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:
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.
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.