For the past 24 years, this business has focused on freedom of expression, pleasure and health without delving to deeply into the world of so-called “politics” Although Fetishes Boutique from the onset was LGBT-owned and operated, that was not a large part of our marketing or promotional efforts nor were the activist causes that we have passively supported since that time.
Through projects like Diabolique Ball we causes that were close to our hearts without publicly taking a stand on many social or political issues. Projects like PASSIONAL Magazine that were city wide welcomed volunteer contributors of all types to write, model and create artistic content and we proudly distributed the magazines citywide and at select locations around the USA>
However now we are at a crossroads in history. Great strides have been made toward the acceptance of LGBT people but the progress on issues of race has surprisingly stalled to the point of danger for our colleagues and family many of whom are concerned for their safety while traveling, working and engaging in recreational activities.
As a business owned by a person of European descent, it is high time for this business to take an official stand against systems of injustice and oppression that punish “black” and brown people out of fear, ignorance and privilege, even though these punitive actions are often committed unintentionally.
It is time for all non-black people to take a much closer look at where and how our wealth, career advancements, advertising, business relationships and collaborations have come from, how they have happened and who has been excluded in our competitive quests for “success” in our modern world.
This is a difficult examination for many “white” people to conduct, especially if they have not closely lived with and around non-white people because they very often are “colorblind” to the actual lived experiences and repeat offenses committed against people of color, specifically people of African descent.
Just as only the perpetrators stop rape and sexual assaults from happening, it really falls on white people to consistently and tirelessly challenge the may vestiges of racial bias, Additionally, we need to provide safer spaces online and in our Philadelphia building for all people to access resources for self-expression, healing and pleasure.
Because the issues are complex and the remedies labor intensive, we have been taking the remaining days of COVID-19 precautions to both encourage physical safety from a novel virus and to to examine the ways we can support and foster social safety and psychological well being for those impacted by as well as those fighting against racism.
We are examining and reviewing every aspect of how our business operates to work and improve our commitment to inclusion, representation and quality. To this end we are looking to use our “shutdown” year to reinvent and and redefine our online and instore environment to celebrate the diversity of the human species and to uplift the bodies, minds and lives of black and brown people of all persuasions.
If you are a model, photographer, writer, educator who is aligned with these goals and would like to work with us, please contact us!