TLJ-VT: Tell me about your favorite charity.
IMsL Contestant Angel: I support many charities all of whom have a similar end goal. That goal is to help individuals overcome barriers to achieve acceptance through self-empowerment and the shattering of their as well as other’s stereotypes. Some of these charities are large organizations like Special Olympics and The Gay Straight Alliance. Others are smaller and younger such as Mr. Friendly, #AskMe, and #StillMe. Others still, are my continued support of community/equality centers from their inception and in their day to day fundraising. Then there are the individual dreams that I have had the honor to help support such as Kink Weekend and helping open Girls of Leather groups.
TLJ-VT: Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service.
IMsL Contestant Angel: I have a service heart and devote the greater part of my life to serving my community. My, “pay the bills job” is teaching special education, in service to individuals whom I have the honor helping maximize their abilities. For most of my life I have had a sense of purpose and a driving need to serve others. That same need to serve is what lead me to join the US Army. There is a deep sense of connectedness I feel when helping others. It’s this connectedness serves me; I suppose it’s the selfish portion of giving. It helps me feel important, of value, and not just needed but wanted.
TLJ-VT: What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?
IMsL Contestant Angel: I am a Leather Woman and a Bootblack because I say I am, because the people in my world say I am. I have the right to choose who and what I am. This is what I have chosen.
TLJ-VT: Who is your favorite Leather Woman...Why?
IMsL Contestant Angel: There are so many to choose from, too many in fact. Those that I know, know of, those that I will never hear the journey of because no one wrote it down.
Instead of choosing among so many incredible women, perhaps we could dig deeper and ask “What is it that I dislike the most about my community or myself and what am I doing about it?”
IMsL Contestant Angel: Were you to ask me that, my answer would be: I fear judgement the most. I fear that I will not meet expectations. That I will miss out on amazing people because I judged them. I am daily practicing self-love, I am constantly fighting stereotypes of others and myself in every way that I become aware of.
TLJ-VT: 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?
IMsL Contestant Angel: Currently the biggest miss-information I am aware of is the misnomer that “BDSM is Abuse”. This has been brought back to the forefront through 50 Shades of Grey, the book and now the movie. I already work to correct this, reminding people that 50 Shades is ‘fiction’ -not an autobiography. It’s also important to remind those already in the lifestyle that there are a number of paths that bring people to this lifestyle. Should some people’s paths have started with the 50 Shades books or movie, they still made the effort to explore further and fund us. We all start somewhere.
TLJ-VT: In 100 words or less what will you do as IMsL or IMsBB to promote your title?
IMsL Contestant Angel: I will have sex until I lose the ability to consent through consciousness. I will play every chance I get. I will black and care for a fuck-ton of boots. And all along the way invite people to attend IMsL/IMsBB in 2016. I will encourage the leather women of quality I meet to put it out there and run for this title.
TLJ-VT: What do you say to those who feel that the Title system is outdated and no longer necessary?
IMsL Contestant Angel: We still need this title for the same reason it was created -To have highly visible female identified leaders. To have these same leaders actually bootblack publicly, teach others about the art of bootblacking, and to encourage other bootblacks. The title gives an amount of weight and validity to the words and actions of the title holder. We need honest female identified mentors to nourish our next generation of bootblacks. This system of Bootblack titles is helping to move bootblacks away from being second class members of our community.
In the last year alone. I have been to big cities where the bar owners have pulled a bootblack stand out of storage and dusting them off for a class, in excitement. Hoping that perhaps there will be another bootblack in their area soon. I have been to events that have one bootblack stand open for whoever wants to use it whenever, go unused. (Unless I was there of course!) I have been to visit several communities where the majority of those present do not know what bootblacking is. I cannot even count the number of people who wished to learn and improve their skills in this art that have no one to learn from.
IMsBB 2015 Contestant: Just Angel
Current Title: none (previous titles: Southwest Bootblack 2014 and Ms. Great Plains Olympus Leather 2008, 2009)
City, State: Norman Oklahoma
Regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3)
Southwest Leather Conference January 21st-24th, 2016
Kink Weekend July 18th-20th, 2015
Women’s International Leather Legacy Weekend July 31st- August 2nd, 2015
Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear: Leather garter belt it has a pocket made to hold a can of soap and a can of polish, with places to hook in rags, toys, or restraints. Hell it looks dead sexy over tight jeans. http://www.idetoys.com/
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 Angel: Yes I have many sponsors and supporters that have helped me in many ways. My official three amazing sponsors are
a) The Red Dragons Riding Club:
The Red Dragons Riding Club have supported me throughout my title year as Southwest Bootblack 2014 and have generously agreed to continue their support during my run for International Ms. Bootblack.
b) Leather Masters
A long time customer and former employee, it has been my pleasure to further the cause of people who give so much back to our community.
c) The Dallas Eagle
The Dallas Eagle my bar of heart and while things change over time it will always will feel like my home bar.
TLJ-VT: Tell me about your favorite charity.