Choc Trei - 2018 - 2020 Ms. SouthEast LeatherFest
Choc Trei was recently appointed to the Board of Directors, for the National Council for Sexual Freedom (www.ncsfreedom.org). The company she founded, 1st CFI is the SE Lead Coalition Partner with a goal of a 2019 Consent Summit. Previous community service includes Executive Director and Vice President of ONYX Pearl South East (www.onyxpearlsoutheast.com) and Treasurer of Leather Leadership Conference. As a Hardcore Switch/Versatile, Choc founded SASS, an All-In Meet Up group with Atlanta & DC Chapters (www.bdsm-unleashed.com). A past teen-age runaway and high school drop-out, Choc mentors #TNG and at risk individuals. She has earned dual undergraduate degrees in Finance/Ops Mgmt, an MBA & sports a two decade career in Finance. Choc Trei’s joy is twin girls & being the Head of a five (5) person Leather House of Color (http://www.lhocc.org/founders/house-of-trei/).
Choc Trei stepped down as Ms. SouthEast LeatherFest 2019 on 12/31/2020.
Calendar of Events
30th: SASS @ The Mark
6th: Kinky Carnival - Onyx Men & Pearls Bar Night
7th-8th: Tarheel Leather Club Stars and Stripes
13th-15th: Poly Dallas Millenium LLC
28th: Whimper - Consent Discussion
3rd: OPSE Bar Night
31st: Master/slave Conference
1st-4th: Master/slave Conference
6th-8th: Sex Down South
TBD: Atlanta Eagle Demo - Dual Mummification
2nd-4th: Leather History Preservation Weekend
7th: OPSE Bar Night & Charity Award
9th-11th: South Plains Leatherfest
15th-17th: Leather Leadership Conference
11th-13th: International Ms. Leather Contest
3rd-5th: Trademark 33 Leather Run - North Carolina Leather Contest
13-17: SouthEast LeatherFest
June 2018 Column
Want a Nibble or Bite? Start with a LICK: Literacy in Consent & Kink
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks since I won the Ms. SELF 2018 Title. As I type that sentence, I get goosebumps. So many wonderful moments came unexpectedly during a fast-paced weekend. Leather boys whom I saw win their title in 2012, were in the green room giving me words of encouragement. Others, normally so tough and hard hitting, provided fatherly advice and even adjusted my gear. My femme primal growl pal not only met my entire House but gave me tips on improving my presentation. It was surreal.
I was surprised to overcome my deathly fear of sales. As I grabbed final raffle tickets from my favorite Tradesman, I realized I hadn’t let my Contestant family down after all. I managed drive by salutations from my future Sash Momma. She not only won the IMsL first edition print donated to my basket, but reminisced with me and my Sash Grandmother, about her 2014 fantasy. It was powerful. I thought I even peeped a Peep, and definitely grinned at a Feyrie! They gave me comfort despite being a deer in the headlights.
Against this backdrop, a plan formed. The goal? Producing the 1st Southeast Consent Summit. There would be four phases scheduled each quarter from 03Q18 to 01Q19. I’d already started seeking referrals to Decision Makers & Influencers in the Southeast Region. Traditional institutions would be Universities & Colleges with Greek &/or Athletic Associations &/or Human Behavior & Sexuality studies. After all, every year a new generation needed to learn the benefits of Consent, Negotiation and Safety in every arena. Next, the focus would be on Non-Profits. I wanted to recruit those working in Domestic Violence shelters and Offender Rehabilitation programs. The Summit would include everything from the tenants of giving and withdrawing Consent, to the difference between Consent Incidents and Consent Violations. Trainers could be trained to recognize the differences between consensual activity and abuse. Finally, I’d bring in Educators from our Non-Traditional Powerhouses: Leather Bars, Local Dungeons, Large & Small Club Owners, Group Organizers & new Participants. I was excited.
