2016BBMsTori

Ms Tori Jones
From a very early age Ms Tori knew she was not like the other people she hung around with. Searching for answers into her adulthood led her to stumble across Alt.com. Like so many others in the internet age, Tori found the sign posts pointing her in the direction to search for her answers. She was invited to attend a dungeon in Greensboro, NC in 2005, and that opened her eyes to a whole new reality.
Family issues required Ms Tori to step away from the scene for a while, but she was able to continue her education through conversations with other Dominants in the lifestyle. In March 2008 she was able to resume participating actively in her local community. Ms Tori attended educational presentations and became the student of Evil_Geoff and later his partner.
She has attended educational seminars and presentation/demos by Lady Catherine Gross, Artemis Hunter, Kim Attica, Lady D Harrison, Lady Beth, Boomer, Wayne Brawner, Master Z of Texas, Glenda Rider, Jack Rinella, Master Taino and others. She has attended SouthEast Leather Fest, North Carolina Leather Contest, South Carolina Leather contest, SouthEast Conference of Clubs and numerous groups across the Carolinas and Virginia. Ms Tori has been both a Den Mama and Judge for SCLC and Den Mama for SECC. She has also co-presented with Evil_Geoff on several topics across the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Las Vegas.
Ms Tori started bootblacking years before she found BDSM or Leather. She was shining her and her late husband’s boots prior to going out dancing, as far back as 2000. It was not until she found Leather that she also learned the term bootblack. For years she performed the tasks of blacking without calling herself a bootblack. It was not until she started bootblacking at/for charity events that she started using the term in reference to herself. When she blacks at events, tips are split between the event charity and one of her own, unless otherwise specified.
In August 2011, Ms Tori was accepted as a member of The Tarheel Leather Club and was elected to two terms as the club's President, from 2012-2014, and two terms as the club Treasurer, from 2014-2016. Ms Tori has been involved with the running and/or production of Leather History Conference since the first year. In 2015, she was one of the 2 co-producers of LHC. In 2016, when the founder and producer of Leather History Conference had to step back from the event, Tori stepped up to become one of the two event producers. Ms Tori is the representative for Team Friendly NC, Triad Area. In 2016 Ms Tori also co-founded the Leather History Preservation Foundation, a registered non-profit, where she is the Executive Director. She is an ally and activist in the fight for equality.

 

Calendar of Events

• January 7, I will be blacking at The Charlotte Tradesman’s bar night at the Woodshed Bar.
• February 2-5 will find me at Sin in the City, where I will be teaching a bootblacking class and taking some blacking shifts.
• February 16-20 I can be found at the SECC Reunion and Leather Contest 2017 At Parliament Resort, where I will be taking some blacking shifts and other duties.
• March 10-12 will be the Leather Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA, where I will be taking some blacking shifts.
• April 7-9 Atlanta Leather Pride
• April 21-23 Coastal Empire Sentinels Annual Run: Back to Basics, The River's Edge, Dewy Rose, GA
• May 5-7 TradeMark XXXI - 31 Flavors, One Community, Charlotte, NC.
And of course, my title year will end June 15-18 at Southeast Leatherfest, Atlanta, GA.

 

Oct 2016 Column

So here I am thinking How did I get HERE? and then I remember. I received a phone call that went basically you should do this thing because girl, you are good enough and some other stuff was said but that is the part that stuck with me the most. I thought about it, talked about it with the family, then decided to just do it. And there I was, at SELF, running for the bootblack title and at the end of Saturday I realized, I AM good enough and others thought so as well.

The trip to Atlanta was not just for a weekend. With SELF at the end of August, I also had DragonCon the following weekend. We worked it out to spend 2 weeks in Atlanta. SouthEast LeatherFest was AMAZING on so many levels. I pushed my personal boundaries and fears and ran for the bootblack title. This meant facing the fear of being on stage talking to people. This meant that people would judge ME and that on this weekend, their judgment mattered. This meant being on the front line. And I did all those things and I have no regrets for it either.

Now where have I been since we left the hotel that Sunday? Well, I didn’t leave Atlanta but instead went to stay at a friend’s house and your SouthEast Bootblack 2016 first made an appearance at DragonCon, the weekend following SELF. I put on my Leather Pride outfit and walked around looking at all the people in their costumes. I wonder how many were trying to figure out which Sci-Fi character I was that day. It was not a Leather event nor was it even a kink event, but I was there and my patch was proudly on display.

