I wanted to Dedicate my Mr. Community Service Award 2015 to my friends who died of AIDS. It is because of them that I am who I am. It is because of them that I have given so much. It was through their death that I learned about life and how to live.I couldn’t save them but I knew I could be of service to others. Much of who I am is because of what I learned from them and how bravely they faced death. Although I never got HIV, I was terrible affected by it. I have learned to co exist with a virus that is NOT inside me but still lives WITH me and has taken so much FROM me. I often make a concerted effort to not look back or think about them too much because it takes me out of the present and makes me very sad and upset. With World AIDS Day coming up on December 1st, this Award came at the appropriate time of the year for me. The greatest honor I have ever been given and privileged to, are the times when guys will come up to me (and its happened 5 or 6 times) and have told me, “you saved my life Daddy.” That is by far the GREATEST award anyone could ever give me. Telling me I, in some way, had a part in saving their life! I say it again, there is NOTHING better on this earth!
In September 2014 I was awarded Associate of the Year for the First Coast Leather Society at their Anniversary weekend (which I attended). in 2011 AND 2013 I was Awarded Associate of the Year for the Trident knights. Being the recipient of an award is quite a different experience than winning a leather title. You don’t get adoring fans and groupies wanting to sexually service you and you don’t get to travel to represent anything. Being given awards are years of the recipient working within their community and years in the making. Leather titles you can walk in off the street, look good in leather and VOILA, you’re a title holder. You automatically get a voice whether you earned that voice or not! You work your ass off for Awards and you earn them over MANY years. After a year your title ends. With an Award your work NEVER stops. You feel a GREATER sense of responsibility because you were given the award in recognition of DECADES of service and you feel compelled to do even more AFTER you have been recognized. I am more than honored to be given these recognitions. Getting a standing ovation truly does put everything into perspective for me. I felt my friends looking down at me smiling. I often say I will never retire and I never will. Too much left to do! I again want to thank everyone who had a part in giving me this honor and I will bring honor to the award you have given me long after the year is over!
I’m not a leatherman nor knowledgeable in the Leather Community. I am followed of your posts and highly respect your views. Like you I am HIV negative but have been affected by it too many times.
You have found highly effective methods of assisting where as I have found that just embracing and not shunning those not so fortunate is frequently all a can effectively offer.
Congratulations on your being recognized for all you’ve done.