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)
August 17, 1966 - April 13, 2017
Garrett Scott, Leatherman, of West Hollywood, CA and more recently of Long Beach, CA passed away in the morning hours of April 13, 2017, after a lengthy battle with cancer (edit for correction) The cause of Garrett's death has not yet been determined. I had the privilege to meet Garrett Scott on two or three occasions. I didn’t know him well, but those that had the opportunity to love him and truly see his humanity respected him as a man who gave all he could and knew the boy as “a big kid with a bigger heart”.
Scarff was a loving man and a supportive soul. A long time member of the Los Angeles Leather Community. Scott won Mr. LA Leather Bear 2006 which was held at Faultline Bar on Saturday, February 11, 2006. He was a board member of LA Bears, and a member of the los angeles Boys of Leather (gen 1).
He was recently pinned to Mama's family (we are currently researching his Mama's Name and we will update with this info)
Scott was remembered on FaceBook by Don Mike.
“I lost a friend today. Garrett was my brother, twice. Once in the LA boys of Leather (the first incarnation) and again in the LA Band of Brothers. He could be an incredible pain in the ass. One time, at a Band of Brothers meeting, we were going around the room each giving the LA Leather class of 2012 words of advice and encouragement before the big contest and Garrett told them to watch out for me because I was so funny and entertaining that I would throw them off their game and make them lose. It was the nicest backhanded compliment I've ever received. And as much as I liked to gripe about the ridiculous things he would do, I had an immense respect for the man. In the first few years of the Off Sunset Festival, he would show up first thing to volunteer (mainly so he could nag me for being five minutes late), and stay way past the end of his shift. I remember seeing him carrying big boxes of stuff up and down the fairgrounds, sweat pouring down his face, and he wasn't in the best of health then. I had to practically yell at him to sit down and stay hydrated. He just wouldn't quit if there was work to do. And he was always like that. One other thing that I will never forget. Back in the early 2000's, when I first met him, he struck me as being very childlike, and prone to fits of brattyness. I honestly didn't know what to make of him. Then one day I had to call him at work for something and this man answered the phone, very mature and businesslike. I asked for Garrett and was shocked that it was he who had answered the phone. It didn't sound a thing like him. And it made me think. We all have different aspects of our personality that we bring forth in different circumstances and catching that glimpse of Garrett, when none of us were supposed to be looking, made me realize that he loved this community because we let him be who he really wanted to be. A big kid with an even bigger heart. And an incredible pain in the ass. I'm going to miss him.”
Stela D. Love
San Francisco, California
Ms San Francisco
Russian River Women's Weekend
My leather motor cycle Jacket from 1996.
Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Ms San Francisco Leather and Queers Sphere are my sponsors.
I work and produce events for both organizations.
Tell me about your favorite charity. The SF Emergency Breast Cancer Fund- http://bcef.org/about-us/bcef-story/
This is an organization that helps people who are in financial crises while suffering the hardship of breast cancer. They help with every thing from child care for parents while receiving chemo to keeping the utilities on. I have helped produce "Benefit for the Boob" for several years, for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. All proceeds from the event go to the BCEF. This organization is close to my heart because both of my sisters are survivors of Breast Cancer. I have also lost two good friends to the disease.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. It is vital to the health and well being of our communities. It is important for those of us that have the privilege and ability to help the at risk or disadvantaged. The more we contribute the stronger our community is.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? Leather is in my heart and feeds my soul. BDSM is the fabric of my life weaved into every inch of my world. The smell of it does it for me in all the ways. My leather is a second skin, my armor. My leather family is my chosen family and I would not be who I am today with out them, we work hard and play harder.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? Christy Ford- She is my mentor and family. I owe her a great deal and love the influence she has on my life. Her commitment to community and truth with integrity is unwavering. She can smell bullshit a mile away and is not afraid to call it out. She is a force.
Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2016
I produce a monthly gear event called Clutch at The Bike Stop
My favorite piece of leather is my harness boots.
