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
Sir Bradford - 2018 Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest
Sir Bradford is a queer transman of color that proudly serves not only in our community but within the military as well. He is the Owner and husband of Girl Pixie, who enjoys living at home with their kids and pets in South Carolina. He has been active in the Southeast and has branched into the Mid-Atlantic region as well as traveling as often as he can. Sir Bradford is the Head of House of Kreatures and spends his time reading, hiking, and adventuring out into new things at home, at work, and in his kinky life. He and his girl have pledged themselves to helping the community and specifically, in making a safe space for everyone who needs one through The House of Kreatures. To reach their goal of allowing the growing generation a safe-haven to find out who they are and what path is meant for them, while having a family, Sir Bradford joined the volunteer team at The Leather Heart Foundation in 2017 as their resource manager, gathering resources to help in new and growing ways as he can. He can be found making puns at any event while volunteering and keeping everyone laughing. When he’s not at events he is working on new classes, writings, or community service projects for veterans.
Calendar of Events
23rd Capex: Fire Play Charlotte, NC
6th – 8th Stars & Stripes: TLC Leather Run Greensboro, NC
12th – 14th Kinky BBQ Troy, AL
20th – 22nd Fireside Chat with Mr. SELF Raleigh, NC
4th Little Leather Scouts Troop 42 Greensboro, NC
4th Tradesman Bar Night: House of Mercy Cookout Charlotte, NC
5th Midlothian Virginia MAsT Midlothian, VA
17th – 19th F.I.R.E. Orlando, FL
30th – September 3rd Master/slave Conference Tyson’s Corner, VA
14th – 16th Chicago Trip Chicago, IL
22nd Charleston Pride Charleston, SC
28th – 30th Atlantic States Leather Weekend Baltimore, MD
19th – 21st Tentative New Jersey Leather Contest New Jersey
26th – 28th ASGARD & Jacksonville MAsT Jacksonville, NC
9th – 12th Leather Reign Seattle, WA
8th Hooker & Boys: 12 Days Baltimore, MD
4th Onyx SE Bar Night Atlanta, GA
5th Tradesman Bar Night Charlotte, NC
18th – 21st Tentative Southwest Leather Conference Phoenix, AZ
1st – 3rd Sin in the City Las Vegas, NV
16th MAsT Greensboro Greensboro, NC
16th TLC Bar Night Greensboro, NC
17th MAsT Raleigh Raleigh, NC
1st – 3rd Tentative MX Virginia Leather Contest Richmond, VA
15th – 17th Tentative Leather Leadership Conference Atlanta, GA
29th – 31st Tentative Kapu Honu High Point, NC
4th – 7th Tentative M/s Reflection Retreat Pigeon Forge, TN
12th – 14th Tentative The M/s Gathering 2019 Wilmington, DE
3rd – 5th Tentative Trademark 33 Pirates Charlotte, NC
13th – 16th SELF 24 Atlanta, GA
June 2018 Column
SELF 23 was a wild ride for me. I competed in my first title contest and won! I got to meet and speak to many new people. I was delighted to be a part of the many experiences of all of the SELF Virgins who set aside time to tell me their stories and ask questions about where they could go to learn more. What an amazing adventure this will be! To the many people who donated to my auction baskets and title vest: Jade LeBlade, Peach, Marty & Petal, Sakura House, Brutal Passions, and the many, many, others who helped me, I am honored and humbled by your generosity. I cannot say it enough, thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot say thank you enough to the sponsors, staff, volunteers, and producer of SELF for this amazing opportunity. I cannot say thank you enough to those in the audience who voted for me and those cheering me on from home. I am overwhelmed by the support I have been shown. I was surprised by how many people my message reached and the outpouring of love that I received in return. SouthEast LeatherFest has truly become a home to me. The fact that we can have so much fun and tackle the important topics our community needs to face is a great thing that events like SELF can do.
This year will be awesome! My girl and I plan on travelling all over the region and beyond to bring awareness of how we can help our LGBTQIA+ youth who are struggling to find their place and to help spread safe spaces within our community. Already, people have been reaching out with organizations and individuals and their families willing to take up the cause and it is a beautiful site to see. I can not believe the amount of emails and private messages I have received to come teach or speak or even just to offer help in any way people can! I hope to represent our community well and do you all proud. I look forward to continuing the conversation on how to bring our community together to lift each other up every way that we can. We are a community of outsiders, it’s time to show that we have each other’s backs and aren’t fighting our fights alone.
This upcoming month, we will be at Tarheel Leather Club’s annual run, Stars and Stripes, in Greensboro, NC, and House InNC Presents: A Fireside Chat with Mr. SELF in Raleigh, NC. In August, we will be at the Tradesmen Bar Night and House of Mercy Cook Out in Charlotte, NC, Midlothian, VA MAsT, F.I.R.E. down in Orlando, FL, and Master/slave Conference in Tyson’s Corner, VA. I hope to see some of you there!
Oct 2018 Column
Hey fam! August and September went by much faster than I anticipated. I hope everyone has been well. Here’s what’s been going on with Mr. SELF and his lovely First Lady:
The first weekend in August, the Pixie and I escaped up into the hills to hang out with Master Blue and slave sheri for MAsT Lenoir before the Tradesmen’s bi-annual House of Mercy Cookout. While there, we got to spend some time with the residents, Mx. North Carolina, Jade LeBlade, members of the Tradesmen Levi Leather Club, and, of course, Master Blue and slave sheri. It was a blast and we had some delicious food! After the cookout, we ventured out to the Woodshed for the Tradesmen’s monthly bar night with Ms. Becca, her boy Adrian, boy Jordan, Stick, Maggie, and members of CAPEX. It was a night to remember! PM Grey pinned me with a Tradesmen friendship pen and what an honor that was. The next morning my girl and I got on the road and headed to Virginia to teach our All the Small Things class at MAsT Midlothian. Master Steve, slave Lisa, and their group were absolutely amazing to spend some one on one time with! We had a great time teaching our class and hanging out poolside with a good group of people.
Next on our August adventures, was Charlotte Pride. Ms. Becca, Adrian, and Tris Esclave were wonderful hosts as we bunked with them for the weekend. The Tradesmen granted me the opportunity not only to serve on the color guard to kick off Charlotte Pride but also to march with the honor guard in the parade the next day! As we walked through the many vendors and booths at Pride, I got to see all of the businesses and organizations working to make the local area more open and accommodating to the LGBTQ+ community. Tidbit, Quasi, Master Blue, and I not only marched with the honor guard in the parade, but we also marched with the Woodshed float! If any of you missed Boy Dave on his Segway with his bullhorn, I have pictures. He corralled like I have never seen before and made sure we took our first step on time!
To break up the event travel, after Charlotte Pride weekend I STARTED SCHOOL! If you haven’t been following my random Facebook posts, I started the Paralegal Associates of Science Program. It has been amazing! I am learning so much! I just want to throw out there that it is never too late to start something new and that is exactly what I am doing. I’m taking classes full time and my plan is to become a certified paralegal, so I can provide some kind of service to my community in a legal capacity. It is yet to be determined if I will try to tackle law school, but it is a strong maybe.
The Master slave Conference in Tyson’s Corner, VA slid us into September. The Pixie and I drove up to MsC excited as ever for a reunion with friends from the M/s community that we only get to see at the event. Lady Catherine won the Lady Lynette Leadership award and I was honored to lose my voice shouting with pride for her accomplishment. At MsC, something beautiful happened. I got to watch our community come together to support one of our own. The Mid-Atlantic Onyx Pearls and Mid-Atlantic Onyx usually do a raffle throughout the weekend and this year they did not disappoint. The beautiful thing is that these two clubs, MTTA, the Leather Heart Foundation, and the attendees of MsC donated over four thousand dollars to help slavegirl j. This is what I’ve been talking about when I say that together, we can do amazing things for our community. With everything that happened over the weekend, this is the thing that stood out the most in my mind when I thought back to all of those who came together to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company. I got to hang out with Mama Vi and Robbie in the Leather Library. And guys, I GOT MY FIRST KILT! Buz Norwood and Margret met us for family dinner at an awesome seafood restaurant with slave laura, Mama Vi, Pulse, and Robbie. Then we got to watch slave laura bring down the house with her magical voice for the contest. I met a ton of new people and got to hang with Mister Blue and Blue Frost (who I totally want to be when I grow up, move over Idris Elba) and attend two of their classes which were amazing. I also got to spend time with my MTTA family, which will always be close to my heart. These people have seen me grow and learn from the very beginning. They supported me when I chose to ran for Mr. SELF, and have always popped in with kind words of encouragement and advice when I needed them. Thank you, Master Taino for putting on yet another awesome weekend!
Our last event for September was South Carolina Pride in Leather in Columbia, SC. I got my judging cherry popped with the help of Ms. Tina Landi, Sir David Labriola, Boy Dave, BJApries Onyx, and Boy Scott (you hoped I would forget to mention you didn’t you). Sir Tom and Ms. Peach produced a great event. It was an honor to be asked to judge their contest. I was so nervous! The contestant was an amazing boy with a beautiful message to spread in the South East. I hope when you see boy Brian out and about representing is state, that you take some time and listen to the things he has to say. It was great to spend time with my Columbia Leather Order family and catch up. Master Blue, slave sheri, Tidbit, Quasi, and I took our most creative picture yet (we tried our hand at a modified Eiffel Tower), and got to chat about our latest adventures in traveling. We had an inspiring leather round table kicked off by the lovely Lady D and I feel like we all left the event with our hearts full.
September is an especially important month to me and my girl because on the 17th of September, two years ago, I collared my girl. The Pixie became my owned property. September is the month we celebrate our commitment to each other in a way that’s different than some people’s marriage anniversary and we try to do extra things that feed our relationship that month. The events we attended did just that. My Pixie had some health trouble for the first half of the month but is doing much better. In October, we will be teaching our Bridging the Gap at New Jersey Leather Weekend and we will be teaching at my brother Master Aaron’s group, Jacksonville MAsT, in North Carolina. Stay tuned for some sneak peaks on a project we are working on for our LGBTQ+ Youth!
