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The O&P website and blog, forums, and wiki are where most of my new writing on M/s appears. The IE website will stay online indefinitely to host the IE Essays and lili's writings. lili and I pursued our M/s relationship from 2000 to 2008, and lili has kindly given her permission for these essays and posts to remain here, in the hope that submissives and slaves will continue to be helped and inspired by them.

Manchester Pride 2004

Posted by lili on Sun 29 Aug 04, 3:01 PM

Tanos and i were both in Manchester on Saturday to watch the pride march and i have to say "pride" is exactly the right way to describe it. It was both the sense of pride in the achievements of the Gay and Lesbian communities and the celebration of their spirit and diversity which had the crowd whistling and cheering as the floats passed by.

i do like the carnival atmosphere these kind of marches seem to create and despite the overcast sky the streets were crowded with people from all walks of life.

However, as i stood there waving my flag, smiling and cheering with the rest of the crowd i couldn't help wondering if there will ever come a time when BDSM will have the same support. When my lifestyle choices won't be something best kept secret.

"Things are changing for us too" i thought to myself - but are they really? Sure, fetish is in fashion and that has helped a great deal in breaking down the stigma and fears surrounding negative SM imagery (typical "gimp" style). But i can't help wondering how much this really does help us out? Fashions change and while we are riding high on being fashionable right now - what happens when it becomes less fashionable to be into SM - and the "in crowd" suddenly finds itself out on it's ass? The same laws exist that could be used to persecute us and nothing's really changed in that respect. It is still not wise to talk too openly about what it is we do - even less wise to keep evidence (no matter how much we would like to keep a pictorial record of how brave we were during this or that particular scene).

Call me a worrier - but i am concerned about a government pushing hard for us all to carry ID cards, i am concerned about the current trend of having to keep lists of legitimate names and addresses of BDSM club members in order to appease some or other legislation. i am concerned about how easy it is to fall into a false sense of security about such things - when in very real terms there exists no security in what we do.

Not to take anything away from Pride 2004 - they should all be proud - we should all be proud of them. Over the years some hard battles have been fought to win the right to be true to themselves and their fight is still not over. Ours, on the other hand, has barely just begun.

i hope i will live to see the day when the freedom to choose a life which includes BDSM does not have to be shrouded in secrecy, stigma or contempt from others. i hope one day we too can share in celebrating who and what we are.

Edited Sun 29 Aug 04, 6:23 PM by lili

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