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. The Bike Stop owns the Mr. and Ms. Philadelphia titles. Their owners and staff are like family to me. Thebikestop.com
Philadelphians MC produce the Philadelphia Leather contest and I am an associate of the club. Philadelphiansmc.org
The Leather Man creates custom pieces for me. Theleatherman.com
Tell me about your favorite charity. Youth charities have long been my focus, but there’s a new organization that I have been focusing on lately, the LGBTQ Home for Hope, that has really galvanized the community. The only LGBTQ homeless shelter in Philadelphia, it is a 37-bed facility that also aids those in recovery and is funded exclusively from private donations.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. I feel that community service is an integral part of the leather community, especially as a title holder, and it is enriching to me to be a part of a group that I believe is like-minded. Community service is the most rewarding aspect of being a titleholder.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? Leather and kink have been a part of my entire adult life. Forgive me for being trite, but I think that I was born this way. Being able to participate in the community has allowed me to be a teacher, a leader and resource which is truly what's at the heart of being a leather woman.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? My favorite Leather Woman (excluding my Philadelphia predecessors, of course) is Christy Lee, Ms. New Jersey Leather 2016. From the moment I met her she has been nothing but welcoming, kind, and generous and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and the overwhelming support she is receiving is reflective of how much she means to so many.
Name: Bootblack Nona
Title: SA Bootblack 2017
City/Country: Cape Town - South Africa
Assist with organising SA Leather social events and the annual leather contest.
Favourite Leather item: My favourite piece of leather is my SA Bootblack South Africa Stole! (Sponsored by Shane Hutchinson of Abraided Leather) The first of its kind to be in South Africa.
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. I am sponsored by SA Leather South Africa. We are small but powerful group of leather people who are dedicated to the continuous growth in our diversity. We regularly hold workshops so we can educate each other and believe in supporting each other completely. We uphold our constitution with the highest regard and we do our best to give back to the NPOs we support.
My involvement in SA Leather is being part of the committee, to assist with the organising of our contest and being the first bootblack for SA Leather it will be important for me to build a solid foundation for future bootblacks within SA Leather South Africa.
Tell me about your favorite charity. My favourite charity is Childhood Cancer Foundation SA - CHOC which supports children who have cancer. My connection with this organisation is from when my sister was diagnosed with a rare tumour; CHOC stepped in to assist us. They were there if we needed emotional support or guidance in any way. During the two years that my sister had treatment I saw how CHOC was there for many families at time when things seemed uncertain.
Annually there is a tattoo-a-thon that I participate in and this fundraising effort helps to keep Childhood Cancer Foundation SA going so that they can continue to help families. They also see it as a chance to also break the stereotypical view about people with tattoos.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. Community service is important because giving back to your community without expecting something back in return helps you grow as a person. I find it up lifting knowing that I have done the right thing by assisting at an event or people in need. I truly believe that the more you give to the community; the more you will get back in ways that you don’t expect.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? It’s not only the love of wearing leather, playing in leather and looking after leather that makes me a bootblack but it’s my dedication to the community, being involved in a fundraiser for a charity and to strive to be supportive of the people within community that makes me a bootblack.
Oklahoma Ms. Leather 2016,
Leather and Rhinestones, Kink Weekend OKC.
My favorite item I have is my rhinestone corset.
Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? Rose Rock girls of Leather- They the producers of Oklahoma Ms. Leather. I have been active in the activities that RRgoL puts on. https://rrgol.org
Tell me about your favorite charity. My favorite charity is Team Friendly because of all the education they share to help remove the stigma of HIV testing and the stigma related to those living with HIV and/or their loved ones.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. Community service makes me feel like I am doing something for someone or something greater than myself. It's a way for me to keep myself centered.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? My heart is what makes me a Leather Woman. I have a desire to help support women in realizing there is a place for them and to trust in themselves in that place.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt- Because she is and has been so supportive and involved with individuals in the community suffering from HIV/AIDS. Everything she does for her community is done out of love and comes from her heart.
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? Traditional and social media allow bullying of children, teenagers and anyone "different" with very little consequence. When leaders are allowed to bully, everyone else believes it's ok. According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 867 hate incidents occurred between the period of November 9th through November 18th 2016. Education and stricter laws is the only way that this can be decreased. I would educate and lobby for stricter punishments.
Events where you'll find me:
IMsL every year forever!
