A welcome letter from the Organization:
- Greetings all,
- Welcome to the Fetish Fair Fleamarket® #32. We are happy to be again in the wonderful city of Providence in the great state of Rhode Island. Over the past several months I have been going to monthly meetings at an HIV testing facility in Boston’s South End. The point of the meetings is to come up with a community based action plan for combating new infections.
- Recently, we have seen a dramatic increase in new HIV cases. There were an estimated 56,300 new HIV infections in the United States in 2006- a 40% increase from previous estimates. Male-to-male sex and injection drug use continue to represent the leading reported exposure risks for HIV infection in Massachusetts, accounting for 34% and 25% of all exposures, respectively. According to the 2000 U.S. census, Blacks make up approximately 13% of the total population. In 2005, blacks accounted for 49% of new HIV diagnoses in this country. While only 6% of the population of Massachusetts is black, over 28% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state are black. Women now account for more than 25% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. 83% of women recently diagnosed with HIV in Massachusetts are women of color. Though Hispanic people make up only 6% of Massachusetts’ total population, they represent 25% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state. In 2006, rates of infection among Latino women and men were three times of that found among whites. In 2004, youth ages 13-24 represented 13% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States. It’s amazing after almost 30 years since AIDS/HIV have been discovered that we would have this many new cases of infection.
- Very often when we think of the terms we use in the BDSM/Leather community of Safe, Sane, and Consensual, we look at it from a stand point of preventing abuse. We must also keep in mind how that also applies to HIV/STD infections. This disease knows no boundary of age, race, sexual orientation, or gender. If you are a sexually active person, please get tested on a regular basis.
- My friend John Pendal signs off all his writings: Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with. His statement rings even truer in light of the recent serge of new infections. The heath of our community depends on it.
- Enjoy the Flea,
Incoming Director of Community Relations
- Data courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control (CDC), and compiled by James Murphy of Cambridge Cares About AIDS.
- It is a great pleasure to greet and welcome you to the 32 nd Fetish Fair FleamarketTM and to Providence, RI. I feel like we are at the beginning of a brave new world, swept clean by our new President. I think we are all feeling the pinch of an economy that continues to unravel, yet we are hopeful that in the months and years ahead we will see significant and positive changes. One way forward will surely be through volunteerism and a simple notion of togetherness and shared responsibility as put forward by our new Administration.
- Volunteer involvement can take many forms. The cost is time, but the rewards can extend far beyond your own personal benefit. Without a doubt participating in events like the FFFTM and Pride are important activities, yet, active involvement in the running of an organization is also key. NELA certainly could not continue with the FFFTM and all that we do without a dedicated and hard working board and the amazing volunteers that put in hundreds of hours of service each year. Please consider joining us.
- NELA continues to be a benefit to our community as it grows stronger, and we are ever serious about our shared responsibility and individual efforts towards education, advocacy and charitable giving. This past year, we managed to offer an education program through creative negotiations and solutions. We managed to be out and about for several Pride parades and festivals throughout New England, as well as taking part in a few national events. Though less well-funded than in years past, we also managed to make charitable donations to several worthy causes and partnerships.
- As we move forward, I am hopeful that as our community grows more diverse and more mainstream, we become more accepting of the differences that make us unique, as unique as the front cover of this publication. To quote NH Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, an outspoken, international gay rights leader, “It’s important for any minority to see themselves represented in some way, whether it be a racial minority, an ethnic minority or, in our case, a sexual minority. Just seeing someone like you up front matters.” As we go through this weekend, we should pay attention to the people around us. We are of every color, shape, creed, size, gender, and sexual orientation as well as kinky and non-kinky; we need to remember to respect people’s privacy and boundaries and to appreciate and celebrate our differences.
- So, come join us in having a great time at the largest fetish event in New England. Check out the vendors and shop, attend a class and learn a new skill, renew old friendships and form new ones.
- Have a most excellent weekend, and remember to thank each and every volunteer you meet. We could not do this without them.
The New England Leather Alliance would like you to be aware of the following Rules of Conduct for the FFF:
- The Fetish Fair Fleamarket has never allowed nudity. We have also always stressed courtesy and appropriate dress in public areas. "Hotel friendly" attire is required, which is not the same as "street legal." "Legal" means a thong and pasties--we have always required a bit more, to insure the comfort of all attendees. In the lobbies, hallways, and elevators of the hotel, no bare butt cheeks even with a thong, and no bare breasts or breasts covered only in Liquid Latex. This includes having your breast/butt covered by something sheer or see-through and nothing else under it.
- No photographic or recording devices of any kind. Film and/or devices will be confiscated and you will be asked to leave. Authorized photographers will be displaying badges. Please see the “About Photography” note below.
- You may briefly try out paddles and floggers on yourself if you have permission from the vendor. There will be no engaging in public scenes or any sexual activity in public. Restrooms are considered public areas.
- No smoking inside. When smoking outside, please be courteous to others.
- No food or drinks in vending areas.
- Admission price is good for entry to all vending areas and classes on Saturday and Sunday.
- You must keep your wristband on at all times. Broken wristbands are void and cannot be used for entry.
- Classes are first-come, first-serve to the limit of the room.
- No one under 18 admitted, including infants.
- No live animals or non-human pets, with the exception of service animals.
- Please respect the privacy of others. What you see here, stays here.
- Violation of any of these rules may be reason for ejection from event areas without refund.
About photography at the Flea...
Please note that there will be authorized photographers present at this event. You should be aware of them if you do not want to appear in any picture. All authorized photographers will have a badge that they will display at all times. Please notify Flea personnel if you see any unauthorized people taking photographs. Camera phones and video phones are prohibited. Unauthorized people with photographic or record- ing devices of any kind will be asked to leave, and the devices will be confiscated. If an authorized photographer asks you to pose for a photo and you agree, be sure to sign a photo release form. NELA will try to prevent all unauthorized photography and recordings, but remember that you are at a public event and you are your own best protection. NELA will not be liable in the event that your picture is taken.