San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair makes triumphant return

Sunday, September 26, saw the return of one of the world's kinkiest festivals to San Francisco, the legendary Folsom Street Fair.

man in mesh top and leather hat at the return of Folsom
Image: Instagram bay_spirit

Yesterday Folsom made a triumphant return with MEGAHOOD 2021, after last year’s annual celebration of BDSM and leather subculture became a COVID casualty.

Despite the enormity of the leather-loving crowd, the Folsom organisers encouraged this year’s attendees to “stay safe, get your shots, wash your hands, mask up and stay weird!”

In compliance with COVID-restrictions, vaccination cards were checked by security and hand washing and sanitizing stations were positioned throughout the outdoor fair.

This adult-only extravaganza of leather, kink, and BDSM has grown to become one of California’s largest single-day festivals since its debut in 1984, and the dress code is strictly fetish gear with a dash of nudity. For the return of Folsom, many of this year’s lewks were completed with COVID-safe masks.

As described on the Folsom street website, the organisers behind the event are “committed to cultivating a safe, open, and inclusive environment for the kink, leather, and alternative sexuality communities while centering equity for BIPOC and LGBTQA2I+ people in our work.”

Capping San Francisco’s Leather Pride Week, Folsom is a celebration of sexuality and welcomes approximately 400,000 people from all walks of life every year, although 2021’s numbers are expected to be much lower for obvious reasons.

“Women, non-binary, genderqueer, two-spirit, gender fluid, transmasculine, transfeminine, transgender, or any other gender beyond the binary are welcome, including all sexualities, sexual orientations, and sexual expressions. If your group includes cis men, please enjoy the Queer Commons where you can sit in the shade, watch the Playground stage, and mix and mingle with ALL the queers of all genders. We love our accomplices and need your support to hold this treasured space.”

And it’s not just a party (although the event does feature amazing artists, DJs, dancers, musicians, performers, and more in some of San Fran’s classic venues)!  Folsom Street is also a non-profit arts and culture organisation that has donated over $7 million to LGBTQ+ charitable causes since its establishment in the ’80s.

Unfortunately, Folsom lost a whopping 89% of its revenue due to the pandemic, so this year’s proceeds will go towards repaying the debts of 2020.

“…We can return to granting in 2022,” the website states, “a goal we can only reach with your support.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.