The Leather Pride Flag wasn’t designed with any specific symbolism

By : Staff Report
Comments: 0

For 35 years, the highly recognizable blue, black and white-striped flag with the red heart in the upper left hand corner has become a staple at LGBT Pride events. It easily distinguishes the leather crowd from the masses of LGBTs at any gathering and also marks the entry way to leather bars around the world. Today it even appears on bumper stickers and license plates.

Unlike the familiar rainbow flag that is most often associated with the gay rights movement, the colors of the Leather Pride flag weren’t designed with any specific symbolism. When it was first presented at the 1989 Mr. International Leather (IML) Contest in Chicago, no one had seen a widely accepted symbol of the leather community.

Continue Reading >>

Sundance movie review: Interior. Leather Bar.

By : Mark Cady
Comments: 0

Share this story:

1 out of 4 stars

If you are familiar with the 1980’s film Cruising starring Al Pacino, you no doubt have heard that the film almost didn’t make it to the big screen because the Motion Picture Association felt it had scenes that were too pornographic for theaters.  So, approximately 40 minutes of footage was cut in order to get the R rating and in front of audiences.

Interior. Leather Bar. was an attempt to imagine what those scenes must have been like and to put them in front of an audience.  Since the film has not yet been rated, IDs were checked by Sundance Volunteers to ensure that no one under the age of 18 was admitted.

The cameras roll as Producer and Director James Franco assembles a mix of gay and straight men, including the likable Val Lauren in the lead role.  What emerges is a portrait of the fascinating dynamics that drive the filmmakers’ need to challenge normalcy, the interplay of celebrity and experimentation, and the dilemma faced by actors struggling to reconcile who they are with the idea of performing in a sexually explicit, gay, S&M film.

The result was a let down and amounted to nothing more than a couple of guys giving blowjobs and stroking each other’s cocks.  It seemed like the audience expected something different, something more intense and raw.

Oddly, half way through making the film Franco disappears, leaving his friend Lauren wondering where he’s gone.  His attempts to contact him go ignored.

After discussing the film with several who were at the screening, they all came away with the feeling that the film could have achieved its intention of showing the struggle that straight men went through to portray gay men in sex club without the “rated x” pornographic content.  This wasn’t an attempt to reenact the deleted scenes, it’s simply Franco’s personal agenda of creating controversy and his attempt to normalize gay sex since the normalization of gay marriage seems so close.

In a couple of instances the film gets close to achieving its purpose, but these attempts quickly vanish.

It’s doubtful that this film would have made it to Sundance without the names of James Franco and Travis Mathews behind it.