Carla Whitehurst Washington State Ms. Leather 2017 - The Leather Journal

Carla Whitehurst Washington State Ms. Leather 2017

CarlaWhitehurst 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 Carla Whitehurst and I am Washington State Ms. Leather 2017. I am located in Seattle Washington. My email address is . I am active in the community and I attend the monthly public mosh hosted by the Seattle Pups and Handlers (SEA-PAH) as well as the Dress Code Leather Social hosted by the Seattle Men in Leather (SML). In addition, I am an active supporter of the Seattle boys of Leather (SboL) and attend events as well as teach classes at their monthly meetings.

My Wesco Lineman boots are my favorite item of leather. They are the piece of leather that makes me feel the most confident and kick-ass and they embody the in-your-face strong diesel femme presentation that I want for myself. They are the armor that allows me to feel confident."            "Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carla.rene.98

Fetlife: https://fetlife.com/users/71331

Twitter: @WaMsLeather2017

 Sponsors:

My run for International Ms. Leather 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, 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 business owned by my Husband and Daddy.

Favorite Charity:

Living Without Boxes promotes wellness, education, community, advocacy, and support for transgender and gender nonconforming people of color, as well as their partners. According to the mission statement on their website, Living Without Boxes “[creates] intentional healing conversations and safe spaces… [and] we will work to equip people with much needed skills such as self-care, personal advocacy and empowerment, while providing a voice in the fight for racial equity.” I feel very strongly about justice for transgender people and justice for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. It was my honor to have Living Without Boxes as the recipient for one of my fundraisers during my title year. The Living Without Boxes website is:https://www.livingwithoutboxes.org/

How you feel about community service?: 

I feel that without community service, the spaces, events, contests and clubs that give us the opportunity to connect and grow with one another would not be possible. I feel like community service is either treated as mandatory or taken for granted by many people. As an active leather community member of over 25 years, I have seen that service is the gears that keep our community working; however too many people get ground up in those gears and become burnt out. All too often, it is the newcomers who have the energy and excitement, having just discovered leather, who jump in full-force to provide service, and it’s the people who have been around for a long time who sit back quietly and develop expectations that things will fall together without their labor. I see the attitude from older community members, “I did my time so I don’t have to do it anymore.” I would like to see more reciprocity and support for those who give of their labor through service. My current feelings about service are that those who give of themselves need to receive support in turn.

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

I identify as a Leather Woman and a Bootblack. I feel that there are no set rules or criterion for being Leather; If you ask 50 people “what is a Leather Woman?” you are likely to get 50 different answers. I was around 15 years of age when I realized that I was highly attracted to Leather Dykes, and that was who I wanted to grow up to be. 31 years later, I have manifested as a Femme Dyke, a Queer, a Sadomasochist, a body positive sexual outlaw and an insatiable pervert. Sexuality, joy, friendship, connection and love are what drew me to and keep me involved in Leather. These are the things that call me to Leather and these are the things that make me a Leather Woman.

Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why?:

As a Bootblack, I am drawn to the stories and connections others have with their leather. I feel like leather community is largely about collective story-telling and memory keeping. When I work a stand and care for the leathers of my community members, I feel like I am honoring their stories as well as my own."    "When I was just starting my journey, I used to go to The Off-Ramp, which was a bar/restaurant that was frequented by local Leather Dykes. It was the first time that I was able to connect women with the kinky stuff I had read about in gay men’s porn. That was where I first saw Lainy Beitler (Dr. Danger), and it was very much a “Ring of Keys” moment (the song in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home).

As I grew older and became involved with the community, Lainy was always there as an example, teacher and mentor for so many people. What I most admire about Lainy is that she has never stopped supporting newcomers, just as she supported me almost 30 years ago. Lainy genuinely cares about the longevity of our local community, and she has demonstrated she genuinely cares about the people within it. She shows that with her actions all the time.

 

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 feel that the most harmful idea circulating nowadays is that women, non-binary and trans folk do not belong in Leather spaces, because Leather spaces are gay (cis) men’s spaces. I believe that there is misinformation circulating about the history of leather, that positions all leather history as originally and authentically cis gay male. From this perspective, it could seem like gay men’s space is “letting” women and trans folks in, and that we are demanding that they share “their” space with us. However, this perspective is a bit of revisionist history, and it does not acknowledge all that women and trans people have done over the decades to help build Leather community.

The way I combat this is to be in Leather spaces and to go to events. I will show up and continue to do what I have always done. I know Leather history because I have lived it. Myths about “old guard” or who Leather is “really” for cannot deter me from living my dreams."          I want to have fun with this title, and I want to be out, visible and playing. I want people to look at me and see that I am doing community service, raising money for charities and also remember that what drew us to Leather is BDSM play and sexual perversity.

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

As IMsL, I would model this goal to both work hard and play hard. In addition, I would like to provide support for those doing service which makes community possible, and encourage everyone to get the most joy they can out of what it is we do.

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)