Here in Melbourne, we are trying to pull together a cohesive Leather community. Something that has come up and we are presently discussing is protocols - should we have community wide protocols and if so, what should they be. (Because honestly the Old Guard sort of things don't suit any of us around here.)
Opinions are flying all over the place and I find myself wondering: is the time of community-wide protocols a thing of the past?
We are trying to build a system, and that's a hard thing to do. It's even harder when you're trying to build a system that may override other people's systems that they currently have in place and do not want to part with. We are all coming to the table with our own protocols, our own ways of doing things. ANY system that we install in regards to protocol is going to step on someone's personal protocols. ANY system.
In other countries where the current system has grown out of the old system, it's a little easier. It's already there, just adjusting every so often. But there has been a hole in Melbourne in regards to Leather for some years, so any old system that existed here has fallen through the cracks, and we are left to start again.
Starting again can be a good thing. But... again, I find myself back to this question: has the moment passed? Because we have no foundation to build on, will we ever find ourselves in a position where we can build a system without ruining the personal systems of others?
As our society becomes more and more individualistic, and Leather does as well, is there even a place for community-wide protocols in our world now?
This is a vibrant and tumultuous time for the Melbourne Leather community. It will be interesting not only to watch events unfold, but to be a part of them.