Madeline Sparkles: Southeast Bootblack 2013
This femme leatherwoman was initially inspired by a dear friend and honeybadger, Mercat, and got hooked on bootblacking and the leather community more than a year ago doing lots of private bootblacking and also public bootblacking at Black Rose XXV, Dark Odyssey Winterfire 2013, and Frolicon 2013. While she has no formal bootblack mentor, her bootblack skills comes from a community of bootblacks to include bootblack titleholders from the MidAtlantic and the Southeast and particularly from friends, such as Mercat and boyAndersen. She is proud to be a pledge for the LeHigh Valley Girls of Leather. Her other interests include kinbaku, fireplay, honey beekeeping, pitbull rescue and international women's health issues. Give her a hank of rope and she'll happily tie you up, tie you down or give you wings to fly.
Calendar of Events
• July 27 - Kink d'Soleil - Bethlehem, PA (Sister Space Charities)
• Aug 10-18 - Hosting Dr. Phil, rope extraordinaire - Alexandria, VA
• Aug 24-26 - Stefanobirdofprey classes - Greenpoint, NY
• Aug 30 - Sept. 2 - MsC - Rockville, MD
• Sept 13-15 - Leather Bash - Atlanta, GA
• Sept 25 - BAR NIGHT - Richmond, VA
• Sept 28 - Rapture D~X~S - Manassas, VA
• Oct 4-6 - Bound in Boston - Boston, MA
• Oct 17-19 - Zamil classes - Greenpoint, NY
• Nov 16 - Rope skillshare at The Warehouse - Greenville, SC
• Nov 29 - Dec 1 - Brimstone - Asbury Park, NJ
• Jan 11 - Leather Night at The Warehouse - Greenville, SC
• Dec 14 - Twelve Days - Baltimore, MD
• Jan 18 - Mid-Atlantic Leather weekend - Washington, DC
• Feb 9 - Scarlet's Bake Sale (Charity for Scarlet Foundation) - Washington, DC
• Feb 14 - DO Winterfire - Washington, DC
• Feb 15 - TES bootblacking class and TES Paddles Party - NYC, NY
• March 7-9 - Southern Sole - Augusta, GA
• March 22-23 - Bound in Boston - Boston, MA (tentative)
• March 28-29 - Carolina Weekend - Greenville, SC
• April 11-13 - Leather Leadership Conference - Philadelphia, PA
April 2014 Column
I have spring fever!!! Wait! Has Spring finally come yet? It seems like this winter keeps on going despite time passing by so quickly.
So I kicked off this year with MidAtlantic Leather. I actually rearranged my schedule so I could spend some time with my SELF family. Optimus and River were heading into town for it and I wanted to make sure the SELF family were all at the event together. Or at least as many as we could get together in one place since our sash sister wasn’t going to make it. I can’t get enough of our title family. It’s always good to see those three.
MidAtlantic Leather is such an amazing event! Wall to wall with nearly every square foot filled with hot leather men and women and however else people identify, puppies, bears, otters. It was my first time going and I was so amazed by the sheer number of hot people everywhere. The view from the bootblack stand of the escalators was the best because you had a view of all the hot faces coming down to that floor and all the hot asses (from chaps and jockstraps) going up. It was awesome. I made it to the ONYX auction and wow, those leather brothers sure know how to put together an auction. All the sexy stripping of clothes kept us warm even though the weather was frigid and cold. I met some new faces, like Raimon (DC EAGLE 2014) and some other ONYX brothers I had met at MsC with Optimus last year. Congratulations to Joe Birdwell for the MidAtlantic 2014 title win! Looking forward to seeing all the folks going to IML to compete. Good luck to all those brave souls!
In a few weeks, I saw some of the same faces again at Scarlet’s Bake Sale. It’s amazing how many people come to that. It’s a charity fundraiser where all the proceeds from the Bake Sale go to a designated charity. This year’s charity was SMYAL. What is even more amazing is to see how much money those baked goods go for. Some cakes and pies were being sold for $100-$200. It is unreal. I went last year and loved the event so much that I begged the coordinators if I could help out this year, so I got to be part of the judging and helped present the items for auction. I already can’t wait for next year and may try my hand at putting a submission for it. I might have to practice my skills at baking.
In early March, I returned to Southern Sole. Organized by girlDale, Elegant and Sonya, last year’s Southern Sole was its inaugural run and it was so amazing that I wanted to go back. This year, they brought in new instructors and put together a new set up and added an additional day of classes. It was amazing. Nick Elliott (IMLBB 2012) was there to teach as was Chris, Michael, Tidbit and others. The classes are chock full of information whether you’re a seasoned bootblack or a novice. All day is filled with classes, from cleaners, conditioners, high shines and oil tans, sexy bootblacking, and lacing. The nights were full of laughter and fun and camaraderie and even some healthy competition. It was a great weekend to meet all the new bootblacks from across the country. I sincerely hope that one of them would step forward and run for SouthEast Bootblack 2014 and I can hand off the baton.
If you’re a bootblack in the Southeast, please consider stepping up to compete for the title. You step into an amazing family and leather history. I couldn’t recommend it more. Feel free to email me if you have questions about the title or about Southeast LeatherFest or about running, I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Well, SouthEast, I hope we get more sunshine and more opportunities to bask in it. And I hope to meet more of you in the weeks to come. It’s about 70 days to SELF. Are you ready? I’m so looking forward to the messy Twister and taking classes. But most of all, I’m really excited to see all of you again. I’ve come a long ways and I’ve done it with you all as family. I’m truly grateful.
With much love and respect,
SouthEast Bootblack 2013
January 2014 Column
Happy New Year to my SouthEast Family!
First off, I'd like to pay my respects to Nefarious (Mr. Southeast Leatherfest 2009). He was a bootblack brother to me. I met him at Southern Sole last year and he was instrumental in some of my wardrobe changes for my SELF competition. Always generous in making someone laugh, he was probably one of the silliest men I have ever known and his memory will continue to shine on. Rest in peace, brother. i hope your antics make the angels laugh and help to brighten our skies.
I hope that all of you are warm and safe and surrounded by love this upcoming year. I love new years. They always bring the promise of new beginnings and fresh starts. And regardless of whether the past year was full of happy memories or painful ones that you'd rather forget, new years always bring hope of new adventures and new friends... and sometimes a much-needed clean slate.
This year, 2013, was a wonderful year for me, or at least since SELF 2013, it really has ended better than I ever imagined. I seemed to have grown a family and an extended family and it's been really amazing and humbling.
In November, I had the opportunity to go down to the Warehouse in Greenville, SC, and share some rope with a really amazing community. I walked in expecting the 5-10 people who RSVP'd and walked into a packed place. I think my exact words were, "holy shit, there's a lot of people in here." And everyone was nice enough to let me babble on about hip harnesses and share my love of rope. If you haven't been to the Warehouse, you definitely should make it there one of these nights on a rope night or a leather night. The energy is amazing and I feel happiest when communities are blended. In DC, perhaps because it's so big, you have cliques of people, gay parties, and queer parties, and all-femme parties, and rope parties... In Greenville, as in Richmond, they all blend together harmoniously and seem to welcome each other with open arms. I feel happiest in those environments. And at some point in the wee hours of the... ahem, morning, you hear the deafening sounds of air mattresses as people make preparations to camp out overnight. I love sleepovers. I left there with a heavy heart and some really bad jokes (you know who you are). I miss you, Greenville. Thanks to LadyVictoria, her handsome hubby, Sir_Devious, and Rhapsody for a very warm welcome.
