5. Where are my dragons?
6. Some were left hanging
7. Purple bows and feathers
8. Furry friends smiling for the camera
9. Heaven on earth
10. In for a ride
11. Some more uncomfortable hanging
12. Hot cosplaying
13. Wild animals among the crowd
14. Haters will say they’re fake
15. Leathery smiles
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