January 2019 Column
Happy New Year SELF Family! The past six months have been a wild ride! I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing holiday season. Since I last updated you all, I have been to New Jersey Leather Contest in October, Jacksonville, NC MAsT, 12 Days, Leatherman & Leather Woman of Color Contest at the DC Eagle, and *drum roll please* I moved to Jacksonville, FL! You heard that right! The head quarters for House of Kreatures has moved! Anyways… It was amazing to watch my brother Lynx Onyx become Mr. New Jersey Leather 2019, witness history continuing on at 12 Days’s 20th Anniversary where they raised over $16,000 for four charities, and witness Velvet Storm go down in HERstory as the first ever Leather Woman of Color! This month, the Pixie and I said our goodbyes to the Carolinas in style by surprise attending the Tradesmen’s first bar night of the year. Coming up the Pixie and I will be heading to Las Vegas (my first excursion ever to the city of sin) for me to judge the International Person of Leather contest and present at Sin in the City. If you haven’t gotten your tickets already, please join us in the on the West Coast as we romp, play, and enjoy each other’s company! In March, Girl Pixie and I head to Richmond, VA, for the first ever Mx. Virginia contest. I will be judging that contest as well. It is always wonderful to not only see our community growing and evolving to show support of one another but to be a part of that change as well. It’s what my fantasy was all about, let’s make space that includes everyone, we’re marginalized enough as kinky folx as it is.
March 2019 Column
First, I would like to say again, congratulations Iamar on being the 2019 International Person of Leather!
My, how time flies! It seems like not long ago I was just finishing my last column and sending it out to my wonderful SELF Family. The past few months, I have ALMOST finished unpacking, drove up for a Tradesmen Bar Night, attended my first Sin in the City where I judged the International Person of Leather contest with an amazing panel of judges, started a new job, and met a ton of new and wonderful people! It has truly been an amazing time.
Sin in the City was an absolutely amazing experience! Slave Jazz, The Sin Staff, and volunteers do a wonderful job! I got to experience Las Vegas, an international contest, and not only teach there but judge too! I had so much fun getting to know those on the panel of judges I hadn’t met yet and getting to spend extra time with those I’ve known for some time now. Honestly, it was like we already knew each other. I expected to feel out of my depth and like someone playing at being a judge because all of the other judges were either Elders in the community, international titleholders themselves, or both. I learned a lot from them, and I have a secret to tell you… They’re some of the most amazing human beings (and pup) I have ever met! I felt right at home at Sin and I cannot wait to go back! It hardly feels like it’s been 27 days since we were there that’s for sure. I cannot wait to see everyone again. Someone mentioned something about Pup Havoc and I doing a calendar to raise money for charities. Be on the lookout for those.
The Pixie and I are settling in nicely, the tiny humans are doing the school thing, and Mr. SELF 2018 has managed to incorporate his Batman and Joker personalities into the new workplace (evil giggle). No but seriously, there are pictures on the Facebooks of the Batman and Joker lanyards I wear to events functioning as my work badge holder.
I’m looking forward to judging the first ever Mx. Virginia contest in Richmond, VA this weekend (March 1-2). The Pixie and I will be teaching two classes at LLC (March 15-17), one class at Kapu Hanu in High Point, NC (March 30), and I will be participating on a panel at the M/s Gathering in Wilmington, DE (April 12-14). My title family has been up to some amazing things as well. Ms. SELF 2018 just finished her first Consent Summit which I have heard nothing but good things about. I got to hang with our SELF Boy and his Ma’am in Vegas (no, we did not gamble together). I will see both our SELF Bootblack and SELF Boy this weekend and we will commit ALL OF THE MISCHIEF! I hope to see some of you at the upcoming events!
June 2019 Column
What a year this has been! Hello SELF Family and welcome to my last column of the Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest 2018 title year! I don’t know if I’ve said this already or not but it bears repeating: I never thought I’d be here. What you all have seen is the shy, oddly loud at times, tiny trans guy that usually sits in the corner or far enough in the back as to make a quick exit become a representative of the Southeast. All with your help and support. I am truly humbled and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be your Mr. SELF 2018.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me and the Pixie this year. Those who have shown us amazing hospitality and been a huge part of this portion of our Journey. There were many events we attended people we met, people we got to know better, and places we traveled to which I had never been before. We got to find out just how vast our community is in the United States. But! It doesn’t end here! Just because the title year is over does not mean the Journey is over! There is a project in the makings that we are working on that,hopefully, will be epic. We also have a lot more traveling we still want to do.
I wanted to take a moment to again congratulate IML 41 Jack Thompson and IMLBB 27 Kriszly de Hond! I’ve met Jack on several different occasions and had the honor of seeing him run for Leatherman of Color 2018. He is an absolutely amazing guy and if you ever get the opportunity to chat him up I highly recommend it. I think it shows amazing community growth and unity how we all rallied behind Jack in the face of transphobia shortly after his win. I’d like to keep that going and encourage you to expand that stance to include a zero tolerance of bigotry and hate all around. There is no place in this community for anything but love and acceptance. (I am in no way condoning physical violence. That is not the answer.) I haven’t met Kiszly de Hond just yet but from what I’ve gathered he is also a cool guy with a pretty epic plan to bring awareness to Bootblacks in Europe. He’s also super Facebook friendly if you ever just want to hit him up on messenger (cause I totally did).
I’m really looking forward to seeing as many SELF attendees as I can in the next few weeks. If you catch me walking by, please stop me and say hey. The theme this year is embrace… and maybe I promised to give out some epic hugs to those who came to see me.
See you soon SELF Family!
Quazi - 2018 - 2021 SouthEast LeatherFest boy
Quazi is the beloved slave and Alpha boy of Lady Zara. He is a treasured member and guard dog of the Primal Leather Pack he calls family, Trippy and Armed. Quazi is a leatherboy that knows the meaning of hard work. The meaning of being fiercely loyal and protective of those he serves and loves. He is an associate member of Tarheel Leather Club. A tribe member of the House of Stone. And one of the Masters of Mischief and Troop leaders for the Little Leather Scout Troop 42.
New to his leather path and anxious to learn more about the leather culture, he serves as he has been taught. Joyously sharing his misadventures with his owner, like a puppy bringing home a dirty ball, proud of his accomplishments.
He’s a grown man closer to the end of his life than the beginning and he wants to make the most out of every day. He’s always interested in another chew-toy or a nice pair of heels. Living now as he could not in his misspent youth. He is a self-admitted buttercup and still cries when he sings Kiss The Girl from The Little Mermaid. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his feelings close to the surface but delicate isn’t a word that fits him. When he came into the lifestyle the bar was set high and he was noticed. He was the kind of man not to allow disrespect go unchallenged. His rules were firm, you don’t hit someone weaker that you, unless they consent.
He understands clear instruction and a purpose driven life is one that is productive. He’s a busy bee with monthly Little Leather Scout Troop 42 meetings and badges to earn. He’s striving for the goal of “unicorn” which is attained by earning 56 other badges. He wants them all and he’s willing to organize events like little’s gem mining to do it. All very organized with witnesses just to keep things honest and above board. All the badges In their proper place and checked off, if only he could find a pen. He has a pocket full of lighters, doesn’t smoke, and no pen.
He has struggles with keeping on task, acknowledges what he’s done and moves forward. He has never met a stranger and is quick to offer his back to move a table or a shoulder to lean on. He’s courteous and curious about who you are and what new neat thing you have to show him.
His exposure to leather ripped open the need to rekindle the eagerness for life he had as a young man. He knows what it is like to be lonely and ashamed of the little peeking out that made it impossible not to put ice down your back. Developing a way to embrace all facets of himself has consumed his life. He feels he is a better man for having discovered his slavery at the feet of his Goddess and Owner.
He would like to point out, that as a pony, he’ll wander off if left unattended. His Leather journey is one of hope and love and happiness and he chooses not to focus on the negative and Pollyanna his way
through life’s challenges. He is expected to be a good friend, loyal partner, and proud man. He is proud in his service to his Mistress, but has love in his heart for his pack, his tribe, his troop, and his community.
Calendar of Events
MAsT - Raleigh, NC
Submissive Safe Haven Symposium
Marched in the Winston-Salem Pride parade
Columbia Leather Order run - Dewy, Georgia
Leather History Preservation weekend in North Carolina
Sin in The City 2019
Atlanta Mentor Coalition - represented SELF on a board of title holders
Fundraiser for the Red Dragons riders club
Submissive Safe Haven weekend in Mebane, NC.
Tradesmen run, Trademark 33 - Charlotte NC
July - Stars and Stripes Run - TarHeel Leather Club
August - Tobacco Road Chapter of Red Dragons RC First Anniversary Ride
F.A.K.E. Fort Mills Area Kink Educators in South Carolina.
Tarheel Leather Club Run - July 6-8, 2018
July 14 - Kapu-Honu - Littles’ Round Table
August 4th - Little Leather Expo at Kapu Honu.
2018 Charlotte Pride parade carried the gender equality flag
September - SCLC contest at SC Pride in Leather
Greensboro MasT meetings
Dom Con in New Orleans, LA
September 2021 Column
Wow! The last year has been a whirlwind of craziness. The whole world seemed surreal and upended. From the pandemic and “the shelter in place” months to learning to walk again.
COVID-19 shut down the world, sorta. Being an essential employee meant that no matter how I personally felt, I still got up every morning and went to work. Daily grind with a dose of paranoia when someone sneezes. Everything stopped: events, parties, and just plain old get-togethers. The world became the people in my house and the “public” that I had to navigate. In the summer of 2020, I made a change. I got a better job and things were looking up. I was considering grown-up things like putting french drains in the backyard. I look back on it and realize one day was the same as the next until it wasn’t. Three months after starting down the road to a new and interesting career, my world was remade. Coming back from the bank, I was in a terrible car accident. I started learning new words like catastrophic injury, incomplete spinal separation, broken bones, covid restrictions, necrotic tissue, emergency surgery, wound vac, and Charge Nurse. I required two surgeons working on different parts of me at the same time because I do things all the way to the wall. No fender bender for me.
