Warning: may contain nudity and mature themes
October 24th we went to a party we had been expecting for quite a while: "TRIBE", one of North America's largest fetish parties, organised by Northbound Leather.
What was required to be able to attend? A payment of 40 dollars. Fetish attire (which, in essence, can be almost anything, as long as it's extreme or provocative). And a disposition to have fun and party (otherwise, what would be the point of attending, right?). And that would be all. And that was the magic of it: just about anyone with a reasonably open mind could go and have a good time. You didn't have to belong to the leather community. Nor to the BDSM one. Nor to any in particular (though, of course, it didn't hurt if you did, of course). That is, you could be just your average person with a taste for a bit of quirky fun. What at some point could have been the (underground) domain of a (maybe hard to find) group of initiated was there, open to anyone who was willing, and openly advertised through posters on numerous corners of Toronto: subversiveness gone commercial, some might complain, but I'd just say subversiveness at the reach of everyone (which is, in many ways, even more subversive).
4000 people partied in leather, latex, kilts, masks, corsets, piercings and partial nudity, enjoying a few hours of being extravagant, and witnessed a performance that portrayed some sort of ritual initiation where a fully naked individual was progressively bedecked with different fetish paraphernalia and subjected by a host of diverse and wild characters, belonging to different "fetish tribes". Truely something you don't watch everyday.
This is one very open city. Will be looking forward to next year's party!