Rant Number 1 - "It's never been done, so it must suck!!!"
This weekend, a very unique event will be taking place in NYC called KinkForAll. It's an ambitious project, and somewhat of an experiment, founded by two members of Conversio Virium. The concept is to provide a free space for people to share knowledge about alternative sexuality. Anyone can show up, but they have to get involved - either by teaching, volunteering, providing items that will be used by the attendees, etc. They have a central Wiki organizing all of the information, and anyone can get access to it and add their names to the list and what they are contributing.
What I find fascinating about this event is that the structure has been built entirely to prevent any power plays. There is so real centrally governing power involved, no true event staff. Anyone can contribute, and the presentations that will occur will be selected by those in attendance. It is such a unique structure that I am halfway attending just to see how it plays out.
Frankly, I'm not sure if I like the concept. I have a way of approaching events that I have found works, and my comfort zone is there. I am man enough to admit that. On the other hand, I love that someone is doing something new and unique in NYC, because I have to say, most of the stuff we've been doing isn't working.
Last night I was at a meeting that had members of several NYC organizations in attendance. At some point, the discussion turned to the KinkForAll event. The reps from all these other groups were actually making fun of it. Making fun of their lack of organization, making fun of its free-wheeling purpose, of the website, of that fact that there were no one they recognized involved in the formation of this event.
Frankly, they had quite the set of balls to do this. One of the most major organizations in NYC, one that has a history that could fill an entire wing of the Leather Archives and Museum, has been dying a slow death for the past 5 years. There is honest doubt on how long more it will last. Another group has seen it's meeting attendance and member's willingness to get involved shrink. The mood at the meetings and parties is subdued, much more so than in previous years. It's grown stale... and yet, the group marches on as if it is the holiest of holies in NYC.
Step outside NYC, and you'll hear one thing at every event. "The NYC scene is dead."
But it's really not. You want to know where the action is in NYC? Not in the old, but in the new.
NY boys of Leather.
New people. Doing new things. Trying new ways. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. But they try.
The old die. Those who evolve live. And the groups that made fun of this new kid on the block? They're the old.
To be continued.