I spent the next two months flat on my back, as still as possible. The days blended into a routine of pain, and vast hours stuck inside my own head. There were additional problems that landed me in and out of ICU and the step-down ward. The day came that I was stable enough and physical, occupational, cognitive recovery began. More endless days spent learning to walk and reuse my right arm and hand. Two different hospitals. Two different rehabilitation facilities. It was a painful, scary, and thought provoking time. I wasn’t always at my best but I did witness first hand some of the things that medical personnel have to deal with in a normal shift. Thank goodness someone else is better suited to that profession than me.
My leather pack, my SELF family, and the community-at-large supported me during a difficult time. I was humbled by the outpouring of affection. While I was trapped in the hospital, my leather sister literally organized sitters for me every day. There was a schedule that rotated with family and friends that came to help keep my spirits up and bring me a ton of different foods to try. Just for fun, my body decided eating wasn’t necessary anymore. I lost a total of 86 pounds in 16 weeks. That rotation of smiling faces and familiar laughter helped me brave all the discomfort, pain, and fear. I got tons of spoiling from specially prepared goodies to difficult to locate treat drinks. I was lucky.
Then I was sent to a center for brain trauma over an hour away from my home where I stayed for another three months. For 7 weeks I could only see my Ma’am or anyone through a screen. I could receive care packages but they had to be left at the curb. The whole time I was in the rehab center I wasn’t allowed visitors due to COVID-19 so video chats and phone calls were all I had. It became a way of life. It was like being in jail without the guards, I was isolated and cut off from the world. It felt like I was in a prison and trapped in my own body, a body that was struggling to do the things I used to do. I came to some truths about myself during my forced physical and spiritual retreat: I realized I am a social person, I really thrive on being around people, and I learned to be grateful in a whole new way.
Due to restrictions, I had no one to talk to but the staff at the rehab. Eventually, I got to know a few of the patients and could once more listen to people talk, gossip, and play games. I taught some of my fellow patients how to play Spades as well as Rummy. I got good at playing BINGO, making folks laugh and teasing the staff. I’m the reason they had to change the code to the nurses office door every week because I memorized it. Ma’am has often said if the door said “don’t open” I would walk in like I owned the place.
My community organized and provided almost $4,000 to help with all the things you don’t think about, for example, doctor’s appointments 4 hours round-trip when I finally got to come home.
Hindsight is 20/20. I had to come to grips with the fact that, for this period of time, I was sometimes an asshole to the people that love me. I apologized and moved on. Ma’am, my leather pack, and my tribe had more patience than I ever knew. For the first time during all this upheaval, I realized people cared about me and loved me because of who I am, not in spite of who I am.
Now my life has really changed. I went from being able to endure and thrive on play and intensity to … well, right now, I don’t even know. Everything in my body has changed. It feels like I’m on overload with all my senses on fire and numb all at the same time. Not to mention, I’m in my feelings all the time. Everything gets to me. I cry at the drop of a hat. Ma’am has taken on the role of calming me down, which isn’t necessarily the best fit. As a male submissive/slave to a Female Dominant, it was my place and satisfaction to take care of Her.
Caring for my Ma’am has been ingrained in me. Growing up around mostly females made it natural to leave the seat down. I didn’t have any real male role models. Discipline, punishment, and authority was all handled by women all my life. It just seems natural to me. So being a slave, submissive, and boy or just involved with a Master/Ma’am is what I need in my life. I craved structure and discipline yet sometimes rebelled against it. This change in my life has also given me time to ponder the relationship I live in.
I have a great life with a woman who leads me down a path toward self enlightenment. She makes me look inside the boxes and gives me the support I need even when I don’t want to deal. She points my head in the right direction, and keeps me from burning it to the ground. She accepts my mood swings and my guilt when I can’t serve her the way I think I should. I’m on the same path, letting her lead the way, but the differences are staggering. I have had to learn new ways to serve, like accepting that she rearranged the kitchen so I could still cook for her. I can load the washer and flip the clothes, but folding and putting things away is a struggle. All the things that seemed so important a year ago have been ground down to a few points. I love Her. I trust that She will encourage my input and suggest a way to move forward. It is still up to me to do what she asks or not. Everyday, even in this “broken” state, I get to choose if I am going to serve in the ways that I can. Going forward I don’t know what my future holds but I know It’s going to be one day at a time, surrounded by love, kindness, and a grateful heart.
June 2018 Column
I am not sure what I am supposed to say in these columns, so I will tell you about running for SouthEast LeatherFest boy. I had never run for anything before in my life except. Well track while in school and I hated that. This was the best experiences of my life. I am terrified of public speaking so that was a hurdle that I overcame. I can spend all day “chewing the fat” but a formalized speech, well that’s different thing. I didn’t win this title alone. I was so worried about talking in front of people, my family gathered once a week for two months. I practiced my speech numerous times before we moved on to a microphone. Hearing my voice and the words helped with “appropriate mic distance” so my words come out right. Trust me, it’s a thing. I had help with everything from people wanting to listen to me talk, friends and family watching and adding observations with my fantasy, and formal wear. My talented bootblacks showed up in my living room floor conditioning and approving of all my leather. Fellowship and laughter while discussing leather culture, tradition, anxiety, and joy.
The competition was a lot of fun preparing for questions and learning who my judges were going to be. I was nervous about what I was going to be asked, but I was reassured at every turn to just be myself. For the first time since entering Ma’am's service, I was having a new adventure at SELF. Usually, my family and I help at SELF by volunteering to assist putting on this event. It was something I looked forward to all year and suddenly, I had a different role at the event.
For the first time in ten years, I was not in service but rather I had people who helped serve me and mine all weekend. Having someone help dress me and look me over to see if I was properly dressed was new and unusual. Having food and water offered before I thought to ask took more getting used to than you might imagine. Each portion of the contest tested my comfort zone, but helped me feel more confident. As it turned out, my speech was the first night and I felt like I aced a pop quiz. After my speech the rest of the competition was easier because I felt like I had done the hard part first.
When I won, I felt like I was on top of the world. I returned home with bountiful congratulations from family, inner circle, and my Tarheel Leather Club. The general kink community has been wonderful and I’ve started to get to know a lot of new people. I have had a great three weeks after with so much love and support. I look forward to the next year.
I will be at the Tarheel Leather Club Run on July 6-8. July 14 I will be at Kapu-Honu for a Littles’ Round Table with little Stevie from SC. August 4th my scout troop will be hosting a Little Leather Expo at Kapu Honu. There will be vendors, classes, and food as well as auctions. All proceeds will go for scouts activities. New people are welcome.
Oct 2018 Column
In July, I went to the Tarheel Leather Club run where I assisted my SELF family with serving cocktails, libations, and laughter. We talked and sang songs, twerked, and even had a deepthroat contest using popsicles during the event. If you don’t know what a RUN is it is like FFA: Food, %ucking, and Alcohol, not in the same order. It was a lot of fun with a drag show and kinky games like ring around the dildo and horseshoes. There I met Poppa Doug who is one of the oldest members of TLC, we watched a video of past TLC events that was put together by a prospect for membership. He explained to me that a lot of his friends had passed away and how things are changing. I listened and understood more about his generation.
I have mingled with other families and clubs in NC and SC. It’s like a kinky family reunion where you tell a dirty joke and they all know the punchline and laugh before you get to the end. During this month, I had the privilege seeing my Ma’am being covered by the community. Let me say that it is a personal and private ceremony and if you are ever asked to attend a covering, please go. You will not forget the experience and you’ll share a special bond with each person in attendance. I have been promoting SELF throughout my local bars, communities, and dungeons. I had a community member print out palm cards and I have made a game of handing them out to people I meet while I am visiting.
In August, I held my second event (Little Leather Expo) where we offered six different classes so that my little scout troup could earn badges. We have fifty six badges to earn and this gives them the opportunity to work toward a special badge. I participated in the Charlotte Pride parade by carrying the gender equality flag. We walked in the front of the parade and rallied the people as we went. Then when we got to the end we ran back to the end of the line just in time to catch the float and ride in again. Watching Master Blue chase a fire truck was worth the trip. The amount of people in Charlotte that came out was phenomenal and uplifting. I had the privilege of attending a pool party at Tradesman Timothy Lee’s house. I had a great time and got to know the Tradesmen better. My brother, Tidbit, now knows how much of a foot whore I am: ask him, he’ll tell you. I have hosted all kinds of people coming into town for roundtables and play parties. The experience has enriched my life.
During all this running doing, I forgot what the number one rule: take care of the property. My body solved that problem and an anxiety attack sent me to the emergency room. Ma’am sat by my side all night, until the doctors cleared me to go home. Now, She’s forced me to slowed down a bit and take my meds properly. A lesson in self-care that I’m more mindful of now.
September brought a jaunt to South Carolina for the SCLC contest at SC Pride in Leather. I was thrilled to watch boy brian do his club proud and win the contest. He is now the South Carolina Leather Ambassador and is well deserving of the title. I went to Greensboro MasT meetings and little scout meetings monthly, maintaining my local connections. I enjoyed teaching a horticulture class instructing the littles on making terrariums. They got to take then home which thrilled my Ma’am. I think she was tired of a house full of empty jars. I probably should have told her why I was saving them. A lesson in communication I won’t soon forget.
In a few days, I am off to Dom Con in New Orleans, LA. It will be my first visit and I am excited to get on the train. It’s my anniversary with Ma’am and we’ve never been on a train. There have been a lot of firsts in the last couple of months.The more people I meet, the more I understand their piece of leather culture, how their stories are different and the same. I am always surprised by how easy it is to make friends when you are genuinely interested in another person’s story. I am looking forward to what the next few months of my adventure bring.