As the weekend ended, I had buyers remorse aka fear of failure. Would my aggressive goals become impossible objectives? Perhaps! However, I had faith. I was surrounded with a host of smart, seasoned, dedicated, loyal, fierce and fabulous group of Leather & Kinkster women, men, and gender fluid individuals. I knew their talents, resources, guidance & advice would help me achieve this dream. There were so many I already had to thank, including but not limited to: one very special Anonymous Donor, Bulldog Leather, Glenda Rider, House of Blue, Pack De La Rou, House of Nia, House of Ororo, Illuminati House of Ra, my Big Brother, Mr. Hideaway Leather 2014: J. Tebias Perry who was pivitol in the success of my fantasy by refusing to let me tango and sponsoring my photo shoot with Cecil Crump and Ricks Big Pics!! Other assistance came from Martha of Martha’s Corseting, Max Maximillian, Mr. SECC Bootblack 2018, my Big Sister - Max Rulz, The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Onyx Men SE – Boy David, Onyx Pearls Southeast and especially my Mentor: the Legendary Mistress Mir.
Being a Contestant and receiving the Sash has made an indelible effect in my life. I’m excited about the upcoming year as I represent for Ms. SELF 2018 supported by my singularly most precious possession: The House of Trei. Alpha Boy Kae Trei; LT Nikki Trei; Ceyda Kirin-Trei; Alpha girl Jessica Trei; and, our newest girl Beta – Brianna, I couldn’t have done this with you!
Thank you, SELF! I can never repay you for my Leather life. Therefore, I will pay it forward.
Oct 2018 Column
It has been said that having fun makes time fly by! As my Ms. SELF 2018 title has commenced, I would say that fact is indubitably true!! My first stop was supporting the Georgia Boys of Leather (GBOL) in July. They hosted a Roundtable as a part of SouthEast Black & Blue BDSM 101 series and the discussion was educational and enlightening.
Next up was a reach into my platform topic: CONSENT. I hosted a Consent Talk at WHIMPER. The West Hot-lanta Interactive Munch & Power Exchange Reflections participants shared their experience with consent incidents and consent violations. We discussed the differences in the two circumstances and how to mitigate the impacts of each.
After WHIMPER, I was happy to have a three-on-one experience in a rope class with the famous DC hosting Atlanta Hitching Bitches. I came out of my socks to make sure the three bottoms I had “captured” in a consensual struggle play scene were restrained. I almost lost a few battles, but based on some creative knot work, I won the tug-of-war!!
The following month, I had an opportunity to scene at the Atlanta Eagle for Leather Pride. I didn’t see everyone, but I’m always impressed to be in the company of members of the groups that are firm supporters of the Atlanta Eagle, including: Onyx Men SE, Onyx Pearls Southeast, League of Atlanta Pups, WILA, Southern Bears, Coastal Empire Sentinels, Hotlanta Rubber, Panther Leather / Levi.
September found me in Washington DC for the Master/slave Conference. It was a spectacular weekend. I connected with past and present Sash Family, I met the new Director of the Leather Archives and Museum, supported Onyx Mid-Atlantic’s bar night at the Green Lantern.
A highlight was being in attendance at the Leather House of Color Coalition (LHOCC) sponsorship table.
As the first person of color to hold the Ms. SouthEast Leatherfest title, it is an honor to hold the Vice President LHOCC position in a female lead Leather House.
The end of September was a wonderful throwback to my SELF fantasy. I was invited to feature an all female rendition and the Queer Women in Kink (QWIK) play party. With a few adjustments and a new song, I was grateful that organizers had this to say: “A special thank you to Ms.SELF...for a great opening scene to set the tone.” - QWIK-.
Amidst the visits, I have been diligently planning the next steps for the SouthEast Consent Summit! We have over twenty volunteers. Venue space has been donated. The tentative date is 01Q19, the month is still to be determined. The top class desired is Consenting Non-Consent with a three way tie for (Lifestyle: Swinging, Poly, BDSM, and Leather Consent Differences, Teaching Consent and Negotiation, and Defining Consent Incidences and Consent Violations ). I was surprised that the SouthEast wants a two day Summit.
I’m not sure if it’s possible based on resources, but….
I’m honored to be your Ms. SELF 2018!!
January 2019 Column
If a picture was worth a thousand words, then this column will speak volumes. It’ll tell the tale of lessons learned, mid-stride reverse moves and evolutionary changes in approaches; and the importance of being the type of Title Holder that inspires others.
And, we are only in January!!
Circa October 2018. You know, I was bitten by a spider. It wasn’t radio active but as the powerful rash of hives spread throughout my body, I was overwhelmed with six medications and an holistic remedy or two.
