I just celebrated my 40th Anniversary in Leather. The road has been long with bumps turns and twists, which I guess its the way life in general is. I have been blessed and privileged beyond belief because of the men in my life who raised me as a leather boy back in NYC, then as a Daddy and finally being covered as a SIR. I posted this on Facebook and I wish to share it here:
IT was Monday July 1, 1974. He remembered the date and the time. 4:45PM. I had forgotten and he let me know it. 85 yrs old in a few weeks and sharp as a tack. MY journey began 40 years ago on Christopher St Greenwich Village NYC, in a store window. THAT I remember! I followed him and grew to love him after being afraid of what he offered to me but at the same time fascinated and excited. I ended up with 4 brother boys 3 pups, better known then as dog boys or manimals or humanimals and his “man-servant”. I was his baby boy; his sunshine who often pissed him off. I tested his limits more than he tested mine. An arrogant tough Brooklyn prick I was because that’s all I knew. I grew to respect him and love him with everything in my being. I had the honor of knowing HIS SIR and HIS SIR’S SIR. I miss those days terribly and my 4 brothers who died of AIDS as did his man servant. I am all that’s left of that time and I dedicated my life to over 30 years of being an advocate/activist for those with HIV while watching all my friends DIE. I remained unscathed by that fucking virus! It wasn’t “Old Guard”; there was no mystery or magic except when I looked into SIRS blue eyes. I never romanticized things. It was difficult sharing him but I learned that he was able to satisfy all of us and I got all the extra attention because I was the youngest (and as I always chided, the hottest). FORTY YEARS have gone by and the ride has been EXTRAORDINARY for me. I hate the term elder because I’m not in a church. I hate the term old guard because it never existed. IT was leather. I also hate what leather has devolved into; CIRCUIT PAGEANTRY and a CONSTANT barrage of fundraisers, producers, vendors and events while they wear pretty leather and don’t know how to put on a harness! So many have been turned off by nasty mean comments because people don’t look hot enough or are deemed NOT worthy enough to be in the presence of some of the sash queens. Even I have experienced that too many times. Those guys are DEAD to me. They offer NOTHING to either the title or the community! 40 years has taught me about family with so many people out there who I consider family. I understand why men will leave leather or back away from it or create their own families AWAY from the mainstream! I have said this many times. You DONT need a title to affect change. You are better off without one. Why? Because you don’t have to kiss anyones ass to win anything and you can get things accomplished faster. I sit on 3 boards for HIV prevention with the local and state Health Departments up to the National level. I am the VP of the Leather Heart Foundation and I founded the Leathertarian Award. I am studying for my PH.D; ALL WITHOUT ANY title. After 40 years the only title I ever need was to be SIR Paul’s boy and Daddy Jim. SIR, Thank you for giving me life as an adult. For teaching me what bonding with men was REALLY like. I love you more than forever for giving me, ME! I bow to you and get on my knees for everything I am and everything you taught me to be. Happy Anniversary Daddy. I LOVE you with my LIFE and no matter what, BEFORE anything else, ANYTHING ELSE, I AM ALWAYS YOUR BOY, SIR! Forever your sunshine….Jimmy.