After returning home and sleeping in my bed 3 nights, I headed out to South Carolina Pride in Leather II so that I could be the Den Mama to some wonderful contestants, running in the South Carolina Leather Contest for the South Carolina Leather Ambassador title. Both Troy and Jay were wonderful. They both spoke of unity in Leather and the need for it. Each spoke of their view point and it was quite interesting to see 2 very different people approach the same topic from different angles. At the end of the weekend, both had scores that could win them the title and it seems they were close together also because the judges did what they felt was the right thing to do and awarded both contestants the title. South Carolina has 2 outstanding Leather Ambassadors representing them this year.

Heading home from South Carolina meant PRIDE SEASON had really started for me locally. First up was September 17 bringing Greensboro Pride, where I stood proudly representing and letting the attendees know that they were far better than the hate they would see and hear that day. And at the end of the day I had 5 young LGBTQIA people come to me and thank me for being there, taking time to talk to them and support them in being their authentic selves. I left the day with a smile in my heart knowing I was present and I was seen, heard, appreciated and I made a difference.

September 24 was North Carolina Pride in Durham, NC and this day would be different. I put on the Leather Pride outfit and marched in the parade with a full Leather Contingent that represented Leather folk from across the state. We marched, we cheered, and we were louder than the hate. When the parade was over, most went to the festival, but I had to get moving because 2 lovely dear friends were getting married on this day. The perfect day for 2 ladies to be joined in wedding bliss – the day of PRIDE!

October 1 was my local Pride, Alamance Pride. Only in the 2nd year, the event was joyous and rather peaceful, boating a whole 3 protestors. I walked around talking to others, hearing their stories and giving my own. I was able to spend a little time with 3 of The Smokin’ Cardinal Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from the Raleigh. They are always a pleasure to be around. I ended the day by going to Charlotte to spend time with and bootblack for the Charlotte Tradesmen on their bar night at the Woodshed Bar. They have given me support and cheered me along in my title run. I wanted to see them and do some blacking during their bar night. The day was long and well worth it as I got to see my title mama, Marcie Friday.

October 15 will round out my Pride season with Winston-Salem Pride and I am certain it will be as enjoyable as it always has been. I will stand and be counted as a person who stands against hate, because that is part of what it is that I do.

The last weekend in October will be a big weekend for me as that is Leather History Conference. I have been working a year toward this weekend. As one of the 2 producers, it has been a busy time getting together quality storytellers, valuable staff and crew to work the conference, ensuring a quality hotel that will not discriminate against any of our people and making sure there are outstanding bootblacks to keep everyone looking great. I am hoping to find and hour or 2 so that I can do some blacking at this event. I will have my kit as it seems to travel with me these days.

I am touched by the number of people who have sent me notes of congratulations. The offers of support to help me throughout my title year have amazed me. I know that I am seen. And this year will make a difference in the people and boots I will encounter.

There are not enough words to express the gratitude I have for those who have supported me since the day I announced that I would run for the title. I need to start with my family, Geoff-my ever patient partner in life and Lily- my supportive daughter who held down the home while Geoff and I were in Atlanta. All of those who donated money and goods towards my auction baskets and title year travel fund baskets: Barking Leather, Boy toxic, CAPEX, Charlotte Tradesmen, Christine J Sakura House, ClawClan, David Wishman, Dubie, Fresh Look Designs, Jade LeBlade, JoAnn S, Kumasan, Machele’s Creations, Marv The Carpenter, Mikey, NCMaster, Northman, Panther ProwLs Enterprise, PatchworkLeatherToys, Pindependant.com, Sin in the City, Sir Malcavian, Sir Rob, boy Brian & pup Seawolf, Susie Q Yeldah Tova, Tarheel Leather Club, Trevor Shepherd, Wishcraft, Brutalpassion.com, without you, I could not have successfully competed for the title and this next year would be most difficult.

A big thank you to the volunteers and staff who manned SELF, before, during and after the event to make it possible. I would like to also thank the SouthEast LeatherFest sponsors: Starship, H20, Leatherati, Bulldog Custom Leather, RSVP, Red Stick TNG, CAPEX, House of Trei, Frolicon, OB and Angel, Marty and Petal, Anguirel and Lucifyre, The Woodshed and FIRE, Relationship Equality Foundation, ONYX Southeast, PleasureBound.net, MAsT International, without all of you, SELF would not be possible.

