TLJ - Portland, CA Leather, kink and fetish community news for Portland - The Leather Journal
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 15:15

The top Leather community stories of 2013

Proposition 8 Overturned Marc Watrel By Dave RhodesAs in every year, there are stories that define a year, mark a change for the better or worse, establish the end or beginning of an era, lend recognition to achievement, or just simply make a statement that cannot be forgotten. Here are ours.

The Leather Journal's Top Story of 2013

US Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8 - Marriage-ban states fall like dominoes

Not long after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs who sued to have Proposition 8 reinstated had no standing, enabling same sex marriages to resume in California, marriages resumed.

Only a handful of states allowed same-sex marriage at the beginning of 2013. By the end of the year, 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, permitted same-sex marriage, with a few more likely to change. The last of the bunch, Utah on December 20 because a court judge ruled their same-sex marriage ban that was voter-approved in 2004 is unconstitutional. This was the biggest surprise of all. A dagger was struck into one of the main arteries of the devil that has fought against same-sex marriage.

Published in National Leather

ccreaneimagesHS4MediaAbove: Christina Court (center) is surrounded by documentary participants on the red carpet debut of her award winning documentary High Shine.

In 1998, Amy Marie Meek announced at International Ms Leather (IMsL), that there would be a new Title for the Leather Women’s Community, and in 1999 the Title for International Ms Bootblack was erected. Now 17 years later, a Documentary about the Journey of the female-identified Bootblack Titleholders has been summed up in a one film, High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack.

After IMsL’s 25th Anniversary, Jayson Daboi (a bootblack and IMsBB 2010 ) felt it was time to tell their story, the Journey of the International Ms Bootblacks. He wanted to tell the story of how significant it was to be a female-identified bootblack, and how they had impacted and made changes in the Leather Community...he and his good friend, L.e. LeGirl, another Leather Community Member, wanted to bring it into part of the 15 year IMsBB Celebration. They had come up with a proposal that included the Documentary. They weren’t sure how they were going to do it, but they began the process anyway. L.e. LeGirl dedicated herself to the fundraising, having Leather & Lace parties all across the country. They wanted to be able to have as many IMsBB as they could, interviewed on film, and their stories told.  In late 2011, Jayson Daboi approached Christina Court about making the documentary, and she agreed to take on the endeavor which included, coordination, research and production of "The Bootblack Film". It became a second job, spanning just over 3 years to completion this year, 2015.

SEE FULL PHOTO GALLERY OF HIGH SHINE RED CARPET HERE!

In 1998, Amy Marie Meek announced at International Ms Leather (IMsL), that there would be a new Title for the Leather Women’s Community, and in 1999 the Title for International Ms Bootblack was erected. Now 17 years later, a Documentary about the Journey of the female-identified Bootblack Titleholders has been summed up in a one film, High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack.

To understand what it takes to make this Documentary, you have to remember, film was in different formats, and at various places.  There was dated film that reached all the way back to 1986 that was located in storage units in Berkeley. There were boxes of film in a basement in Omaha, Nebraska, and someone had to go get it. Christina had no idea of what some of the old film had on it, was it even salvageable, was it even useable...This Project also included getting as many IMsBB Bootblacks together and recording the stories of willing IMsBB Bootblacks. Then taking these various montages, and combining it all together into one film. With the help, coordination and assistance of various individuals, the dream making a documentary of International Ms Bootblacks became a reality, and High Shine: 15 Years of International Ms Bootblack was born.

Last month, “High Shine” finally made it's debut at the Cinekink Festival in New York City. In attendance were many of the individuals that not only helped bring the film together, such as L.E. LeGirl, but also a few of the International Ms Bootblacks, including the first of the IMsBB Titleholders, Leslie Anderson, IMsBB 2011 kd aka Katie Diamond, who also designed the challenge coin that is used as the logo, and Pony, IMsBB 2009.  Making a documentary is not an easy task, it takes tireless dedication, unwavering focus, a lot of help and a lot of time.

I decided to sit down with Christina Court to discuss what brought her to making this her first film, how she got through it, and a few insights into the process and just what it took to make this Documentary.

 

Q: Why did you make this particular Documentary on Female Bootblacks, or what inspired you to make this particular Documentary?

