IMsBB 2017 Contestant: xiaoyi - The Leather Journal

IMsBB 2017 Contestant: xiaoyi


Name: xiaoyi Drake

Current Title: Southwest Bootblack 2016

City, State :  Colorado Springs CO

website (if any) regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3):

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear *
My harness with club patch would be my all time favorite item in the fetishwear category, unless we are counting Huberds!

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.    I have the privilege of being sponsored by both Trade, a leather bar in Denver CO who helps our local community with beer busts every Saturday and many other events as well as my home club Voodoo Leatherworks, the best damn dungeon in the state (in my opinion.) Voodoo is where I got my start bootblacking publicly and will always be home. They are Leather as well as kink, bdsm and alternative lifestyle friendly with a large focus on education as well as dungeon fun.  And they always keep at least one bootblack stand in the dungeon!


Tell me about your favorite charity.    I tend to have more than one favorite for most things. Thank goodness for poly!
There are two charities that really resonate with me and I support.  
The first is the Marquis Lifestyle Center, this is currently a small group with a vision of helping destigmatize kink, Leather and BDSM through education both within the kink communities and in the community at large. The plan includes “thinking globally; acting locally” which resonates deeply with me, as we can change the world for the better, to help our people be better accepted and not villainized for our sexualities, yet each of us can only do this within our own areas.  
The second is Reclaiming Our Leather History.  This group is dedicated to helping find and restore parts of our Leather culture and history, the physical parts of our communities.  It is not as common now as it once was for relics and piece of our history to be destroyed, trashed or burnt in ignorance, hatred or fear.  Yet as an anthropologist, I know one of the fastest ways to destroy a culture is to destroy its iconography and precious items.  Reclaiming Our Leather History helps prevent this by assisting us maintain our culture and our past and keeping a Leather identity both for our past and for our future.  
With the help of organisations like these two, I truly believe that as new Leather Folk begin to find this life and their path within it, they will find a strong sense of identity and culture that goes far beyond “ I like hot kinky sex” and that they will find better support and acceptance of themselves and their kinky, BDSM and Leather life because our deep history will be maintained for all of us to learn about and through community outreach and education, we will be shunned less and eventually accepted for who and what we are with equal rights and support for our sexual identities.  


Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service.    To me service means giving of one’s time, talent and treasure without expectation of return or rewards. When someone is serving the community, the goal is betterment of the community.  It is often said that a rising tide raises all ships.  When serving the community, each of us gets to be a drop in the ocean of that tide.  Getting to join all the people who have come before me and will come after me, as I get to serve and help out in the communities, is a joy. I am a part of something so much larger than me and it simply an amazing experience.  It becomes a privilege to serve simply because of that connection.  Even scrubbing floors is a joy when I know that in doing that I am helping make the community better. We each work within our sphere of influence and service is one way in which we join forces as an unseen tide helping create the beauty that is our world and our communities.  

What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack?    There is a passion deep within my heart for items that are made of leather.  There is a heat and wetness in my pussy that caring for leather creates.  There is a deep reverence and joy that I feel for leather items as I learn their history and meaning to their owners.  There is a craving for the connection I feel when touching, licking and caressing the leathers that people are wearing. And there is an ongoing desire within me to learn more and more about the care and feeding of leather that turns simple leather care into a deep driving need inside me. These are a few of the things that make me a bootblack.  

I am also a Leather woman.  I am a sexaul rebel, one who dances with dark desires many outside our community disapprove of.  I am omni-sexual, the term I used before the words “Pan” or “Queer” ever entered into my vocabulary.  I believe in consent, respect, personal responsibility and living a life of service to the community that has claimed me as one of their own.  Leather is filled with passionate people of deep desires who are willing to take the risks that leading a deeply authentic life carries with it.  It is full of individuals who each have fought, in their own way, to break free of the confines of “proper” and “should” that society teaches us and who are there for each other in the battles of their friends too.  We embrace our differences and recognize that we can respect another’s decision without agreeing with it; we celebrate our truths and embrace the darkness many fear to even admit exists.  We stand and fight for our rights as sexual individuals and as loving people.  This is why I am Leather, because I too stand for all these things and because there is always the hot, amazing, raunchy sex.  


Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?    Again it is difficult to choose only one, so I will share with you my two favorite Leather Women, Sarah Humble and Momma Vi.

Momma Vi is one of my favorite leather women.  I first met her at Southwest Leather Conference and she was traveling with THE library.  I had no idea what to expect and entered the room timidly, only to have a wonderful woman with a heart larger than the hotel, joyfully invite me in and want to talk with me about my interests.  As I shared with her my path of M/s and bootblacking, she joyfully aimed me at different sections of the library and also shared with me some of her favorite stories from her journey and introduced me to boi robbie to discuss in depth, the history of bootblacking.  Her open caring heart and hospitality quickly made her an inspiration to me.