January 2019 Column
My journey continues with a series of new adventures starting with a train ride to New Orleans bound for DOMCON 2018. The train ride was long and hard on the butt but we made it in 24 hours. The scenery was amazing, crossing the Mississippi river and wandering around the streets of NOLA can now be crossed off my bucket list. My advice when traveling by train: bring creature comforts to make the ride easy like a blanket and pillow. Snacks are a must and there is plenty of storage space available for all the things. A peanut butter sandwich is 8 dollars on the train and a can soda is 3 dollars. Preparing for that cost is necessary to avoid sticker shock. When we got there I found myself in little’s headspace often. I loved being in NOLA: the smells, the ambiance of the bayou air, the sounds of jazz being played all over the city, and the food. OMG the food was amazing! I ate crawfish etouffee which is now one of my favorite foods, alligator sausage, and real turtle soup. I know my eclectic stomach had a ball with the soul food I ingested. DOMCON is geared toward professional dominants that get paid for their services to patrons. All are welcome to go but that's the general idea of the event. I met tons of interesting, wonderful people and learned more about myself and my relationships. I encountered dozens of people who had travelled worldwide practicing their kink. Alas, I came back home wanting to return for the food and atmosphere that was New Orleans. When added to the adventure of a Kinky Event and learning new things, it’s a must do.
I marched in the Winston-Salem Pride parade with my family, both Bio and Chosen, my club, and a wall of advocates. The turnout of people was amazing and gave me hope that future kinksters will have the support needed to love who they choose. I attended The South Carolina Leather Contest where Boy Brian from the Tradesmen won a title of his own. Titleholding opens up doors and opportunities for growth. I hope his title year is as amazing as mine has been.
I traveled to the Columbia Leather Order run held at a campground called Deep River in Dewy, Georgia. I stayed in a rustic cabin with a twin bed, table, 2 chairs inside, and 2 chairs outside the tiny house. We drove or walked to the showers and mess hall and it was during October, so the place was decked out in full blown Halloween. Let me say that I have a sorta phobia of clowns and the entire mess hall was covered in them. The meals were served family style in a communal fashion. The great joy of having my hot coffee stirred by a random breast was unexpected but delightful and another great memory. The fellowship I experienced with different leather clubs was phenomenal. I listened to stories about coming out and struggling to find themselves well into the night. I reflected on my own journey of coming into the community as a male bisexual submissive. CLO throws a hell of a run and they make you feel right at home.
I attended the Leather History Preservation weekend in North Carolina. I recommend it for anyone who is interested in learning more about the roots of the leather culture. I met up with old friends and listened to the stories of people in our community. I learned more about my Sash Family. The storytellers discussed their life history and their leather journey. Stories filled with sorrow, joy and laughter that are beautiful to listen to and easy to see the similarity in all our journeys. I met Mama Vi while looking at The Carter Johnson Library. I had the unique opportunity to see our history in the making simply by being present.
My ability to visit different places and folks has made me more mindful of my own journey and grateful that others came before me to ease my way. The underlying story of rebellion and frustration speaks to my soul and influences how I treat those around me. I always seem to have just a few more minutes to talk to someone who needs me. I have experienced great loss in my vanilla world in the last 5 weeks and I am still settling into that new reality. Loss happens and it remakes us. The important things like family, love, acceptance, and joy help to buffer us when life and loss becomes overwhelming. I’m looking forward to 2019 and the wonderful things that are in store for me and my life. I am grateful for my chosen family and friends and in awe of the people who have wandered into my story.
March 2019 Column
In February, I went to Sin in The City were the variety of classes was massive. I had technical choices like CBT and handballing (fisting) and more heart-sensitive material like preparation for catastrophic Illness and death in a Master slave relationship. The classes made me cry, laugh, learn and showed me new things about myself and how I relate to the community. The fellowship from different regions of the county from California to North Carolina and countries in the world like Mexico was outstanding. Fostering learning in many ways beyond classes. The energy there was similar to SELF in all the ways I feel like attending SELF is going home. I watched a girl wearing a pig mask restrained to a frame using only paracord and needles get beat with dragons tails to make her move to the glee of her tormentor. The things I saw made an impression and the people I met brought joy to my journey.
I had the privilege of attending the Atlanta Mentor Coalition where I represented SELF on a board of title holders. We talked about running for a title and how we prepared for the competition. There a lot of questions, laughter, and singing.
I helped with a fundraiser for the Red Dragons riders club. We raised money and food for the Triad Health Project who help provide support and assistance for individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families. They even provide free STI testing to the public.
I started a new job and still found time to enrich my slaveheart. As always, I attended dozens of events locally and continued to support the organizations that hold my heart. Being a leatherboy is all about learning more about myself, my relationships, and my connection to the larger community.
June 2019 Column
In April, I attended the Submissive Safe Haven weekend in Mebane, NC. Here only the right side of the slash can attend, Dominants are not allowed unless they are teaching a class. Submissives, slaves, and switches take classes on bettering themselves as well as their dynamic. SSH(Submissive Safe Haven) offered a wide array of classes, such as Creating Butler Books, Danger Will Robinson, dating in the kink community, dealing with illness or catastrophic event in your dynamic. Lessons to be learned in identifying problems and becoming more skilled at being solution oriented. Basically, SSH is a place where you can mentally and emotionally recharge.
For me it’s a place to reground myself and recharge. To be around a group of people that understand submission or are just as willing as I to learn more about my submission. Beautiful surroundings complete with a pond that encouraged me to fish. (A childhood passion). Finding an atmosphere that encourages great fellowship with mutual-minded people is regenerating for the soul. No cable, limited internet and way off in the woods makes this one of the best places to attend if you can. There was something relaxing about being able to check in with Ma’am and then be free of any obligation to service. I returned grateful that I have a place of love and warmth. A place where I know what is expected and am loved.
In May, I attended the Tradesmen run, Trademark 33 which is held in Charlotte NC. The theme was Pirates of Leather and let me just say, there was plenty of booty running around. The company is always enjoyable and there were new people to meet and old friends to bite. There was enough alcohol consumed to drown a water buffalo. The pre-contest luncheon came complete with games and “fisiting” a pirate. The drag shows left me wishing for more dollars. The NCLC winner was Relly who I feel will represent North Carolina well in the upcoming year.
And now, I find myself in the drudges of laundry. It’s my job to wash the clothes and pick out what I’d like to wear in just a week when I am returning home to SELF. Ma’am has the final say, she always seems to dress me in ways that don’t make me look like I’m mowing the grass or dressed in the dark. I can’t believe the year is coming to an end. I have learned so much, met so many different people, and listened to the story of their journey. It has touched me in ways I didn’t expect. This is the part where I would like to say I’ve learned to be grateful and mindful of the people who helped shape my journey.
Thank you to my wonderful Ma’am allowed me the privilege to run, compete, and travel to enrich my life in the community. Thank you to everyone who contributed to my journey as 2018 SELF boy. Thank you to the staff and volunteers of SELF whose hard work makes this one of the best events in the Southeast.
October 2019 Column
In July, I went to the Stars and Stripes Run held by the TarHeel Leather Club which was at a hotel in Greensboro, NC. They had a drag show which was a wonderful sight to see and lots of cocktail parties as well. The comradery was amazing as well as the people. I hosted a cocktail party for SELF at the run making my own personal cocktail (Jesus juice) and serving it to the attendees. Maybe next time Ma’am will let me find a nun or a priest to serve it? That would be funny. Trippy and Armed, my leather family, hosted the pan-sexaul dungeon and the Red Dragons (Tobacco Road Chapter) fixed breakfast complete with dragon-shaped pancakes on Saturday morning.
While at the run, I got to witness the North Carolina Bootblack contest. Tricksy won the contest and I hope they have a great year. This contest is a feeder for SELF so I am sure I will see Tricksy again.
I am a founding member of the Tobacco Road Chapter of the Red Dragons MC club. In August, we had our first year anniversary ride and get together. A few members from the Old Dominion Chapter out of Virginia met us in Clarksville, VA. There we spent the weekend at a lake motel overlooking Bugg’s Island and Occoneechee State park. We swam at the pool and walked around the town of Clarksville looking at the thrift and antique shops that lined main street. This was the last time I saw my mother-in-law alive, so it is a bittersweet memory.
In September I had the privilege of speaking F.A.K.E. Fort Mills Area Kink Educators in South Carolina. Here we discussed what it is like being a titleholder, the dos and don'ts as well as all the ups and downs. Talking in front of small groups gives you a feel for the people around you and you can open up with some good discussions. Despite my phone dying and having a bit of difficulty finding the location, I had a blast. Everyone was so nice and asked great questions.
This October I am on my way to the Columbia Leather Order Run called Phoenix Rising which is held at The River’s Edge in Georgia. It’s a clothing optional venue with a heated swimming pool. They go all out with Halloween decorations, which is my favorite holiday, and great food. I was fortunate to attend last year with my leather sister. And I am thrilled to be going Oct 18-20 with family members and my beloved Ma’am. I hope to see you there: it’s well worth the drive for the experience.
January 2020 Column
October brought a wonderful opportunity to take a road trip with my Ma’am and my leather sister. We went to the Columbia Leather Order’s run held at Rivers Edge Campground in GA. I needed a way to nurture my soul by sharing space and enjoying the company of other kinksters in the aftermath of the death of my mother in law. I needed to reground my spirit/energy with nature which helps me process pain, emotional as well as physical. For me, literally planting my feet in the earth helps me process. I find peace by putting my bare feet on grass or my squishing my toes in mud. Chatting around a campfire and delighting in foolishness helped to lift my spirits.
I pestered, pouted, worked my manly magic until I convinced Ma’am to go with me this year. My leather sister and I went last year and had a ball. I have a picture somewhere that would embarrass my sissy to death. CLO never disappoints and we had an outstanding weekend in spite of the chilly rain that settled in for most of the weekend. There was a game room where we play darts and pool. We spent time in our cabin, built a fire in the fireplace and cuddled, reconnecting. We walked the trails from our cabin to other campsites and got drunk with other leather clubs talking and singing. Oh the off-key loud 80s rock ballads that filled the air that night. We surround ourselves with like-minded people and wonderful energy and it helped with some of the pain.