The better question is who inspired me to make a documentary about female-identified bootblacks...and that would be IMsBB 2010 Jayson DaBoi and IMsBB 2009 Pony.

In 2011-2012, I assisted then-IMsL owner Glenda Rider and the folks at Kink Academy with some of the storyboarding aspects of Sisterhood of the Sash, a film short that profiled the International Ms Leather Titleholders. I came into the project toward the very end, as they were making a push toward meeting the CineKink 2012 deadline.  I loved working on the film project and working with Graydancer, who was the film's editor. After CineKink 2012, Glenda began to talk about the IMsBB Documentary that L.E. LeGirl and Jayson DaBoi proposed to her as part of a larger IMsBB XV Celebration. I agreed to help with the research/directing/storyboarding aspects of the film.  It was at the GLLA (Great Lakes Leather Alliance) Weekend that I sat with Jayson DaBoi and smoked cigars until 4am, and agreed to take on the project.

 

Q: I would like for you to shed some light on how hard it was to make this Documentary...and what are some of the things you had to do in putting this story together?

I started doing the research for this film in August 2011. I live less than 15 minutes away from Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), which is an exceptional advantage to me as a researcher. From 2011 through August 2013, I was also serving on the IMsL staff as the Historian and Archivist. Holding this role in tandem helped simply because it was my "job" to track down lost and rare IMsL organization materials...and I still have some "on loan" media materials that I utilized in the High Shine film that, within the next two years, will also end up at LA&M for future researchers and scholars. I spent much of my "free time" seeking out materials, converting footage from antiquated media sources.  

Then on to the interviews of the IMsBB Alumni. Most people don't realize that, to prepare for a massive, six-person film crew, one-time film shoot like we did at IMsL 2013 requires a heap of planning and organization and knowledge of the subject's backgrounds. Nine of the IMsBB alumni were in attendance, and I needed to know a bit of each of their stories, what their title year looked like, all before we put a camera on them or set foot in the IMsL 2013 hotel. Much of this information was buried within unconverted VHS tapes or without a centralized depository of images, articles, etc., it becomes a wild and challenging mystery.

I've read every single piece all the way down to the grocery lists scribbled on scratch paper.  I have watched every IMsL contest I could locate. In order to utilize old footage, which was mostly stored on VHS and mini discs, I needed to convert everything and do some sound and image editing before even considering whether or not they were "usable" in the High Shine film. These media conversions alone have taken hours upon hours, and I did them at night and on weekends when I wasn't working my full-time professional job. On average, since late 2011, I've worked between 30-40 hours a week on something related to IMsL or IMsBB history…

 

Q: Are there particular moments or people in the film that you feel we should really pay attention to in the Documentary?

I think it all depends on the motivation that brings a person to watch the film--each person walks away learning something "new," even if they've been in the Leather Community a long while or just trying to understand what some of this "Leather stuff" is about.

What strikes me the most about the International Ms Bootblack (IMsBB) and female-identified Bootblack "story" is how those who hear the calling to be a Bootblack work and support one another, and I am often stunned and humbled by just how close knit the Leather community Bootblacks are with one another. On a different, level, I find that the stories that the IMsBB’s tell about busting through barriers in the gay male Leather community to be inspiring and empowering...and the changes that have happened in terms of female accessibility to Leather space has been fast and furious over the past 15 years.

 

ccreaneimagesHS9MediaQ: Throughout the film, were there any in particular bootblacks that have touched or inspired you on a personal level?

The first International Ms Leather Leslie Anderson (IMsBB 1999) and I have worked closely together over the years on the High Shine film and within the Leather Archives & Museum's Leather Preservation & Conservation Project. In watching her work, I see the amount of research needed to keep our Leather alive--and not just research about leathers, but about so many aspects of the Leather Community. Loving Leather also requires someone to learn their Leather history, and Leslie embodies this.

 

Q: Was there anything in particular that you personally learnt about Bootblacking?

While making this film, I learned so much from delving so deep into Bootblack history and bootblacking.  What's most striking to me was that I quickly learned that I couldn't separate the art and act of bootblacking from the Bootblack her/him/hirself.  While there are some basic techniques, some standardized tools and beloved products, Bootblacks don't do everything the same. In fact, more than one person I interviewed said, "Ask 10 Bootblacks a question, and you'll get 20 answers in reply."

