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Bootblack KL

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BootblackKL LeatherJournalBasic Information: Name Current Title City, State website (if any) regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3) Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear & social media:

Bootblack KL from Ballarat, Victoria, Currently untitled as there is not a title for female identified bootblacks in Australia.

I participate in Vic Leathers monthly Gear up munches; Their yearly fundraiser/ membership drive Open House and the very large mixed leather event Northside Bizarre at the Laird for Joy-FM Australia’s first Gay and Lesbian Radio station and the David Williams Fund which helps people living with HIV

Favorite leather item – would have to be my Apron – wear it to bootblack or to events!  

www.facebok.com/kljoy2

www.facebook.com/bootblackkl

twitter @kl_joy

Instagram @kl_joy

www.labouchebooks.com - my kinky/queer publishing company.          

I'm representing Vic Leather Inc, a club in Melbourne, Victoria that is open to all Leather folk from all genders and sexualities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Sponsors:

Sponsor 1: VAC- the Victorian Aids Council I have been working with them on a project for regional women’s health and education. I also run an LBQ women’s’ Red ribbon luncheon in December.

Sponsor 2. Lucrezia and De Sade/ Sax Fetish Supporting leather women in the community as they have done for many years for the male titleholders who compete at an International level.

Sponsor 3: Marquis De Sade My relationship with the owner of this fine corsetier dates back to 1998, when she laced me into my first ever corset! I modeled for her for a number of years and continue to this day to passionately promote her business now+ in its 22nd year!

Sponsor 4: Oz Kink Fest I've been involved with Mistress Malice and festival in one form or another since its beginnings in 2008 as a stall holder, volunteer, bump in/bump out crew. In recent months she has helped to raise funds for my journey through her club Provocation, where I also bootblack monthly. 

Sponsor 5: Sprinkle Emporium Creating fashion for curvy women who love to feel special is her pleasure and her business! Sprinkle creates the most magical garments fit for a goddess.     

Favorite Charity:

I have two charities that are close to my heart. VAC- regional women’s projects due to the fact know firsthand how important that financial support if as it helped start up my Wrainbow Writers group in Ballarat Victoria. Switchboard Vic & I have recently been raising fund for Switchboard Vic. a telephone counseling service that took a huge hit during the Marriage Equality Debate that ripped through our LGBTIQA+ community last year. With numbers of callers increasing daily they needed to train an extra 30 call takers in a matter of weeks.       

How you feel about community service?:

I grew up with two parents that worked tirelessly to fund raise for one organization or another. They were shining role models that today, are the reason I am who I am. The community service that I do is because I was taught by them to understand that I have ability to change people’s lives for the better and never take for granted my privilege. The time I work in service, helps me to better understand the diverse needs that we have within our community.      

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?:

I am a leather-woman because I know no other way. I am a bootblack, because it fills my service heart. What makes me that way? It comes down to me waking every day and saying, I will try better, I will do better, I will be better.           

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?:

Mollena Lee Williams-Haas For years I listened to her podcast and since following her 'love story' on Facebook and through media, I see the veil of leather that binds a strong relationship, where both parts are made stronger. She has a quirky way of making even the most mundane slave task sound pleasurable and her insight into this world as a lifestyle slave and muse to a famous composer is inspiring. I’m in awe of the issues she has spoken about and continues to do so.          

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?:

Casual denial of wrong doing: When someone says ‘but that’s just their way’ or ‘they can’t help it, it’s who they are’ its insidious and undermines the ability for our community to understand and change. Because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean it always has to be that way! It comes back to my personal motto and through education I would continue to create the space for people to understand how they too can live the motto … I will try better, I will do better, I will be better.       

In 100 words or less what will you do as IMsL or IMsBB to promote your title?:

In Australia, there are female identified bootblacks who don’t have a platform or a voice, I aim to give them both. I would ideally like to set up a contest to support and encourage more bootblacks from Australia to do help raise awareness of our community. In 2018, I also aim to continue the space that I started two years ago, Show and Shine, to bring people of all skill levels and knowledge together to share bootblack energy. Finally, I’d also love travel to other communities like South Africa as an outreach from one small southern hemisphere community to another.

Red San Diego Bootblack 2017

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RedLeatherJournalBasic Information: Name Current Title City, State website (if any) regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3) Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear & social media:

Red, San Diego Bootblack 2017, San Diego, California

San Diego girls of Leather monthly social, house bootblack for San Diego Cigars and Boots.