Today, I ended up at Hungry Mothers State Park in the hills of Va, where again I find myself walking in the woods feeling the energy. Taking time in the middle of more sorrow to find something in the natural world that seems so ancient compared to the short time we have on this planet. Talking to the park ranger to pass time, give myself a breath before returning to the
funeral home where I was attending the funeral of one of my leather sisters.
A_hearts_wish was my friend, sister, family, confident, cheerleader, and counselor. I considered her my mentor and advisor for dealing with my own slavery from a slave’s point of view. She understood what it was to wake up every morning and decide to be in service each and every day. She helped me deal with the reality of the day to day with laughter and joy. I will miss teasing her with spiders while she threatened me with clowns. (Our respective phobias) She was easy to talk to and it made sense when she spoke. She showed me that a slave could be an independent strong person and choose to bow to another’s will. She was graceful,fierce, honest, and loyal. I still strived to be that good of a boy. I will miss her dearly and I will hang on to those around me just a little bit tighter for awhile. And that’s okay.
2019 has been and will always be the year that I lost people that were dear to my heart and part of my well being.This year has been hard on my family, my friends, and my own well-being. It has made me realize how often we take life for granted. There always seems to be more time, until the time runs out. We think we are all going to be around forever and put things off until later. Sometimes later doesn’t come. I’m learning to cherish the time we have with each other and make memories. I am learning to let go of small hurts to make way for better memories. I’m looking forward to embracing the new year and hoping this year, maybe I’ll find myself with my feet in the sand at the beach with waves washing over my toes. This year I’ll hug you a little tighter and hold on a little longer.
March 2020 Column
When life is difficult, there is a comfort in the familiar routine of daily ritual and work needs. Every morning I still make Ma’am’s coffee and wake the kid up for school. A brutal truth in life is the sun rises every morning whether you are prepared or not. The last three months started with a candlelight vigil for my lost leather sister which helped me say goodbye and honor the memory of her life. I found myself struggling to attend MAsT meetings and show up at bar night with the leather club. And each time I showed up, I was surrounded by people willing to share the stories of their journey, the people that shaped their leather. It kept me going and doing the work to learn to cope with the hard times. I’ve learned more about my people and found that a shared sorrow leads inevitably to loving memories. By learning from others, I was given the chance to see my own life and leather journey in a different light. Even after all this time, there is more to learn to create a richer life for myself and those around me.
I had the opportunity to attend MAsT in Raleigh, NC, where I listened to Sir Raven Keldera and Joshua Tenpenny as they talked about their book Real Service. They discussed their tour as well as other books.They answered questions and we laughed till we cried. It led me naturally to looking at my own relationships and acknowledging the skills I have and the ones I’ve learned through service. Sometimes it’s making coffee, and other times landscaping the backyard. I am learning to acknowledge my strengths and taking pride in the things I do well. It helps me to work harder in areas where I have room to grow.
My sense of adventure and genuine joy in talking to and meeting new people has led me to trying my hand at co-hosting a class discussion. I’ve been the center of attention many times over the years and a willing “victim”. I’m nervous and excited all at the same. April 17-19, I will be at the Submissive Safe Haven Symposium where I will be assisting in leading an open forum discussion on the journey of the male submissive. In addition, if you need a break from classes there is a nice pond right behind with supplied fishing poles. I’m convinced there is a huge catfish if only I’m patient enough. It’s been two years, still haven’t caught him yet. But I’ll keep trying just the same.
July 2020 Column
I am coming to the end of my second year as SELF boy 2018/19 and it is a bittersweet experience. I can not thank the SELF team and both my title families enough for this amazing experience.
During the last two years, I have had the opportunity to visit kinksters and events all over the country. I've made new friends and learned so much about the way other people view their kink and how that impacts their lives. Representing SELF has given me the opportunity to grow into a better service-oriented boy with a larger worldview. I no longer see myself as an observer in my life. Carrying a title has allowed me to be grateful for my entrance in the leather community being made easier by those people that came before me. I've embraced the idea of helping those that come after me find their own path. I've become less resistant to hearing different opinions and more proactive in helping create a better experience for other kinksters. I know what it is like to feel all alone and out of place. SELF welcomed me into the fold and I see it as part of my job to welcome others. Sometimes a friendly face and making introductions is all a person needs to feel welcomed into the community.
The places and events that I visited have forever shaped my world. I had the chance to fulfill some of my bucket list desires because of the opportunities created from holding a title.
If you can ever get to New Orleans, please go. The food is amazing: eating begets in the french quarter listening to jazz was a bucket list kinda thing. Music was around every corner, musicians with instruments and children drumming on buckets playing for change. The people were friendly and flamboyant. The smell of piss permeated the air till 4 AM, then the streets closed down and they cleaned them.The scene was a mix of pay for play and energy/play. I met people, clubs, and families from all walks of life.
I went to Las Vegas and the scene was also wonderful. The folks were like family, the atmosphere was just like home.
Speaking of home, the SouthEast has its own quaint way of doing things.
The year of 2019/2020 has been the roughest year with family deaths, leather family deaths, as well as friends' deaths. This year really sucked then COVID hit toward the last part and everything just stopped. It was like the world was going full spin then came to a sudden halt.
Can’t wait till I see you all next year.
Tidbit - 2018 SouthEast Bootblack
Tidbit began exploring the lifestyle in 1997. He started out as a kinkster and play slut, but has since found his home in Leather, with a firm respect for the morals, ethics, and integrity, and camaraderie that this path has brought to his life.
Formerly active in Gnosis and a former board member of TALON, tidbit pledged the Tarheel Leather Club in 2011. He has previously held the offices of President and Vice-President, and currently serves the club as the Scribe and an in-house bootblack. He is also active in MAsT Winston-Salem, a leader of the Twin City Kinksters, and Regional Representative for the Southeast region of MAsT-International. Tidbit was also honored to serve the state as the 2012 NC Bootblack. While constantly on the prowl for more to learn, he also strives to make himself available to teach anyone that's willing to listen.
Tidbit has taught classes on cigars, cigar service, sounding, and both the technical and erotic aspects of bootblacking. He is proudly owned by Mr. Wolf for the last 15 years, and together they reside in Winston-Salem, NC with their 8 adorable fur kids.
Calendar of Events
23rd – Tarheel Leather Club Bar Night, Greensboro, NC
6th-8th – Tarheel Leather Club Stars and Stripes Run, Greensboro, NC
4th – Cigar Social, Garner, NC (details still in the works)
10th-12th – Southeast Black and Blue, Atlanta, GA
7th-9th – SC Pride in Leather, Columbia, SC
15th – Greensboro Pride, Greensboro, NC
29th – Triangle Pride, Durham, NC
13th – Pride Winston Salem, Winston-Salem NC
19th-21st – Columbia Leather Order Phoenix Rising Run, Dewey Rose, GA
June 2018 Column
The only thing that I can say right now is wow! This has been an amazing experience so far. SELF was phenomenal. I reunited with old friends and made tons of new ones! I am so thankful for the advice, words of encouragement, feedback, and support that I received, both before the contest and in the days since. It has been truly invaluable.
This was a definite learning experience. Through all the conversations that I had, I learned things that I never knew about people I have known for years. I learned new things about myself (mainly that I’m not as afraid of the microphone as I thought I was). I learned that I can stand up and just do me.
Thank you to all those who donated to my auction baskets, all those who bid on them, and all those who bought raffle tickets.
Thanks to our judges, Tyesha Nicole Best, OB Hamm, Jazz, Archer, and Tris. Thanks to my technical judges, Raymond, Callie, and Marcie Friday. You made me look within myself and answer the hard questions.
Thank you to Lady Catherine Gross, the SELF board, all the volunteers and the staff. Your hard work is what makes this event home year after year. Thank you to the sponsors, for without you, SELF would not be possible.
Thanks to the audience for your votes, your cheers, and your feedback. Hearing that my message touched so many people was truly humbling.
Thank you to our den crew Flossie and Boy Dave. You had a heck of task wrangling us all, and we still managed to go on stage without toilet paper on our boots. You gave advice, criticism, and support and it is all greatly appreciated.
Thanks to my handler Boy Andy and my coffee slut Rhapsody. I would not have left with my sanity intact without you two.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to Master Wolf. You tolerated endless repetitions of speeches, intros and fantasy practice in the living room. You did it all with unwavering support and encouragement. And when my resolve started to falter, you simply gave me orders.
My goal is to visit every state in the Southeast this year. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are already on the schedule. If you are open to having me visit, present, or bootblack, please let me know!
I am extremely excited about this year. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be in this title family.
Oct 2018 Column
Wow, what a journey the last few months have been! I have reunited with some old friends, made some new ones, and taken steps that I won’t ever forget. So far, I am on track to visit all of the states in the Southeast, seeing three in the last three months. Have no fear, I'm headed for all of them!
We ushered in July with the Tarheel Leather Club's Stars and Stripes run, where the entire title family joined together to host a cocktail party, complete with togas. Ok, so our sister, Iamar, SE Person of Leather joined us via Skype, but that counts! The rest of the month saw me visiting Red Lions Bar night and MAsT-Greensboro.
I stretched my wings a bit in August and taught a class on erotic bootblacking at the Little Leather Scout Expo, hosted by my title brother Quazi (your SE Boy). Seeing so many people so eager to learn new things always makes my heart smile. Not to mention the hands on practice at the end of the class! Then there was Southeast Black and Blue in Atlanta, where I had the honor to bootblack for them all weekend. Those folks put together a fantastic weekend. I also attended Charlotte Pride with Master Blue (SE Master), Quazi (SE Boy) and Sir Bradford (Mr SELF). We were honored to be part of the color guard leading the parade. Once we reached the finish, we hustled the 9 blocks back to the beginning to join everyone on the Woodshed float and did it again! There may have been some shenanigans with a fire truck. There were lots of flags, lots of love and lots of fun.
I headed to South Carolina in September to bootblack for the SC Pride in Leather event in Columbia. What a great event, and congrats to Boy Brian! I got to hang with Quazi, Sir Bradford, Master Blue and slave sheri AGAIN. I had an unplanned weekend off thanks to Hurricane Florence when Greensboro Pride got postponed, but it’s off to the races again.