At the end of November, I was invited to bootblack for Brimstone by the amazing bootblack, Brandon (MidAtlantic Community Bootblack 2009) and share space with some new bootblacks, WickedJade and DragonEmrys. I also met some folks who are part of the SouthEast LeatherFest extended family. We leatherfolk sure manage to get around. It was a great opportunity for me to share the art of bootblacking with a lot of people new to it and spend some time wallowing in leather. Brimstone is a great smaller sized convention held in a relatively abandoned (due to season) Asbury Park, NJ. It has a band and karaoke nights. I walked away with Erasure lyrics in my head for weeks. And I managed to get my squeezes in from Catherine and Jack, OB and Angel. I thankfully got the chance to congratulate OB in person (finally!) for her ABW title win. Facebook is only satisfying when it's the only way you can communicate, but the hugs are always always better in person. Special thanks to Brandon for just having really good energy all weekend and being kind of a grandpappy bootblack to us newer bootblacks. And a shoutout to Mike, Gigi, Anne, Sara and Matty for making the weekend extra special.
December zoomed right by me. And I wasn't about to let it pass without attending Twelve Days. It was an event that I really wanted to go to in 2012, but circumstances and my own social anxieties prevented. And I don't know if it's the season, by my social anxieties flared up again right before the event this December as well. Thankfully, my leather family anchors me and I was able to overcome my shyness and go. What an amazing event!!!! It's a charity event and a drag show with Shawnna Alexander and even Cher!!! And there's Dykes and Daddies and Puppies and Bears (Oh my!) to be seen! Everyone is decked out for the season and it was nice to rub against so much leather! I was a little shy, but I met the very handsome Aaron Duke (American Leatherman 2013) and I did get my squeezes in from Doc (American Leatherwoman 2012), Nikki (Ms. New Jersey Leather 2014), Ms. Solitaire (Ms. Southeast Leatherfest 2006, 2007) (a very pleasant surprise!), Margaret (Southeast Bootblack 2009, 2010), Buzz (Ms. B'more Eagle 1999) and Lee. Special thanks to boyAndersen, Widj, Theatricaltoy, Jay, boyAlex, Doc and Nikki for being my social anchors. I love my family! At these kind of events, I'm quickly reminded that leather spaces are home for me and that I have an extended leather family. It's an amazingly humbling feeling.
I filled the rest of my weeks with Rapture and Riggers Delight rope events and, unfortunately, work.
So after having a quiet few months, I'm looking forward to all the adventures in store for me in 2014. Please reach out to me if you need some bootblacking skillshares. I'd love to come out to visit.
Best wishes to you all for a very healthy, happy 2014, filled with peace, love and happiness... and leather! lots of leather!
With much love and respect,
SouthEast Bootblack 2013
October 2013 Column
Community. It's a term that's widely used and probably less understood. I'm starting to learn what it's about in my travels as Southeast Bootblack 2013. I love hearing people's stories and some of the history of the community as they build the foundation of my definition of leather.
I think my first official event as a titleholder was TESFest. I didn't get to bootblack too much but through the bootblacking I did do, I met some (and got to know better) some tremendously amazing people: a kink writer who was familiar with the CT tobacco industry (yay for cigars) and some folks from the Crucible's rope family, Mara and Evan. I love bootblack space and the energy it provides. There's just something about it and I love wallowing in it. Thanks to Brandon, Mid-Atlantic Community Bootblack 2009, for the opportunity to share some bootblack space. And thanks to Finn and Doug for being so welcoming and helpful.
My second event as a titleholder was a Sister Space fundraiser in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with 2012 MidAtlantic Woman Toni Solenne, the Jersey Amazons, and my sisters in the LeHigh Valley Girls of Leather. It was an amazing turnout in which we helped raised more than $800 for the charity. The generosity of the people is always so humbling. Big thanks to Nikki and Morgaine for being so friendly when I was a bit shy.
Life was a bit busy in August as I was hosting Dr-Phil, a French rigger who practices Japanese rope bondage. It was a pretty amazing time and I met a lot of new people from around East Coast. Hopefully, it opens some doors to exploring the communities out there. And then up to NYC for Stefano BirdofPrey classes. I learned a lot about sadistic rope and my views on it. If you ever want to try it out, please give me a shout when I'm passing through.
And then MsC during Labor Day Weekend in Rockville, MD, was probably my third official event. The leather community is always amazing and I love the stories. . I think I learned a lot about the history of MAsT groups just from a gentleman having a conversation with others in my chair. Apparently 50 Shades of Grey has increased membership in the MAsT communities, but it also closed down a few of the originating groups. I'm not sure what to make of that. I guess on the one hand I'm very glad that people are being introduced to the leather and M/s communities through a mainstream source, but on the other hand, we're watering down our roots and in some cases they are dissolving. Hopefully, this is just part of a natural evolution. I also realized that there are some amazing resources for learning in the DMV area... It's not limited to the Crucible. Frederick, MD and some of the southern VA communities are really growing quickly.
Prior to making the run for Southeast Bootblack 2013, I was really on a journey to find myself and my place in the world (or maybe just in the community). At MsC, I realized that my place is with the bootblacks and with SELF. I found out that as an introvert I feel the safest and the most truly authentic me in bootblack circles and with my title family. Special thanks to boyAndersen and boyAlex for all the shenanigans all weekend. Just as a reminder to the rest of you, don't let bootblacks get bored for too long. They stir up trouble. ;) I love my bootblack family.
Special thanks to my brothers in Onyx for taking me in and inviting me to participate in Onyx events during the weekend of MsC and even making me feel really welcome, despite the fact that my gender and orientation might not qualify me into your membership. Rod, Elias, Morgan... and especially my title brother, Raymond... I love you guys. I especially love the kind of TV you watch. ;) Where can I get that channel?
I missed the Leather Bash and I was so disappointed. After all the visitors and MsC, I was tremendously sick. I caught a 3 week cold. It was miserable, so rather than trek down to Atlanta, a city I've come to love due to the leather community, I stayed in bed. I'm sorry. Titleholder meals and schedules do not make for a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully it's just a blissful year!
However, I did recover and one of the events that I was most excited about was a Bar Night in Richmond, VA, with the Richmond Queer Kinksters. Now, I know bar nights happen everywhere all the time, but I was especially excited about this one because it's a community going through rebirth.
The bar night was amazing. I was expecting maybe 5 people and some really in depth discussions with an intimate group, but instead we had quite a showing from the Richmond Queer Kinksters and the TNG groups, as well as some other people from the community. I really had a great time getting to know the folks in RVA and I hope to go back. I was asked to do a bootblacking demonstration and got to pop someone's public bootblacking cherry and teach two girls a bit about bootblacking. It was an amazing night, full of positive energy.
