Displaying items by tag: IMsL - The Leather Journal
Thursday, 09 November 2017 13:51

Dave Rhodes Hump Day November 8, 2017

 

Welcome to Dave Rhodes' Hump Day - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This column will appear here every Wednesday on TheLeatherJournal.com

 

Pup Figaro and Terry Laupp emcees at International Puppy and Handler Weekend in July. Photo by Dave Rhodes

International Puppy Contest staff and management changes

The owners of the International Puppy Contest are pleased to announce the following staff and management changes in preparation for the International Puppy 2019 contest, being held July 12-15 during International Pup and Handler Weekend (IPAHW) in St. Louis, MO. Pup Tripp, IPC’s International Puppy 2014 and co-owner has been officially appointed contest producer. Joining him as producer is Pup Figaro, IPC's International Puppy 2015. Together, Tripp and Figaro will be managing and coordinating all stages of the contest. Stepping into the role of IPC’s Contestant Handler is International Puppy 2016, Pup Incus. In her new role, Incus will take over prepping the contestants for the contest weekend and guiding them through the main event. The remaining owners of IPC look forward to seeing Tripp, Figaro, and Incus in action to bring together an enjoyable, quality International Puppy 2019 Contest and beyond. https://www.facebook.com/internationalpuppycontest/

Published in Editorial
Saturday, 01 April 2017 11:35

IMsL 2017 Contestant: Janet

JanetLeatherJournalJanet

Oklahoma Ms. Leather 2016,

Tulsa, OK

Leather and Rhinestones, Kink Weekend OKC.

My favorite item I have is my rhinestone corset.

 

 

Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Rose Rock girls of Leather- They the producers of Oklahoma Ms. Leather. I have been active in the activities that RRgoL puts on. https://rrgol.org

 

Tell me about your favorite charity.    My favorite charity is Team Friendly because of all the education they share to help remove the stigma of HIV testing and the stigma related to those living with HIV and/or their loved ones.

 

Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service.    Community service makes me feel like I am doing something for someone or something greater than myself. It's a way for me to keep myself centered.

 

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?    My heart is what makes me a Leather Woman. I have a desire to help support women in realizing there is a place for them and to trust in themselves in that place.

 

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?    Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt- Because she is and has been so supportive and involved with individuals in the community suffering from HIV/AIDS. Everything she does for her community is done out of love and comes from her heart.

 

What do you feel is the most dangerous mis-information passed through traditional & social media affecting our community today, and how would you combat it should the opportunity arise?    Traditional and social media allow bullying of children, teenagers and anyone "different" with very little consequence. When leaders are allowed to bully, everyone else believes it's ok. According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 867 hate incidents occurred between the period of November 9th through November 18th 2016. Education and stricter laws is the only way that this can be decreased. I would educate and lobby for stricter punishments.

Published in International Leather
Saturday, 01 April 2017 10:52

IMsL 2017 Contestant: Mina Hart

Mina Hart.LeatherJournalMina Hart

President of the Salt Lake City girls of Leather

Executive assistant for Sin in the City

Founder of Meow Mixx- a queer womens bar night

Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about all your Sponsors (feel free to include a copy of their logos and a urls to their websites) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.   Denver Bound, where I first learned rope skills and found community. I later became one of their teachers
Black Boots- a local gay men's organization that has been  supportive and encouraging to the local women's community and helped our group and others with event logistics, connections and support
President of the Salt Lake City girls of Leather- these ladies are my heart and keep me encouraged and energized
Utah Leaf and Leather- I am a board member and representative of the women's community within this group. This group pairs my love of cigars coupled with my love of the Leather community.

 

Tell me about your favorite charity.    I truly love the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. They do amazing work in the constant battle for sexual freedom and tirelessly fight for human rights. The work they put in gives me the rights I have today and I am incredibly grateful for their sacrifices.

 

Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service.    Community service is what creates the cohesion in a community. Some of my most precious memories have come from real work put in my myself and my community. It isn't always about teaching a class or being in front of an audience. Sometimes the events that create the bonds of a community are helping to landscape your community space or helping to build a library so those after you can have access to that knowledge. Community service builds strong communities.