I hate to be a stereotype, but my favorite item has to be my Corcorans. When they have a mirror shine I feel like I could take on the world.     

Facebook: Red Bootblack,

Instagram: Red Bootblack, @redbootblack 

My run is sponsored by the San Diego girls of Leather of which I am a member; the Southland Title Sisters, for which I hold the position of Vice President; Club X San Diego, the pansexual BDSM organization to which I owe most of my education and my introduction to the Leather community; and San Diego Leather Pride, the organization for which I hold the San Diego Bootblack 2017 title. Each of these organizations has played a substantial role in making me the person I am today.       

Favorite Charity:

My favorite charity is the Rainbow Railroad. It is a Canadian charity that works to find a route to asylum for LGBT individuals who face state sponsored persecution and violence in their home countries due to their sexuality or gender identity. I am fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where I can live openly as a queer Leatherwoman, but in many parts of the world those identities would mean a death sentence. I believe that we have a responsibility to help find safety for those of us who need it.

How you feel about community service?:

I believe that community service is at the core of what it means to be Leather. Coming from a pansexual BDSM community that largely does not identify as Leather, it wasn't until I joined the San Diego girls of Leather and began volunteering for various Leather events and organizations in San Diego that I felt comfortable claiming a Leather identity. To me, Leather is about building community and lifting each other up, and I have found that the most effective way I can contribute to that is with polish on my fingers and boots in my hands.

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?:

I am a Bootblack because caring for leathers feeds my soul. I felt adrift in the Leather and BDSM communities until I had the courage to work a stand publicly and give my energy and passion to others. Taking an item of worn and loved leather and making it as beautiful as possible gives me a satisfaction that very little else in my life can. Knowing that I have the skills and the resources to transform nearly any project gives me joy and purpose, and serving others is a profound honor.    

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?:

My favorite Leatherwoman is Mama Vi Johnson. Her courage to live her authentic life and devote herself to the preservation of our Leather history has been a great inspiration to me. The knowledge and experience she contains are beyond comparison and her advocacy has helped make the Leather community what it is today.

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?:

When BDSM is discussed in the media it is often portrayed in a way that suggests that we are all terribly damaged individuals who are reenacting our traumas or are opportunistic abusers. The reality, of course, is far more complicated than that. Yes, for some of us exploring kink is an outlet to release trauma or is a method of healing, but just as many of us come from traditional backgrounds with average life experiences. BDSM is a healthy form of human sexuality. When speaking to non-kinky audiences about kink and Leather I have used the power of anecdote to personalize and normalize my relationships. This illustrates how exploring one’s desires can lead to stronger, healthier relationships under the right circumstances. Of course, some relationships are toxic, whether they are kinky or not. We face the same sorts of challenges that anybody in a relationship does. I aim to de-mystify our community in a way that speaks to our common experiences and desires, and shows how our emphasis on communication and consent can be helpful in any relationship.    

In 100 words or less what will you do as IMsL or IMsBB to promote your title?:

As IMsBB I would promote my title by sharing the things that make being a bootblack special to me. Through teaching and bootblacking I would show others the unique power of being of service to others while promoting excellence in oneself. Inspiring others to find their most fulfilling form of community service while asking them to think deeply about what a community of inclusivity really looks like would be doing the title and the organization true justice.

Princess Jinnie Oklahoma Ms Leather 2017

Written by

JinnieI Leather Journal

Basic Information: Name Current Title City, State website (if any) regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3) Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear & social media:

Princess Jinnie Oklahoma Ms Leather 2017 Tulsa, Oklahoma

1) I volunteer as the Art Director for the annual HIV+ Retreat hosted by the Grateful Day Foundation

2) Regularly perform or host events for the Imperial Court of All of Oklahoma and other courts around the U.S.  

3) Cooking and helping out with the teens at the Openarms Youth Project in Tulsa…. There isn't a thing I wouldn’t do to make sure the LGBT+ kids of our community are safe, taken care of, and lifted up, knowing that it is OK to be who they are meant to be!!

           

Favorite Leather item: Leather bolero jacket by LeatherMasters

Fetlife:  Corset-Princess  

Instagram: Corset_Princess 

Twitter:  Princess Jinnie

Facebook: Oklahoma Ms. Leather 2017      

Sponsors:

Rose Rock Girls of Leather (RRGoL) & www.rrgol.org RRgoL is part of a nationwide movement to create a special place for those who identify as Leather girls. The organization works with all parts of the Leather community to help promote different events and causes.

Tulsa Eagle – “Tulsa Eagle” (Facebook)

Favorite Charity:

I was first introduced to the Leather community 4 years ago, as a member of the Imperial Court of All Oklahoma. “The Court” would co-sponsor local charity events and fundraisers with the Leather community at the Tulsa Eagle.  Volunteering at the charity events with members of the Leather community, I witnessed firsthand the meaning behind it all - family, loyalty, commitment to each other and to the community as a whole."           My favorite charity is Openarms Youth Project (OYP), an organization that serves as a safe haven for LGBT young people between the ages of 14-21 in the Tulsa, OK community.  Tim Gillean is the Founder and Director of OYP, and an upstanding and amazing man.  Under Tim’s leadership, the volunteers make sure the young people have clothing, food, counselling and help with homework and social skills.  Tim is most often found cooking for the kids at the Center on Thursday nights, or DJ’ing on Saturdays when the Center is open for dances and drag shows to keep the kids off the streets. The Openarms Youth Project is hoping to open an online/charter school within the Center to make sure these young people reach their full potential in a safe and healthy environment, free from bullying.      

How you feel about community service?:

I have always felt drawn to being of service to others. I consider myself to be a Charity Queen!  One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie Robots, “see a need, fill a need” and that is just what I try to do. There are many worthy organizations that have a need – the Foundation for Exceptional Warriors (The FEW) that serves our nation’s veterans, Grateful Day Foundation, Openarms Youth Project, the list goes on.  I love being able to serve in the community, especially when I can use my skills as a ceramics artist and pastry chef.  Whether I am baking my Drunken D’lites dessert treats for an auction, helping with dinner for our youth at Openarms Youth Project, or organizing and performing at a Veterans’ Day fundraising event for the Foundation for Exceptional Warriors, community service is a huge part of who I am.

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?:

Simply put - My strength comes from the joy I receive from giving back to the community. Using the skills that I have in order to be of service…that is what I love!"  Some would say that it’s the Diva in me that has a love and fascination for Leather…that sexy look, the feel and oh-the-smel!l of a freshly blackened piece of hide. But in all honesty, what makes me a Leather Woman is not about the leather that I wear.  It’s all about the honor, traditions, values, and integrity - the history of the women who came before me and the Community I belong to and that I am proud to represent. These are the Leather qualities that I constantly try to live up to and carry in my soul as the soles of my boots carry me on this Leather Journey.  

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?:

My favorite Leather Women are actually a couple - Mera and Jimmie Tucker of Tucker Inn Cookies.  Mera and Jimmie judged my first run for Oklahoma Ms. Leather in 2016, and when I learned about the Tucker Inn and all the cookies they bake to raise money for the community I instantly fell in love with them!  Over the last two years they have mentored me, helped me prepare for Leather competition, and have truly provided guidance to this once lost Leather Girl.  They taught me to believe in myself, to stay true to my Leather Heart, to fight for what I believe in, and to look beyond the distractions that would take me off the path of becoming the Leather Woman I want to be.  At the Tucker Inn, Mera and Jimmie have created a welcoming and inviting sacred Leather space that is truly a piece of heaven on Earth - with a hot yummy meal, a warm bed, and a place to call “home” for the weekend for a Leather Sister/Brother or a visiting Monarch from another Imperial Court. Their generosity and commitment to the Leather Community are nothing short of inspirational. 

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?:

I believe the most dangerous information comes from two dangerous ideas…1.) the idea of being “normal” or “mainstream;” and 2.) that it is wrong to be different from the so-called mainstream.  There was a time when women fought for the right to vote in America, and the idea was considered wrong because it was regarded as not normal.  Several decades later, same sex couples fought for the right to legally marry and they were considered wrong – and ungodly – because they are different from the so-called norm. And we are considered wrong in the Leather / BDSM / Kink community because we are different from the so-called norm. There is a thought that we should be outcasts and shunned for the way we live our lives. These dangerous ideas discourage people from learning the true nature of the Leather lifestyle, and it prevents those in our community from living their lives openly for fear of losing their jobs, their families, and in fear for their own safety. I believe that when people are concerned about openly living the Leather lifestyle or are discouraged from learning the truth about the Leather community, it unfortunately paves the way for those who disagree with or negatively judge our community to spread misinformation about our community…that the Leather / BDSM / Kink  lifestyle is twisted, crazy, abusive, and unnatural, and those who participate are deviants. They communicate their message through traditional and social media, which are the best ways to reach the largest audience.

If I am given an opportunity, I want to combat the lies by exposing the truth – that whether romantic, sexual, friendly, Leather, kink, BDSM… consensual relationships are the only normal that exists!!"