But more than the bootblacking, the amazing part of the night was the richness of the community out there. In most communities, like hangs out with like. It's easy to be around like-minded people. But in Richmond, the community was so diverse and varied and yet all of them really hung out together harmoniously and seemed to really care for each other. I was so impressed. I hope to learn what it means to be part of a community from RVA.
Thanks to MidAtlantic Woman 2013, NinaLove, for making a special trek to visit me. Best wishes on your journey and the next step. Huge hugs and thanks to Gwendolyn and Taylor from Richmond Queer Kinsters and Fallout for hosting. Additional thanks to Andy for getting the word out there especially to the RVA TNG. KittenKhaous, thank for the SouthEast LeatherFest welcome. SirAdam, thank you for the introducing me to one of the best cigars ever and I hope to pick your brain on the leather communities in RVA. Thanks for the tremendous welcome, RVA. I hope to be a regular in the Richmond community and get to know you all better. I'll definitely be back.
In this past quarter, I was able to spend time with my title family members, boyRiver and Optimus. I hate to be so conceited but my title family is a Class Act. I love both of them dearly. If you haven't checked out boyRiver's ass, you're totally missing out. And Optimus... his energy is like a rainbow of flavors and he's eyes could make you melt in a heartbeat. Oh, Ms. Flossie!!! You and I need some girl time together! Considering your motto, I'm not sure what that all will entail, but I look forward to more time spent with my title family regardless.
Upcoming events? I'm looking forward to some events at the Warehouse in SC at the end of this year and the beginning of 2014. I'm also looking forward to Brimstone and hanging out with Brandon and his band of bootblacks again. Plus more time with my SELF family. TES has kindly asked me to skillshare so I'll be trekking back to NY to give them a flavor of the SouthEast. Southern Sole and Frolicon are just around the corner, so I'm looking forward to more time with the SouthEast bootblack family.
Congrats to Brit for her title win as the SouthEast Community Bootblack 2013. Good luck to OB and Tank at ABW. Sorry that I could not be with you guys but sending my love. Special thanks to TheatricalToy, my sister... who always knows the right time to text me. Love you.
SouthEast, the more I get to know you the more I love you. Thank you for keeping it authentic and full of fun. Thank you for teaching me what community is all about. I hope to continue to grow and get to know you better and I'd love to come out to visit you in 2014 so give me a shout.
With much love and respect,
SouthEast Bootblack 2013
boy River: SouthEast LeatherFest Boy 2013
boy River is a gay man, Leatherboy, boot black, submissive, and sadomasochist. He is an active member and volunteer at the Mark by CPI in Nashville; he couldn't ask for a better family. His journey into BDSM and Leather began in the Fall of 2011. He has been blessed in meeting amazing people all over the country who teach him more every day. They have given him the knowledge and opportunities to succeed; he couldn't have pushed himself without them. He's currently working on his Master's in psychology with emphasis on sex, gender, and reproduction. His goal for his future career is to be a counselor for adults who identify on the LGBTQI spectrum and those who participate in BDSM, Leather, Polyamorous, fetish, and swinger lifestyles. He firmly believes that advocacy through education is the future of enhancing rights for our communities. He loves intelligent and open discussions about Leather, BDSM, sex, gender, and psychology.
Calendar of Events
Household Visit with Master Taino and MTTA Academy - slave Training for males: June 30th – July 14, 2013
Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend (Indianapolis, Indiana): Thu, Aug 22 - Sun, Aug 25, '13
Master/slave Conference 2013 (D.C.): Fri, Aug 30 - Mon, Sep 02, '13
Leather Bash (Atlanta, GA): September 13-15th
Folsom Fringe & Folsom Street Fair San Francisco: Sat, Sep 28, '13
SouthEast Black and Blue Weekend (Atlanta Eagle) 9th-10th August
Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend ( Indianapolis, Indiana ) Thu, Aug 22 - Sun, Aug 25, '13
Master/slave Conference 2013 (D.C.) Fri, Aug 30 - Mon, Sep 02, '13
September 6th ONYX Bar Night Atlanta Eagle, Atlanta GA
Conductor's Bar Night September 13th (Nashville, TN)
Leather Bash (Atlanta, GA) September 14th-15th
Folsom Fringe & Folsom Street Fair San Francisco (Teaching Erotic Boot Blacking and Mental Health and BDSM.) September 26th through the 29th
Leather History Conference October 25, 2013 •11:00 AM – October 27, 2013 • 3:00 PM
February 22nd: Presenting for WHIMPER (Austell, GA): Mental Health and BDSM and Erotic Boot Blacking
May 1st-4th Beyond Leather (Presenting)
March 2014 Column
Mid Atlantic Leather: This is a one of a kind event. The feeling of family and the networking are absolutely amazing. I can't say enough great things about the MC Centaurs or their President, Todd White. I was honored to serve as Judge's boy and was so fortunate to be of service and see the contest up close! Congratulations to Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather Joe Birdwell who will go on to represent at International Mr. Leather!
Hosted How to Make Leather Gear Workshop: This was a fundraiser and an educational event. Thanks for the generosity of Marxxx for teaching us all Leather gear making technique. Thanks to the generosity of the Mark by CPI and the Nashville community, I was successfully funded for the second half of my title year!
Taught Boot Blacking at the 1763 in Atlanta, Georgia for their sampling night! Along with 9 other instructors, we gave new people the ability to sample new kinks and fetishes! It was a high energy event, and it was wonderful to see so many friends, both old and new, there!
Taught Mental Health and BDSM, and Erotic Boot Blacking for WHIMPER in Austell, Georgia.
A high energy, amazing crowd. Had a fabulous time! What great parties and a wonderful community!
Taught Sex and Gender 101 and Transgender Partners at Leather Blue Grass Pride in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a smaller, intimate event, which added to the family feeling of the weekend. It was a very diverse crowd!
Baton Rogue: What an amazing community! Sir Optimus and I traveled to RSVP and taught Sex and Gender 101 and Humiliation 101! Thank goodness for such an amazing, revitalizing community and dungeon space!
Conductor's Leather Run: Track 32:
I officially became an associate member of the Conductor's this month! I was able to help Boot Black all weekend during the Run, and help with the fundraising! Myself and Boo Boo (International Mr.Boot Black 2005), raised almost 500 dollars towards the charity, Nashville Cares, and the run weekend raised almost 2000 over all! It was my first interaction with MACC, Mid-America Conference of Clubs, and it was really interesting to see the various Leather organizations who came out!
January 2014 Column
American Brotherhood Weekend: American Brotherhood Weekend in Chicago, Illinois was a one of a kind event. It was powerful, intimate and truly a stand-out Leather gathering. The unique mixture of about 100 individuals coming together to celebrate the history of Leather at the historic Leather Archives and Museum was nothing short of a breathtaking weekend. The community had gathered together whole heartedly with resounding openness, to support each other as Leather folk, and celebrate together. The contest itself was spectacular to watch. You got to see each and every contestant put their heart and soul out on the stage for us to view. We laughed with them, cheered them on, and cried with them. As a transgender Leatherboy and a gay man, I sometimes feel that my manhood, gayness, and status as a Leatherboy is sometimes called into question by people. This weekend I felt nothing but respect and love. American Brotherhood Weekend is an event well run and well loved by its producers, staff, volunteers, attendees and contestants. Be assured, I'll be back next year. Thank you ABW. Congratulations to OB American Leatherwoman 2013, Tank American Leatherboy 2013, and Aaron Duke American Leatherman 2013.
