MY 2020 MANTRA & MISSION
“Be the same person privately, publicly, and personally.”
- Judah Smith
The Fetish Closet: Backstory
There will never be another ‘Stonewall’ in my lifetime. In the majority of developed nations, the legal framework for equality is in place to protect Queer people. Things are far from perfect, but ‘gay-bashing’ in its historically most horrific form is over. The hard graft was put in by the generation before mine who lived (and died) through the AIDS crisis and beyond. It’s because of them that I can do all this weird stuff and not be chemically castrated for it.
I, along with every Queer person living in gay equality, owes a huge debt of gratitude to the preceding generations. It is unfortunately a debt that many young Queer people do not even realise that they owe.
This website is my thank you note.
At the end of 2019 it occurred to me that my social media platforms all portrayed a different side of me that the other audiences never saw. My Facebook was family-friendly. My Instagram was a lot of work, some exercise, with a little bit of thirst when I felt brave enough. My Twitter, by contrast, was utter filth and had all the weird fetish-y stuff that I liked.
But why were they separated like that? Why had I compartmentalised my life in this way? All three of those platforms were ‘me’ in one way or another. And then it occurred to me that it was because I was embarrassed by what I thought one audience might think of the content. It was the legacy of gay shame which gay people all carry with us that was making me edit myself like that. But at the same time thought that I shouldn’t have to hide important aspects of who I am for the sake of the sensibilities of others. If they don’t like my harnesses or my thongs then the un-follow button is right there.
As a result, my 2020 mission became to blur the lines between those platforms, to stop editing myself, and to be the real, authentic me on all of them, irrespective of who was watching.
The Fetish Closet is my way of trying to give something back to the LGBTQ+ community and undo what remains of our gay shame burden. If I can make at least one other Queer person’s life a little better - by giving some good advice, by being a bit weird, wearing something a bit odd, or just encouraging someone to be a little kinder to someone else - the whole endeavour will have been worth it.
Along with the Fetish Closet, the great COVID lockdown of 2020 also led to this little family of ideas taking shape: