When Master and I met in September 2003 we had spent our initial years together learning our Master / slave relationship first.
I had started off in the kink community, playing with others, but I had never seen anything about “leather” until I met Master. I had been invited to join him at dinner which would feature an “exchange of colors” between the Chicago Leather Club (CLC) and the Knights of Leather from Minneapolis. When I saw this happen, when I saw the brotherhood and how much these people felt it there, I felt something.
It sat in me for awhile, because as Master and I started our relationship, we were focused on ourselves, making our home, merging our families, figuring out what this all meant. Master had taken a break from the community and so I let it set. After awhile, I started to ask Master about it, I had kept watching CLC on the website, and I wanted to know more. We talked about “leather” and he said “it was hard to explain, you have to find what it means to you.” He said that our interpretations, how leather speaks to us may not end up being the same. He said he wasn’t going to make me get involved if “it didn’t speak to me.”
So eventually, when Master decided to pledge to CLC, I didn’t know if I should join with Master, but then i thought only way I’ll know to see what it is. So I went with him and found that what I wanted to do was contribute to the community in a worthwhile way. I did that as part of my pledge project and I was welcomed and supported. So that gave me the courage to get more involved and I did – by getting involved in our local playspace, the LRA Chicago, and by becoming a bootblack.
In the beginning I met two wonderful people through CLC – Daddy T and Nat – they both have made a huge impact on me in my learning about leather and my place – they have always had a way of mentoring me without making me feel bad like I was doing it wrong, that it was ok to make mistakes, and learn how to do things better.
As part of the LRA board and working my butt off there, I learned how to stand on my two feet and stand up for myself within the leather community, that I did have a voice.
With bootblacking, I learned to have a love of leather (both community and the fabric) and the preservation of the items and the history. I had started into my bootblacking by doing Master’s leathers and learning about how to do it from other bootblacks got me interested in doing it as a bootblack. I liked it because it was service, it was hotness, it was art. Watching bootblacks at the LRA Chicago, like Riley, Rachel, Leslie Anderson and Pony (IMsBB 2009). I came to love bootblacking because of the connections with the person in the chair. I love the experience, the look on their face. I learned about the common ground between leather people.
And that was how I got started in leather.