I also hosted a play party and puppy play demo this month. Marxxx graciously taught us the basics of puppy play, and Pup Monty was the awesome demo bottom.
Leather History Conference: One word to encapsulate this event is: diversity. This week was another powerful experience in exploring the roots and history of Leather culture. This event in Winston-salem North Carolina gathered together people of different ages, experience levels, title systems, Leather clubs, Leather families, states and even countries. The Carter-Johnson Leather Library was indeed an amazing piece of our community to see and learn from. Gypsie, a member of Master Taino's Leather Family did a spectacular job producing this event and it was truly wonderful to learn from those who have been in this community for decades. Master Ian's key note was a stand out speech in my own memory and touched on service to each other, one kind act at a time.
November: I was honored to teach at my home dungeon, The Mark by CPI in November. I taught Sex and Gender 101. I felt that the information was very well received and it sparked great discussion. There is something so special about being a presenter at home.
December: The Warehouse in Greenville, SC welcomed me with open arms! So honored to teach S & M 101. The discussion was incredible, I met some incredible kinksters. Lady Victoria is a woman with a true Leather heart.
I also was able to once again attend another of the Conductor Leather/Levi Club's bar nights. This group has done so much good for the HIV positive community in Nashville.
I also hosted a house party this month, teaching Trampling 101 with a short class and Marxxx graciously demo-bottomed for the class.
Marxxx and I also hosted Leather/Levi night at the Mark in Nashville. Again, it was wonderful to see my home dungeon and family. The energy was high, the play was hot, and it was a great night.
Can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!!
June 2014 Column
APRILMr. and Ms. Atlanta Eagle ContestAs usual, this has become a staple in my routine. This event is one of my favorite to go to, hands down. I went to this contest back when Tank was competing for Mr. Atlanta Eagle and he and Lizzy took the titles. For me, it brought back memories of boot blacking at my first Leather bar that I ever walked into and felt at home at, and the first Leather club I would become officially involved with, the Panthers Leather/Levi Club. Congratulations to JP! MEEPA SQUEE Mr. Atlanta Eagle!FroliconI had the honor of teaching Fitness and Nutrition, Puppy Play 101and Sex and Gender 101. Frolicon was a little different for me this year. It’s interesting seeing the mixture of Leather and BDSM cultures around one another. I got to Bootblack all weekend! My chair was extremely busy! I loved every minute of interaction I had with everyone there!CLAWI taught Humiliation 101 and Erotic Bootblacking. I had an amazing time. This is an event I know I will come back to every year, as well as ABW. This was simply an amazing social event with gay male energy all over the place. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and had amazing sex!MAYBeyond Leather I was honored to teach in Florida for this event, both Humiliation 101 and Sex and Gender 101. I was also auctioned off for charity, I apparently am worth $210 dollars total ;) It was my first exposure to pony play and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the locals in this community. It was also my chance to reconnect with family; Ms. Rae and boy Chris were a pleasure to interact with. I also had a chance to room with Hardy Haberman, who is truly an amazing guy. To see Sir Top and Slave Bonnie seamlessly work together Pony Play and the International Power Exchange contest was nothing short of spectacular! May this contest be occurring many, many decades to come!International Mr. LeatherThis was the big one folks! 20,000 hot Leather people together. I was overwhelmed, I must say. Nothing you read about or hear about will prepare you for the thousands of people, circuit parties, hotel parties, and two floors of vendor market. I had a great time. The IML staff were fabulous, the volunteers were wonderful. Our very own Mr. SELF did an amazing job representing the South East community during this competition! Please take the time to thank him for competing! Congratulations to Ramien Pierre our new International Mr. Leather, and Scout, our new International Mr. Bootblack.Blood Sweat & Queers: Nashville EditionI had the pleasure of hosting our biannual queer play party at the Mark by CPI, our BDSM community center in downtown Nashville. Almost 50 awesome gender bending folk came out to enjoy the music, food and space! I’m so glad this event went off without a hitch!See y’all at SELF soon!
Travel Fund Fundraiser
Thanks to you, the Nashville community, and the Mark by CPI community center for loaning us the space; I am officially funded for the second half of my title year. Not only am I successfully financed but I am over my original goal for the Leather Gear Workshop.
The original money from the three individuals who signed up on the GoFundMe account was all utilized to buy the workshop supplies.
Which after taxes were deducted and the money was deposited into the bank, it was 109 dollars.
From the indiegogo account and Leather Gear Workshop:
$770.00: Amount raised by credit card
-$69.30: Indiegogo platform fee (9.0%)
-$23.10: Payment processing fee (3%)
+$38.50: Credit card goal completion refund (5.0%)
=$716.10: Net amount disbursed to me
Plus 20 dollars given to me in cash, brings the total amount that was raised for my travel fund is:
-200.50 for plane ticket to CLAW
-120 Hotel for CLAW
-175- IML registration
-95 Frolicon Registration
-100 SELF Hotel
I want this note to keep a record of how your money is being spent. I will be spending the money for: Lodging, (such as hotels), Transportation, (plane tickets, gas, metro, taxis, buses), teaching supplies, (EX:pens, dry erase markers, boot blacking supplies,) and event registration/tickets. (Passes for day or weekend events.) I will not be using the money for food or alcohol, or anything unrelated directly to my title as SouthEast LeatherFest boy.
I will be providing an exact account of how the money is being spent until my step down on this note, so you can see how your donations and money are being spent!
Thank you all so much! I am so blessed to have the Nashville’s support.
Starting Amount: 736.10 dollars
Flossie: Ms. Southeast Leatherfest 2013
Flossie is honored to be Ms SouthEast LeatherFest 2013 and has been active in the community since early 2007, when she attended her very first trip to 1763 and met a Master whom she served as a slave for a year.
She volunteers at several community events in the Southeast and also assists local groups when she can.
She has attended many classes, and learned from many individuals in the community. She believes you can learn something positive from almost anyone. She loves and promotes the sensuality, sexuality, and energy of play. Some of her favorite things to do are: Florentine, singletails, needle play, foot worship, takedowns, and hands-on spankings.
Her favorite saying "I don't care what you are! Male Female or anywhere in between, if you got a hole I got something for you"
I have had a blast this year so far, I have been out and about as much as possible and plan on getting to each state in the SouthEast. This is the events I have been to so far this year and I have had a blast at each and every one of them!