The spider? It got away scott free.
Me? If I couldn’t beat em’....I joined em. Never had creating a Spiders Kiss scene been so fun!
Later that month, I enjoyed my trip to Chicago for the first time to visit the Leather Archives & Museum. Chi-town had a bad rep in my opinion! The people, the pizza...the Archives: It was a tough decision not to run for the IMsL/BB 2019 Title, especially after seeing the display. But the Meet the Title-Holders call said one thing clearly: BRING YOUR BEST. Whelp! I knew then that I had to table the event. My best...is yet to come…errr I’m hoping <3
I attended an awesome fundraising event focusing on Consent & fundraising for the organization. I enjoyed time with Halley Riley, Young Leaders Co-Chair for Planned Parenthood and It was an honor to meet Ken Johnston, Mr. SouthEast Olympus Leather,
1996 - Georgia. #Consent #Fundraising— attendingKink Out with Planned Parenthoodat Argosy.
AND…..here is the Title Holder Inspiration Part:
HOLDING HANDS WITH GIRL ANG at The Atlanta Eagle. So, you know I’m in love with my home bar, but having our reigning IMsL 2018 there was colossal!!! There was so much love!!
“Good morning! I hope you & yours are well & happily traveling!! First, I’m checking in to see if you can use any assistance while you’re in the ATL. Second, here is the consent definition I am using: “Consent is an informed, voluntary agreement by two or more people to engage in a particular BDSM activity. An agreement to enter into a BDSM, D/s or M/s relationship may also constitute consent to specified BDSM activities unless that consent is withdrawn at the time of engaging in such activity.”. Finally, what I think would be a great approach to the interview would educate whomever viewing / reading it on the tenants of my consent project and capture your thoughts and global perspective. I’ll send it here separately shortly. Thank you for doing this!!tance while you’re in the ATL. Second, here is the consent definition I am using: “Consent is an informed, voluntary agreement by two or more people to engage in a particular BDSM activity. An agreement to enter into a BDSM, D/s or M/s relationship may also constitute consent to specified BDSM activities unless that consent is withdrawn at the time of engaging in such activity.”. Finally, what I think would be a great approach to the interview would educate whomever viewing / reading it on the tenants of my consent project and capture your thoughts and global perspective. I’ll send it here separately shortly. Thank you for doing this!!” -CHOC-
SHE SAID YES!!! SEGMENTS OF OUR CONSENT INTERVIEW ARE ON MY PAGE. WE TALK A LOT!!
It has been said that into everyone’s life a little rain must fall. The end of 2019 was a torrent: We lost Princess Leigha to the same health issues she battled her title year.
Tragically, Goddess Sadie, Onyx Pearl South East’s Sgt of Arms and my Big Sister was taken away from us in a D/s murder, then suicide, by her ex-submissive. The community raised $ 8600 in a few days for her funeral. Her family was very overwhelmed and thankful.
To be part of the solution, I’ve been focused on my #LICK platform: SouthEast Consent Summit.
Please join me: www.consentsummit.info or www.southeastconsent.org.
The dates are February 23-24, 2019. It is located at The Woodshed, Orlando. Space is Limited!
March 2019 Column
The third quarter of my Ms. SELF 2018 found the culmination of the platform promise: LITERACY IN CONSENT & KINK (LICK).
The event was a success with a great cross segment of consent related populations:
Participants not only came from the SouthEast, the Nation and the World! The Consent DIfferences Across Lifestyles found BDSM / Swingers / Leather & Polyamorous Leaders discussing how consent manifests in their segment of counter-culture.
Since the topic of Consent could be triggering, we made sure to have the Sensu-Well Care Corner, sponsored by the House of Noir.
Plus, we had amazing organizational leaders! A special thank you to Pat Machate from the National Leather Alliance’s Domestic Violence Unit, Sar Surmick from The Consent Academy & Ruby Bouie Johnson from Dallas Poly Millennium.
The event was produced February 23-24, 2019 in Orlando Florida. A highlight? Day One at The Woodshed Orlando!! It included an opportunity to experience consent negotiations through artistry.
The naked body painting & nude eatery was a hit! Day Two on the 24th at a traditional hotel, included The Science of BDSM results on What BDSM can teach a Kinky World.