 

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?    Leather is about freedom. Freedom to express oneself authentically and without judgment. Leather is about honor. Honoring oneself and others, keeping our history close to our hearts while we forge on and create new experiences and traditions for ourselves. Leather is about integrity- about holding on to your own beliefs and values no matter what storms you may weather. Leather is about respect. Respect for my community, myself and for the beliefs and traditions of others. Finally, Leather is about sex. Embracing one's sexuality and allowing ourselves to find the deep, raw, animal passion that we have learned to bury and deny. As a leather girl, I hold all of these things dear. I hold my community and my chosen family close, knowing that I have the freedom to be myself whatever self that may be. I hold pride in the leather I wear and in the Leather I am

 

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?    There are so many incredible women who have come before me and who walk with me.  
If I had to pick, I would say Lolita Wolf. She is down to earth, open about her sexuality, clever and witty. She finds strength in submission and fights tirelessly for sexual freedom.
My own story mirrors hers in many ways with the road to discovering, being comfortable with, and embracing my sexuality. I am grateful for her openness, encouragement and volunteerism that supports this community.

 

Published in International Leather
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 22:35

IMsL and IMsBB contestant slate announced

The contestants for International Ms Leather 2016 and International Ms Bootblack 2016 were announced recently. IMsL and IMsBB will be held in San Jose, CA the weekend of April 14-17.

Following a terrific year with each of their titles, IMsL 2015 Sarge and IMsBB 2015 slave tabitha arie will pass their torches to one from each group below.

International Ms Leather and International Ms. Bootblack 2016 Contestants


Aurora Lee

Aurora Lee’s own rags to Leathers story brings her from small-town Missouri girl to Twin Cities Metropolitan Leather Woman. She co-founded the Twin Cities girls of Leather as one of the several ways she focuses on empowering those who identify as Female and Leather. Involved in several clubs, Aurora is frequently found volunteering for events when she’s not tied up getting flogged. Suffice to say when she’s not giving, she’s certainly receiving. She’s well known for her Leather working, fundraising, and photography skills that she frequently lends in service to her local community

 
LasciviousJane

LasciviousJane is a power-femme switch, kinky burlesqueer, and sex educator. In addition to being perpetually covered in leather and glitter (a bootblack’s worst nightmare), in 2015, she became the first Ms Philadelphia Leather in a decade. She is the Artistic Director of the multi-award-winning Liberty City Kings Drag and Burlesque and sits on the Board of Directors of The Diabolique Foundation, which produces Philadelphia’s largest charity fetish ball. She is also a charter member of Queer Leather Alliance. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching the art of striptease, getting dirty in her garden, and community organizing.

 
Miss BEEHave

Smart, sassy, powerful, present, fierce and Femme… Miss BEEhave is Sydney (Australia’s) Ms Leather for 2015. Also an integral part of Sydney Femme Guild, she works toward building Leather Femme visibility in the broader community. She has co-taught a fisting workshop (No Holes Barred) in conjunction with Sydney Leather Pride, and has also conducted joint events with GLBTI groups to build community partnerships.
Leather is Ms BEEHave’s presence, her power, her strengths and her loves, embodied as an ever-evolving outside skin. Her belief is that the leather family holds a beautiful space where identity, expression and love are never questioned.

 
slavegirl marion

slavegirl marion, an attorney by trade, began following the BDSM path in 2005, and Leather in 2007. She is an active member of several Leather clubs and is a volunteer at Xpressions Dungeon in Tulsa. She has been a collared service slave to Master Malik since May 3, 2014, and enjoys serving him. She is focused on serving the community, working to help her kinky community grow, become well educated, and to ensure that there are safe and comfortable play spaces available. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Tom, children, and grandchildren.


Angel

Angel began to embrace her whole self through striving to be beyond the binary. With a teacher’s heart she walks her path ever growing and learning. She is a multi-faceted edge player and believes in exploring beyond labels when it comes to play, boots, and love. There are many ways to love and be loved. She uses Bootblacking to support her community, opening dialogues about leather, and collecting history. She has been honored with the titles of Ms. Great Plains Olympus Leather 2009 and 2010 and Southwest Bootblack 2014. Her devotion for service shines through in all she does.


Meghan

Meghan is proud to represent her region as Great Lakes Bootblack 2015. Since 2012 she’s been active in her local Kink and Leather communities, blacking regularly at The Barracks, ReMix and fundraisers throughout her region. At home, Meghan runs a Boot Lab for new and existing bootblacks in the area. She also serves as Treasurer for Mr. Friendly: Team Louisville.
Meghan seeks to create an experience in her chair that not only honors and worships your Leather, but also your journey. Bootblacking gives her the space to define her ideas of sexual expression and spirituality in ways that resonate deeply.
 