Next month, I get the wonderful opportunity to care for the squares on the Leather Quilt (and hang with Master Blue and slave Sheri), I'll help the Tarheel Leather Club lead the Pride Winston Salem parade, and head down to Georgia again for Columbia Leather Order’s run.
This journey has been incredible. Our title family has been there for each other every step of the way, creating cocktails, sharing travel plans, planning events together, organizing carpools, splitting hotel rooms, reminding of deadlines. These people are amazing and I could not have asked for a better group to share this year with.
Stay tuned, there’s more to come!
January 2019 Column
Here we are in January, a little over halfway through our title year. Part of me is stoked about the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, and the experiences that I have been a part of. The other part of me is a little sad that there’s only 6 more months. I’m having too much fun!
The last few months have been a little quiet for me. October saw me travelling to Columbia Leather Order’s run. We opted to tent camp again, as we did last year. Love me some camping! CLO put on a great run, as usual and I can’t wait until next year. In November, I was honored to be a historian at the Leather History Preservation Weekend. I shared my story, did a little bootblacking, had a few fan-boy moments with some folks that I greatly admire. Definitely a weekend to remember.
The remainder of the year brought some much needed downtime. There was a sudden employment change, for which I'm grateful I had a contingency plan and was able to recover fairly quickly. Then came Thanksgiving, which I spent with my families, both bio and chosen. Lots of travelling that day.
Christmas was spent travelling as well, sharing the day with the many people that I love. Four days later was a momentous birthday for me, one that I’m still coming to terms with. When you add all that together, throw in a new puppy, and a sprinkle of sinus infections, it doesn’t really seem as quiet as I thought it was.
In the next few months, I’m looking forward to a trip for the Atlanta Mentor Coalition and the Mx Virginia Contest, and organizing a series of bootblack classes here at home. Hope to see you on the road. Happy new year, everyone.
March 2019 Column
Whoa, it’s March already?! The last couple of months have flown by! I’ve been super busy tearing up the highways lately. Tonight, I am just arriving back home after spending an amazing weekend in Richmond for the inaugural Mx Virginia Leather Contest. I got to hug some friends that I hadn’t seen in too long, which is always one of my favorite parts of these trips. The contestants were all great, the venue was fantastic, and Richmond was beautiful. Bootblacking action was happening!
The stands stayed full, and everyone on the bootblack team stayed busy. And there were shenanigans with Mr SELF 2018 Sir Bradford! Many, many thanks to the Hampton Roads Red Dragons for the lodging, the hospitality, the camaraderie, and the extraction teams. Y’all are amazing.
Earlier last month, I was honored to be a part of a titleholder panel for Atlanta Mentors. Traveling with SELF Boy 2018 boy quazi and SELF Boy 2012 boy Andy was a hoot. The three of us sat on the panel with Dale, 2012/2013 SE Community Bootblack, and Pup Kase, 2018 International Puppy. The group had some great questions and the discussion was lively!
Travels continue with a fierceness until June. The schedule includes Atlanta for Leather Leadership Conference, South Carolina for a day-long bootblack workshop, Georgia again for the Coastal Empire Sentinels run, Florida for Beyond Leather, and much more. More new friends coming soon, and I’m looking forward to some quality time with the rest of my title family. See you all on the road!
June 2019 Column
I cannot believe it’s almost over. In about a week, my title year will come to an end. It really is bittersweet. While it will afford me more time with my family, my relationships, and my local community, I am going to miss this. I know that I’ll continue to see my title family, I will continue to travel, and there are several projects happening, but this year has been the time of my life.
I couldn’t have done this without all of you. Everyone I’ve encountered over the last year has been extremely supportive, encouraging, and helpful. And my title family?! Those folks simply amaze me. Every single one of them has represented the Southeast with integrity and grace. There have been many shenanigans, but there is not a better group of people that I could have chosen to serve with. We are family for life.
To everyone I have encountered……. yes, everyone. Those of you that invited me to events, came to my classes and workshops, donated to fundraisers, gave me a couch to crash on, or simply shook my hand at an event, you were a tremendous support and added so much to my year. The SELF board, staff, and volunteers are a force to be reckoned with. Thank you for everything.
This year has been truly humbling. I am going to look back on this with the fondest memories and am leaving with bonds that can never be broken. I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Southeast Bootblack 2018 and hope that I’ve done you proud.
Master Blue and slave sheri - 2018 SouthEast Master and slave
Master Blue’s Leather/BDSM journey started over 19 years ago. He self identifies as a male identified leather dyke. He strives to uphold the values of honor and integrity. He believes that one should never stop learning and that one should give back to the community in any way possible. Blue, as he is often referred, has been actively involved in the local, state, regional and national community in many ways. He has volunteered, served as contest Judge, presented workshops, served as tally master, and served as master of ceremonies for many events. There’s not much he won’t do for the Leather/BDSM community. Blue is Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest 2010 and Mr. North Carolina Leather 2009. He served as Board Member and Contest Coordinator for SouthEast LeatherFest for six years. Master Blue is a Founding Member and current President for the Appalachian Women of Leather (AWOL), Co-Director of MAsT Lenoir, Producer of Master slave Reflections and the east coast curator for the Leather Quilt. He is also the head of household for his leather house, La Cosa Nostra. Above all, Master Blue is the proud Owner of his schiavo, slave sheri.
slave sheri resides in Lenoir, North Carolina and has been in the Leather/BDSM community for several years. She is honored to be the collared slave of Master Blue and is a member of his leather household, La Cosa Nostra. slave sheri loves traveling to visit various leather/bdsm groups, events, and leather club bar nights across North Carolina, the South East, and various other parts of the Country. She is a full patch member, current Treasurer and Road Captain for the Appalachian Women of Leather (AWOL), Co-Director of MAsT Lenoir, Co- Producer of Master slave Reflections and the current Client Services Director for the Leather Heart Foundation. She served on the board as Public Relations Chair for SouthEast LeatherFest for 3 years. She has served as the Volunteer Coordinator and Vendor Coordinator assistant for the Leather History Conference. Outside the leather/bdsm community, slave sheri serves as a Guardian Ad Litem, volunteers for a local LGBTQ youth group and a women’s shelter. slave sheri is passionate about volunteering and education. You can usually find her helping out wherever she can during an event.
Calendar of Events
1st Charlotte Peer Group
6th-7th Tarheel Leather Run
14th MAsT: Lenoir
4th MAsT: Lenoir
16th-19th Submissive Journey Weekend (presenting-slave sheri)
17th-19th NOLA goL annual camp out (presenting-Master Blue)
24th-26th Alphabet Soup: Trans Camping
August 30th- September 2nd Master slave Conference (service station-slave sheri)
9th WILA (presenting)
16th Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon
20th- 23rd Florida Power Exchange (presenting)
6th MAsT: Lenoir
12th- 15th Half Iron Man (Master Blue)
20th Half Marathon (Master Blue and slave sheri)
2nd- 4th Leather History Preservation
9th MAsT Laurel Women (presenting)
1st MAsT: Lenoir
5th MAsT: Lenoir
9th PAK (presenting)
1st- 3rd Sin In The City (tentative)
2nd MAsT: Lenoir
7th – 10th South Plains
15th – 17th LLC (tentative)
4th-7th Master slave Reflections
3rd-5th Trademark Run and NCLC
13th-16th SELF- Step down
June 2018 Column
Wow, we are a week post SELF 23 and it is still sinking in that we are the 2018 SE Master/slave. The support and love we felt though the entire contest weekend was humbling. We were so grateful for every hand shake, hug, kiss, and encouraging words. You may not know it, but each of you helped calm our nerves and gave us faith that we could get through this fast-paced weekend.
Speaking of support, the amount of support we have received is what has surprised us the most so far. We expected support from our near and dear, we have been absolutely blown away by the overall support we have received from the community as a whole. THIS is what it is all about.
We have set a goal to visit each state in our region at least once this year. So, if you live in states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia help us hit our goal please! We would love to come visit, volunteer, and/or present for your group.
We are off and running right out the gate. June 23rd we will be vising CAPEX in Charlotte, NC. CAPEX has been a long time sponsor of SELF and we look forward to spending some time with these wonderful folks.
First weekend of July we are off to Greensboro, NC for the Tarheel Leather Run where we will be sponsoring lunch for everyone. We will also be joining Ms. SELF, Mr. SELF, SE Boy, and SE Bootblack for our very first 2018 Title family cocktail party!
To our judges, Tris Esclave, Tyesha Nicole Best, OB Hamm, Jazz, and Archer, thank you so much for your time, advice, and encouraging words.
To the voting audience, thank you so much for joining us on this crazy ride and for supporting us with your digital voice
To Lady Catherine Gross, SELF board, staff, and volunteers, thank you for all the hard work each of you do to make this such an amazing event and thank you for the support you offer the contestants.
To our handler, Jack Malone, you are simply amazing and we could not have done this without you!
To the Boy, Lane GearDog Doge, you shined and took excellent care of both of us even when we were difficult to manage. We love you!
To our cat herders errr den crew, Dave Hudson and Flossie Nadon, thank you for being there and offering whatever we needed to get through this with our sanity in tact. Every encouraging word, wardrobe adjustment, hand holding, hug, and being told “just breathe” was so appreciated and needed.
To our contestant class, Choc Trei, Zara Robinson, Kuvee-iamar Onyx Pearl, Tid Bit, David Williams, Bradford Dorfdarb, we can’t imagine a better group of people to have experienced this with. Every single one of you are amazing and we love you and thank you for doing the damn thing with us with such phenomenal support.
To our generous friends who donated to our baskets, thank you for your support by donating such amazing items that benefitted our travel fund we are extremely grateful.
To the attendees of SELF, you truly are an amazing group of people. We can never thank y’all enough for all the love and support we felt from each and every one of you, but know that we do thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We hope we can do you all proud during our title year!!