There were several Sponsors that made the event possible, including Fort Troff and Modern Tribe Counseling (MDC) that took more than a NIBBLE.
Thank you SouthEast for allowing me to serve as your Ms. SELF 2018!
June 2019 Column
This year as 2018 Ms. SouthEast LeatherFest has been...incredible — all because of you!
Local, National and International Presenters shared their knowledge, views, and best practices on a variety of consent related topics:
* Consensual Non-Consenting Relationships
* Lifestyle (Swinging, Poly, BDSM, and Leather) Consent Differences
* Teaching Consent and Negotiation
* Defining Consent Incidences and Consent Violations
* Ethnic and Cultural Understanding: Global Views of Consent
* Domestic Violence —Understanding Consent and Lack of Consent Implications
* Finding Lifestyle Friendly Professionals
* Creating Consent Policies for Individuals, Groups, Clubs, and Organizations
* Law / Legalities / Legal Issues: Family Law, Outing and Morality Clause Impacts
* Activism and Organizing (Grassroots Political Efforts)
A wonderful vendor: Martha Corset Shoppe and the deliciousness of the Atlanta Tantric Institute collaborated with sexy demo bottoms and Tops for Consent After Dark. The creation of a naked eatery and nude body painting experience allowed participants to receive hands-on (and a few mouthfuls of) practice at consent negotiations.
I have enjoyed representing SELF far and wide, and being able to meet my Sash Family (shout out to my Sash Mom - Ms. SELF 2017, Tig Natious) at conferences such as, MsC, LLC, SPLF & IMsL. My favorite run was at Tarheels and not because I able to use gold fabric and a leather corset to make a toga outfit — which really served well for inspiring sex & scene in the car during the road trip. Locally, I hung out with Panthers L/L at what will be their last Slave Auction as they close clubs doors in 2019. They will be sorely missed as one of the main staples of the Atlanta Eagle.I personally would like to thank them for their years of dedication to the Atlanta leather scene & community.
As Ms SELF 2018, I have to say that the SouthEast Group & Club Leaders & Owners have HELD ME DOWN! QWIK, TARP, BAM, WHIMPER, 1763 and of course, my ONYX & ONYX Pearl members —you all have my gratitude and appreciation.Most important lesson learned this year:
Life may be fleeting and it is definitely finite. So love your loved ones... hard and be as all-in, hardcore & authentic as you possibly can while not losing sight of the importance of Faith, Family & Friends.
I lost my Onyx Pearls SouthEast (OPSE) Big Sister and POC Female Dominant confidante, Goddess Sadie Hawkins the day after my birthday. The shock and despair was intense and still comes unexpectedly swiftly. Grief is odd and a reminder that life is to be lived all-in and enjoyed thoroughly.
Carpe diem is the biggest tribute that I can pay to my slain Soror. May she rest in Power & Peace.
In the middle of it all, I continue to be inspired to maintain our successful platform of Literacy In Consent & Kink (LICK). Special thanks to those helping me make this a wonderful year:
Mistress Mir, Kae Trei, Nicole Noir, Ceyda Krin-Tri, Jessica Noir, Brianne Trei, Elyse Noir, Daddy Byrd, Marla Stewart, J Tebias Perry, Master Cecil, Cody L., Tonya Keith, Grace, Angel Noir, Nickie Fuentes, Deborah (Sweet N Sour), Ben Schenker, Richard & Judy Cunningham, Ruby B. Johnson, Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey, Dr. Sebastian Grey, Sar Sumick, Sacara/Marguerite Mansfield, Amina Peterson and Jennifer Erickson.
The Atlanta Eagle, Barking Leather, Modern Tribe Counseling, a Kink Aware Professional Group! Hard Pink Sisterhood, Mita Bear Designs, Khaos, Sensuwell, Leather Works, Ms. Martha’s Corsets, Pervology.com, M4u, J. Tebias Perry Photography, Fort Troff, SouthEast LeatherFest, 1st Capital Finance, Atlanta Institute Of Tantra and the Science Of BDSM. Leather Houses of Color Founders: House Of Blue, House Of Trei, La Maison DeRou, House Of Nia. ONYX Family: Founders, Original Pearls, ONYX Men, ONYX Pearls Worldwide & especially my thick & thin, ride or die Sorors at ONYX Pearls South East!!