Shelly

While reading fanfiction Shelly stumbled upon a story involving a D/S couple and identified with the submissive. She was intrigued! She needed to get started immediately! She found The Threshold Society. She dove in by playing and volunteering. Being of service to her local community was not enough, so she found the Leather scene. Shelly began bootblacking in 2012 and fell madly in love with it. The science, the art and the service became the focal point of her Leather lifestyle. She is mentored by Q and owes Jayson DaBoi a big hug. She also enjoys puppies and purple.


The panel of judges which will make the decision on the IMsL 2016 torchbearer are Ms World Leather 2001 Annie Romano, American Leatherwoman 1994 Sarah Humble, International Ms Leather 2014 Patty, International Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith, International Mr. Bootblack 2001 Paksen Burrell, past IMsL producer Sky Renfro and Metis Brown; the IMsBB 2016 judges will be International Ms Bootblack 2014 Dara Bryant, International Mr. Bootblack 2015 Bamm Bamm and International Ms Leather 1987 Judy Tallwing McCarthy.

The tally folks will be Women's Leather Legacy 2013 Tracy Wolf and TNG founder Boymeat.

To see the IMsL and IMsBB 2016 contestants' photos go to http://imsl.org/contest/2016-imslimsbb-contestants/

This year’s brunch will welcome Keynote presenter, Vi Johnson. Vi is a Leatherwoman, activist, author and archivist who embarked on her journey in the Leather/BDSM scene in the early 1970s. A strong advocate for the necessity of preserving Leather/fetish/erotic history, Johnson speaks and writes with a single-minded focus on the broad spectrum of issues that concern her and her community.

For registration information visit http://imsl.org/event/register-now/ There will not be any on-site registration. Registration closes on April 13.

Published in International Leather
Sunday, 24 March 2013 03:21

IMsL XXVII 2013 Contestant Master Ces

master ces texas leather 2013 imsl contestant

VT: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization?  Please tell me about your Sponsor(feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.

MC: Texas Leather Productions owned by Jaffrey Payne-Roy and David Roy. The contest is held at the Dallas Eagle.

VT: Power Exchange or SM?

MC: Both, I am in a power exchange relationship and I also practice SM.

VT: In 100 words or less, tell me about your answer to number 2.

MC: I have been in a power exchange relationship with my slave for 17 years, and we both enjoy an SM relationship. For me personally there is nothing better than surrender and control in our dynamic. Those two words describe all aspects of our relationship. There is a connection both in play and the relationship that goes beyond words for me. It is the mind and whole body experience that you do not get with everyone. Sure I can do a power exchange in a dungeon with just about anyone, but it just doesn't go as deep as when you have that person who will do anything to please you. They surrender to your every whim knowing that you will do no harm.

VT: Tell me in your own words how you feel about Service.  

MC: I love service, I love the whole idea behind service. Not everyone is into service and some just don't understand just how much service is a turn on. Service good service is a turn on and those that truly understand it can make even the toughest dominant melt. Kneel at my feet and I get hot.

VT: How does your body react to the scent of worn leather?

MC: Leather the smell and the feel of leather is such a turn on. Yes I can appreciate a woman or a man that is wearing leather and when you walk up to them and that smell hit your nostrils I get wet! There is no other way for me to describe it.. I just get wet.

The basics:
Ćes Williams
Houston, Texas
Women In Leather International
Women's International Leather Fest

My Leather Vest is my favorite item..just don't ask which vest is my favorite.. .

VT: 100 words about what you will with the IMsL Title.

MC: To carry on a proud tradition, a tradition that is filled with herstory and history, to continue my work on giving back to the community that I love, to inspire other women and men to step up and help the community not step away from the community. As an elder it gives me the golden opportunity to teach our herstory and history to a wider audience than ever before.master-ces-williams-2013-ms-texas-leather

Published in International Leather
Sunday, 08 March 2015 06:29

IMsBB 2015 Contestant: Marta

Marta LJPhoto1Name: Marta
Current Title(s): Great Lakes Bootblack 2014 & Indiana Bootblack 2014
City, State: Indianapolis, IN

Website (if any): I’m currently working for my Facebook account reactivation after my name was reported in violation of the “real names” policy almost a full month ago.
Fetlife: BootblackPigGrrl
Twitter: @bootblackpigrrl

Regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3)
Indianapolis Kink Society sloshes at the 501 Eagle, Bootblacking 1st, 3rd and 5th Mondays
Indianapolis Bootblacks’ Laboratory potluck and skillshare, Co-founder
Bootblack for many of the 501 Eagle’s leather contests and fundraisers: Including Indiana Sir/boy/Ms/Bootblack, Great Lakes Olympus, Great Lakes Power Exchange, cancer benefits and the High Shine IMsBB documentary fundraiser

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear
My 17” Chippewa engineer boots. Getting them off at the end of the night still involves pleading, bargaining and cursing but they’re so worth it!

