Submitted by Nigel Whitfield, Director, 17 November 2022
We noted with concern the events that happened at Touché's recent anniversary earlier this month, and the initial response of the bar management.
We had initially intended to make a statement after the proposed community meeting, but since that has yet to take place, and in view of a previously scheduled BLUF night on 19th November at Touché, we feel it necessary to make our position clear.
Touché has been home to our events for many years; it has been an important place for many leather and fetish people over the years. However, that does not grant anyone a free pass.
We don't believe that performances like that at Touché help to create a welcoming environment for the whole community. People are entitled not just to be safe, but to have legitimate concerns taken seriously, rather than being dismissed.
To hold BLUF events in a space that some of our members feel is unwelcoming for them is not acceptable.
The leather and fetish communities have changed tremendously over the 25 years since BLUF was founded. Sometimes that change has been uncomfortable; often it has been resisted. But more often, it has been necessary, and overdue.
We sincerely hope that Touché can find a way to change; too many of our venues have been lost over the years. However, until it does so, BLUF Chicago has decided to cancel this month's social event at Touché and will no longer co-host future gear nights there. New BLUF Chicago social dates and venue will be announced.
BLUF Ltd & BLUF Chicago