I interviewed Jake Arthur, one of the founders of the group La Fraternitie du Loup-Garou. This is a back patch club for leather masculine gender outlaws. Their website describes their mission as “For the purpose of this club, ‘masculine gender outlaw’ shall be defined as any person born female or intersexed and raised female, who currently has a trans/male or masculine gender presentation.”
What is the mission of La Garou? (La Garou is the nick name)
“It’s a bridge group to connect the trans masculine community to BDSM and Leather. This is to provide education for transmasculine people about BDSM and Leather, and to provide education to BDSM and Leather communities about transmasculine identified people.”
What is CampOUT?
“CampOUT is somewhere between a conference and a run. It’s geared for masculine gender outlaws and their supporters. It’s more or less a big camping run.”
When was the first CampOUT?
“We hosted our first CampOUT in 2005, along with the creation of our bylaws and our back patch.”
When was the last CampOUT event?
“Was last year, it was our revival. It was in 2014. It was small, back to original attendance level. At the height of attendance we get about 100 people or so.”
What is TansCampOUT?
“We were having internal problems in the club, mostly about CampOUT. I made a proposal at our meeting, I’m like hey, why don’t we have CampOUT be a separate event from Loup-Garou? The break off of the original CampOUT is TransCampOUT. TransCampOUT has changed so much from the original mission of CampOUT, that we decided to go back to the roots of CampOUT and move it back to the original dates and go from there.”
What are your goals for the CampOUT in 2015?
“Well… goals. I don’t know if I have any goals other than to make it happen.”
Is anything else you want people to know about Loup-Garou or CampOUT?
“Well, we’ve had issues in the past that people assumed the event was only open to trans men. We want people to know the CampOUT is open to anyone. We want everyone to get together and have a good time.”
When and where is CampOUT in 2015?
“It is Wednesday July 22 to Sunday July 26. It’s at Our Haven Nature Sanctuary at French Lick Indiana.”
Where can people go to sign up for CampOUT?
“Campout.lagarou.org. We’re on Fetlife and facebook also.”
What else exciting is happening?
“We’re hosting the first trans friendly event at CLAW this year. We’re having a Cigar, Boots and Trans men party. It’s during CLAW weekend on Friday April 24 from 3-5 at the cigar tent.”
What would you say to trans men who don’t identify as trans?
“To each their own. I don’t want to force anyone to identity as trans. I’m just an average joe too. I like feeling like there’s nothing that anyone can hold over me. I’m ok with everyone knowing I was born female, personally. My big thing about why I’m not afraid to say I’m trans or for people to know I’m trans, yeah, it’s nice to be seen as Joe Average or one of the guys but I’m not completely. I have a different back ground. Why I’m out is because while people think of someone as” other” when they don’t know the “other” it’s dangerous because it’s easier to demonize someone you’ve never met. I’m willing to be out as trans because I have the ability in my life to be out.”
Boy River was SouthEast LeatherFest boy 2013. He has been nominated for Pantheon of Leather South East Regional Award. He has taught over 20 classes related to BDSM, mental health, fitness, boot blacking, sexuality and gender. His home dungeon is the Mark by CPI in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an associate member of the Panther Leather/Levi club and the Conductors Leather/Levi club. He is a member of the Boot Black Brigade. He is a sadomasochist, bootblack, gay man and graduate student, and a HUGE My Little Pony fan.