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After The Sash Comes Off

By July 24, 2013

Sir Bear Abbott SpeaksI often looked at the headboard of my bed. On my side, were two sashes hanging that made me smile daily. As the years waned on, one by one the sashes started disappearing. Left behind was my Cover and three medallions. It took about two weeks of no sashes for it to sink in. You know, when you are standing in the middle of peanut shells and confetti, no music and no one around, it hits you like a thunderbolt! I am no longer a current titleholder. What do I do now, after the sash has come off?

In my experience with “wussie” titleholders; (and I include my myself and my partner in that statement), they do one of two things. One, they disappear and are never heard from again, or two, they take the bull by the horns and give back to the community that gave so much to them during their title years!

I felt like I paid my dues as a titleholder, going to mandated events and those that were strongly suggested. And, doing all those fundraisers. And, maybe along the way, I created a little change in my wake. Now there’s no one telling me I have to do this, that, and the other, there’s no one telling me anything at all.

Instead of relaxing, I felt discarded, depressed, and all alone. They call it “sash withdrawal!” That’s when a lot of titleholders disappear.

After I “centered” myself, I saw one of my titles, Illinois Leather Sir, going by the wayside, sharing the same fate of most leather bars. I couldn’t let that happen. With the help of my husband and leather family, I’m now executive producer of that contest. Funny how things come full circle.

So, my friends, you should know coming off your title years, you’re not alone. If you just open your eyes, you’d see that you have a whole community standing behind you, still helping you on your journey! It starts with listening to the community. Its wants, needs, and desires you will hear. Then with you and your Leather heart, you try to set in motion those changes.

Now, I produce, I judge, I attend, I walk in parades, and my partner and I have started a non-profit organization called “PozPets.” We’re trying to bring affordable healthcare and nutrition to the pets of HIV positive people in the greater Chicago area.

As I said before, you don’t need a sash to create great things, but it does give you a platform and a voice that will be heard. And, after your years of community service are complete, you should have established yourself enough in the community, where you don’t need that sash to be heard. This is when the work/fun begins!

Sir Bear Abbott In GroupFrom now on, if you choose, it’s your party to have. Make the music, throw the confetti, and fill up the peanut barrels. It’s fun, hard work, and a royal pain in the ass! But, when you look, with a cigar hanging out of your mouth, at the fruits of your labor, you’ll know inside, you did your very best, and everyone is having a great time! In the meantime, you also realize you created change within the community. And, that is what happens, After the Sash Comes Off!  

In Light and Leather,
Sir Bear Abbott
Great Lakes Leather Sir 2010

It's not the destination, it's the journey!