You are all THE sexiest, fiercest, most accepting and eclectic group of kinky/BDSM/Leather renegade counter-culture participants ever. I truly adore you.
June 2019 Column #2
It is an honor to retain the Ms. SELF 2019 title for our 25th anniversary year! I am grateful that my Literacy In Consent & Kink platform will continue to have the opportunity to positively impact the Southeast.
First stop? Hanging out in my home bar at the Atlanta Eagle! Onyx Men and Pearls SouthEast combined for Kinky Carnival.
My part? Critter patrol! I taught Rope 101 to a few newcomers and had the opportunity to wrangle pig and kitty alike. Chants of go piggy go rang through-out the scene.
Next up! Getting my #LICK on Route 66!
I had the honor of being the Keynote Speaker at the OKC Kink Weekend and Route 66 Leather Contest. It was held on July 18-21, 2019 in Oklahoma City.
I loved the fact I was ushering in the first Inaugural Ms. Route 66!! The other new title was Route 66 Bear. With the Mr., Pup and Bootblack contestants. It was a great weekend filled with outstanding & committed Kink & Leather lifestylers.
As a Versatile, I taught a class on topping & bottoming in one scene, leveraging the group I founded in 2015: SASS. At the end, two participants joined in. We negotiated & score! They were hands-on switching by the end of the class.
My OKC highlight? The standing ovation I received for my speech:
Another Open Letter To Leather: You Don’t Need Me. I Don’t Need You. We Need Each Other.
It was long. Event organizers asked me to speak for 40 minutes. It was my honor to fulfill the promise. Plus, you know even though I was nervous, had the heaves & almost quit a few hours right before the Keynote...I love to talk!
If one person is helped it was a great speech.
That positive affirmation got me to the stage.
Therefore, I personally want to thank those that have been coming forward to say it moved them. I had joy from a few people saying they laughed out loud! My heart was also touched: several also wept.
I cried with them. Choc—a-dile tears! :)
I hope I made you proud SouthEast.
It continues to be my honor to be your Ms. SELF 2018 & 2019.
Oklahoma Leatherfest Keynote Speech
Greetings Oklahoma KINK Weekend Producers, Judges & Participants, it is an honor to be here with you today.
I want to publicly thank Angel for taking a chance on me, working her ass off to diversify her community and actually live her Leather Values.
I want to thank you as a community for the support that you’ve given her and all Organizers towards that endeavor.
I want to thank those Elders in the community that stayed through the transition because I know there were those that got fed up with the infiltration of this brand new Leather culture and walked away.
I hope they will see the wisdom of your choice, the birth of a continually vibrant Route 66 community and come back.
I want to thank that bad assed boy in his 7th year and my girl of one year. She’s a handful but worth it.
I wanted to issue each of you my personal invitation to one of my loves, the SouthEast Leatherfest conference from June 13-15, 2020 in my hometown, Atlanta Georgia, where you will be embraced for being your most authentic kinky/Leather/BDSM based SELF.
And finally I want to say congratulations to the newest Route 66 Leather Title Family! I know you’ll have a tremendous year ahead of you.
Please let me know if I can be of service in any way.
So, I originally had an easy topic outlined:
The History of Leather
I was going to make it factual & relevant since I heard some heavy hitting Living Legends, like Hardy... Elizabeth...were here and our current IML Jack and his Daddy who I didn’t know would make history last night by giving new meaning to the term “gone in less than 60 seconds”.
So to learn about Leather History, I used a very reliable source:
And found some great vetted & peer reviewed reference material:
Here’s what it said.
(clears Throat )
In Mesopotamia between the fifth and the third millennium B.C. ,the Sumerians used leather skins for long dresses.
The Assyrians used leather for footwear.
The ancient Indian civilization first processed the type of leather known as the "Morocco" today.
More shoes (you know these were gay men...right)
The Romans used leather both for footwear and clothing and for making shields and harnesses.
I can see the Roman queer community now...
Let’s not call them strapons...let’s just call them Leather harnesses!
The Egyptians also achieved considerable skill in processing leather, which they used for clothing (even for gloves), tools & (oh) arms.
So there you have it...
People of all Nations wearing, doing, living & lovng Leather for centuries.
Leather arm bands.
Leathers strap-ons ...oh....I mean “harnesses”...