TLJ-VT: Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about your Sponsor (feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.
IMsL Contestant Marta: Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend features dozens of workshops, parties and our regional Sir/boy/Ms/Master/slave/Bootblack contests. New this year: Larger hotel with attached waterpark and Great Lakes Puppy/Trainer contest!

Indianapolis Kink Society is the largest kinky social and educational club in Indiana. I’m incredibly thankful for their sponsorship and enthusiastic support of me as group Bootblack.

Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend provides support, education and service opportunities, sponsors our state-level Indiana leather contests and has generously continued their sponsorship through my International run.

Published in International Leather
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 19:16

Dave Rhodes Hump Day March 7, 2018

 

 

2017 SF Leather Community Awards

The 2017 SF Leather Community Awards were presented at SOMArts on Friday night, March 2 in San Francisco, CA. Honors were for efforts in 2017, hence that year listed on awards. The recipients were: Best Community Educational Event 2017 - LDG - depression and Suicide in the men's community; Best Organizational Anniversary Event 2017 - The 15 Association; Best Bay Area Leather Contest 2017 - Mr San Francisco Leather; Best Community Weekend Event 2017 - LDG Fetish Fair; Most Visible Organization in the Community 2017 - Leathermen’s Discussion Group; Best New Organization 2017 - ONYX Northwest; Outstanding SF Bay Area Community Business 2017 - Wicked Grounds; Outstanding SF Bay Area Community Nonprofit 2017 - Trans Lifeline; Next Generation Award 2017 - Keao Lani; Frank Benoit Award - Jim Taylor and Rand Hunt; Woman of the Year 2017 (Tie) - Ms Cat and Angel Garfold; Non-Binary Person the year 2017 - Azalea Hollinger; Man of the Year 2017 - Al Rahm; Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 - Dahn Van Laarz; Selby Award - this new occasional award is in recognition and appreciation of continuous dedication and service to our communities, inspired by the deeds and service of Alan Selby - Dahn Van Laarz. http://www.leatherallianceweekend.org

Published in Editorial
Monday, 14 October 2013 15:12

IMsL/IMsBB 2014 judges announced

IMsL New LogoInternational Ms Leather and International Ms Boot Black 2014 (IMsL/IMsBB) will be held April 24-27, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in San Jose, CA

International Ms Leather and International Ms Bootblack are under the new ownership of Pat Baillie and Sharrin Spector..

Traditionally, the judges for IMsL/IMsBB and tallies are announced at the Ms San Francisco Leather contest and this year was no exception.

 

Published in International Leather
Saturday, 01 April 2017 11:18

IMsL 2017 Contestant: Thomas

thomas

Thomas

Oakland
California

Events where you'll find me:
IMsL every year forever!
Folsom Street Fair & Dore
Society of Janus events

My Vest is my best leather buddy! We go everywhere together. I recrafted it myself from a thrift store find and have loved it real hard over the years. It was my first and might always be my favorite leather.

 

Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? My run is sponsored by three amazing groups: Since I announced my intention to start a online sexuality forum, LeatherLand, I have had the pleasure of intercoursing with Rubber Women of San Francisco, Rough Cut Leather, and Wicked Grounds, all of whom provide our community with safe  spaces to celebrate our sexuality and express our kinks freely. They each do this while improving leather awareness and providing instruction in skill sets to help kinksters cope in the world. I'm elated to work with them for years to come.

 

Tell me about your favorite charity.    My favorite charity would have to be The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom which started in 1997 and helps members of sexual minorities with legal problems. As a law student, I know the importance of organizations which provide assistance on a judicial level. If you need help contact them at ncsfreedom.org

 

Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service.    Volunteering for the community is how I got my start in leather. Believe it or not, I get freaked out in a crowd at times. Service is where I find peace. Knowing that I have a purpose has always been the cure for my anxiety. How do I feel about community service? I feel like it is vital for socialphobes and it makes the leather world go round!

 

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?    Holding leather womanhood and bootblacking labels are ways I care for my self-esteem. I hold these labels dear because they make me feel pride and pride in oneself is key to my mental self-care.

 

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?    Joan Jett is my favorite leather woman. She has supported our community since entering the scene in her early career. Her music provided me with a feeling of inclusion in the most lonely parts of my leatherwalk, like her I don't give a damn about my reputation. That song's video is a re-enactment of 23 record labels rejecting her first solo album and her subsequent rise to the top, similar to the many rejections I faced in my early leatherwalk and my subsequent inclusion into the leather scene through IMsL.