Master Blue and slave sheri
2018 SE Master/slave
Oct 2018 Column
So it’s been a busy few months with some fantastic events but also, a fantastic title family! Each time we have traveled all of us have stayed in contact with each other in group chat to support each other and find out where and when we will be. If at all possible we try to show up as a title family. I am so grateful for each of them and when we are together it’s simply magical and always fun!
We did a SELF cocktail at Tarheel Leather run (all in togas!) where we had the SE Master/ slave, Mr South East LeatherFest, Ms. South East LeatherFest, SE Bootblack, SE boy AND our title sister Person of Leather was at another event but Skyped in so we could celebrate together! I absolutely LOVE how close we are and grateful we get to share our title year together.
During Charlotte PRIDE we had to divide our time, my slave was presenting at submissive journey weekend, I was honored with being a part of opening ceremonies with the Charlotte Tradesmen, and also riding the Woodshed float along side them. This meant so much to me I have no words for how much the Tradesmen mean to both of us. I also got to spend time with Bradford (Mr. SELF) Tidbit (SE Bootblack) and Quazi (SE boy)
Again.. I love my title family! We had so much fun.
We presented for WILA ( Women In Leather Atlanta) love them so much! Also at the wonderful Charlotte PEER group and as always had a fantastic time! We attended the South Carolina Leather Contest where we had a great time and spent some time with Mr SELF, SE Bootblack and SE boy. Have I mentioned that we love our title family?
We also attended and presented at Florida Power exchange and got to spend time with our title sister Iamar (SE Person of Leather) and some other old friends, but also a lot of new friends.
It is no wonder we feel like we haven’t slept much in our bed LOL. We have been having so much fun traveling and meeting so many people! Upcoming we will be headed to Leather History Preservation, MAsT: Laurel and MAsT: Richmond and then a break for the holidays. We hope to see you!!!
January 2019 Column
Our home life decided to go into overdrive for the last part of 2018. The Universe said “hey, watch this” it seems. Our quiet house got invaded by our daughter and grand babies, a five year old and 8 month old. Talk about turning your world upside down! We do what we do and did what needed doing. She landed the job she was after and found a home of her own very near by.
Nearly simultaneously slave sheri got a promotion at work and was suddenly way busier than normal. I helped all I could to lighten her load and yes that meant many diaper changes and a continued battle with the dishwasher!!!
We battened down the hatches and hunkered down to weather the storms. We relied on each other and saw our way through all the new challenges. Trusting that the foundation of our dynamic would hold us steady and true to the other side. It did and we went into the holidays grateful to be surrounded by friends and family.
First of November we attended Leather History Preservation where we had a wonderful time. We also retired the Sisterhood of the Traveling Boots to the Carter Johnson Library where they will be in the very best hands.
Thanksgiving is our annual tradition of opening our home to anyone who needs a place to go for true holiday. We were blessed to have around 30 people to be thankful with. Christmas was pretty low key for us this year, but wonderful all the same. We snuck off to the beach for a few days for our personal Christmas and had some much needed rejuvenation time.
As we head into the new year we made the difficult decision to withdraw from the International Master/slave competition. We have to make sure our focus is at home and on what is needed of us here no matter how much our hearts may desire to go represent the South East. We both thank every one of you for your support and hope you understand this difficult choice that needed to be made. I can’t say that we regret the decision because choosing our family first can never be a regret, but we will miss experiencing this with the great group of people that make up the 2019 International class. We hope your holidays were wonderful and the new year brings you joy.
March 2019 Column
Can’t believe it is March already!! Family and work obligations have caused us to be pretty quiet the past three months. We hosted the first annual Gathering of Leather Women in Charlotte which is a non event event. We simply gathered and spent time together. It was pretty amazing and we had a fantastic time.
We traveled down to SC to present at Piedmont Area Kinksters (PAK) and was welcomed with open arms. What a fun group of people they are! We had such a good time and want to go back soon.
Next week we should have been heading to South Plains to compete for International Master/slave and as many of you already know, we had to make the decision to bow out from the competition. Many people have reached out and offered sympathy and support, for which we are very grateful. Some people have said how tough a decision this must have been. The thing is, it was not a tough decision at all. Our priorities need to be exactly where we shifted them to. The decision was made that was best for us and our daily lives. It is tough to not be heading to SP next week, but making the right decision was not.
We are gearing up for our last three months as your SE Master slave and will be headed to Atlanta to LLC next. We hope to see you all soon!
June 2019 Column
As we approach the end of our title year we can’t help but look back over the last year with humble gratitude.
The overwhelming support we received from the SE and beyond has been heart warming and appreciated. We would love to be able to thank everyone individually, but fear we would inadvertently leave someone out and we would never want to cause that feeling of being unappreciated. Please know that if you supported us in any way be it by word, text, participating in our travel fundraiser, inviting us to present, or attended to hear us yammer away, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. All support, no matter how small you felt it might be, was felt and cherished.
We do want to thank our producer, SELF board, and SELF staff for all the work you do behind the scenes to support your title holders. You said SELF was home and proved it constantly.
Near and dear to our heart we thank Capex and Master Varii for unwavering support prior to our title year and throughout it. Thank you does not seem enough, but we do thank you.
We wish the incoming title holders an amazing year and hope you will welcome them with the same loving arms you opened to us.
Master Blue and slave sheri
iamar Kinhawk - 2018 SouthEast Person of Leather
iamar was introduced to the Leather community in 1996 through AOL. She joined the TIDEwater Community as a member in 1998 when it first formed as BelleIsis. She moved to Nashville, TN in 1999 and through the years renamed herself iamar after her Leather brother told her that she was like the moon which was ever changing. She had been apart of the volunteer staff in the Nashville community. She started Teases and Cakes, a support group for submissives and slaves as well as Nashville People of Color with her husband. As a volunteer for Frolicon, she expanded her role as a game room hostess to being a ceremony coordinator as well as a Primal presenter. She is a moderator for Primal Play-The Animal Within on Fetlife. She is currently a member of The Red Chair in Birmingham, AL and Voodoo Leatherworks in Colorado Springs, CO. She is a member of Onyx Pearls Mid Atlantic, and had proudly serving as Sargent of Arms for two years for the Onyx Pearls Southeast. iamar is always on the go traveling to visit the various communities in her spare time to continue her education regarding Leather, BDSM, and Kink.
UPDATE, FEBRUARY, 2019: iamar Kinhawk wins International Person of Leather at Sin in the City, Las Vegas, NV!!!
I wanted to make the people of my Southeast Region proud of how I would represent us. And boy did I ever by bringing the International Title back for another year. I have a hard act to follow but I am sure going to try to keep the excitement and open door to as many people as I can. I am hoping to go to at least two countries during 2019 to promote the fellowship within our worldwide community.
During the competition, I found two more brothers and sisters. StrongHands_MO, 2018 Heartland Person of Leather with his wife, Redprimrose who is the current Missouri 2018 Person of Leather, were both generous and helpful to me when I needed. A very special thanks to Redprimrose who assessed and wrapped my sprain ankle at the competion. Derek and his wife, EchoSprite are a special couple that so many in our community can learn from. Derek was the 1st runner up for Rocky Mountain Rebellion Person of Leather. He stepped up to the plate to compete with less than a month to prepare. He and his wife worked as a team with amazing grace, skill, and Love. They all are what this title is about.
I am looking forward to this new adventure with a bit of fear but so much curiosity about all the other playgrounds out there.
Thank you all so much for your continuing support and outpouring love. It will keep me flying high through this year.
Calendar of Events
June 2018 Column
This has been a whirlwind of a time. Coming out for the first time as Person of Leather started with members of my vanilla family. My children have known since they came of age or simply figuring it out that I am part of the Leather Life. The rest of my family knew without too much detail. The day after I returned from SELF, I started going to each family member and telling them what I had become. It was a terrifying moment. I was met with an acceptance and Love that so many are denied. I am humbled by their support even though they don't fully understand the Lifestyle. Going to a dear friend of mine who was volunteering with her church at Pride was comical. Her response was “I have a confession as well. I am a monogamous, straight woman. I hope that you can still accept me in your life knowing this about me.” Later that weekend, she posted my SE PoL picture at her church booth with kind words on Facebook.
“I have known this beautiful soul for 19 years now and it wasn't until this week that she entrusted me with her story. Y'all-Sit down with people and LISTEN to their hearts.”
Nashville Pride weekend was just filled with laughter and warmth. Walking with my friends and others like The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was a liberating experience. I talked to people I haven't seen in awhile. I saw people I would have never guessed as supporters or as gay before. I watched as families, young and old, walked together in solidarity with members of our marginalized part of society. We talked of how far we have come and the fears that hard won victories could be overturned by the current Administration. It was also bittersweet with people on the tourist part of town turning their backs on the walkers in disgust. Many pretending as we cheered and chanted that we didn't exist. In my mind, I reminded myself that it will take one step at a time, as well as one person at a time, to be welcomed as valid people within a system that still wants to keep us in the dark while we dare to walk proudly in the light of day. My friends, Carmina and Adder, let me use their Bisexual and Leather Pride flags to stand in front of the protestors. The feeling was so enthralling to stand up to them so openly. Hearing the cheers and seeing others also speaking against them made me feel so proud of Nashville. I can't wait to do it over and over again.
I am getting ready to travel to Newark, NJ. This will be my first time going to TesFest on July 6th through the 8th. I will be doing two presentations on Race Play which is scheduled for Saturday, July 7th at 3:45 pm and Primal Play at 9 am on July 8th. On July 10th at 6 PM, I will be at the Misfit Munch in Antioch, TN. On July 26, I will be in Chattanooga for the Speakeasy Socialites munch. And finally, on July 28th, I will be doing a photo session with Demon_Dolls who is the founder of The Transparency Project. TTP does free photo sessions for the trans community to help combat body dysmorphia and promote self esteem. Then later that evening, I will be at 1763 in Atlanta, GA. I hope to meet some of you there!
