Brynn Beitzel Washington State Bootblack 2016 - The Leather Journal

Brynn Beitzel Washington State Bootblack 2016

BrynnBeitzel 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:

My name is Brynn Beitzel and I am Washington State Bootblack 2016 from Seattle, Washington.

There are many one-off events and fundraisers that I support and volunteer for. In addition, I regularly attend the monthly events held by the Seattle Pups and Handlers (SEA-PAH) as well as the Dress Code Leather Social hosted by the Seattle Men in Leather (SML). I also do everything I can to support the growing bootblack community in and around Seattle. I work with other local bootblacks to teach, mentor and host our local quarterly Bootblack Skill Share.

Over the years, I have come into my own aesthetic and represent my Leather identity through what I refer as Premium Petrol Femme! Not quite High Femme. Not quite Diesel Femme. I’m just me. I have many items of leather in my arsenal but my favorite by far is one that I rarely wear. I was gifted a leather corset by a member of my Leather Family, even before the family was established. She had held onto the corset since the time of her first contract and saw something in me that she had been waiting for. After all those years, she gifted it to me and it is my first piece of heritage leather."  I am a product of my generation. I love social media but I’m not fully immersed in all the various platforms. I can be found on Facebook as Brynn Beitzel, on Fetlife as TeaseAndPlease and on Twitter as TeaseAndPlease3. Brynn  

Sponsors:

"My run for International Ms. Bootblack 2018 is sponsored by my contest producers, the Washington State Mr. Leather Organization, the Seattle girls of Leather which I am an active member and board member, the Seattle Pups and Handlers which I am an active member and a part of the Audit Committee, the Seattle boys of Leather which I attend events and support, Lover’s Laire a local business and play party venue, Everett Leather Alliance a newly established club to the north of Seattle, and Bad Daddy Leather a Leather Family owned business.

Washington State Mr. Leather Organization

Seattle girls of Leather

Seattle Pups and Handlers

Lover’s Laire

Favorite Charity:I have enjoyed working with many charities throughout my years in the Seattle Leather community so it is difficult to choose one. There are also many charities based in other areas that I would love to work with and support. I am proud to support Pride Lives, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and Washington State non-profit dedicated to suicide prevention and awareness in Seattle. Pride Lives officers and volunteers work to strengthen ties in the LGBTQ community; bring an end to suicide in the community; support survivors, their families, and friends; and educate the public in an effort to improve communication and end social stigmas. Pride Lives has strong ties to the Leather community and directly supports many of us who have lost someone to suicide, contemplated or attempted suicide, or hurt others or been hurt because of stigma and assumptions.

How you feel about community service?:

Community service has been a part of my life since I was a child. My desire to serve is not tied to the LGBTQ or Leather communities. I am a service oriented individual. I have been of service to the Girl Scouts, to my home town, to my schools, to the SCA, to my political party, to the support of women and equality and now to the LGBTQ and Leather communities. I believe that giving without expectation of receiving is the definition of being of service.  I also believe that one cannot truly be of service unless the cause lines up with one’s personal morality and compass. It is that alignment that truly allows one to give, because it matters to you, not because you want to matter to others. I have learned that only with time. When I found the causes that truly aligned with my beliefs, my ability to serve grew to something more than just myself. Community service keeps us moving forward and allied towards a common goal.  

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

I often joke that I have been taking care of leather since the grunge era. I used to go to concerts and spend hours in muddy mosh pits and then spend Sundays cleaning and polishing my collection of Docs to be ready for school on Monday. I would go camping with my fellow Girl Scouts and come home and clean and condition my oil tan hiking boots. I would take care of the family horse tack as one way to contribute to my home. I had some of the necessary skills long before I was introduced to the Leather community. Those skills however, did not make me a bootblack.

When I found the Leather community, I felt at home. Sadly, I didn’t always know how to interact. I have anxiety and social situations could often be overwhelming. I offered my skills to those I trusted and did leather projects at home. I watched other bootblacks. I sat for other bootblacks. I took classes and I asked questions. I did all of that without opening up about my interest. Even though the bootblacks were the first group to make me feel like I belonged, I was still afraid to take the leap. When I finally did, there was no going back.

