Victoria Carter cares for a pair of leather boots at the Leather Hub at Sunday Streets SOMA event in San Francisco. Carter was voted the 2018 San Francisco Bootblack, and is an organizer of the San Francisco BootLab, which services the gear in the leather community. “I think of us kind of like hair dressers or bartenders or whatever. You sit down with us, we take 20 minutes. We talk about your day, some gossip, some upcoming events in the scene. Through that we become history keepers," she says.  Sarah Craig/KQED
Victoria Carter cares for a pair of leather boots at the Leather Hub at Sunday Streets SOMA event in San Francisco. Carter was voted the 2018 San Francisco Bootblack, and is an organizer of the San Francisco BootLab, which services the gear in the leather community. “I think of us kind of like hair dressers or bartenders or whatever. You sit down with us, we take 20 minutes. We talk about your day, some gossip, some upcoming events in the scene. Through that we become history keepers," she says.  (Sarah Craig/KQED)

Community Celebrates San Francisco's New Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District

Community Celebrates San Francisco's New Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District

1 min

Members of San Francisco's LGBTQ community gathered in the South of Market neighborhood on Sunday to celebrate the city's new Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District.

The Leather Hub on Folsom Street was filled with people celebrating the city's rich history of kink, BDSM, furries and leather.

Waldemar Howart laces up Steve Shi with rope as they demonstrate Shibari, an ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage.
Waldemar Howart laces up Steve Shi with rope as they demonstrate Shibari, an ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage. (Sarah Craig/KQED)

Bob Brown identifies as a leatherman and has been coming to the South of Market neighborhood since the 1980s, when there used to be 47 gay and leather bars, according to the San Francisco Leather Alliance. Today, the group says there are only seven.

Brown has had two partners, and he met both of them in the neighborhood. He met his first husband at the famous gay bar, The Stud, and he met his current husband at a leather boots business called Stompers. And he proposed to him in the very same spot.

"So I have a lot of history in this area," he said.

Mark Benjamin (left) and Mike Pierce wave flags at the Sunday Streets SOMA event. Benjamin and Pierce are members of Flagging in the Park and came to show their support for the newly created Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District.
Mark Benjamin (left) and Mike Pierce wave flags at the Sunday Streets SOMA event. Benjamin and Pierce are members of Flagging in the Park and came to show their support for the newly created Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District. (Sarah Craig/KQED)

Brown says he sees the newly formed cultural district as a way to maintain and create more affordable spaces for residents and businesses who are part of the LGBTQ and leather community.

Sponsored

“I hate to see it go away or disappear as it seems to be doing, but I think this is a good effort to help people understand why preserving things in this area [is] important,” he said.

While the cultural district can’t protect housing or save businesses from closing, it does encourage developers to work with the community.

It's a community that Ryan Taylor considers family. He’s a member of San Francisco K9 Unit and was participating in a puppy mosh booth where people act like puppies and play together.

Members of the San Francisco K9 Unit, a social organization for people who enjoy puppy play, participated in a puppy mosh at the Sunday Streets SOMA event. "It’s so much fun not having to hide who I am," says Josh Auld, who recently moved to San Francisco from Houston.
Members of the San Francisco K9 Unit, a social organization for people who enjoy puppy play, participated in a puppy mosh at the Sunday Streets SOMA event. "It’s so much fun not having to hide who I am," says Josh Auld, who recently moved to San Francisco from Houston. (Sarah Craig/KQED)
Ryan Taylor shows off his name tag at a celebration of the new Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District at Sunday Streets SOMA in San Francisco. Taylor is a member of the San Francisco K9 Unit, a social organization for people who enjoy puppy play. "No matter what walk of life you are, whether the whipping category or pups or any of the other ones here, you are still welcomed and treated like family," he says.
Ryan Taylor shows off his name tag at a celebration of the new Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District at Sunday Streets SOMA in San Francisco. "No matter what walk of life you are, whether the whipping category or pups or any of the other ones here, you are still welcomed and treated like family," he says. (Sarah Craig/KQED)

"Everyone here, no matter what walk of life you are, whether the whipping category or pups or any of the other ones here, you are still welcomed and treated like family," Taylor said.

Volume
KQED Live
Live Stream
Log In ToPledge-Free Stream
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
Live Stream information currently unavailable.
Share
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
KQED Live

Live Stream

Live Stream information currently unavailable.