And in Egypt...I know there had to be:
A Leather Women of Color.
You’ve been here before.
This Is Another Open Letter:
You don’t need me.
Your current iteration was born of a North American time where rugged fetishism forged a cool counter-culture out of a material that had been around for centuries.
It combined with Kinky Liberation and a hardcore Sexual nature.
Leather you were the spark within the hearts of humankind that had been blossoming for ever.
You were distinguished by independent spirit.
And...if you wanted to keep it a secret...
You played yourself because you were too hot, too powerful to be ignored.
Imagination and fantasy collided with the realities of lifestyle and masses followed suit to the tune of 50 Shades.
LEATHER...you didn’t need me.
You were not quelled by threats, intimidation or even violence.
You didn’t need me even if what you did in your back rooms, bars, Clubs and bathrooms was actually illegal.
You were unafraid of the State by State Assault Laws systematically condemning your radical Leather behavior.
Laws we’ve heard before like the Alabama Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act that banned “Dildos or any object caused for “the stimulation of human genital organs”.
I mean - you didn’t care.
You stuffed silicon up your orifices...and jail - be damned.
Leather, you didn’t need me to support your defiance.
In spite of fines of “up to $20,000, a one-year jail sentence or 12-months doing hard labor”.
12 months hard labor?
To keep your dildo?
You didn’t need me to fight your collective battles against Oklahoma Statute Title 21 whereby:
Every person who willfully and wrongfully commits any act which grossly disturbs the public peace or which openly outrages public decency, including but not limited to urination in a public place, and is injurious to public morals, is guilty of a: misdemeanor.
Leather you said:
FUCK that misdemeanor!
You flagged yellow, ...a lot of yellow...lol...and orange and black and red & regardless of which back pocket your stuffed your illicit invitation, Leather, if loving wild eroticism and exchanging power was wrong...
You didn’t want to be right.
You didn’t need to be right.
You are perfectly comfortable with living to the Left...while flagging on the left...in the middle & on the Right.
No, Leather you don’t need me.
I get it.
Your turbulent upbringing matured you into being an over privileged sexual outlaw.
Facing down the judgment of prejudice & even family of origin bonds, Leather you and your kinky practices became the new ties that bound.
Piss, spit, cum and blood did run thicker than water after all.
Leather you didn’t need me because you were hodgepodge of De Sade, decadence, booze & biker clubs, you crept into the hearts of people internationally, planted taboo desires.
You opened up bars, and published a prolific plethora of hot sexy pictorials.
But Leather, from my perspective, you never knew you were sitting in the middle of the lap of luxury.
You had the privilege of being persecuted for your baseline Sexual and Fetish activity versus your baseline demographic.
The tragedies that you witnessed were from those that could neither stand the heat nor get out of the kitchen.
But at least you were able to get into the fucking door.
Leather, you came out of the closet - fully geared with what one Guardian writer described as:
(I’ll use an accent here because I like accents)
“An entry-level leather fetish might just look like getting your rocks off in a well-cut bomber. But for the more committed, it’s a full look: boots, trousers or chaps, belts, shirts, jackets, overcoats, captain hats, all in premium, black leather. The sex tends towards BDSM, from rough horseplay to sadomasochism.”
Let’s do that again:
....for the more committed, it’s a full look: boots, trousers or chaps, belts, shirts, jackets, overcoats, captain hats, all in premium, black leather.
Sounds like Mesopotamia, doesn’t it?
Leather, you didn’t need me because you focused on looks and to “be Leather” you ignored those that couldn’t absorb your prettiness and it’s costs:
Cap or Hat: $550
But the joy of being a well shod & respected Leatherman?
So you didn’t me.
You, who emerged beautiful as the premiere knowledge base for the heat of hardcore expressions of Power and Dominance & Noble Depravity & Surrendered spirits.
You played yourself Leather
‘Cause when Patrick penned the compilation Doing It For Daddy, Leather, your hotness accidentally spawned:
And Leather, I didn’t need you.
I was never really supposed to be in your mix:
I didn’t wear enough Black.
You know, hundreds of dollars of Black, High Quality...
I don’t even have a vest for my Ms SELF patch.