Published in International Leather

kate-bornstein-keynote-IMSL-2014IMsL Productions is pleased to announce that Kate Bornstein, author, playwright, performance artist, provocateur and gender theorist from New York, will be our 2014 Keynote speaker. She will bring her thoughts, her humor and as always, challenge us to expand our understanding and perceptions. Kate will also serve as one of our judges for the IMsL/IMsBB contest this year.

Many of us discovered Kate with her first book in 1994, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. Kate edited Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation in collaboration with S. Bear Bergman published in 2010, which won the 2011 Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards. Bornstein's autobiography, titled A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir was released May 2012, and in April 2013, Bornstein released My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity.

One of the best parts of the IMsL/IMsBB weekend is the diversity and power of women who span the spectrum of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Kate, as our key note speaker at the April 24-27, 2014 event at the DoubleTree by Hilton in San Jose, CA reflects these principles and this is a rare opportunity to hear Kate speak on the West Coast!

You can read all about Kate at her blog. Register now and be sure to purchase a brunch ticket or sign up for an all-inclusive weekend package so you don't miss this opportunity to see all the ways we are bringing sexy back!

 

Published in International Leather
Sunday, 31 March 2013 03:00

IMsL XXVII 2013 Contestant Christy Ford

christy-ford-imsl-2013-contestant

VT: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization?  Please tell me about your Sponsor(feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.

CF: Alameda County Leather Corps (ACLC) is a non-profit organization that promotes educational and charitable activities through social interaction among people with an interest in leather, Levi’s, uniforms, and latex. The club is composed mostly of residents from San Francisco’s East and South Bays. ACLC was founded in 1993 as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) leather corps, and has since donated in excess of $300,000 to charities serving Alameda County. We are proud to state that 100% of the net receipts, raised at our events, go directly to the chosen charities. ACLC’s website is:  http://www.acleather.org/

VT: Power Exchange or SM?

CF:

VT: In 100 words or less, tell me about your answer to number 2.

CF: My preferences, in regards to kink actives, are not confined to limited landscapes. My strength of will is matched by my innate character of fairness. I enjoy drawing people into my world, where they will belong. Being especially sensual and erotic, I enjoy sharing fantasies and indulging fetishes. My keep my sphere safe, in which I explore my deepest, darkest, and most secret desires within S&M, B&D, and Fetish. I am a sadistic top who teaches and tortures partners, to shape them to my perfection. My partners serve and suffer pain, by my stinging touch. 

VT: Tell me in your own words how you feel about Service.  

CF: I believe in selfless service to the leather community, which I demonstrate when I participate or produce an event and it benefits our leather/bdsm/fetish community, and I view service by all as a vital part of the camaraderie process. We all provide some type of service, whether we think of it as service or not, and I believe there is nothing sexier than when service is offered and provided out of a genuine and deep desire to help and be of service to others.

VT: How does your body react to the scent of worn leather?

CF: The scent of worn leather makes me genuinely a little hot and bothered. My reaction is similar to when I smell a good cigar or pipe tobacco, which is also a strong attraction of mine. Words that come to my mind when I think of the smell include: sexy, powerful and raw. Adding piss play into the mix of worn leather pants totally gets my attention every time!

The basics:
Name: Christy Ford
City, State: San Ramon, CA

I am a co-chair of ACLC’s Education Program, which is held the fourth Monday of the month at the Lighthouse Community Center in Hayward, California.

This year I produced Santa Slave Auction, a yearly event through ACLC where we auction off local community members for charity.

I am a co-producer of Lucky in Leather, a yearly event that raises funds for Tri-City Health Center, California.

CF: (my favorite leather?) My favorite leathers are my cargo pants; I just love all the pockets. I use them to carry around everything from lube to my lipstick.

VT: 100 words about what you will with the IMsL Title.

CF: In my title year I would like to incorporate my biggest interest into my duties, which happens to be art. Specifically, I would like to learn about other leather women’s mediums for their art, whether it be photography, acrylic or oil on canvas, or leatherwork. In my travels, I want to share, document, and highlight female artists within our sisterhood. My goal is to leave behind a living archive of 2013’s female perceptions of sexuality in the leather community. As a photographer myself, I wish to document the women who make our leather events happen, the people whom I spent time with, shared stories, and include both the well-known and unfamiliar of our community.

