How did you end up joining the fetish community?
When I came out I made the decision to attend Folsom San Francisco on my own. That was a big moment for me considering I had just come out earlier that year. I thought to myself, “I need to dive right in”. The fetish community welcomed me with open arms. It was one of the most memorable moments in my life. I met many people from all walks of life. All with different kinks/fetishes but what we had in common was love and acceptance. Since then I have always made it a point to attend as many fetish parties as possible.
What’s one thing you'd change in the fetish community to help BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) feel more welcome?
I would say it’s up to each individual to strive and push past the norm. The only roadblocks are the ones within yourself. If you are seeing a lack of representation then make the difference and be the change. This is not just for people of color. Our fellow leatherman and fetish community must also push past the norm to bring about an equal opportunity, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere.
What’s your favorite memory from you’re fetish experiences?
At the risk of giving too much information. Let me just say, it was after a fetish party; a lot of firsts happened that night.
Do you feel represented in the fetish community? If not explain why.
The leather and fetish community has come a long way. The demographic has changed and evolved over time. Even just watching back old IML competitions you see the demographic change through the years to be more and more inclusive.
There’s a lot going on in the world and a movement for POC. Though the representation of the Asian community in the leather world has surpassed a certain amount of exposure it is still lacking. Continued acceptance, inclusivity, and exposure will improve this in time. As POC we need to be more active and give back to a community that has welcomed us as family.
What is your advice for someone joining the fetish community?
When I started my leather journey, I was overwhelmed with the number of items I wanted to purchase. It seemed every time I was able to knock something off the list, several more were added. There were moments I even became a little stressed.
After some time, I was able to understand this was part of the journey. Experience develops the outcome. It is always evolving. The discovery and joy of finding products and items that speak to your style and how you want to present yourself is not something that should be rushed.
Take your time, day by day, and one item at a time. Appreciate the journey.
You can find Ant on Instagram as @___antsy.