I wasn’t welcomed in your bars and as I wandered around this Leather world, I was shocked & hurt & appalled to discover it filled with the same sexist, racist, classist bull shit I faced “out there”.
I confessed myself:
And, I wondered how could something so wonderful delicious...such dirty debauchery lead to such squeaky clean elitism.
So Closed minded.
So Cliquish with Pedigreed Leather Royalty.
You didn’t need me.
But what you didn’t understand?
Leather, I really didn’t need you.
I was born of a time me when it was ass, grass or cash:
No one was riding for free.
A 2nd generation Chocolate Flower Child, I was forged in a fire of California runaway wanna-be-gangbanger who left home at 12 with a hankering for Street Drugs, Alcohol and Sexual Sadism.
And when an Officer chained me to the chair in Juve Hall & said to me:
You’ll never live to be 18.
I only began to eye the hotness of his uniform and...
His handcuff key.
The key to freedom.
That key was Power.
And in that moment of social captivity, the heart of a Leather Woman was born.
I was unafraid of the State by State Assault Laws systematically condemning my radical Leather behavior.
I said Fuck the New York state law to that said you needed to be law-enforcement officer, private investigator or a security guard to carry a handcuff key.
Fuck the penalty of a fine of up to $200 and/or 10 days in jail.
I didn’t need you Leather to be that person that according to Oklahoma Statutes Title 21. Crimes and Punishments §21-641 was excited by: “willful ...offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another”.
And, Leather, I didn’t need you to understand that although the law said:
"strangulation" means any form of asphyxia; to the neck or the closure of the nostrils or mouth as a result of external pressure on the head was illegal....
I wanted to do that shit anyway.
I didn’t need you to have the hottest forced sex ever.
I actually didn’t need you Leather...
...To meet him and her and them and Ze, and Zer and...they loved the way I made them lose their breath CONSENSUALLY and consensually-non-consensually.
I didn’t need you Leather.
To be a Leather Woman of Color, a mad scientist, and learn a dance with Power, pain & pleasure that took my own breath away.
My turbulent upbringing matured into my being a under privileged sexual outlaw.
I never knew I had the luxury of the generations of POC Leather warriors from Egypt to today...wearing harnesses, advertising in magazines to make a living, building Libraries to make a difference, forging a way out of no way to charter ONYXPearls and generally hold a space for me in the underground world BIPOC Leather.
I didn’t need you because my mix of queer skated around your easy definitions and I was going to be the first Woman of Color to hold my title in the twenty-five years or be POC & Female representation on Boards like LA&M and LLC anyway.
And I didn’t need you Leather because it didn’t matter if I was butch or pedigreed or respected enough:
I am Queer Leather Dominant of Color and I was going to make a House a home to the homeless, and mentor and train a new generation of Leather Women of Color.
And, in the middle of it I prayed for the day when your Leather would not be judged by color of your skin and what lay between your legs or how much Leather you could afford to wear but by the content of your character and the willingness to serve and the burning desires of your heart.
But as I grew Leather, I learned one thing:
We needed each other.
We had a shared hankering for walking in the very edge of taboo & edge play.
We needed each other Leather.
We needed to expand & evolve our sexy, kinky mix and add different brands of Leather to the tune of the fiercest band of next generation Leather people & Houses & Packs & Pearls internationally that the world has ever seen.
Yes...Leather & Kink we melded with...
- unabashed Weirdness.
- undiluted Queerness.
- bold lipsticked Femmeness.
All body types.
And we can trade, gift and earn Black...
And we must learn we need each other because...
Do we need a PULSE shooting in every generation for the benefit of those who have no imagination?
And we need each other because when the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom wrote:
“large percentages of respondents (that) viewed the general society as hostile to BDSM”, it is because:
SOCIETY IS HOSTILE TO LEATHER...KINK & BDSM AND THAT IS WHERE WE MUST FOCUS.
You don’t need me.
And I don’t need you...
But we definitely need...each other!
You & I are that “significant group that seems to like the rebel or outlaw status of the BDSM practitioner”.
We need to recognize that because of this...we are all being HUNTED together.
We need each other because in this and most conservative administrations criminality issues will rise, we will become the statistics written about by the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom when they said:
“Significant percentages know of BDSM prosecutions in their community ; and personally feared prosecution (and) were concerned that no community resources are available to help them in the event of arrest or prosecution (62%).”