 

Published in International Leather
Friday, 30 March 2018 12:53

Dave Rhodes' Hump Day, March 28, 2018

 

Mr. LA Leather title goes to LA Leather Bear

The Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2018 contest saw Mr. LA Leather Bear Ben Johnson win he Mr. LA Leather 2018 title and the Brotherhood award which was selected by his fellow contestants at the Globe Theater on Saturday night, March 24 in los angeles, CA. First runner-up was Mr. Precinct Leather Spike and second runner-up was Mr. 562 Eagle Leather Pup Yoshi. 11 men have won preliminary titles all over los angeles County and it all comes down to this. The LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence gave a rousing blessing. Jeremy Ronceros and Jasun Mark rocked as emcees and Pup Dazzle was amazing in his A Capella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Legion Meets Megawoof, the Official Mr. LA Leather Victory Dance immediately followed the contest. For more go to https://losangelesleatherpride.com/

Published in Editorial
Sunday, 08 March 2015 13:30

IMsBB 2015 Contestant: Becca Bee

BeccaBeeIMsLpic SizedName: Becca Bee
Current Title: Washington State Bootblack 2014
City, State: Olympia, WA

Website (if any): N/A
Regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3):
Blood, Sweat, and Queers at the Center for Sex Positive Culture in Seattle, WA
Bootblacking with PDX Bootblacks at Kinkfest in Portland, OR
SEA-PAH Moshes at The Cuff Complex in Seattle, WA.

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear
My high shine boots.


TLJ-VT: Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so, please tell me about your Sponsor (feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.
IMsL Contestant Becca: My run is sponsored by Washington State Mr/Ms Leather Organization. 

This is the producing organization for the Washington State Mr/Ms/Bootblack contest held at the end of March at the Cuff Complex in Seattle, WA. 

 

Published in International Leather
Thursday, 17 April 2014 06:53

Meet The Contestants IMsL 2014: lynn

VT-TLJ: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Please tell me about your Sponsor(feel free to include a copy of their logo and a url to their website) and your involvement with them in 100 words or less.
L: I am proud to be sponsored by Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA). GLLA has an annual event which is in its 13th year in my hometown of Indianapolis. GLLA brings in national presenters for 36 classes, with the highlight of the event being the Saturday evening finale to our regional leather contest.

VT-TLJ: Tell me about your favorite charity.
L: My favorite charity is the Mr. Friendly Campaign, which aims to dispel the social stigma associated with HIV, while advocating for safer sex practices and STI testing. I believe that stigmas are perpetuated by fear, not by facts. By providing education on STI transmission, we can encourage responsible communication about risks and prevent the division in our community that fear causes.

Published in International Leather

ccreaneimagesHS4MediaAbove: Christina Court (center) is surrounded by documentary participants on the red carpet debut of her award winning documentary High Shine.

In 1998, Amy Marie Meek announced at International Ms Leather (IMsL), that there would be a new Title for the Leather Women’s Community, and in 1999 the Title for International Ms Bootblack was erected. Now 17 years later, a Documentary about the Journey of the female-identified Bootblack Titleholders has been summed up in a one film, High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack.

After IMsL’s 25th Anniversary, Jayson Daboi (a bootblack and IMsBB 2010 ) felt it was time to tell their story, the Journey of the International Ms Bootblacks. He wanted to tell the story of how significant it was to be a female-identified bootblack, and how they had impacted and made changes in the Leather Community...he and his good friend, L.e. LeGirl, another Leather Community Member, wanted to bring it into part of the 15 year IMsBB Celebration. They had come up with a proposal that included the Documentary. They weren’t sure how they were going to do it, but they began the process anyway. L.e. LeGirl dedicated herself to the fundraising, having Leather & Lace parties all across the country. They wanted to be able to have as many IMsBB as they could, interviewed on film, and their stories told.  In late 2011, Jayson Daboi approached Christina Court about making the documentary, and she agreed to take on the endeavor which included, coordination, research and production of "The Bootblack Film". It became a second job, spanning just over 3 years to completion this year, 2015.

SEE FULL PHOTO GALLERY OF HIGH SHINE RED CARPET HERE!

In 1998, Amy Marie Meek announced at International Ms Leather (IMsL), that there would be a new Title for the Leather Women’s Community, and in 1999 the Title for International Ms Bootblack was erected. Now 17 years later, a Documentary about the Journey of the female-identified Bootblack Titleholders has been summed up in a one film, High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack.