2018 Update: Since my title year as Ms SouthEastLeatherFest 2013, I have been busy busy busy. Most times you can find me at a local leather run or a bar night still cruising, fucking, fisting and cumming my way around the Southeast! I also spend my time still helping the community in a variety of areas from security, den mama, judge’s assistant, judge, jello shot seller, handler, fund raising, and about anything in between. I received my cover presented to me by my community in 2017 and that was one of the highlights of my life. I still can’t thank you all enough. I was shocked and blessed to have so many of my leather family there. I am blessed with two homes my home that I share with my very supportive fiancé Troy who has been there for me through everything good and bad and my leather club Columbia Leather Order. They are my family! I have always considered myself “just a Top” and am very proud to be “just a top”. Recently though I have been exploring a romantic D/s relationship and have found a new part of me with a wonderful boy.
My title year taught me many things
- Spend time at the events that speak to your heart,
- Love everyone and be kind even when they don’t deserve it,
- Always keep learning and trying new things,
- Change is good and needed,
- Lady Catherine is an amazing woman who supported me through the entire year and beyond,
- Don’t burn yourself out, take time for family and yourself,
- Have all the fun a year is a really short time to hold a title you will miss it.
Calendar of Events
June 29th Lady D's Surprise Birthday Party Atlanta Eagle - Being able to help with this was an honor
July 5-7 Tarheel Leather Club Run - Pig Pickin! - I did my best to make it to every single cocktail party, I got to sit and talk with some amazing Leather Folks and, and I can't thank The Warehouse SC for supporting me to go to this.
July 13th Visit to the see The Trademen - Just a good ole bar night sitting and talking with some sexy Leathermen!
July 20th Macon Ga BDSM Munch group demo on knife play - This was the first munch I ever attended and to "go home" and visit with old friends and I got to tell my story of my path so far.
July 27th Kinky In Savannah Demo on Knife Play - Another great weekend of old friends and family. Playing with blood and staples and knives O MY!
August 3rd spent time with my local group - Taking time out each month to see and be with my local group who has supported me so much is very important to me.
8/10-11/2013 - Southeast Black and Blue Weekend -Atlanta Eagle - Got to spend some time with My Sash Hubby Optimus and sash son boy River, see Brit my handler from SELF/support her in her run and see her win SouthEast Community Bootblack!!!!
9/14 Leather Bash and Bear Bash Atlanta Eagle - I got to spent time with Jeff Donaldson and talk with Sir David Labriola both of whom were my judges for SELF! Mr. Donaldson made my Title Vest for me complete with a little bling! Mr. Labriola brought me to tears (though I didn't cry til later) by talking about me and the rest of my title family being our future! There was also a backed up line at the bathroom who know what Ms. Atlanta Eagle and Ms SELF were doing in there!!!
Sept 20-22 RSVP Baton Rouge Louisiana Take Down and Primal Play Demo - A fabulous weekend of FOOD FOOD AND MORE FOOD! Spent some amazing time again with one of my judges Ms Solitaire talking, playing and having sexy play fun. If you haven't been to RSVP you should go I was very impressed with the friendly southern hospitality food, people and of course they made me cry with a birthday cake!!!
Sept 28th South Carolina Pride - Even though Leather Folks were not welcome last year and I know many people have decided to boycott it I and other went, we walked in the parade and stood proud for who we are in my Title Vest and showed love for all! Who are we to not support Equality because of one or two negative people.
Every Wednesday you can also find me at out local bar The L Word for Leather Night!
10/5/2013 - T3WD Vendor Fair - Columbia, SC
10/11-13/2012 - ABW - Chicago
10/17-20/2013 - DomCon/SE Olympus - Atlanta, GA
to be announced - Castle De Draylock Fundraiser - Ashville, NC
10/25-27/2013 - Leather History Conference - Winston-Salem, NC
11/16/2013 - Vidalia Ga Munch Group Demo - Vidalia GA
11/23/2013 - WOLF Demo - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
12/7/2013 - TRC Demo - Birmingham, Alabama
1/11/2014 - Leather Sex - The Warehouse, Greenville, SC
1/25/2014 - DEMO TBA - Aavannah Kinksters, Savannah, GA
05/2-4/2014 Trademark 28 - Charlotte NC
7/26/2014 - CAPEX - Charlotte, NC
June 2014 Column
The last part of my year has continued to be busy with attending local club nights for Columbia Leather Order, Atlanta Leather Pride and Mr. & Ms. Atlanta Eagle 2014 at The Atlanta Eagle and Low Country Leather in Charleston, SC. Where I was able to assist with a "rock, paper, scissors" on stage show with Sir Alan and do a little work to help raise funds for The Leather Heart Foundation.
I also had the wonderful opportunity to compete at International Ms Leather in California. I met many wonderful women and had an amazing time being my loud and my brazen "SELF". It was an honor to represent the southeast at an international level. Before going my friends and family including put together a fun day filled with lots of debauchery, fund raising, food and fun. Watch a short promo of the event here http://youtu.be/fwFRd4G3HTY Together they raised close to $2,000 to help me travel to California. I would like to thank Ms. SECC Leather Roscoe McCoy for putting it all together and all the wonderful people who volunteered, attended, donated and showed their love.
I am currently looking forward to continuing my travels after June:
CAPEX - July 26, 2014 presenting Take-Down Demo - Charlotte, NC
Southeast Black and Blue Weekend - August 10, 201 - Atlanta Eagle
NAPEX - Nov 15, 2014 - Presenting Primal Play - Huntsville, AL
Continuing the F.F. & C all across the SouthEast,
March 2014 Column
WOW this title year continues to be crazy busy, fun, and exciting as the cruising, fucking and fisting across the Southeast continues! I gotta give a shout out to my amazing SELF family. I love all of you sexy folks!
I am so very excited about representing the Southeast at International Ms Leather 2014 in just 3 weeks! Please keep an eye out for my interview with Leatherati and my article with The Leather Journal, as soon as they are posted I will be twittering and posting on Facebook.
January 2014 Column
The second quarter of my title year has continued to be busy, In October I volunteered at Leather History Conference as the registration coordinator & stage manager. As always I find myself working and thinking "they have classes at these things?" It's where I enjoy myself the most though. I only briefly got to attend one story telling but I didn't miss a cocktail party or cigar social! I spend a lot of time that weekend talking to some amazing people though and kicking baby doll heads down the hotel hallways. I also attended DomCon Atlanta/ SouthEast Olympus Leather where I taught a takedown class and performed the stage show entertainment with SouthEast Community Bootblack Brit. I think it took us two weeks to get all the hubbards out of our hair. "Best comment ever Honey I'm 80 years old and that made my juices flow in my nether regions!"
November continued to be a busy month full of lots of fun and frolic as I traveled with my club Columbia Leather Order to help The Trident Knights celebrate the induction of their new home bar. That same weekend I headed down to Augusta GA and attended a Ladies N Leather Luncheon with Savannah River Leather Alliance and on to Vidalia GA Munch group for a demo on knife play. This was the munch group I created back in 09 and it filled my heart with joy to see how much it has grown.
November ended up with a trip back to NC to see my Capex friends and family for a Halloween Floor Party and MUCH MUCH fun was had as I pranced around dressed as a Virgin Maiden. OB and I caused much havoc throughout the demo as we just couldn't help ourselves hehehe.