The future looks bright, and busy for me, although the next 2 months will be my slowest of times. In November I will attend some bar nights of clubs and checking with their people to see if I am able to be of service and bootblack for their clubs. And I will have some quality family time during the Thanksgiving weekend. December will have me in Baltimore, MD for the annual 12 Day’s fundraising event. I will go to see some I do not get to see often. I am on the schedule to do some blacking and I hear there is an outstanding lineup of bootblacks that day. I am hoping we raise a good amount of money for the charities that have been selected this year. The end of the month will bring more family time with the Christmas holiday and I do plan to enjoy that time.

I can’t wait to see what 2017 will hold for me.

January 2017 Column

Happy New Year to everyone! Has it really been 3 months already? The end of year brings my most quiet months for winding down the end of the year and preparing for the beginning of a new year.

20161015 WINSTON SALEM PRIDEOctober brought the end of my Pride season with Winston-Salem Pride on October 15. The event was fairly calm with a few protestors on the corners. I walked the event and talked to several people who asked about my patch. Some seemed interested and took a card so they could look up SELF and check it out as they felt it was a place they would find like-minded people.

I have indeed found both diverse people and boots in my travels thus far and I do celebrate each and every one. The time and energy we have shared has kept my faith in humanity. I know there is good out there to be found. And boots…mmmmmm boots. I have had the pleasure of putting my hands on some lovely boots both new and old of people in our communities. I have had the joy of blacking virgin leather to leather that is 20+ years old. I am definitely a lucky lady.

20161028 Leather History ConferenceThe rest of the month of October had me preparing for the weekend of October 27-30 for the 6th Leather History Conference. I was one of two producers for the event and we had an awesome line up of people to share their history. We had a nice bootblacking team to take care of the leathers and I was sad that I could not join them. As the Southeast Bootblack, I put on a cocktail party with a cinnamon apple drink that seems to have gone over pretty well. It was wonderful to stand in front of the people and represent my title. The weekend brought many smiles, hugs and tears as we all saw people we had not seen in a while then had to part ways at the end of the event. I would like to thank Gypsie Wind-Feather Ferris for asking Dave and myself to produce the 2016 conference, the core crew who stepped up in roles as necessary and the working crew for doing all the things. You all helped make the conference a success.

November found me with much needed home and family time.

20161001 TRADESMEN BAR NIGHTDecember 3, I joined the Charlotte Tradesmen for their annual House of Mercy holiday dinner followed by their Toys for Tots toy drive and bar night at the Woodshed Bar in Charlotte, NC. There were men and women in leather, boots, bootblacking, cigars, lots of toys gathered and many smiles. It was a joy to be able to support the Tradesmen on this day and evening. And the jello shots were not bad either.

Unfortunately, it isn’t all fun and play in the life of a titleholder. December 8 I was faced with the death of my rock, Mom. She was the lady who first introduced me to the joyous smell of leather. Being faced with the trip South, I knew I needed energy to carry me through, so I followed through with my plans for the weekend.

December 10 I attended the 18th Annual 12 Days of Christmas in Baltimore were I was scheduled to black a 3 hour shift next to Erick, International Mr Bootblack 2016. Domina Silver joined us on the ride and was a great travel companion. Once we arrived, I was greeted with love and positive energy. I cannot express enough how everyone affected me that day. My internal battery was fully charged, as was my backup emotional battery. I touched a few pair of boots, some from people I have known and some from people I just met. All the boots made my heart smile as I was able to lay hands on them and take care of them. I had chosen to give half my tips to the charities of 12 Days and together, we did a wonderful job of supporting the event to raise $13,865 to be split for the 4 charities. The event was wonderful and one I will be attending again in 2017. The end found me walking out the door with instant event drop only to be lifted up again. Buz Norwood invited us to join a group for dinner and was rather insistent. We joined Lee and Buz Norwood, Margaret Irene, Jack Malone and Susan Weinstein at G&M Restaurant and I had one of the most amazing crab cake sandwiches with some amazing she crab soup and most importantly, the time and energy I needed to wind down the event and be as ready as possible for my next journey. On Sunday, we got back with Domina Silver and started our trek back home. For me, arriving home was nothing more than changing the auto I was in so that my daughter, Lily Mia Lilith, and I headed to take care of our family business. On our return to NC, we stopped in Atlanta for a late dinner with none other than David Labriola. It was wonderful to be able to share some time with him and to give myself a little recharge. I returned home with a week to plan Christmas.