To understand what it takes to make this Documentary, you have to remember, film was in different formats, and at various places.  There was dated film that reached all the way back to 1986 that was located in storage units in Berkeley. There were boxes of film in a basement in Omaha, Nebraska, and someone had to go get it. Christina had no idea of what some of the old film had on it, was it even salvageable, was it even useable...This Project also included getting as many IMsBB Bootblacks together and recording the stories of willing IMsBB Bootblacks. Then taking these various montages, and combining it all together into one film. With the help, coordination and assistance of various individuals, the dream making a documentary of International Ms Bootblacks became a reality, and High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack was born.

Last month, “High Shine” finally made it's debut at the Cinekink Festival in New York City. In attendance were many of the individuals that not only helped bring the film together, such as L.E. LeGirl, but also a few of the International Ms Bootblacks, including the first of the IMsBB Titleholders, Leslie Anderson, IMsBB 2011 kd aka Katie Diamond, who also designed the challenge coin that is used as the logo, and Pony, IMsBB 2009.  Making a documentary is not an easy task, it takes tireless dedication, unwavering focus, a lot of help and a lot of time.

I decided to sit down with Christina Court to discuss what brought her to making this her first film, how she got through it, and a few insights into the process and just what it took to make this Documentary.

 

Q: Why did you make this particular Documentary on Female Bootblacks, or what inspired you to make this particular Documentary?

The better question is who inspired me to make a documentary about female-identified bootblacks...and that would be IMsBB 2010 Jayson DaBoi and IMsBB 2009 Pony.

In 2011-2012, I assisted then-IMsL owner Glenda Rider and the folks at Kink Academy with some of the storyboarding aspects of Sisterhood of the Sash, a film short that profiled the International Ms Leather Titleholders. I came into the project toward the very end, as they were making a push toward meeting the CineKink 2012 deadline.  I loved working on the film project and working with Graydancer, who was the film's editor. After CineKink 2012, Glenda began to talk about the IMsBB Documentary that L.E. LeGirl and Jayson DaBoi proposed to her as part of a larger IMsBB XV Celebration. I agreed to help with the research/directing/storyboarding aspects of the film.  It was at the GLLA (Great Lakes Leather Alliance) Weekend that I sat with Jayson DaBoi and smoked cigars until 4am, and agreed to take on the project.

 

Q: I would like for you to shed some light on how hard it was to make this Documentary...and what are some of the things you had to do in putting this story together?

I started doing the research for this film in August 2011. I live less than 15 minutes away from Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), which is an exceptional advantage to me as a researcher. From 2011 through August 2013, I was also serving on the IMsL staff as the Historian and Archivist. Holding this role in tandem helped simply because it was my "job" to track down lost and rare IMsL organization materials...and I still have some "on loan" media materials that I utilized in the High Shine film that, within the next two years, will also end up at LA&M for future researchers and scholars. I spent much of my "free time" seeking out materials, converting footage from antiquated media sources.  

Then on to the interviews of the IMsBB Alumni. Most people don't realize that, to prepare for a massive, six-person film crew, one-time film shoot like we did at IMsL 2013 requires a heap of planning and organization and knowledge of the subject's backgrounds. Nine of the IMsBB alumni were in attendance, and I needed to know a bit of each of their stories, what their title year looked like, all before we put a camera on them or set foot in the IMsL 2013 hotel. Much of this information was buried within unconverted VHS tapes or without a centralized depository of images, articles, etc., it becomes a wild and challenging mystery.

I've read every single piece all the way down to the grocery lists scribbled on scratch paper.  I have watched every IMsL contest I could locate. In order to utilize old footage, which was mostly stored on VHS and mini discs, I needed to convert everything and do some sound and image editing before even considering whether or not they were "usable" in the High Shine film. These media conversions alone have taken hours upon hours, and I did them at night and on weekends when I wasn't working my full-time professional job. On average, since late 2011, I've worked between 30-40 hours a week on something related to IMsL or IMsBB history…

 

Q: Are there particular moments or people in the film that you feel we should really pay attention to in the Documentary?

I think it all depends on the motivation that brings a person to watch the film--each person walks away learning something "new," even if they've been in the Leather Community a long while or just trying to understand what some of this "Leather stuff" is about.

What strikes me the most about the International Ms Bootblack (IMsBB) and female-identified Bootblack "story" is how those who hear the calling to be a Bootblack work and support one another, and I am often stunned and humbled by just how close knit the Leather community Bootblacks are with one another. On a different, level, I find that the stories that the IMsBB’s tell about busting through barriers in the gay male Leather community to be inspiring and empowering...and the changes that have happened in terms of female accessibility to Leather space has been fast and furious over the past 15 years.