December I continued with my attempt to visit each state in the Southeast by heading over to The Red Chair in Alabama and presented a demo on Foot play. After that I have been taking a much needed rest throughout the rest of December and am getting ready to continue with my travels in the new year.
Optimus: Mr. Southeast Leatherfest 2013
Optimus, as in Optimus Prime, is a proud LeatherMan and self-identified TransMan, originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Optimus is a Full Brother of the Men of ONYX, currently serving as President of ONYX Southeast. Optimus is also an ordained Reverend thereby serving not only the Leather Community, but also the community at large. It is the Honesty, Integrity, and Love found in the Leather Community that has captivated and nourishes Optimus as he continues to discover himself on this journey of Life in Leather. Optimus could not be all that He is without his Primary Partner, Israel, his Daddy, Mufasa, and His boy Spec (pronounced spesh).
Calendar of Events
June 28th - Mr & Ms Atlanta Eagle Bar Night - Atlanta, GA
June 29th - Gear Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
July 5th - ONYX SE Kinky Carnival / ABF @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
July 20th - Fundraiser for Eagle Employee @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
August 2nd - ONYX Anniversary Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
August 3rd - Stations @ 1763 - Atlanta, GA
August 9-11th - Southeast Black & Blue Weekend @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
August 23-25th - Trident Knights Run @ Parliament House - Augusta, GA
August 30-September 2nd - Master/slave Conference - Rockville, MD
September 6th - ONYX Bar Night & O.P. Party @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
September 12-16th - Folsom Europe - Berlin, Germany
October 4th - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
October 11-13th - American Brotherhood Weekend - Chicago, IL
October 18th - Pantheon of Leather Awards, DOMCOM - Atlanta, GA
October 18th - ONYX and Panthers L/L Celebrate @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
November 1st - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
November 29th - Needles and Tattoo Branding @ Incognito's - Atlanta, GA
December 6th - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
December 7th - ONYX Christmas Party "Holiday Heat" @ Spring 4th - Atlanta, GA
December 21st - Twisted Toyland @ The Jungle - Atlanta, GA
January 3rd 2014 - Mr SouthEast LeatherFest Presents "No Pain, No Gain" / ONYX Bar Night (Demo) @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
Jan 24th - Mr & Ms Atlanta Eagle Bar Night / Fundraiser for Mr SELF 2013's IML Run @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
Feb 7th - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
Feb 14-16th - SECC Weekend @ Parliament Resort - Orlando, FL
Mar 7th - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
Mar 14-16th - RSVP (Co-Presenter) - Baton Rouge, LA
Mar 22nd - Panther's Pledge Fundraiser @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
Mar 22nd - Frolicon Fundraiser @ Incognito's - Atlanta, GA
Mar 28-30th - Conductor's Anniversary Run - Nashville, TN
Pop Question Video
IML Speech Video
March 2014 Column
The time just keeps on moving and the events just keep on coming! It gets difficult trying to keep up with it all, but things keep getting worked out. It's how you know you're in the right places at the right times doing what you're supposed to be doing. I love this, the travel, the family, the love, the Leather. It IS me. I'm just happy to be here experiencing it like this, surrounded by such amazing people.
It's this kind of amazing that brought me to the decision to compete at IML 36 in May. It's a leap that I'm ready to take, a fun I'm open to experiencing, and a challenge I'm willing to endure. Let's go SouthEast, we're competing for International!
...but until May, there's still the SouthEast to attend to! Let's go over the past couple months, shall we?
Winding down from the incredible-ness of "No Pain, No Gain" in January I thought I'd take it easy for a weekend and learn more about something I'm personally interested in - Branding! On Jan 10th Master Sergeant held a branding class/demo at Incognito's and I'm so glad I went. I got to pick up not only some good information, but also some wares while he and his private were in town.
MLK Weekend, Jan 17-19th I flew up to DC for Mid Atlantic Leather Weekend. There were so many SouthEast people there that I could hardly tell I left Atlanta! Also I got the chance to grab a meal and spend a little time with Madeline our very own SouthEast BootBlack - which is ALWAYS a good time. ONYX hosted a kick-ass cocktail party that was well attended and received. The Men of ONYX raised $2000 to donate to SMYAL, an organization to assist homeless LGBT youth and had a GREAT time doing it. I'm sure there are pics of these hot men modeling the auctioned gear on FB *wink*. It was a triple-duty wonderful kind of weekend for me since MAL is an anniversary for me and my boy Spec who met me there with cupcakes, AND my Daddy was in town, AND I attended the IML Judges announcement wherein I made my first profession of competing at IML 36! Sometimes I just have to step back and re-realize, I AM a busy man...
I have to send yet another shout out to Mr and Ms Atlanta Eagle Tank and Lizzy - they let me take over their bar night Jan 24th to raise some funds for my run at IML 36. These two just continue to support me through this year and I really appreciate it. It's this crazy Atlanta Leather Community family kind of thing we've got going. I realize that I'm super lucky to have this particular community, cause it just doesn't exist everywhere for everyone. Really very grateful!
Rolling on to February I had the pleasure of attending SECC Weekend at the Parliament Resort in Orlando. I had never been so it was doubly an experience. boy Spec accompanied me so we got a little relaxing done at the pool in between supporting my ONYX Brother Dre as he competed for Mr. SECC - and WON, no less! I had a great time connecting with boy Andy in the pool and in a lawn chair (lol under a heater) smoking cigars with Geoff. I am super proud of Dre for going down there and really representing ONYX SE. I look forward to sharing trips around the SouthEast with him!
The following weekend boy River came up to Atlanta to teach at Whimper and I wouldn't have missed it! babygirl and I attended and enjoyed his talk about Mental Health and BDSM. And that evening I got to help him demo Erotic Bootblacking.. not that he had to twist my arm.. I mean, having a hot boy clean my Leather jockstrap and condition it with his mouth.. sounds like a good time to me! I'll take that one for the team!
March 1st was a momentous day as Atlanta gained a Leather store front with the grand opening of Barking Leather! Going out to support them was a MUST and it was pup Tory's birthday so there was cake. Leather, friends, cake, leather.. what more could I ask for! Shameless plug? www.barkingleather.com.
March 14th boy River drove down to Atlanta and we hit the road for Baton Rouge! Talk about southern hospitality.. the folks down there at RSVP really took care of us. They even prepared food for the potluck that I can eat (since I have a bit of a strange diet.) River and I presented two classes "Sex & Gender" and "Humiliation 101" both of which were super well received. The people asked questions and created just the right conversation for BOTH topics. AND we both received these amazing hand-made knitted Leather Pride hats! If you somehow haven't seen me with it on.. YOU WILL.. likely even after it gets (and stays) hot here in Atlanta.. cause its just so rad! I really quite enjoyed my time there and LOVE the whole setup there at RSVP - I'm totally looking forward to going back sometime. The drive was a bit lengthy, but the company was amazing and made the drive both there and back EASY.
March 22nd there were fundraisers all over! LOL.. or at least at 2 places so I did a little double-duty there. First I stopped by the Eagle with my donation for the Panthers Pledge's fundraiser to support Paws. I couldn't NOT get something for someone's future furry family member! After that babygirl and I booked it over to Incognito's to support the Pre Frolicon Party and Fundraiser for Beth. So much to give back to and so little time, but we made it happen.
I just got back from spending this past weekend again with boy River (TOTALLY not complaining) up in Nashville at the Conductor's Anniversary Run. Aaah to attend a Run in the south is like nothing else. I got to meet member clubs of the Mid Atlantic Conference of Clubs and just hang out and have a good time out on the Nashville scene. It was nice to get to Stirrups in Nashville and see my club colors in the display case - I LOVE how ONYX is everywhere, my Brothers totally get around.
And if that wasn't enough before SELF 19.. wait.. there's more! April and May are definitely going to be FULL months of Leather and Love and IML! But I'm getting ready for it. And now that there's a bit more warmth in the air.. time to hit the POOL at more of these events!
4th - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
11-13th - Mr / Ms Atlanta Eagle Contest (Judge) @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
17-18th - Frolicon - Atlanta, GA
19th - Mr American Rubber @ Rock Bar - New York, NY
20th - ONYX NY/Northeast Presents: Impact Play (Presenter) @ Purple Passion - New York, NY
24-27th - CLAW - Cleveland, OH
2nd - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
23-26th - International Mr Leather (Contestant) - Chicago, IL
6th - ONYX Bar Night @ Atlanta Eagle - Atlanta, GA
12-14th - Philly Trans Health Conference - PA (Tentative)
19-22nd - SELF 19!!! - Atlanta, GA
Let's Get It!
Love and Leather ALWAYS,
Optimus / Raymond Walker III
January 2014 Column
The past few months have been a little more laid back than the hyper-active, plane-hopping, event-attending situation I experienced just after SELF 18. I had even began to worry about it, but I believe that all things happen for a reason. I realize today that I needed the break to create some change in some personal situations and to prepare for the most recent Mr SELF event "No Pain, No Gain"... but we'll get to that, let's start with October *wink*
Columbus Day weekend I attended my first American Brotherhood Weekend and had an amazing time. It really felt like home with very much the same "Family" feel, like SELF! The contestants were sincere with heartfelt speeches and the contest was downright funny! I am proud to say that both American Leather Woman 2013 and American Leatherboy 2013 are from Atlanta and are both near and dear to me O.B. my very own predecessor and pup Tank (respectively). It was amazing to watch them do their thing on stage. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing folks and hang out for a bit with my Producer Ms. Gross, who continues to amaze me with how connected she is to heart of the transmasculine community EVERY time I see her. It's rather encouraging really. A major highlight of that weekend was having the opportunity to sit out front of the local dungeon, smoke cigars, and talk Leather history/relationships with boy River and a couple of guys who have been in the Leather/Kink community probably almost as long as either of us have been alive. It was a centering experience and one that I will cherish from that weekend.
The following weekend both my boy (a member of ONYX) and my Daddy, who is also one of the five founders of ONYX came into town to attend the Pantheon of Leather Awards at DOMCON and accept the "Large Club of the Year Award". That weekend was rewarding in all kinds of ways! It was certainly an honor to stand on the stage with Brothers that I hold so dear, celebrating my Leather club in such an awesome way. Since the Panthers L/L received the "Small Club of the Year Award" we celebrated together at the Atlanta Eagle afterwards with cake and a toast! I love it when Leather clubs can come together, have a good time, and celebrate one another. Its one of the things that reminds us of how similar we really are despite whatever differences we may experience.
Trying to lay a little low and ramp up for the holidays I didn't get out of town at all in November and December. But in-town events I attended were low-key enough to keep me from feeling rushed through a wind of titleholder crazy but still keep me connected to the community. I mean ONYX SE Bar Night is a regular thing on the calendar of course, but other than that in November I visited a new dungeon here in Atlanta, Incognito's -- and I REALLY like that place. The atmosphere is friendly, there's a lot of space and good equipment for just about anything you want to make happen, and there's snacks and coffee available! ALL great things if you ask me. I attended a Needle and Tattoo Branding demo and of course with my own needle/blood fetish I was in heaven. I even got the chance to feel a few 18g needles for the first time that night. EXCITING!
In the spirit of the holiday season at ONYX SE's December bar night we put the call out to raise some funds for Lost N Found. We were hoping for a better turn out of donations, but I suppose you have to give people the benefit of the doubt with the holidays coming up. The following night we held our ONYX Christmas party over at Spring 4th - which is a GREAT party venue for a good value. Sadly, it was cold and rainy that night so we didn't draw as much of a crowd as we had hoped, but we still had a good time mingling and dancing. We are hoping that if we can keep this as an annual event then we'll get our attendance up and raise some money for a good cause in the process. I guess there's always next year.
Later in December I attended my first Twisted Toyland! Which left me feeling like, "Why have I never come to this before?!" It's the perfect time/place to get your kinky loved ones great Xmas gifts and spend some holiday time together. There was food, vendors, raffles, and pictures with a Kinky Santa! I mean.. what more could a Leatherman ask for leading up to Christmas?! I was gifted a rather nice metal cane by a sweet and dear friend, and also received my first can of Hubbard's and boot brush with the ONYX logo on it from a precious babygirl. This is definitely going to be a standing appointment on my calendar. It really helped break up the up/down roller coaster that tends to be the holidays for me. Ever since I lost my dad on December 13, 2011 its been kind of a hard time for me. Getting out with friends, taking fun pictures with Kinky Santa, shopping sexy Leather wares, getting big breast hugs, and helping friends pack up their vendor wares really got me out of my own head even if only for an evening.
So roller coastering through the holidays I realized that I wanted to do something special for my dad's birthday and it was coming up fast but conveniently it began during an ONYX bar night. So I decided to have an event to raise money for the American Diabetes Association in his honor - the first in hopefully a series "No Pain, No Gain". With my most interesting fetish (or at least to me as of late) being needles I decided to "sell" needles that would be used in a Needle demo to raise the money for the cause. THIS.. turned out.. AMAZING. You HAVE to see pictures on FetLife and Facebook. HUGE thanks to Jackie (Ms. Atlanta Eagle 2012) and boy River for helping make this event happen. It was an absolutely phenomenal experience. We raised $350 at the bar that night and another $110 through online contributions bringing the amount raised to $460 - and I took 114 needles that night (which included 14- 18g needles!). I had never taken more than a few needles at a time before that night, Jan 4 - which would have been my dad's 57th birthday. I received amazing support from our community that night - even from out of state! Along with that I received such a great gift of love, community, and encouragement from everyone who attended ..and a sense of release from some of the grief I carry with me daily.
While planning for No Pain, No Gain our community suffered a loss of one of our SELF family members, Nefarious - Mr SELF 2009. And though it was hard to hear and see so many people grieving the loss it was encouraging to continue with the event, raising money to save lives through the loss of someone dear to the community.
Thus was my past Quarter as Mr SouthEast LeatherFest 2013. It's kind of hard to believe that the year is halfway over. It's time to get my bags packed and hit the road. I've got some more of the South East to see and do!