 

Q: And in making this Documentary, how has doing this changed you, if it has?

First, let me say this: I absolutely loved having the honor of interviewing the IMsBBs and talking with so many Bootblacks. Bootblacks give in amazing ways. Interviewing them and then reviewing,  and spending so much time with the footage containing their stories of joys and sorrows has filled me in ways that are nothing less than spiritual. I will always be grateful for those whom we interviewed, and those having the courage to be so vulnerable and open to me and my team.

Trust me: it's not easy working a full time job, then coming home to try and work on a film that's financially breaking you... I think it's also important to be very honest about this experience. Since 2011, I have gained 70 pounds from sitting at my professional management job, then going home and sitting and working on editing and media conversions until 1am nightly.  My back went out on me in August 2014, and I ended up bedridden for almost two weeks. I took unpaid leave of absence from work specifically to get through a particularly research-heavy section of the film between 2013 and 2014.  It is exceptionally hard to try and work through rich and empowering footage, all the while bill collectors call. In essence, this film has made me "Leather Strong".

 

Q: Why did you choose Cinekink as your first place to debut the Documentary?

CineKink was the "obvious" choice for debuting High Shine for two specific reasons. It was where the first film project upon which I worked, Sisterhood of the Sash, debuted. For me, applying to CineKink and hoping I could do my world premiere at CineKink NYC, was a coming home and a full circle journey of sorts, and I am so pleased that things unfolded as they did.

It was at CineKink Chicago where I saw Mike Skiff's film, Kink Crusaders for the first time. It is a documentary about the IML experience and the IML 2008 contest, and I loved it. I remember watching the film and wondering why the International Women's contests didn't have anything equivalent and thinking that Leatherwomen should work to change that fact. Little did I know that, shortly thereafter, I'd be involved in creating that change and that, in 2013, I'd be working with Mike Skiff himself to create a feature-length film about female-identified Bootblacks and the IMsBB Title.

 

Q: Now that the film has been completed and it is out there to be seen by the public, how would you like it to impact people?

I think the best narrators are invisible to the story being presented. Now that the film is finished and being shared, it's my hope that, during a viewing of my film, I am forgotten...that would be the highest compliment for me to receive. In fact, after seeing the film, rather than turning and thinking of me, it's my greatest hope that folks turn and think about whether or not they've been tipping Bootblacks the amount of money that they're truly worth and giving Bootblacks the degree of respect they deserve.

 

Q: What do you want the current or future women, who are interested in bootblacking to know, understand or learning from this Documentary?

I wish for anyone who feels that they have a Bootblack Heart or the bootblacking bug to embrace that part of themselves, and never be embarrassed to reach out to another Bootblack. I find this generosity of time and spirit consistent with most Bootblacks I meet.  In learning the art, they hold onto the traditions of mentors and those who've passed, and in being such an inclusive bunch that often sees the "Bootblack" identity before sex, gender, orientation or presentation, they illustrate what could be the future for Leather, and in caring for others' Leather wear.


Q: Do you see yourself making any other Documentaries in the near future? or will you take a different film avenue?

Now that I've finished High Shine, I can also begin to move through a backlog of other interviews of Leather community members I've filmed (or inherited from previous videographers) for the LA&M Fireside Chat series, and I can begin to dive full throttle into the IML video production work needed to make the 2015 contest visuals look sexy as hell.

I have many "dream" documentaries I'd love to create and share with our community, so let's see what's ends up on my plate next. What I do know is that having the intent to provide a voice to people and resources that may otherwise be overlooked, forgotten or misunderstood.

Published in Society & Arts
Sunday, 08 March 2015 13:33

IMsL 2015 Contestant: Luca

LucaMsLT 9631Name:  Luca
Current Title:  Ms Leather Toronto 2015
City, State:  Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3)
HOTFF Surge Kinky Women’s and Trans Munch (as an organizer)
Unholy Harvest (as a workshop presenter)
Master/slave Con (as an avid participant)

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear:

That is a hard choice between my Wesco motorcycle boots and my beloved leather kilt.

TLJ-VT: 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.
IMsL Contestant Luca: Heart of the Flag Federation Inc. (HOTFF) is our local patch club which produces the Mr. Leather Toronto, Ms Leather Toronto, Bootblack Toronto, Mr. Rubber Toronto, Toronto Puppy, and Mr. Leather Fellowship contests. 

I am also sponsored by the Black Eagle in Toronto, our local Leather bar and a focal point for many of our Leather events. 

I have been involved with HOTFF as a title holder since 2014, and as a enthusiastic patron of the Eagle for much longer.

Published in International Leather

ShellyLeatherJournal 1Name: Shelly

Current Title: Southwest Bootblack 2015

City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Regular community events that you produce or participate: Mr. Pistons contest, Southwest Leather Contest, Leather HEAT.

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear: I love kilts!

Is your IMsL run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about your Sponsor:  

Pistons Bar - House Bootblack and regular attendee
Los Angeles Band of Brothers - Booblack for Leather Contests and big fan!
Southland Title Sisters - Member
Southwest Leather Conference - titleholder and regular attendee


 

Published in International Leather
Sunday, 08 September 2013 11:36

Mr. and Ms Iowa Leather to be named in October

You are formally invited to enjoy fun and debauchery in the corn fields of Iowa October 4-6, 2013 in the form of the 25th Annual Iowa Leather Weekend. The titles to be awarded during the weekend will be Mr. Iowa Leather and for the first time, Ms Iowa Leather. Unlike most contests that combine the contests into one day, Iowa Leather will host the Ms Iowa Leather competition on Friday, October 4 and the Mr. Iowa Leather contest on Saturday Oct 5. A continuing tradition is the partnership with Le Chateau Exotique as the official Leather vender and Liberty Gifts as the official lube and toys vendor.

Judges for the Ms Iowa Leather contest will include Elena Franco, owner/producer Heart of America Leather Weekend, & Producer Kink-U Kansas City; Sarha, International Ms Leather 2013; Mike Pagano, cofounder of Titans of the Midwest and Mr. Iowa Leather 2011; His Most Imperial Majesty, Matthew ‘Wait for it’ Aspire, Emperor for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa; and Her Most Imperial Majesty Muffy Rosenberg, Empress for Reign XX of the Imperial Court of Iowa. Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013, will be MC for the evening and Pup Itus will be the tally master.

The Blazing Saddle will be the host for the 25th anniversary of the Mr. Iowa Leather contest. The winner of this contest will go on to represent Iowa at International Mister Leather XXXVI competition in Chicago, IL May 2014. The panel of judges for this year's MIAL contest will be Chad Neil, co-founder KC boys of Leather, Chester Munroe, former Mr. Chicago leather, Sir Papa Bear, Great Lakes Leather Sir 2013, Jesse Driscoll, Mr. Midwest Rubber 2013, former Mr. Blazing Saddle, executive board member Titans of the Midwest, and Mr. Friendly - Team Iowa co-founder, and Mark Turnage, Mr. Iowa Leather 2013 and Top 20 IML XXXV contestant. The emcee will be David Watt, founder of the Mr. Friendly program and former Mr. Michigan Leather. The tally master will be Pup Itus and the den daddy for the evening is John Jack Trujillo. 

A Victory Brunch will be held on Sunday, October 6 at the Blazing Saddle at noon. The Iowa Leather travel fund will be the beneficiary for the Victory Beer Bust fundraiser held at the Blazing Saddle at 2 PM.

Anyone interested in competing should contact any Iowa Leather staff member or former title holder for the application. Applications may also be downloaded from the Blazing Saddle website.

 

Published in Regional Leather
Saturday, 01 April 2017 12:02

IMsL 2017 Contestant: Stela D. Love

StelaLeatherJournal

Stela D. Love

San Francisco, California

Ms San Francisco
Queer Sphere
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.

 

Published in International Leather
Sunday, 08 March 2015 06:34

IMsL 2015 Contestant: Selogadi Mampane

SelogadiNgwanangwatoMampaneName: Selogadi Ngwanangwato Mampane
Current Title: Ms SA Leather 2015
City, State: Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa

Regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3)
Gala Youth Exchange

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear
My dyke boots

TLJ-VT: 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.
IMsL Contestant Selogadi: I am being sponsored by South Africa Leather, which is being led by Jaco Lourens.

