The Folsom Street fair rules. I have attended annually since 1997. This year, I stopped at the midpoint of the fair by a large gray cube constructed of draped fabric. I was bemused by the fact it was covered with poster-sized portraits of people in Fetish garb and assorted drag. I was gestured over by a dude who asked if I was interested in being photographed for a potential photo project. I thought, sure, yeah :-) I stepped into the line, filled out a release, and waited to face the artist.
As it turned out, the man behind the curtain was Howard Schatz. He is kind of a big deal photographic artist. He has amazing books in print. He’s got a bunch of photos from Folsom Fairs past and is in the midst of an ongoing project that may well include me!!
Last week, I received an e-mail from one of his assistants with a proof from the shots he took of me in that portable booth, and they asked if I would answer a few questions. Yes, of course. I am hardly one to demur if an artist wants to know about me.
Well fucking color me flabber-fucking-gasted when, after replying to the questions off of the top of my head, I get a message back that Mr. Schatz was “very intrigued” by my responses and might want to chat briefly with me.
Holy shi — (Yeah, that is me with nothing to say, totally blown away.)
— I mean, this guy’s met and worked with real life ….you know..famous people!!!
Anyway, here is one of the pictures he sent to me.
(C)2008, Howard Schatz
And here is what I said in response to his questions… hope I do wind up chatting with him! If not, wow, an honor to be a part of his oeuvre.
Thank-you for coming to our outdoor studio at The Folsom Street Fair and for allowing us to make this image. We are preparing a book on The Fair. We need text, context, content, to make the book rich, interesting, worth reading, (over and above the photos). Would you please help us by sending us your responses to these questions? WHEN WE RECEIVE YOUR RESPONSES WE WILL SEND YOU A SECOND IMAGE. If you don’t want your name identified in the book, just let us know that.
1. Why do go to The Folsom Street Fair?
I’m a long-standing member of the BDSM and Leather Community. The Folsom Street Fair is a Family Reunion, a Carnival, A Freakshow, and Old Home Week, a dance, a celebration of our selves in all of our most real and most outlandish and most touching bared souls. I go because I can’t bear the thought of not going. I go because I can be “really real” me or “make believe pretend me”. I am always amused and aghast at how much closer those parts of me are than I think they are, and I carry that magic epiphany with me for the rest of the year.
2. What does your Folsom Street Fair persona say about you?
It says “Yes.” It says “Ask me!” It says “Look closer”
3. Does your FSF persona reflect the “real” you?
Absolutely. I am what I decide to be the moment I gather consciousness in the morning. Whether or not I choose to be in full getup, whether or not I decide to sport leather, I am, in my heart, a deeply wild energy gathered into human form. Whomever I am at Folsom reflects that.
4. What do you do for a living? How old are you?
Right now, I work for several adult-themed websites. My skill and ability as a writer, coupled with my knowledge of kink and of Leather community and BDSM issues landed me in a place where I can have all of those skills and make my “day job” closer to my avocation than merely an “occupation.”
I was born in 1969, on June 20th, in NY Hospital, NYC, NY.
5. How does the FSF role-playing fit into the rest of your life?
The FSF is less of a place to put on a role than it is a place to peel off the niceties of everyday life. I have more opportunities than many people when it comes to “Flying my Freak Flag,” but it is rare to have the freedom to do so in the street, in the sun, in the air, and without shame. My life is very much about finding my way and making it beautiful. Revealing my inside through the sacred and ancient act of donning ceremonial, special garb connects me to an older truth. And the truth is that we are both what we reveal and what we conceal.
6. Who are you, really?
I’m a curvy Perverted Negress, a writer, a showoff, unbelievably shy and very adept at hiding that from all but the most astute eyes. I am an actress, performer, BDSM and Leather Community educator, emotional flashpoint and violently passionate about that which moves me. I love cartoons and dumb jokes and Fellini movies and Star Wars and Star Trek. I also love floggings and submission and service and sweet potato pies. Mine are the best ever. I am a blogger (http://mollena.com) and I live life as it is handed to me with no adjustments, no chaser, and no limits to experience. And I am a nerd.
7. Anything else pertinent that you think those who will read the book will find interesting? Surprising, remarkable, really revealing and private secrets will make reading and seeing the book quite fantastic—-so please do help us let the world know the richness of human diversity.
My secret fantasies revolve around the loss of power, the ravishment of the body and the bending of the will. The idea of the politically-incorrect brutish man savagely taking what he wants from a resistant victim whose own will is subsumed by his lust and wickedly unfettered slavering needs is hot as hell to me. Nothing is more incandescent that purely lust-based transgression. As for me, give me a double helping. Being fully who you are seldom is pretty, tidy, neat and polite. Give me sloppy dirty feral gorgeousness any day. Give me joy that makes me laugh too loudly in restaurants and give me heartbreak that shatters my ego into quicksilver balls of mercurial pain across the floor. All of these things let me know I am loving, and living, true to who I am.
Anything else…? ;-) Peace