In Love and Leather,
Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest 2013
Summer 2013 Column
It has definitely sunk in that I am Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest 2013 - and.. I'm loving it. Not because I'm "famous" or some other disillusion of grandeur, but because of the love I get to witness in our community as I see Leather and Kinky folks come together for different causes. It's hard to miss when you're attending as many events and bar nights as you can and staying involved with the things that concern U/us.
I have the great fortune to live quite close to a city where there is an Eagle - Atlanta, GA. With this I have taken the opportunity to support Mr and Mrs Atlanta Eagle at their bar nights along with some of the bar nights of the Panther L/L club. I ALWAYS have a blast getting together with these guys, whether we're raising money for a travel fund or to help out Lost-N-Found Youth of Atlanta, we always have a great time doing it. Since the Eagle is ALSO the home bar of My Leather club ONYX SE, I am ALSO at the Eagle just about every 1st Friday of each month with my Brothers! You should definitely come out and see us if you haven't - we have a good time and apparently our Jello Shots alone are worth the trip. ;)
Along with Leather club bar nights, the Atlanta Eagle also hosts some awesome events like SouthEast Black and Blue Weekend which I also attended. This is where the contest to select Mr. Southeast Rubber and Southeast Community BootBlack was held. Having recently competed I had a few flashbacks watching the contestants, but I was very happy to be there to support Brittany who was such a big help for all of us competing at SELF. So you can imagine how my heart filled with Joy to watch her win the title of 2013 SouthEast Community BootBlack AND be presented with her Leather Vest all in the same night. Made me all the more glad to have made it out to the Eagle that weekend.
Since I earnestly believe that education should Always be happening, I also attended the Education Stations event at 1763 over in Tucker in July. I had a lovely time watching, learning, and experiencing with a few good friends of mine. I earned a new neon glow cracker for my single-tail and realized a new appreciation for the violet wand and an item that looks MUCH like a whisk... which is exciting for me since I actually also love cooking.
Smack dab in the middle of my summer I drove down to the Parliament House in Augusta to join the Trident Knights for their annual run, which this year was a "Hillbilly Hootenanny!" Yes, overalls and all. You have not lived until you've played hillbilly games barefoot on the patch of grass at PHouse beside beside the swimming pool and eaten your banquet dinner off of a table covered with table cloths of blue jeans. I had the pleasure of being accompanied by my boy Spec, who was also celebrating his birthday that weekend, which just made it all the more fun..of course. Overall it was a super relaxing weekend and I was honored to represent SELF at the event and assist in small part during the Trident Knight's presentation of awards at the banquet.
Labor Day Weekend is usually a huge weekend and an extra bar night for ONYX SE here in Atlanta with the big Black Gay Pride event put on by ITLA. That weekend is also the weekend of my partner Israel's birthday..but after some convincing and a little bribing I made my way to Maryland for the 10th Anniversary Master/slave Conference! And guess who I got to spend the weekend with in the process - the Lovely and Oh so fun SouthEast Bootblack 2013 - Madeline! We had a BLAST driving back and forth from DC to Maryland and getting caught up on the happenings in our title year thus far. I also got to see and connect with our ever-traveling Producer Catherine - which was good for me. Like with all conferences, some of the best times happen in the smoking section or in the hallway - and I had one of those moments. A member of one of the MaST chapters remembered me from the recent SELF contest and stopped me outside to state his and his club's support of me during this upcoming year. I could hardly get "thank you" out, I was so taken aback and completely honored by his words and the sentiment. This was my first time attending MsC and I definitely plan to go back. I really appreciated the Spiritual connection I could feel in and between the people both attending and presenting. It was a different world from the Leather bars and Runs that I find myself getting all the more used to, but I Loved it. I got to spend a good part of the conference sponging up a TON of information (and pointers) about M/s and D/s relationship dynamics. Then Madeline and I got to assist Rod (an ONYX and Leather family Brother of mine) in selling Raffle tickets to support the MsC History Project! THIS was probably one of the highlights for me.. and probably for a few other choice attendees. Let's just say I ENJOY selling raffle tickets - especially when you get to suggest options like "Boots-To-Balls, Muff-to-Cuff, Pussy-to-Pumps, Spread Eagle, Reverse Spread Eagle, or a Combo Package thereof" *big smile* I may have scruffed my knees a bit, but all in all we helped to raise over $950 before the end of the weekend - and I was happy to do it "...for the children."
ONYX SE's September bar night we shared the Atlanta Eagle with the O.P. party which just turned out to be a LOAD of fun. While the Southern Comfort Conference was in town Original Plumbing magazine threw a party at the Eagle during our bar night - and it was pretty Spectacular. Mostly I enjoyed seeing SO many Trans/Queer/GenderQueer -identified people at the Eagle having such a GREAT time all night long. And I appreciate the Eagle, ONYX SE and ONYX supporters for being so receptive of the crowd and for just making it an all around FUN night of Leather, Love, and Laughter! It was just the beginning of the immense amount of LOVE and great desire for inclusivity that I would soon see expressed in the community that I love so much.
I am recently getting back into the states from spending a bit of time in Europe - some of which was for vacation purposes.. I mean, who CANT use a vacation, right?! But ALSO, I HAD to find a way to make it up to Israel for being out of town on his birthday, so we spent a week and celebrated our 3 year anniversary together in Paris. My trip overseas BEGAN however, with me flying into Berlin to attend Folsom Europe. Even if my expectations had been higher I STILL would have been wowed by how much fun I had. I had the opportunity to represent the SouthEast at the 1st German Titleholder Conference hosted by German Mr Leather 2013, Tyrone R. It was a room of fantastic titleholders from all over Europe and the Americas discussing issues in the Leather community and with Leather competitions. I am honored to have been a part of the conversation and to have been able to provide some insight for our European counterparts in regard to some of the challenges we face here in the SouthEast and some of the methods we've employed to combat the issues. I really appreciate the receptiveness of those in attendance and Tyrone's forethought to hold such an event! I also had the pleasure to peruse the dark room in a German bar AND attend the PIG party.. BOTH things that one should NOT miss experiencing if ever in Berlin and most definitely at Folsom Europe - Just Sayin.
While away in Europe I did hear tell of some disheartening news around ILSb and the requirements for contestants, but it sparked something in my own Leather club that I knew was there - but REALLY appreciated seeing in action. The Men of ONYX got together, drafted, and published a public response to ILSb's previous decision to exclude Trans persons from competing in the contest. ...I'm not even sure if words are adequate to express what their diligence and quick action in regard to this means to Me. I mean, these are the Men that have (and in many ways still are) raised me in Leather and to see them demonstrate this kind of compassion and love for a community so dear to me, albeit different from them -- Amazing. I am grateful also that the board of ILSb has changed their mind in regard to their prior decision but had it never happened, I may have not been able to have THIS experience.
I love my community for all the support and love I am continually shown. I can only look forward to continuing to experience that love and share it with everyone I come in contact with! I'm still way excited about traveling, meeting new people, hosting some round-tables and continuing to support our Leather and Kink community in whatever ways are needed. If you've got an event you would like for me to attend PLEASE feel free to contact me and we'll see what we can do!
In Love and Leather,
Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest 2013