As I continued to get to know her better and learn of her journey through the years, she became an even bigger inspiration.  I had no idea at first that she too was a slave.  I knew that she also was a visionary who needed to help teach about her passion and love and I grew to realize how similar I was to her in many ways.  Somehow she took, “see a need, fill a need” to mean a radical acceptance and hospitality to all wherever they are on their journies and she has inspired me and is someone who I strive to emulate in the openness of their heart.  

For Sarah Humble: when I first was beginning to discover my leather in the Denver community, whenever I would ask about womens’ place in the Leather culture and in Leather history, I was constantly told, “you need to meet Sarah’”  or “have to asked Sarah?”  I was beginning to believe that she was 10 feet tall and the google goddess of all thing Leather (ask google, it knows). Then at a local event I was talking with a lady in a vest and asked one of the many questions I seem to always have about Leather culture and she had some answers for me.  After over 30 minutes of letting me pick her brain someone came up to us and said, “xiaoyi, I see you have finally met Sarah!”  and I blinked hard.  This woman, who I had built in my mind to be 10 feet tall and possibly even breathe fire, was shorter than me (not hard since I am 5’10” and wear heals) and had been talking to me, enthusiastically answering my questions with a huge amount of patience.  This was the woman who everyone kept talking about?!?
That made a huge impression on me.  The fact that someone who so many people I respected look upon as an authority was willing and able to answer the questions of the new chick, questions she had likely answered 100 times before for people, yet didn’t seem to mind or be bothered by answering again, left a huge impression on me.  With no pun intended, she taught me that Leather can be humble.  When you combine such a deep lesson with her ongoing passion for documenting and creating Womens’ Leather History, you end up with a very impactful individual and one of my favorite Leather women.  
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?    There is a large stigma in modern culture about BDSM, kink and Leather.  There is still the impression that those of us who practice it are “sick” or abusive.  I have not seen a healthy BDSM interaction portrayed in Modern media.  It is not uncommon for me to have conversations with people about how “bottoms must be weak” or “tops are abusive” and for me to challenge these assumptions with a set of questions to try and help the person spouting such silliness to realize that they are not correct.

”Have you ever done exactly what you were told to do at the office for a week without complaint or even negative thoughts about your boss or the company?  Was that easy to do?  Do you think someone who choose to let another be their boss, not just in the office but in all of life has taken an easy path if you have had troubles doing that for a week? “

“Are you aware that many cultures have outlets built into them to allow people to feel physical pain for processing and pleasure?  Our culture is actually in the minority in not having this. "

"Are people who enjoy sports, mountain climbing, cliff diving etc mentally unstable?  Do you realise the chemical cocktail dumped into the body for these people is the exact same as the one that people who participate in BDSM get?”  

I also have gone to various groups and even college classes to have a “chat with the Kinkster” opportunity and allowed an open Q and A for the purpose of helping people gain an understanding of our kink world.  I give speeches, write a blog and will be offering webinars and other ways for people to learn about healthy kink plus I do point people at other resources within their communities and online to help challenge the concepts that we are unhealthy, doormats or abusive.  I believe that education is the solution for these misconceptions  


In 100 words or less what will you do as IMsL or IMsBB to promote your title?    Bootblacks Shine; it is what we do.  Helping start new bootblacks and encouraging those who already established overcome their fears by letting them know how much fun it is to be a titleholder, is one of the ways I will help promote the IMsBB title.  I will do this while traveling, teaching and through online media promotion. I will encourage each person I meet to find their inner light and let it shine and through promoting and encouraging others, I hope more will chose to shine by competing at higher level contests, like IMsBB, ICBB and IMBB.


What do you say to those who think there are too many titles and that it has diluted the meaning of holding a title?    Bullshit.

Titles are a form of representation.  It is a way of helping everyone in the community see a leader that they can identify with and see a part of themselves in.  Each titleholder makes that title their own for the time they have it.  And sometimes, you might not see yourself reflected in the person that is representing your group.  

The joy and job of a titleholder is to show people that what they do is acceptable and recognised.  This is in addition to teaching and fundraising and many other duties, but the job is to be a representative of the subculture of that group.  As the Leather and kink communities grow, we have many more people to represent and who need to have role models and representation within our culture.  

If you think simply having more titles available within our community dilutes the meaning of a title, I would ask you to please reflect deeply on what you think having a title means, because a new title simply means another group of people within our community will have another recognised, visible, acknowledged representative to help show them that they too are welcomed here and valued. 

About Author

Vonn Tramel has been a kinky "friday night femme" since she was 17.  She found the Leather community in 2007 and began her Leather Journey in 2008 after attending a Cigar Play Class in Long Beach, CA at Pistons Bar. A meeting with Dave Rhodes in May of 2008, changed her path for better or worse when she filmed and photographed the 2008 West Coast Olympus Contest, then International Olympus in Chicago that year....the rest they say is her-story. 

Edit: In 2012 she was approached by Dave to join The Leather Journal as it's Webmaster with business partner Bryan Teague.

Most misspelled word: Leahter (Sad but true)