My club recently opened up its doors to womyn. Previously, the community only invited in cisgendered men, most of whom were White. In 2014, Jaco led a road to opening up the community to anyone who identifies with Leather, regardless of their gender. Whilst SA Leather lost many members, it creates a foundation for a more open and accessible Leather organization.

I joined SA Leather in 2014 and was able to be part of the first competition open to womyn! I haven’t looked back since.

Published in International Leather
Saturday, 01 April 2017 11:00

IMsL 2017 Contestant: Girl Complex

GirlComplexLeatherJournalGirl Complex

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.
www.acleather.org   
http://www.knighthawksofva.com  http://inkedkenny.com

 

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.

Published in International Leather

kylie ms sydney leather 2015Name: Miss BEEHave

Current Title: Ms. Sydney Leather 2015

City, State: Sydney, Australia

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

Sydney Leather Pride Assoc.
Sydney Femme Guild  
Extra Dirty

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear: Full length leather barista apron....I bought this custom made piece from a well known quality leather maker in Sydney, Jo King.  I love that it can worn as a formal or informal piece, and my waist size doesn't matter as its fully adjustable.  I often wear sequin hotpants underneath, a treasure I picked up from San Francisco Folsom in 2014 for a cheeky surprise when I leave the room.

Is your IMsL run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about your Sponsor:  

My major sponsor is Marquis De Sade in Melbourne Australia - a gorgeous bespoke fetish wear designer and corsetiere.  We have a shared spark, a contagious energy when we talk of the promotion of visibility of leather women in Australia.  Marquis De Sade offer customised steel boned corsets, leather ladieswear, leather menswear, fantasy costumes, corseted dresses, fetish wear, with online tailoring, their work is available to international visitors to order.

 

Published in International Leather
Sunday, 08 March 2015 06:36

IMsL 2015 Contestant: Summer Rae Banks

summerbanksLJName: Summer Rae Banks
Current Title: Ms Texas Leather 2014
City, State: Denton, TX

Regular community events that you produce or participate (limit 3)
Dallas girls of Leather presents: Dungeon in the Woods (Fire and spiders and girls, Oh my!)

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear
So they aren’t technically mine, but my Daddy’s chaps fit me like a glove and make my ass look amazing. I love that they fit both of us. We’re the scissorhood of the traveling chaps!


TLJ-VT: 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.
IMsL Contestant Summer: Texas Leather Productions produces the Mr. and Ms. Texas Leather contests. Jeffrey Payne is the executive producer and is also the owner of the Dallas Eagle and founder of the Sharon St. Cyr fund. Texas Leather titleholders have gone on to win regional and international titles. Thanks to their support I had a freaking ball during my year as Ms. Texas Leather and I’m so proud to be representing them on the IMsL stage.
Texasleatherproductions.com

Published in International Leather
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 22:35

IMsL and IMsBB contestant slate announced

The contestants for International Ms Leather 2016 and International Ms Bootblack 2016 were announced recently. IMsL and IMsBB will be held in San Jose, CA the weekend of April 14-17.

Following a terrific year with each of their titles, IMsL 2015 Sarge and IMsBB 2015 slave tabitha arie will pass their torches to one from each group below.

International Ms Leather and International Ms. Bootblack 2016 Contestants


Aurora Lee

Aurora Lee’s own rags to Leathers story brings her from small-town Missouri girl to Twin Cities Metropolitan Leather Woman. She co-founded the Twin Cities girls of Leather as one of the several ways she focuses on empowering those who identify as Female and Leather. Involved in several clubs, Aurora is frequently found volunteering for events when she’s not tied up getting flogged. Suffice to say when she’s not giving, she’s certainly receiving. She’s well known for her Leather working, fundraising, and photography skills that she frequently lends in service to her local community

 
LasciviousJane

LasciviousJane is a power-femme switch, kinky burlesqueer, and sex educator. In addition to being perpetually covered in leather and glitter (a bootblack’s worst nightmare), in 2015, she became the first Ms Philadelphia Leather in a decade. She is the Artistic Director of the multi-award-winning Liberty City Kings Drag and Burlesque and sits on the Board of Directors of The Diabolique Foundation, which produces Philadelphia’s largest charity fetish ball. She is also a charter member of Queer Leather Alliance. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching the art of striptease, getting dirty in her garden, and community organizing.