Bootblacking gave me a way to belong in the community when I often felt like I was watching from the sideline. Instead of focusing on all the people, all the conversations, all the activity, I could focus on one person at a time. I could focus on the person in my stand. It gave me a sense of calm when I often only feel chaos.  I developed relationships and friendships through 20 to 30 minute interactions with people I wouldn’t know how to talk to in another setting. I found my place within this world and it was at the feet of those I love and cherish.

I have always loved leather but now I am Leather and I am a bootblack.

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?:
There are so many strong and powerful women that I admire and I would not be where I am today without their guidance. Equally, there are many other Leather people that have helped me become who I am today. There is one Leather Woman however that will always be my favorite.

When I started in the BDSM community, I was not familiar with the concept of Leather. I started in the pansexual kink community. I spent many years finding Doms on Craigslist and playing unicorn to established couples. I have many fond memories but I could also share a dangerous horror story or two. I was eager and I was reckless.  As I grew, my desired style of play and my personal values were often at odds with those around me. I met more and more people and I noticed a trend. I was drawn to certain people more than others and as I learned, I found they all had the same things in common. They were queer and they were Leather.

After a particularly heavy pick-up play scene, I was sent home. As I drove and then loaded onto the ferry, I began to drop and I didn’t want to go home to my vanilla roommate. The local dungeon often hosted munches on that particular night but I had never been. It still felt like a better alternative than going home. When I arrived, I saw a group of people talking and laughing. They were sharing stories of their heaviest scenes. They were comparing bruises. I had some pretty decent ones to show off that were just beginning to bloom. At that time, I have never seen anyone play to the level that I often played to. I thought I was a freak. I was proud of my marks and as we shared I saw the woman who would become my best friend. Her marks blew mine out of the water but there was a mutual respect that could not be ignored. I met my Leather Family that night. I met the woman who would later see something in me and gift me with my first piece of leather. I met Carla Whitehurst.

 

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?:

Social media is an excellent way to stay in touch and spread information across the world. That being said, social media is not a representation of all that it is that we do. When we see a picture, post or article, we make assumptions about what is happening in other people’s lives. We sometimes forget that we only put our best foot forward. We edit, we filter, we share the best parts, we rant, we vague-book, and we resist.

These actions have the power to bring us together towards a common goal. We see someone at their best and it makes us strive to do more. We see someone hurt and we want to support them. We see an injustice and we rise up to fight. Sadly, we also feed into themes of cliques, popularity, perfection, ageism, ableism and fat phobia.

I personally may take an excellent selfie but I am not always that person and others may not have the confidence to post photos. I may be able to articulate myself online but others may have barriers that prevent them from writing online, be it confidence or disability. I may resist isms and fight for causes but there are others that accomplish more than I do. I have privilege when it comes to the technology of social media. I have confidence in my appearance, I present the way I want to, I can articulate myself well and I understand the various platforms and how they operate. But.

Social media in itself is mis-information. I find it to be valuable but I also find it to be tiring. We need to be more inclusive to those that may not understand the platforms, may not have the ability to express feelings and opinions in writing, may not have access or desire to be present on online platforms, may not have body confidence to share photos or any other barriers that make us feel othered in our own circle. We need to remember that our lives and our efforts are not confined to what is shown online. We need to remember that each of us have an identity and purpose in the real world, for better or worse than what is seen online. 

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

I feel the best way for me to promote the title of International Ms. Bootblack 2018 is to be myself, the person who competed and the person who was chosen by the judges. I would like to travel through the United States and beyond and learn the stories of others. I want to hear the history. I want to visit the home bars. I want to teach classes and take classes. I want to expand beyond the women’s community and share my experiences with the Pups and Handlers, with the Men’s and Pansexual communities. I want to learn from everyone.

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)