May 2009 - with Jason Hendrix (IML 2004) at the International Mr Leather contest
I know it's been two months since my last column. What can I say? I've been busy with work, had two course of antibiotics for a sinus infection brought on by hayfever, my husband and I both celebrated birthdays (his ended in a zero this year), and I've been away to America twice for leather events. But I have created a new page listing some of the workshops and seminars I offer - so if you need a presenter for a kink event please feel free to take a look.
On 21st May I flew to Chicago for the International Mr Leather contest weekend. Jeffrey Payne from Texas is the 31st International Mr Leather, (his email is IMrL2009 (at) gmail.com and website http://iml2009.com) and McG from Toronto, Canada is the 17th International Mr Bootblack. Best wishes to both of them on their travels.
On Saturday 4th July Dave and I took part in the London gay pride parade. The weather was good and each year there seem to be more and more members of the emergency services and armed forces marching in uniform to wild applause from the crowds lining the route. In 2012 London will be hosting WorldPride as well as the Olympics Games, so book your hotel now!
From 17th to 20th July I was in Denver for my third time as a presenter at "Thunder in the Mountains". I really like this event. It's well-organised and very friendly with lots of good feeling from everyone there. I thoroughly recommend it.
July 2009 - some of the uniformed personnel marching in the London gay pride parade
A couple of weeks ago Chuck Renslow announced that "the Executive Committee of International Mr Leather has decided that it will no longer allow participation in the IML Leather Market by any entity which promotes barebacking or distributes/ sells any merchandise tending to promote or advocate barebacking. This restriction will also apply to distribution of gifts, post cards or any other information via our facilities. This policy takes effect immediately." This has led to a lot of debate about censorship of the community.
A few people have asked me to comment on this situation directly. I've written about barebacking before, in a column in January 2004, but due to the reaction to the IML press release I think there's something more to be said:
July 2009 - after the parade, enjoying the good weather with Dave in central London
Above all, let's treat each other with respect. We talk a great deal about 'honouring diversity' in the leather community, but that also means listening to someone when they have a different opinion to our own.
Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with.
International Mr Leather 2003