In 100 words or less what will you do as IMsL or IMsBB to promote your title?:

I have  number of goals that I want to achieve as International Ms. Leather. Perhaps the most important is that I want to host fundraisers and community service events in support of LGBT youth projects, HIV testing, survivors of domestic violence, and our nation’s veterans. Using my skills as a pastry chef and ceramics artist, I hope to raise funds for these causes that are especially important to me, while continuing to help educate those who are unaware of the true nature of the Leather lifestyle and break the unearned stigma of the Leather/Kink community.

Jesbian Bagheera Ms. California Leather 2017

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JesbianLeatherJournalBasic Information: Name Current Title City, State website (if any) regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3) Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear & social media:

Jesbian Bagheera Ms. California Leather 2017 & International Little Miss Little 2014 San Francisco, CA

SF Little Scouts

SFgoL

San Francisco Bay Area Alliance 

Leather Kilt - Cute to wear, Functional to Buff at the Bootblack Stands  

Facebook Name - Jesbian Bagheera

Twitter Name - @JesbianBagheera

Instagram Name - @jesbianbagheera

Fetlife Name - Jesbian

POC Education Directory - VividLeather.org

Sponsors

I am Sponsored by the SF Little Scouts, San Francisco girls of Leather, Folsom Street Events, Leather Heat Inc. I am one of the Founding Members for SF Littles Scouts and currently work as the Public Relations Officer. I am currently the Outreach Officer for SFgoL and have been an active volunteer with them. I am the Bootblack Concierge for the Main Bootblack Stands at Dore Alley Street Fair and Folsom Street Fair. And I am the current Ms. California Leather 2017 which is produced with Leather Heat Inc.    

Favorite Charity:

I have two favorite Charities....

The Leather Alliance is 100% Volunteer Based that houses many projects.  They seek to facilitate community members in safely learning, growing, connecting, honoring and enjoying each other. They also also maintain an emergency Grants Account. Community members in financial need because of accident, serious illness or death of a significant other that causes financial hardship may apply to receive up to $1500 in assistance for basic living expenses.

The Second is Taking it To the Streets SF! This organization empowers homeless youth to lead better lives by providing a continuum of workforce readiness, job skills training, personal mentoring, safe housing, and other services to support self-sufficiency for youth and young adults ages 18-27. They work with youth who are ready to turn their lives around and get off the streets for good. We are in the game of ending chronic homelessness before it begins 

How you feel about community service?:

I believe community service is a human duty. I grew up in a Croatian Roman Catholic home where you practiced radical hospitality. I was taught to make the world what you want it to be by giving back to the world. Each act of giving and receiving service helps renew my faith in humanity. After all, we are good people trying to leave this world in better shape than when we got here. If we do not shape the world by giving back, then it ceases to be a place that reflects our best selves, our core values, and our authentic intentions.           

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?:

I live my life unapologetically as a sex positive, body positive, queer, little, chosen family adoptee, radical hospitality giver, leather licking femme. This is a very small glitter glimmer into what makes me a Leather Woman. Leather is not what we wear, it is who we are.      

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?:

Jill Carter who coined the phrase in the Leather Community "Each One, Teach One".  I am not lucky enough to know her personally, however that phrase is one of the first things I was taught in the community. So before I even knew it’s attribution, I owed my approach to her and her legacy. Her phrase inspired me to push the envelope when no one would listen or give me the space. Her legacy sparked my desire to help other littles by co-founding the Little Scouts which is now in over 20 states. So thank you Jill Carter.       

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?:

Very simply the phrase...The One True Way. The belief that there is only one way to do, or be. This is encapsulated in the word: “should.” This phrase blocks any active listening our community could do in order to find common ground and inclusivity. The best way to combat this is by being an active listener. To teach others to be active listeners. In a moment when we are ready to interrupt and explain why someone is wrong, it is often better to instead sit in that moment and be uncomfortable. To learn to accept another’s opinion and hear fully what the other person has to say, and then to grow and learn.     

In 100 words or less what will you do as IMsL or IMsBB to promote your title?:

Everything and anything I possibly can. To be unapologetically me as a Leather Little. To travel to conferences and different towns to collect classes and presenters for my POC Education Directory. And do more cross over in the kink/vanilla world. I had no idea what leather was until I stumbled upon a Leather Alley at Pride. So my third focus would be to find the Leather people that don’t know that they are, and to be an avenue for them to ask questions and hope to bring them in as the next generation.

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