Oct 2018 Column
One of the things about representing this title is that it’s not just about community but acceptance. One of the questions asked of me during the contest has remained with me that was regarding fetishes that make me uncomfortable. Acceptance is something that so many have looked for and have found when they have joined our community. The freedom of knowing that where you go in this Wonderland, you will find others like yourself.
My initial time out of my comfort zone was TESfest. I was lucky to have been asked to be a presenter before the contest and was proud to represent the Southeast as PoL. What. An. Experience. The New York/New Jersey Leather Community from the time I was picked up from the airport until taken back was just as warm and friendly as my Atlanta Leather Family. As a Race Player, I wasn’t sure how my Taboo Class was going to be accepted but the people were not just intrigued but many were various types of Taboo players that were looking for acceptance and community of like mind. It was there that I met the folks of “Off the Cuffs” and will be doing a podcast with them next month regarding taboo play. I also presented my favorite topic of Primal Play and had a beautiful demo bottom who was just the sweetest primal kitten you could ever have. The NY/NJ Primals are slightly different from the Southeast Primals. I honestly think they are a bit more rough and tumble which was a delight to be a part of. One of the attendees had a moment during my class. His smartwatch alerted him that his pulse went up even though he was not being active. I don’t think you can have a higher compliment on your presentation. Thanks, Apple.
I spent time around my community Elders like MamaDomme and Sayuri Kane. I don’t usually see Leather explored in my local area anymore except for a few places like Clarksville. Many people tend to forget or discount the people that paved the way for us for one reason or another. In our busy lives we tend to go for shortcuts without realizing there are resources of the human factor that can guide us and show us things that they have found to work. And they are excellent in being there to bounce new ideas off of them and be inspired by what has gone before.
I was also unfortunately involved in a car accident and my van was totaled. Thankfully, my daughter has stepped in to get me to the events that are important to me. Like going to the Murfreesboro Pride celebration.
It’s getting closer to election time and learning about candidates has never been more important. I happen to know one of the candidates for our local election who is not just an ally for the LGBTQ communities but also for the Kink communities. Don’t forget to register to vote as November is so very important to many of us and our civil liberties.
Amusingly, I had a funny situation of being asked to take the place of one of my fellow Primal presenters. This was actually the first time this situation had ever happened to me. I have heard of the School of Hard Knocks from my Leather sister, Sarah, before and I was excited to be asked to present in her neck of the woods. However, there was a slight schedule conflict. Thankfully, after looking over bus schedules, I figured out that it could be done. So off to Knoxville I went, looking forward to a new adventure. Home venues were how I started in the Lifestyle. So many people either opened their homes to kinksters or enough people pooled their money together to get a hotel conference room for the night. It was an amazing introduction to everything. Going to SHK brought back so many happy memories. The small venues really have been the backbone to our communities when clubs and conventions aren’t an option. It’s those small resources that allow us to have information passed on to those who aren’t on social media or even know that there are clubs and conventions just waiting to provide even a greater scope to who we are.
Then I traveled back to Nashville in time for the local community Gala. It was great to see my local friends and meeting new people who were sharing the experience the annual community gathering for the first time.
My coworkers and I were given new t shirts to wear. These people have been supportive of my lifestyle choices over the years. They even put up with listening to my SELF speech, presentation ideas, and other things. I am a firm believer that you can trust some of your vanilla friends and co workers with your lifestyle choices. This was taken just moments before I was leaving for the Florida Power Exchange.
I met some amazing people there at this 6 year old convention as well as other familiar folks. I was reminded again of no matter where you go in the Leather Community, you will always find kindred spirits to greet you and fold you into their family. I was there for the premier of “Kinkphobia” that was created by Harmony Studios and distributed by the Sanctuary Center (www.sanctuarycenter.us). It’s a documentary about the difficulties we have in finding a legal and mental assistance as well as the struggles for professionals like NCSF who wish to give assistance to those involved in the kinky community. I was happy to give a part of my struggles as a mother going through the court system to maintain custody of her children. It’s been a road and I have seen changes in the legal system. But not enough for us to feel safe. Check out the documentary if you can.
January 2019 Column
My roommate looked at me dragging in my luggage and asked if I was ever going to be home. That’s what the remainder of my year has been like. Since October, I have been on the road by car, bus, and airplane. I determined that bus travel will be my last choice of travel. I had opportunities to be with a few of my sash family, my chosen family, and reconnecting with others.
My October started with reconnecting with my Sash Grandmother, Autumn Orange. She was the first SELF Person of Leather and a dear friend. She and I had discussed doing a degradation demo together at The Red Chair. So, we decided that the focus of the degradation demo would be age and weight. This was talked about over a few months to prep for as well as my history with being abused growing up. It felt like a powerful demo once we did it. And from the emails that I received, there were others that could relate to what we were doing. The real fear and other emotions of being considered too old in a community or not fitting the ideal image of what a submissive should look like. Even now, writing about that experience is hard. I rode back home with friends from the Nashville community who were wonderful in helping piece back parts of myself during the 4 hour drive. Once back home, I was immediately in the company of my chosen family to celebrate the wedding of my Brother/Protector and his beautiful Bride who I am proud to call Sister official now.
My Heterosexual Lifemate aka Best Friend had some bad news so I changed my plans to be with her in Columbus, OH. That trip was a strange twist of instead of focusing on what was going on, we went to have fun on her insistence. We first went a munch of The Space which is a local BDSM community. The people were friendly and told us of another munch going on that night.
So after a bit, we wandered over to Club Diversity. And that “let’s see what’s going on” turned into a not getting home until close to dawn.
There we met members of Trident of Columbus, OH. We walked into their Photo Night. There were pups, Leathermen, and Leatherwomen. And they opened their arms to us and we just spent all night talking and sharing experiences. The best part was that my Bestie found a place that she didn’t think she could find outside of SELF. Paul Tracy aka Sir Papa Bear is a kind spirit that I had connected with.
We ended up going to the local IHOP with several of the Trident members after their Photo Night. They were such a diverse group of people of ages and sexes. It was so wonderful to be with people like them for an evening until the early morning. We were then invited to join them with the Leather group called Scorpius. It turned out to be a fundraiser that we joined in on. I mean who doesn’t want to be locked up for charity.
I was then given a surprise of being asked to be a part of the Tridents. I was really floored and accepted to be pinned in Old Guard style under the watchful eye of their President. I am honored to be asked and proudly wear their pin on my leather vest now.
A few days later, I traveled by bus towards Reno, NV. I say towards because that trip didn’t quite go as planned for a cross country road trip. I am thankful for my Leather Family in Colorado Springs and Denver, CO and all the people who reached out to help me get to Reno. Instead of ending up in Reno, I was dropped off by Greyhound in Las Vegas where my Leather Mother, Soduire waited for me and put me on a plane to Reno, NV. I made it in time to do my first stint as a PoL judge at Revelry. Their convention is about 2 years old but with a community that is way older. Again, it was great to see such a diverse group working together to have a wonderful weekend laughing and learning. I was happy to have a chance to be around the unstoppable International Person of Leather, ABizzy as the Head Judge. And TC, the Producer of Rocky Mountain Rebellion 2018. Sitting between such strong women of our community just had me a bit flustered as you can tell from my trying to keep a silly grin off my face.
It was a eye opening experience of what you have to do to judge someone for a title. I am glad to have had that opportunity but it’s really not that easy to do. But I think that Nevada has a wonderful first PoL in Mike Blacksmith. I have a feeling that he will set the bar very well for future Nevada PoLs.
The following weekend found me in Charlotte, NC. This was my first time to CAPEX. There I did a presentation on Primal Play which has been very much a part of me since 2011. My sweet friend, Mistress Varii and Charlotte community have a wonderful group of people. I had the chance to spend a little time with my sash brother, Quazi. I had to take the long route back to Nashville. I didn’t mind much because my layover was in Atlanta and I had the chance to walk around the city for a while. I was given a reminder on the street that no matter how far that I travel, I will always return to the place that gave me a home.
March 2019 Column
There has been just so much happening. I was very fortunate to be able to spend New Year’s with my second home club,Voodoo Leatherworks, and my boyfriend. It’s always great to spend the first day of the new year with caring and loving people like my Colorado family.
I had a sad moment at the beginning of the year. A sweet friend named Reggie died in his sleep over the summer. His smile and living his life to the fullest was inspiring to all. His House gifted me with a few of his things in January. With their permission, I added one of his floggers in the auction basket for Sin in the City.
January went swiftly by as I prepared for the International Person of Leather competition. I stayed close to home visiting munches and going to The Laire in Clarksville as its my community home. I met a young man who is close to my youngest daughter’s age. I have become sort of a guide through the local communities. We attended Beast Mode at my first home club, The Red Chair, in Birmingham, AL, with other Nashvillians. Being with him allowed me to do my favorite activity of playing Kink Match Maker and matching new people with others who enjoy the same kinks. There’s a different kind of joy when you are able to connect people together.
While there, I was able to have my leathers attended to by Southeast Bootblack 2015, Girl_Friday. She cleaned and buffed my leathers to a bright and soft shine for Sin in the City. I am thankful for the care that she gave me and my leathers that night.
Going to Vegas was a lot easier this time and I was welcomed by my leather mom of 20 years who attended Sin in the City thanks to the generosity of Coco, Southeast Bootblack 2017. It was great visiting with her after several months of being apart. The next part was getting together with my roomies who were generous in letting me have the whole closet to myself as they have dealt with contestants before.
No fun weekend can be complete without something happening. On Friday, I misstepped in the parking lot and twisted my ankle badly. With adrenaline putting me through, I ignored my aching ankle until Saturday afternoon. I am thankful for Missouri 2018 Person of Leather, Redprimrose, for not only making me a fantastic Leather Pride tulle tutu but for binding my ankle up the last night of the contest. I am still in a wonder that I brought home the title again to the Southeast. So many people helped me achieve this title and I am grateful for their belief in me. I hope to bring the same energy and excitement to the title as ABizzy did.
I am planning a lot of different travels for this upcoming year which will include my step down as your SE Person of Leather at Southeast Leatherfest in June. But until then, I will be meeting up with people all over. See you in June!!!
June 2019 Column