I’ve seen a lot of hurtful things said in the leather and bootblack circles on social media in the days after IML38. It not only saddened me, but I was left confused. So I privately messaged a person who has experience in front and behind the scenes of the IML and IMBB contest to ask for time to answer questions that weighed on my mind. I am so grateful I did that and that my request for information was received well. We met and it was no easy conversation. There was frustration, there were voices raised at times, even occasional tears on both side, but there was also a genuine desire to understand the other. There was good communication.
I was left thinking, am I doing enough for this our leather community… Am I being a big enough part of calling people in… And how am I creating the change I want to see… Am I doing the work or just paying it lip service… I think about Actions and Deeds.
I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of working for the solutions and to do that in a way that calls people in, not calls people out.
In the long list of unkind comments made in recent days I saw a note that there were very few bootblacks speaking out for Leslie J. Anderson, The Bootblack Daddy. If people want to unfriend me it’s okay, but as a leather woman, as a bootblack, I stand beside The Bootblack Daddy. She calls people in and if you do not see that, or know that, then maybe talk to people with experience at IML and IMBB to understand how it is run and why things are as we see them. Then you might do as I did and ask yourself how you are helping create the change you want to see.
Leslie J. Anderson I want you to know I SEE YOU. And you know it’s funny to me, because even though we have not spoken in months, I know you see me too.