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F.E.A.R.

fearmeanings

One day in September I did a banking errand for my mom and inside the teller’s area I saw this acronym, F.E.A.R. written on a dry erase board. I’ve seen it or heard before someplace, yet each time I visited the bank I would find myself looking at the board and stare at it. I’d wait in line and quietly reflect. I’m definitely not a Forget Everything And  Run kind of girl. I’ve thought about times in my life where I had to pick myself up, dust myself off, and just move forward, one step, then another, and another. Over those two months I spent caring for my mom in Florida through to today my mind kept going back to those words on the board. Maybe it was premonition. Maybe, that message was preparing me for these past few months and also the months and years that are ahead of us. I have been feeling fear in a number of areas of my life recently.  I have this strange feeling this message came to me at just the right time and that it’s so important for me to Face Everything And Rise right now.

I finally came out to all of my family in the past year. My children and my ex-husband already knew about me being queer and kinky. This was new information for my mother, step-dad, sister, brothers, and in-laws. Some clearly prefer to just not speak about the matter, while others have been very accepting, warm, and loving. I remember telling my mom first. I sat with her at the dining room table, just her and I alone. I was nervous, but it went well. I am fortunate that I’ve always had a close relationship with my mom. I’ve always believed I could tell her anything and that she would still love me. Even then, it was still scary. I guess it’s because I thought it would confuse her, possibly scare her, anger her, disappoint or hurt her. Yet, I knew I had to find the courage to spit the words out and that it would somehow be okay. I didn’t want to live another day longer hiding who I am. And somehow I found the words and it was all okay. I love my mother with all my heart. Face Everything And Rise.

holding-handsMy girlfriend is amazing. She spoils me with affection and truly she inspires me to be better and do better. Of course I think my Daddy is the best and deserves all kinds of goodness and kindness. Everyday I want to bring joy and happiness into her life. There has been more than a few times when I have had to call a BFF to walk me off the ledge, because the truth is sometimes I think she deserves better than me. She’s very organized, completely got this adulting thing down one hundred percent, and just has it all so together. Meanwhile, I’m going through life flying by the seat of my pants, usually making it up as I go along, and so often very sure that I am quite a hot mess. Maybe a fun, sexy, lovable hot mess, but a hot mess all the same. So sometimes I feel insecure or fearful, because I am opening my heart to love again. Yet, I’m a risk taker, so I just leap. And as surprising as it is to me, my hot butch Daddy feels similar fears too. And then there are other fears. External fears of how our progressive little bubble of NYC may change in the coming years. I will not stop holding her hand, kissing her, or hide my love. Love is love. So each day, week, month, and hopefully over the years, together we will overcome our fears. Face Everything And Rise.

fear-quotesSome days I still become emotional and cry when I think about this year’s Presidential election. Like many other women, the loss hurt, but even more it’s left a shadow of fear. I fear for my young adult daughters. I fear for my gay and trans friends. I fear for immigrants and people of color. I fear for all marginalized groups. That’s a lot of fear and I have to lift myself up, dust myself off, and move forward. One step, then another, and another. Now is not the time to lose heart. Now is the time for strong women to support each other and build each other up. I’ll be in NYC volunteering for Lesbian Sex Mafia. I’ll be in Washington, DC on January 21, 2017 at the Women’s March on Washington. I’ll do what I can to hold space. I know who I am. I’m the kind of girl who will Face Everything And Rise.

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Paris is Burning!

Tonight I am heading out to Macomb’s Bridge branch of the NYPL (New York Public Library) to watch Paris is Burning. I’d never heard of the movie until about a month ago when a group of friends were talking about great movies, documentaries, and recording community history. All I truly remember was hearing the title and saying I had never heard of it, being told I must to see it, and that it was going to be shown at a local library branch in Harlem. Until a few minutes ago, I managed to control myself and not do a search on the movie to see what it was all about. I had been intrigued enough to want to go see it based on the credibility of the source telling me I must see it and the flashiness of the title. Finally though, mainly because of fatigue, I decided to look up what this movie was about to see if I truly needed to drag my ass off this couch and see this movie. It turns out I do.

PIBParis is Burning is a film made by a NYU film student documenting the late 1980’s and 90’s Golden Age of New York City’s drag balls. From what I read in the cliff notes about this movie it explores how its subjects deal with racism, poverty, AIDS, sex workers, sexual reassignment,  and intentional families social groups, performance teams, plus more. This sounds like a large body of work and Jennie Livingston, the NYU student who under took this project, spent seven years interviewing her subjects to learn how they dealt with their adversities.

I can see why my friend told me I must go see this movie, since I am a firm believer in the idea that we must explore the past to understand the present and shape the future. Also my friend just loves drag queen to pieces! Also, I was thinking about why it feels important to me to go see this and this thought came across my mind,”When someone you respect and view as an elder and Leather Daddy of that community says, ‘Go’, you do.” Something else in my thoughts is a curiosity about what type of cross section from the vanilla and the kink/BDSM community coms out to see this picture tonight.   I’m not sure if this movie is available for check out from public library systems, but you can find Paris is Burning sold on Amazon. As a final note before I bath and dress to head out the door I like to suggest this as a super excellent stocking stuffer for those who celebrate the holidays in that way 😀

Two girls, One Leather Daddy

One of the missions of The Dark Lair is to give people of color a venue to gain experience presenting on BDSM topics. In that theme a couple of months ago the topic was, “You are the Presenter”. People were encouraged to come and give 10 minute demos on a topic of their choice. To support The Dark Lair, and to lead from example, I offered to do a 10 minute demo on Leather Care. I was inspired to alter a demo I have been working on called, “Lust, Love, Leather: Boots 101” and make it a brief demo touching on the idea of passing on boot blacking and leather care skills, how paying it forward keeps the leather spirit alive. Also, instead of doing the common scene that briefly demonstrated leather care on boots, I wanted to show leather care of a garment… chaps.

The inspiration for the variation of my leather care class came to me from an event that happened a few weeks prior when a friend asked me if I thought it was possible to teach her to care and condition her Daddy’s boots. I told her, that of course I can teach her and she was overjoyed. It turns out that a number of people that she had asked in the past had told her it was impossible for her to do boot blacking, because she is blind. I let her know that the Mid Atlantic Bootblack 2013, Amelia Chan, was blind.  So, when the opportunity arouse to practice a variation of my class, I went and recruited Sir Raven with her chaps and her girl Jade.  I got a chance to speak a little about being leather and what that meant to me. Paying forward what others have shared with me and keeping leather spirit alive. Then there was the spectacular hands on demonstration of Sir Raven, standing with her chaps on, flanked on both sides by girls who were ready to leather up, clean, and condition her leather chaps. It was a good time for all!

Sir Raven felt we had done a good job and said we girls would be rewarded with a trip to Alice’s Tea Cup. I am not so sure that we did such an excellent job on actually cleaning her chaps, but I suspect Sir Raven was just proud of us for being two girls who were willing to get up in front of a group of people and give back to our community.  So, today, two girls got a special treat from an awesome Daddy. Thank you Sir Raven for making me feel valued and special. I appreciate both of you and feel honored to call you friends.