 

ccreaneimagesHS9MediaQ: Throughout the film, were there any in particular bootblacks that have touched or inspired you on a personal level?

The first International Ms Leather Leslie Anderson (IMsBB 1999) and I have worked closely together over the years on the High Shine film and within the Leather Archives & Museum's Leather Preservation & Conservation Project. In watching her work, I see the amount of research needed to keep our Leather alive--and not just research about leathers, but about so many aspects of the Leather Community. Loving Leather also requires someone to learn their Leather history, and Leslie embodies this.

 

Q: Was there anything in particular that you personally learnt about Bootblacking?

While making this film, I learned so much from delving so deep into Bootblack history and bootblacking.  What's most striking to me was that I quickly learned that I couldn't separate the art and act of bootblacking from the Bootblack her/him/hirself.  While there are some basic techniques, some standardized tools and beloved products, Bootblacks don't do everything the same. In fact, more than one person I interviewed said, "Ask 10 Bootblacks a question, and you'll get 20 answers in reply."

 

Q: And in making this Documentary, how has doing this changed you, if it has?

First, let me say this: I absolutely loved having the honor of interviewing the IMsBBs and talking with so many Bootblacks. Bootblacks give in amazing ways. Interviewing them and then reviewing,  and spending so much time with the footage containing their stories of joys and sorrows has filled me in ways that are nothing less than spiritual. I will always be grateful for those whom we interviewed, and those having the courage to be so vulnerable and open to me and my team.

Trust me: it's not easy working a full time job, then coming home to try and work on a film that's financially breaking you... I think it's also important to be very honest about this experience. Since 2011, I have gained 70 pounds from sitting at my professional management job, then going home and sitting and working on editing and media conversions until 1am nightly.  My back went out on me in August 2014, and I ended up bedridden for almost two weeks. I took unpaid leave of absence from work specifically to get through a particularly research-heavy section of the film between 2013 and 2014.  It is exceptionally hard to try and work through rich and empowering footage, all the while bill collectors call. In essence, this film has made me "Leather Strong".

 

Q: Why did you choose Cinekink as your first place to debut the Documentary?

CineKink was the "obvious" choice for debuting High Shine for two specific reasons. It was where the first film project upon which I worked, Sisterhood of the Sash, debuted. For me, applying to CineKink and hoping I could do my world premiere at CineKink NYC, was a coming home and a full circle journey of sorts, and I am so pleased that things unfolded as they did.

It was at CineKink Chicago where I saw Mike Skiff's film, Kink Crusaders for the first time. It is a documentary about the IML experience and the IML 2008 contest, and I loved it. I remember watching the film and wondering why the International Women's contests didn't have anything equivalent and thinking that Leatherwomen should work to change that fact. Little did I know that, shortly thereafter, I'd be involved in creating that change and that, in 2013, I'd be working with Mike Skiff himself to create a feature-length film about female-identified Bootblacks and the IMsBB Title.

 

Q: Now that the film has been completed and it is out there to be seen by the public, how would you like it to impact people?

I think the best narrators are invisible to the story being presented. Now that the film is finished and being shared, it's my hope that, during a viewing of my film, I am forgotten...that would be the highest compliment for me to receive. In fact, after seeing the film, rather than turning and thinking of me, it's my greatest hope that folks turn and think about whether or not they've been tipping Bootblacks the amount of money that they're truly worth and giving Bootblacks the degree of respect they deserve.

 

Q: What do you want the current or future women, who are interested in bootblacking to know, understand or learning from this Documentary?

I wish for anyone who feels that they have a Bootblack Heart or the bootblacking bug to embrace that part of themselves, and never be embarrassed to reach out to another Bootblack. I find this generosity of time and spirit consistent with most Bootblacks I meet.  In learning the art, they hold onto the traditions of mentors and those who've passed, and in being such an inclusive bunch that often sees the "Bootblack" identity before sex, gender, orientation or presentation, they illustrate what could be the future for Leather, and in caring for others' Leather wear.


Q: Do you see yourself making any other Documentaries in the near future? or will you take a different film avenue?

Now that I've finished High Shine, I can also begin to move through a backlog of other interviews of Leather community members I've filmed (or inherited from previous videographers) for the LA&M Fireside Chat series, and I can begin to dive full throttle into the IML video production work needed to make the 2015 contest visuals look sexy as hell.

I have many "dream" documentaries I'd love to create and share with our community, so let's see what's ends up on my plate next. What I do know is that having the intent to provide a voice to people and resources that may otherwise be overlooked, forgotten or misunderstood.

Published in Society & Arts
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