Since returning home I have been a bit of a hermit focused on family and self-care, but it is now time to come out of the shell and back to traveling and bootblacking.

I am looking forward to seeing people on my future travels.
• January 7, I will be blacking at The Charlotte Tradesman’s bar night at the Woodshed Bar.
• February 2-5 will find me at Sin in the City, where I will be teaching a bootblacking class and taking some blacking shifts.
• February 16-20 I can be found at the SECC Reunion and Leather Contest 2017 At Parliament Resort, where I will be taking some blacking shifts and other duties.
• March 10-12 will be the Leather Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA, where I will be taking some blacking shifts.
• April 7-9 Atlanta Leather Pride
• April 21-23 Coastal Empire Sentinels Annual Run: Back to Basics, The River's Edge, Dewy Rose, GA
• May 5-7 TradeMark XXXI - 31 Flavors, One Community, Charlotte, NC.
And of course, my title year will end June 22-25 at Southeast Leatherfest, Atlanta, GA.

Thank you to each and every person who has shared time and space with me during the last 3 months. You all mean so much to me.

March 2017 Column

Time goes by so quickly it seems, even when you are recharging your internal battery and making plans for the months to come.

January ended up being my most quiet month so far. I had to cancel going to see the Charlotte Tradesmen due to the weather. I spent time at home with my family to recharge from the end of 2016 and make plans for the future. When looking at my boots I realized I needed to take care of them from the future travels. So this was the month to pull out the kit at home and do some boots and have them ready for my travels to come. My bootblack title pins arrived and that was a major excitement for me as I had completed the design months earlier and was finally able to order them and have them with me for my February travels.

February 1, I caught the red eye flight to start the trek to Las Vegas to attend Sin in the City. I enjoy this event because we are able to spend an entire week in Vegas and visit some wonderful people. This year proved to be another wonderful year. I blacked many hours and was able to enjoy such a diverse group of people and foot attire. From the older man with the brown dress shoes who didn’t know if I would want to bother with his simple shoes to the beautiful knee high boots with lots of buckles with the beautiful young lady wearing them, the new boots that were less than a month old to the boots that have not seen love in many years and the brown was showing through. I loved them all. My title sister Abizzy was representing her title on the stage at this event and I was there to support her. I was able to enjoy some quiet time in her room giving her boots some love. The people and the stories were wonderful. At this event I was able to meet someone who has been bootblacking 20+ years whom I have been communicating with online. I really enjoyed blacking next to Izzy and watching how she does things. This year I taught a basic bootblacking class for the non-bootblack titled “Yes Sir, you too can shine your boots”. Watching a lady who was afraid to touch her Sir’s boots take care of them in class and walk out with a smile made it worth my time and effort. We wrapped up the weekend and spent some quality time with local friends and returned home Feb 7.

I had a week home to unpack and repack for the SECC weekend Feb 16-19. This was another event where I was able to black and enjoy quality time with the bootblack contestant, Shaun Cameron, and to have some wonderful Leather men and Leather women in my chair. We arrived late on Thursday so no real time to socialize that night. On Friday evening the fun was to start and we set up the stands to do some bootblacking. I blacked contestant boots, work boots of an attendee, old boots and new boots. Each had a history to tell and a wonderful person to tell that history. To black the boots of a bootblack is always a challenge to me because I want them to be perfect. I was graced with that honor this weekend and it was a pleasure. I was able to donated half my tips to the travel funds for the winners and we raised some decent funds this year. It was nice to have a line of people waiting to get their boots done. There was tall ones and short ones, zippers, buckles, laces and pull on boots. Some were new and others were 20 years old. I enjoyed every pair of boots and every person wearing them.

I am looking forward to seeing people on my future travels.
• March 4 Charlotte Tradesmen bar night
• March 10-12 will be the Leather Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA, where I will be taking some blacking shifts and extended stay in Atlanta for a week with a friend.
• April 1 Charlotte Tradesmen bar night
• April 7-9 Atlanta Leather Pride
• April 21-23 Coastal Empire Sentinels Annual Run: Back to Basics, The River's Edge, Dewy Rose, GA
• May 5-7 TradeMark XXXI - 31 Flavors, One Community, Charlotte, NC.
And of course, my title year will end June 22-25 at Southeast Leatherfest, Atlanta, GA.

Thank you to each and every person who has shared time and space with me. You all mean so much to me.

June 2017 Column

Coming Soon!

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SELF 2017



9 Days