The Up Your Alley Fair, most commonly referred to by locals as Dore Alley Fair or simply Dore Alley // is a leather and fetish event held in San Francisco, California on the last Sunday of July on Folsom Street between 9th and 10th Streets and on Dore Street from Howard Street to half a block southeast of Folsom Street. The streets are lined with vendors' booths, and a sound stage (for dancing) is located at the 10th Street end of the fair area.
The first Up Your Alley Street Fair was held in 1985 on Ringold Street between 8th and 9th Streets. The event was moved to its current location on Folsom Street at Dore Street in 1987. Among the original rationales for this fair was to illustrate, in the face of redevelopment pressures, that the South of Market neighborhood was already home to a leather subculture and that this community was still active and organized in spite of the AIDS pandemic.
Now run by the same non-profit organization that produces the much larger Folsom Street Fair, the world's largest BDSM fetish and leather event, Up Your Alley Fair draws ten thousand fetish enthusiasts and onlookers and serves as a "warm-up" event for the organizers but also as a less tourist-focused event for locals. Steamworks Baths hosts a Twister stage, and there is dancing, DJs, STD testing, and fetish wear sales. This fair is more gay-male focused than the Folsom Street Fair, but welcoming to all genders & orientations.
In 2020, both the Up Your Alley Fair and Folsom were cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The handkerchief code is a system of color-coded cloth handkerchief or bandanas for non-verbally communicating one's interests in sexual activities and fetishes. The color of the handkerchief identifies a particular activity, and the pocket it is worn in identifies the wearer's preferred role in that activity. Wearing a handkerchief on the left side of the body typically indicates one is a "top", while wearing it on the right side of the body would indicate one is a "bottom". For example, a dark blue handkerchief indicates an interest in anal sex, and wearing it in the left pocket indicates a preference for being the insertive partner. The code was most widely used in the 1970s in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, by gay and bisexual men seeking casual sex, or BDSM practitioners.
The leather subculture denotes practices and styles of dress organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments, such as leather jackets, vests, boots, chaps, harnesses, or other items. Wearing leather garments is one way that participants in this culture self-consciously distinguish themselves from mainstream sexual cultures. Many participants associate leather culture with BDSM practices and its many subcultures. For some, black leather clothing is an erotic fashion that expresses heightened masculinity or the appropriation of sexual power; love of motorcycles, motorcycle clubs and independence; and/or engagement in sexual kink or leather fetishism.
South of Market (SoMa) is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California, situated just south of Market Street. It contains several sub-neighborhoods including South Beach, Yerba Buena, and Rincon Hill.
The leather pride flag is a symbol used by the leather subculture since the 1990s. It was designed by Tony DeBlase, and was quickly embraced by the gay leather community. It has since become associated with leather in general and also with related groups such as the BDSM community.
Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair, held in September, that caps San Francisco's "Leather Pride Week". The Folsom Street Fair, sometimes simply referred to as "Folsom", takes place on Folsom Street between 8th and 13th Streets, in San Francisco's South of Market district.
Treasure Island Media is a U.S. gay pornographic studio founded in 1998 by Paul Morris that primarily produces bareback films. It was the first commercial producer to specialize in bareback films as part of the emerging 1990s underground interest in the pre-condom era of gay porn that was concerned with the freedom of the sexual experience. The studio is named after Morris's favorite childhood book, Treasure Island. In addition to the original San Francisco office, TIM has production offices in New York, London and Mexico City.
The Castro Street Fair is a San Francisco LGBT street festival and fair usually held on the first Sunday in October in the Castro neighborhood, the main gay neighborhood and social center in the city. The fair features multiples stages with live entertainment, DJs, food vendors, community-group stalls as well as a curated artisan alley with dozens of Northern California artists. Due to community pressure the fair restructured the organization and partnered with local charities to collect gate donations and partner with groups at the beverage and beer booths to raise money for those charities.
The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration, usually known as San Francisco Pride, is a parade and festival held at the end of June each year in San Francisco, California, to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their allies. The 49th annual parade in 2019 included 289 parade contingents, and is described on the official website as "the largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation".
The Bay Area Reporter is a free weekly newspaper serving the LGBT communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is one of the largest-circulation LGBT newspapers in the United States, and the country's oldest continuously published newspaper of its kind.
Sister Roma is a 34 year member of San Francisco's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
Audrey Joseph is a San Francisco-based record executive, club manager, LGBT rights activist, former President and current member of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission.
Real Bad is the name of a fundraising party held annually in San Francisco, California immediately following the Folsom Street Fair. The party, which occurs on the last Sunday in September, has been in existence since 1989. It is thrown by a non-profit organization called Grass Roots Gay Rights West (GRGR/West). Most of the money raised by the event comes from ticket sales, which are generated by a network of party hosts who sell tickets to friends. Proceeds from the party go to HIV/AIDS charities and LGBT health and community service organizations. In 2007, the party raised $150,000 for San Francisco Bay Area charities.
The Halloween celebration held in The Castro district of San Francisco began in the 1940s as a neighborhood costume contest. By the late 1970s, it had shifted from a children's event to a gay celebration that continued to grow into a massive annual street party until 2006 when a shooting wounded nine people and prompted the city to call off the event.
Charles "Chuck" Arnett was an American artist and dancer. His best known work is the Tool Box mural (1962).
Folsom Europe is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair held in September in Berlin, Germany. Folsom Europe was established in 2003 in order to bring the non-profit leather festival concept pioneered by the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco to Europe. Today this is the biggest gay fetish event in Europe together with BLF's "Easter in Berlin" which is held every Easter in Berlin. BLF is the gay leather organisation in Berlin. BLF stands for Berlin Leder und Fetisch e.V. The main area for the two fetish festivals is in Schöneberg. The Folsom Europe street festival is at Fuggerstrasse and Welserstrasse, close to Wittenbergplatz.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in San Francisco is one of the largest and most prominent LGBT communities in the United States, and is one of the most important in the history of American LGBT rights and activism alongside New York City. The city itself has, among its many nicknames, the nicknames "gay capital of the world" and "the gay Mecca", and has been described as "the original 'gay-friendly city'". LGBT culture is also active within companies that are based in Silicon Valley, which is located within the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Folsom Street is a street in San Francisco which begins perpendicular to Alemany Boulevard in San Francisco's Bernal Heights district and ends perpendicular to the Embarcadero on the San Francisco Bay. For its southern half, Folsom Street runs north-south, but it turns northeasterly at 13th street. It runs through San Francisco's Bernal Heights district, Mission District, SoMa District, Yerba Buena District, and South Beach district.
The Stud is a queer bar located in South of Market, San Francisco. It was started by associates George Matson and Alexis Muir on May 27, 1966. According to George Matson it was a "bar for people, not just pretty bodies". Originally the Stud was located at 1535 Folsom Street; in 1987 it moved to its current location at Ninth and Harrison Streets. The Stud is known for its themed parties, drag and burlesque shows, and community events. It was also home of the famous Trannyshack, a weekly drag show that featured all different types of drag and drag stars from 1996 until 2008.
The San Francisco South of Market Leather History Alley consists of four works of art along the Ringold Street alley in San Francisco's SOMA district honoring leather culture; it opened in 2017.
Alan Selby (1929–2004), born Alan Henry Sniders in England, was a gay businessman and leader in the San Francisco leather community. He was known by many as "the Mayor of Folsom Street".
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