We need each other to focus on unity & education about the law on BDSM and consent, and overcome the 59% of BDSM/Leather/Kinky Practitioners stating they are not aware of the assault law in their area.
We need each other because:
We are older now.
We have to educate our kindreds, prior predators and obnoxious newcomers alike to reduce:
30.1% of us that have a pre-negotiated limit violated.
We have to help the 1 in 3 kinky/leather people that have experienced a consent violation understand the changing faces of consent from spontaneously changing organic to rigidly negotiated & adhered to play styles because consent has changed for this generation.
We need each other...to do better by every new generation of Leather person.
It is our responsibility to help ignite and excite our successors to have a life dedicated to Leather.
We need each other because Leather is dying and we know it.
Our Living Legends will become our Leather Angels.
A writer at the Guardian said:
“...long ago, many clubs catered to enthusiastic leathermen. But predatory property developers, changing attitudes to gender and the rise of rubber threaten the scene’s existence”
The jackets, chaps, boots, harnesses, caps and covers are growing mold and drying out like the closures of our Clubs, bars, organizations and Leather as THE premiere institution.
We need each other so that Leather maintains its power and relevance and especially doesn’t lose what made us: sheer unadulterated irreverence.
We need each other because a new cultural cannon must evolve and we must avoid self implosion in our waves of Internet Wars and Social Media crucification.
We need each other so we can be like the Living Legend I’m honored to call my Mentor, Mistress MIR, with forty years of longevity, who has done more to build relationships and donate her life to her non-profits and maintaining of deep and endearing relationships than anyone I have ever known.
Like when she calls her own best friend she talks to almost daily and they met:
30 years ago.
Leather, we would all be just so blessed to be here in 2049 and say...
In 2019, I saw the first inaugural Route 66 Ms and Bear and damn that OKC Title Family changed the world.
This is it.
This is Leather.
Leather we need each other to continue to reject those within us with a double standard that belies our Free Spirit.
We need each other to remain free to:
* GIVE & TAKE IN HELPLESS DEPTHS OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
* SERVE & BE SERVED
& MY PERSONAL FAVORITES:
And we need to kill the mediocrity arising from being a sub-population of a marginalized segment, of a counter-culture.
And WE NEED LEATHER.
Because contrary to public opinion, Allies are critical to freedom when you have no vote and no resources other than the body you are more than willing to throw into the firing line.
Because contrary to public opinion the depths of our brutality is matched by the heights of our humanitarian efforts.
Because contrary to public opinion every aspect of our Leather culture needs representation and to train and groom our next Generation(s).
Because we need the Yings to our Yang like when we fist an ass or pussy and the muscles sang under our hand and the slaves service surrendered under our will and body shuddered under our soul as We partook of their life and forged the slave they secretly hated that they always wanted to be.
I needed you so I can pass on what was given to me in Pearls of Wisdom, so I can cross collateralize my hyper Femininity into Uber masculinity in one fantasy scene and win Ms. SouthEast Leatherfest for holding the place for cause yes, my loyalty and obligations and my will - will not be compromised.
And I learned that as President of the Leather Houses of Color Coalition that iron sharpens iron and I’m honored to network with the most bad group of POC Heads of Households ever.
And I learned to use strategy like creating a model to relaunch of the first ONYX PEARLS SOUTHEAST Chapter in 2014, that it would be the model & spawn a nationwide uprising of the most bad azz Women of Color Sorors & Siblings known to Leatherkind.
I learned we NEED each other.
As we fight internally, we miss the point:
There are those externally in this society who want to KILL US OUTRIGHT.
We need each other and it’s just a matter of losing that one consent battle where our bodies will never be our own.
Where the knock on the door is facial recognition, and web cam monitoring.
Where we need to recognize that whether we are Female, Queer or Male or Unlabeled - it doesn’t matter if Sexuality is Mainstream or Non-Binary , Personal practices are being censored and judged and lives are being destroyed with outing and losing jobs.
We need each other because simply:
WE ARE ALL LEATHER.
So it’s true.
I don’t need you.
You don’t need me.
But I love you & I hope one day you’ll embrace me.
So, I’m writing you this letter.
An open love letter...to Leather.
October 2019 Column
January 2020 Column
March 2020 Column
June 2020 Column