 
Miss BEEHave

Smart, sassy, powerful, present, fierce and Femme… Miss BEEhave is Sydney (Australia’s) Ms Leather for 2015. Also an integral part of Sydney Femme Guild, she works toward building Leather Femme visibility in the broader community. She has co-taught a fisting workshop (No Holes Barred) in conjunction with Sydney Leather Pride, and has also conducted joint events with GLBTI groups to build community partnerships.
Leather is Ms BEEHave’s presence, her power, her strengths and her loves, embodied as an ever-evolving outside skin. Her belief is that the leather family holds a beautiful space where identity, expression and love are never questioned.

 
slavegirl marion

slavegirl marion, an attorney by trade, began following the BDSM path in 2005, and Leather in 2007. She is an active member of several Leather clubs and is a volunteer at Xpressions Dungeon in Tulsa. She has been a collared service slave to Master Malik since May 3, 2014, and enjoys serving him. She is focused on serving the community, working to help her kinky community grow, become well educated, and to ensure that there are safe and comfortable play spaces available. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Tom, children, and grandchildren.


Angel

Angel began to embrace her whole self through striving to be beyond the binary. With a teacher’s heart she walks her path ever growing and learning. She is a multi-faceted edge player and believes in exploring beyond labels when it comes to play, boots, and love. There are many ways to love and be loved. She uses Bootblacking to support her community, opening dialogues about leather, and collecting history. She has been honored with the titles of Ms. Great Plains Olympus Leather 2009 and 2010 and Southwest Bootblack 2014. Her devotion for service shines through in all she does.


Meghan

Meghan is proud to represent her region as Great Lakes Bootblack 2015. Since 2012 she’s been active in her local Kink and Leather communities, blacking regularly at The Barracks, ReMix and fundraisers throughout her region. At home, Meghan runs a Boot Lab for new and existing bootblacks in the area. She also serves as Treasurer for Mr. Friendly: Team Louisville.
Meghan seeks to create an experience in her chair that not only honors and worships your Leather, but also your journey. Bootblacking gives her the space to define her ideas of sexual expression and spirituality in ways that resonate deeply.
 

Shelly

While reading fanfiction Shelly stumbled upon a story involving a D/S couple and identified with the submissive. She was intrigued! She needed to get started immediately! She found The Threshold Society. She dove in by playing and volunteering. Being of service to her local community was not enough, so she found the Leather scene. Shelly began bootblacking in 2012 and fell madly in love with it. The science, the art and the service became the focal point of her Leather lifestyle. She is mentored by Q and owes Jayson DaBoi a big hug. She also enjoys puppies and purple.


The panel of judges which will make the decision on the IMsL 2016 torchbearer are Ms World Leather 2001 Annie Romano, American Leatherwoman 1994 Sarah Humble, International Ms Leather 2014 Patty, International Mr. Leather 2015 Patrick Smith, International Mr. Bootblack 2001 Paksen Burrell, past IMsL producer Sky Renfro and Metis Brown; the IMsBB 2016 judges will be International Ms Bootblack 2014 Dara Bryant, International Mr. Bootblack 2015 Bamm Bamm and International Ms Leather 1987 Judy Tallwing McCarthy.

The tally folks will be Women's Leather Legacy 2013 Tracy Wolf and TNG founder Boymeat.

To see the IMsL and IMsBB 2016 contestants' photos go to http://imsl.org/contest/2016-imslimsbb-contestants/

This year’s brunch will welcome Keynote presenter, Vi Johnson. Vi is a Leatherwoman, activist, author and archivist who embarked on her journey in the Leather/BDSM scene in the early 1970s. A strong advocate for the necessity of preserving Leather/fetish/erotic history, Johnson speaks and writes with a single-minded focus on the broad spectrum of issues that concern her and her community.

For registration information visit http://imsl.org/event/register-now/ There will not be any on-site registration. Registration closes on April 13.

