If pride is to be about inclusivity and a celebration of Queer culture then we should remember that we must not only associate a persons kink with their sexual life. One of the key tenets of Pride is that we are more than just who we sleep with. Is it not possible to enjoy a fetish lifestyle that is not highly sexual? The same standard must apply to the Pups as is applied to the leather men, the bears, and other kink and fetish groups.
Pup play can be a soft entry for many young LGBTQ persons in to the kink community. Speaking from experience I found the Kink community extremely predatory and quite intimidating when I first started to explore. There are a lot things about the pup community that offer young LGBTQ persons a safe and supported environment in which they can play. The pack structure, the hierachry of Alphas, beta’s and omegas all create a sense of belonging.
There are quite a few misconceptions about pup play that need to be cleared up.
Pup play is not always sexual. I have met and played at moshes with many Pups of all genders and sexualities. For many it is away to find a closeness and a level of intimacy that is not possible to find elsewhere in the Kink community, there is wrestling, cuddling, ball games and the fun stuff. Munches were great social events where we all went out for dinner together. In a community crying out for intimacy the Pup community is safe place for many to find it.
The sense of community and the camaraderie that the pack offers to people coming out on to the scene or trying to meet new people is invaluable. It provides a network and support system that can be hard to find in the community particularly for young people.
Pride has always pushed the boundaries and fostered conversation about sexuality through theatre and public subversion. To tell one group that they cannot participate because you do not consent or do not agree with their lifestyle is the language of the oppressor.
Pride began as a protest, it means many things too many people. All movements and conversations evolve and new voices and new insights are added. If you would prefer to exclude somebody rather than have an open conversation with your child or yourself about diversity or sexuality then you are not really engaging with what pride is.
Public decency and public nudity laws already exist to protect the public good. These laws are applied equally to all participants in the parade and at the event. There is no reason why the Pups should be treated any differently.