Folsom Street Fair & Dore
Society of Janus events
My Vest is my best leather buddy! We go everywhere together. I recrafted it myself from a thrift store find and have loved it real hard over the years. It was my first and might always be my favorite leather.
Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? My run is sponsored by three amazing groups: Since I announced my intention to start a online sexuality forum, LeatherLand, I have had the pleasure of intercoursing with Rubber Women of San Francisco, Rough Cut Leather, and Wicked Grounds, all of whom provide our community with safe spaces to celebrate our sexuality and express our kinks freely. They each do this while improving leather awareness and providing instruction in skill sets to help kinksters cope in the world. I'm elated to work with them for years to come.
Tell me about your favorite charity. My favorite charity would have to be The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom which started in 1997 and helps members of sexual minorities with legal problems. As a law student, I know the importance of organizations which provide assistance on a judicial level. If you need help contact them at ncsfreedom.org
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. Volunteering for the community is how I got my start in leather. Believe it or not, I get freaked out in a crowd at times. Service is where I find peace. Knowing that I have a purpose has always been the cure for my anxiety. How do I feel about community service? I feel like it is vital for socialphobes and it makes the leather world go round!
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? Holding leather womanhood and bootblacking labels are ways I care for my self-esteem. I hold these labels dear because they make me feel pride and pride in oneself is key to my mental self-care.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? Joan Jett is my favorite leather woman. She has supported our community since entering the scene in her early career. Her music provided me with a feeling of inclusion in the most lonely parts of my leatherwalk, like her I don't give a damn about my reputation. That song's video is a re-enactment of 23 record labels rejecting her first solo album and her subsequent rise to the top, similar to the many rejections I faced in my early leatherwalk and my subsequent inclusion into the leather scene through IMsL.
Ms. Alameda County Leather 2016
I produce events for Alameda County Leather Corps and I also do marketing for Catalyst SF. My favorite leather item is my custom made
My favorite leather item is my custom made harness.
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. My first sponsor is Alameda County Leather Corps, that is the leather, levi and uniform club that I am a member of and the current title holder for. My second sponsor is the Knight Hawks of Virginia, that is the first club I ever joined and I am currently the only girl member. My third sponsor is Inked Kenny Photography, I started stalking Inked Kenny’s work through a friend and have been in love with his amazing work ever since.
Tell me about your favorite charity. United Negro College Fund – I attended a HBCU and I relish in that experience. The UNCF supports Historical Black Colleges and Universities and has given tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to African American college students.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. I love community service. I ran for my current title because I knew it would be one that I would have to raise money for my local area charities while at the same time increasing the exposure of our presence to non leather folks to our community in a way that is approachable.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? I am a leather woman because when Tom of Finland was painting he forgot to include women. I am a leather woman because I want to love in the way that Tom of Finland portrays in his pictures. I am a leather woman because I love the smell of leather and I love the look and feel of it against my naked skin. I am a leather woman because my little heart has been kinky since it arrived.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? Vi Johnson - Vi Johnson is part of my herstory as a black woman in leather. Vi Johnson’s dedication to preserving the his/herstory of the leather, fetish history is very inspiring to me.
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? The most dangerous misinformation that I believe is passed about our community is that we are somehow abnormal or defective. And that our abnormality is that the way we love is wrong. I would combat that by telling them that the family we have built under the umbrella of leather builds a community that I have not seen replicated in the world. We bring men and women together and support not only each other but the general world around us. Leather grow.
President of the Salt Lake City girls of Leather
Executive assistant for Sin in the City
Founder of Meow Mixx- a queer womens bar night
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. Denver Bound, where I first learned rope skills and found community. I later became one of their teachers
Black Boots- a local gay men's organization that has been supportive and encouraging to the local women's community and helped our group and others with event logistics, connections and support
President of the Salt Lake City girls of Leather- these ladies are my heart and keep me encouraged and energized
Utah Leaf and Leather- I am a board member and representative of the women's community within this group. This group pairs my love of cigars coupled with my love of the Leather community.
Tell me about your favorite charity. I truly love the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. They do amazing work in the constant battle for sexual freedom and tirelessly fight for human rights. The work they put in gives me the rights I have today and I am incredibly grateful for their sacrifices.