Published in International Leather

Patpicnew2 WebThe National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has announced that Pat Baillie will receive the organization's Ninth Annual Leather Leadership Award at the Task Force's 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change. Over 4,000 leaders and activists are expected to attend the conference, which will be held in Houston, January 29 to February 1.

"We are very proud to honor Pat's long dedication to and leadership in our movement," said Rea Carey, Task Force executive director. "Pat's exemplary career in the Air Force and as a rock-solid pillar of the Leather community inspires all of us to do more, to do it better and to stay the course."

The award will recognize Baillie's more than three decades of leadership and activism within and on behalf of the Leather community. Among many other achievements, she is International Ms Leather 1995, a founder of Leather Women United, a Vice Chair of the National Leather Leadership Conference and in September 2013 became co-producer of the International Ms Leather and International Ms Bootblack Contest. See editors note for biography."

Published in Society & Arts
Saturday, 05 April 2014 05:39

Meet The Contestants IMsL 2014: Flossie

VT-TLJ: Is your contestant run sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization?
F: I am being sponsored by SouthEast LeatherFest https://secure.seleatherfest.com - Bulldog Custom Leathers http://www.bulldogcustomleathers.com and Columbia Leather Order.

VT-TLJ: Tell me about your favorite charity.
F: I support many charities one of my favorites has to be Harriet Hancock LGBT Center. It was one of the first LGBT support centers in the southeast starting in 1993. The center offers many programs to the community including Youth Out Loud, which gives youth 12-19 years of age a safe place to go for resources and LGBTQ Interpersonal Violence Task Force, which offers assistance to those in abusive relationships.  http://lgbtcentersc.org/

Published in International Leather

kate-bornstein-keynote-IMSL-2014IMsL Productions is pleased to announce that Kate Bornstein, author, playwright, performance artist, provocateur and gender theorist from New York, will be our 2014 Keynote speaker. She will bring her thoughts, her humor and as always, challenge us to expand our understanding and perceptions. Kate will also serve as one of our judges for the IMsL/IMsBB contest this year.

Many of us discovered Kate with her first book in 1994, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. Kate edited Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation in collaboration with S. Bear Bergman published in 2010, which won the 2011 Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards. Bornstein's autobiography, titled A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir was released May 2012, and in April 2013, Bornstein released My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity.

One of the best parts of the IMsL/IMsBB weekend is the diversity and power of women who span the spectrum of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Kate, as our key note speaker at the April 24-27, 2014 event at the DoubleTree by Hilton in San Jose, CA reflects these principles and this is a rare opportunity to hear Kate speak on the West Coast!

You can read all about Kate at her blog. Register now and be sure to purchase a brunch ticket or sign up for an all-inclusive weekend package so you don't miss this opportunity to see all the ways we are bringing sexy back!

 

Published in International Leather

IMSbb Contestant meghanName: Meghan

Current Title: Great Lakes Bootblack 2015 and Bluegrass Leather Pride Bootblack 2015

City, State: Louisville, KY

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

Events:
-Bluegrass Leather Pride
-Great Lakes Leather Alliance
-International Puppy Contest

Favorite Leather item in your arsenal of bar/fetish wear: Oil tan harness boots - They were the first piece of leather I bought for myself. I’ve had them for years now and they are so broken in and comfortable! They’ve been with me on all of my travels, tromped through mud, sprinkles and glitter, and kept me grounded when I’ve felt shaky.

Is your IMsBB run in April sponsored by an Event, bar, club, organization? If so Please tell me about your Sponsor:  

I am fortunate enough to be sponsored by Bluegrass Leather Pride, Great Lakes Leather Alliance and Mr. Friendly, Team Louisville.

Bluegrass Leather is a feeder contest to Great Lakes that not only produces contestants, but hosts a weekend educational event that focuses on what it means to be family.

Great Lakes Leather Alliance is a regional contest that produces contestants for International contests, hosts educational classes and play parties for the Leather and kink communities.

Mr. Friendly Team Louisville, the Kentucky chapter that works to reduce stigma of HIV. Currently, I sit on the Board of Directors serving as Treasurer.

Published in International Leather
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