Hosting the Mr Hoist contest
I'm still unemployed so spent March keeping my spirits up by going to the Hoist, having a submission wrestling lesson and practising escapology (escaping from rope ties). I've also signed up for a stand-up comedy course in May and June, so that's keeping my mind occupied trying to write jokes for a non-leather audience and failing miserably. Oh well, the audience will just have to join me in my world!
Many of the fetish events I attend give out awards for community service/ lifetime achievement/ leather "Hall of Fame" and it seems that almost all of the awards are given to men. In an effort to redress the balance I've asked some of the women I know to supply their nominations for leather women who deserve recognition.
To avoid any controversy of claiming this is a list of "founding mothers" I've asked people to make personal recommendations of women who have been good mentors or leaders to them. No offence is implied by omission. If you'd like someone to be included please email me (leatherwomen @ iml2003.com). Here are the nominations I received:
VI JOHNSON received multiple nominations. For more information please visit her official website at www.iron-rose.com/vijohnson/
"GLENDA RIDER is someone who I respect greatly and would certainly nominate. She is a tireless activist and supporter of issues and events relevant to leather. Glenda has been involved in many facets of the leather realm from titleholder (Ms Baltimore Eagle 1992) to business owner (Play House Studios in Baltimore). She has been a presenter/ educator, fundraiser, emcee/ entertainer, contest judge and owner/ producer of a large leather event (International Ms Leather). She has been on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) as well as Coordinator of FIST (Females Investigating Sexual Terrain). Not to mention she is also an Emeritus Board Member of the Leather Leadership Conference. In 2008 she was awarded Pantheon Woman of the Year. Beyond all of what she has done on behalf of leather, Glenda's commitment and passion to being actively involved imbues those around her with inspiration and respect. On the pug scale of one to four paws, Glenda is a four paws up."
slave pug, California
"I would include JILL CARTER. Jill was a very active International Ms Leather and as she lived with Vi Johnson, it activated Vi's voice once again. Jill's contribution was that she linked the men's and women's community like it had never been before. She recognised the many folks in the community that were "Unsung Heroes". Every appearance she paid attention to non-titleholders in the leather community and awarded them with a medal. I hold one of these medals from 1999."
Mary Elizabeth Boyd, Virginia
"SIR TOP does tremendous work in the Leather and extended BDSM Communities. Countless hours are spent not because she has to but because she wants to. From producing Beyond Leather, a pansexual lifestyle event, to her Boot Camp with educational workshops, she, along with her slave bonnie, have not only helped to heal the rift that developed in the South Florida BDSM/ Leather community, but have also worked tirelessly to bring in a new era of education, empowerment and inspiration. Overcoming her own agoraphobia, Sir Top has emerged as one of the premiere 'go to' people in our community. Generous to a fault, Sir Top's life goal and mission is to help bring positive energy and reliable information and education to all who want it. It's because of her generosity, dedication to her community, dedication to education and empowerment that Sir Top earned her cover. She's earned this nomination for the same reasons."
slave m, Florida
"MAMA SANDY - the name says it all. Mama does so much for so many of us. She loves each one individually and brings us all together as Family collectively. Mama loves me and gave birth to me as a member of Mama's Family. I'm eternally grateful. Mama is always there to lend an ear, provide a shoulder and administer a swift kick in the butt when it's called for.
For many years now JO BLAS has been a mentor to many people locally and elsewhere. Her strength and calm leadership have guided women and men on their Leather journeys over the years. Jo Blas remains an active member of the San Diego Leather scene and continues to represent her titles, Ms San Diego Leather 1999 & 2000 and International Ms Leather 2000.
SLAVEGIRL DEBBIE. Never needing a title, this woman has been a wonderful role model and mentor to me in small ways and not so small ways. slavegirl debbie continues to support, guide, encourage and love her sisters and brothers in Leather by working tirelessly on events, workshops, education, networking, fundraising, producing and having fun. I'm not sure how she gets it all done, but I'm always ready to participate in anything that slavegirl debbie is cooking up."
Michelle Jackson, California
Have fun, look after yourselves and the people you play with.
International Mr Leather 2003