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. Community service is what creates the cohesion in a community. Some of my most precious memories have come from real work put in my myself and my community. It isn't always about teaching a class or being in front of an audience. Sometimes the events that create the bonds of a community are helping to landscape your community space or helping to build a library so those after you can have access to that knowledge. Community service builds strong communities.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? Leather is about freedom. Freedom to express oneself authentically and without judgment. Leather is about honor. Honoring oneself and others, keeping our history close to our hearts while we forge on and create new experiences and traditions for ourselves. Leather is about integrity- about holding on to your own beliefs and values no matter what storms you may weather. Leather is about respect. Respect for my community, myself and for the beliefs and traditions of others. Finally, Leather is about sex. Embracing one's sexuality and allowing ourselves to find the deep, raw, animal passion that we have learned to bury and deny. As a leather girl, I hold all of these things dear. I hold my community and my chosen family close, knowing that I have the freedom to be myself whatever self that may be. I hold pride in the leather I wear and in the Leather I am
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? There are so many incredible women who have come before me and who walk with me.
If I had to pick, I would say Lolita Wolf. She is down to earth, open about her sexuality, clever and witty. She finds strength in submission and fights tirelessly for sexual freedom.
My own story mirrors hers in many ways with the road to discovering, being comfortable with, and embracing my sexuality. I am grateful for her openness, encouragement and volunteerism that supports this community.
Name: Micky Rebel
Title: Oregon State Bootblack, 2015
City/ State: Portland, Oregon
Co-Producer of PDX BootLab
Volunteer for Portland Pets and Handlers and was a board member for 3 years.
Bootblacks regularly on the PDX Bootblack stand at The Eagle Portland
Favorite Leather/fetish Item: My collar, it took me 4 years of service to my Sir to earn it.
Is your run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? o I am proud to be sponsored by Blackout Leather Productions, the producer of the Oregon State Leather Contest. BLP raises funds for charitable organizations in our local community, hosts the Rose and Thorn awards to honor outstanding Leather people, and supports their titleholders to go on to represent Oregon in international competitions. Come and join us for the 2017 Mr. Oregon State Leather, Ms. Oregon State Leather, Oregon State Bootblack and Oregon State Puppy contests August 11-13th. http://blackoutleather.org/
Tell me about your favorite charity. o While there are many organizations that I support, one of my favorites is Outside In. It is an organization dedicated to helping homeless youth and other marginalized people in the greater Portland Metro area move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. They do this through providing medical care, mental health treatment, advocacy and connecting individuals with the services they need to live the lives they want. Outside In caters to the specific needs of under-served populations like the LGBTQIA community and the homeless. They even have programs to help homeless pets. http://outsidein.org/
Tell me in your own words how you feel about community service. o Service is a gift and every contribution counts, from donating a few dollars to a worthy cause, seeing an opportunity to help out at an event, or holding a position on the board of an organization. Volunteering has helped me maintain greater focus and reach higher goals. I’m so fortunate to come from a community that values service so favorably and shows gratitude to those that give.
What makes you a Leather Woman and/or Bootblack? o I found my identity as a Leather Woman through developing myself as a Bootblack. Before learning to bootblack, I rarely interacted with others. I was painfully shy. My Sir insisted that I learn the trade, indicating, “It will be good for you.” As a result, bootblacking has radically changed my life. I began to notice how I could be of use to others and my inward focus reflected outward through volunteering. Through these acts of service to my Sir and my Community, I found myself. I am now a confident Leather Woman and accomplished Bootblack in all areas of my life.
Who is your favorite Leather Woman…Why? o I could pick any number of Leather Women pioneers who have pursued equality and promoted bootblack visibility as my favorite Leather Woman. I appreciate all those contributions with my whole heart; however, my favorite Leather Woman is my friend Jesbian. I look up to her in so many ways. She gives beautiful service, she is young but accomplished and represents the contributions of the next generation that is so hungry to engage in leadership roles. Jesbian consistently seeks out littles and critters to make space for individuals that often don’t have a refuge in leather spaces. She is fun, witty, kind and caring. She is someone that I love dearly and respect enormously. She positively impacts the lives of every person she meets in every corner of the world. She is Leather.