Not Enough time on my Hands Anymore.

IT has been awhile. Several important milestones in my life have taken place. This year (which is almost over) is my 40th year in Leather. I HATE being referred to as an “elder”. I’m NOT a deacon in a church! Then comes the fact that I am BACK in School. I have been accepted as a Doctoral Candidate and am studying for my PH.D in Psychology with a focus in Gender Diversity. THIS takes up A LOT of my time. Third thing. As founder of the Leathertarian Award it has taken me a year but I have accomplished making The Leathertarian Award a Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
I’ve accomplished quite a bit just in a year. Ive seen more of my friends dying and it reminds me of my own mortality and 40 years in the leather community remind me how fast time has gone by and I’m trying my best to savor and accomplish while enjoying my time here. IF you want information on the award you can go to http://www.theleathertarianaward.com and you can nominate someone to be the recipient of this award which happens every June 21. I am NOT on the panel of 6 who decides the recipients so I have no say nor do I even know who they choose. You will find all the information on there.

I find it annoying sometimes when I am on Facebook (for 10 whole minutes) and guys are telling me how “bored” they are. REALLY? Why dont you try volunteering and get OFF the computer? I dont have time to be bored. I am STILL on the Gay men HIV work-group which works out of Tallahassee for our monthly phone calls on the status of HIV in Broward County. I am STILL a volunteer with the county Health Dept and I am still on the MSM Strategic Planing Committee which meets once per month. How is it that I can find time for all of this and STILL have a life to do “other” things that give me joy? I just dont understand it at all and I guess I never will because my mind-set is not theirs and thats a good thing. I’ve learned to organize and manage time through trial and error. I had a good SIR who taught me well over those ten years I was with him.
I will try to write more. I have off the next two weeks before starting my next two courses. Dynamics of Family and the Psychology of Women. The last bunch of courses were research and writing oriented and I am pulling a 4.0 index (Straight A’s) so you can teach a middle aged dawg new tricks. Your brain doesnt have to go to mush when you remain active and vital. I dont believe that one has to decay a painful slow downward spiral into the abyss. You can remain sharp edgy and active. For now though I am going to hit the sack and get some sleep.

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A LONG LONG Journey

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.

MY Second big milestone..

Back in January..I believe it was Jan 29 or 30, 1994 I received my Muir Cap from SIR up in Boston. IT was my 20th year anniversary. That was very emotional for me…When I received my Cap, there was no ceremony, no pomp or circumstance. He took me to a store..I think it was called the Marquis de Suede? We looked around and we left. Several hours later he gave me the cap. One interesting thing he did. He had a chain put on over the brim, and twisted it one time. HE told me that it signified that I would never be perfect (just like the hat wasn’t) ..oh, and that I was twisted… LOL. 

Im not saying that the way covers are given now are wrong..it is what it is. Things were different and I kind of enjoy the ceremony now when a cover is given. I have attended quite a few and have myself covered several and have spoken at many of them so I actually enjoy them; ESPECIALLY when I know the person receiving either his boy cap or his Muir cap. It always makes me smile. In the first pic I am in the process of giving a good man his Muir cap. SIR Travis. The second and third photos are MY MUIR CAP thats 20 years old. IF you notice in the third photo in particular, the twist in the chain that SIR purposely put there!!ImageImageImage

40th Anniversary: COMING UP!

Perception. MY 40th YEAR in leather is coming up in just a few short months. To the best of my recollection it was sometime right after gay pride/July 4th? I don’t recall the EXACT day I met SIR. That journey at the age of 20 saw huge change and risk. I had 4 other boys to contend with, (I was the youngest) a slave (whatever the hell that was) and 3 dog boys (3 big German guys who were on all 4s and naked much of the time which scared the living shit out of me) What the hell was a dog boy? A manimal? HUH? I didn’t know what any of it meant. Over the following TEN YEARS I learned..BOY DID I LEARN. I experienced a lot of shit, growing pains and trying to at least make the unfamiliar familiar. For the first 2 years I didn’t understand a lot of it. I knew however there was love..THAT I knew.
Now my Observation. I often wonder why people don’t come ask me for help or advice. They will PAY for classes from those with less than HALF the time I have put in. INFORMATION was always given FREELY. NOT to make a profit from! THATS BULLSHIT! They will talk about their issues TO ME; HOWEVER, if you don’t ask me for advice or assistance I am not going to offer it because you can always tell me to mind my own business and THATS not happening. ITs ok if you don’t want my help, opinion, advice or what have you; BUT then you have no right to come to me and wonder why I didn’t butt in and then tell me that in no uncertain terms. You either suck it up and ASK ME or SHUT the hell up and DO NOT bitch to me as to WHY I didn’t say anything..WHY? YOU DIDNT ASK ME!!!!!!! One more thing, if you ask you’re going to get my truthful opinion or advice. Im not looking to win a popularity contest or a sash by blowing smoke up your ass or giving you lip service yes-ing you to death just to get you to like me. I’m not Sally Field. Not Happening.

I’m a DREAMER

I got that from my father. I dream and have always dreamed. Sometimes in life thats all I had. I have been very busy the past months creating a new version of an award for the Leather Community. I did NOT invent the name but I revamped and changed the entire structure of the award. Its called the Leathertarian Award. It was first born in 2006 in Florida but I NEVER liked the way it was given; and it was only given out in 2006 and 2007. Two people decided on who received it with no input from anyone else. AS much as the two who won a piece of print paper certificate deserved the award, it didn’t seem to really hit the core of what the name of the award stood for. Humanitarian/leathertarian..sounds similar but I was thinking about how many deserving souls were out there and because two people cannot decide who should or shouldn’t receive an award this important and a piece of print paper with some colors on it and someones name didn’t seem to be at all appropriate or enough for community work. Fast forward to 2013. I finally decided to get off my ass and DO something. I created a logo, bought a domain name and had the name trademarked with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) in Washington DC. I footed the entire bill for this award so it can NEVER be used other than for this award. I looked across the country for a panel consisting of 6 individuals in the community who are distinguished and well known; one of whom won the original award back in 2007. THEY will be deciding who is chosen. I am not in the process. Right now the Award is exclusive to those living in the USA. We may decide to expand next year to Canada but we want to work out any issues that may arise since this is the VERY FIRST year. Cash awards of 500 dollars for male, 500 for female and 1000 dollars for the Leathertarian Lifetime Award. There are no fundraisers because I am supplying the cash awards so there will NEVER be and issue of mismanagement, misappropriations or downright stealing. For complete information please go to the website for the details,  www.theleathertarianaward.com

Grinding My Gears

I got this phrase from Peter Griffin, Family Guy episode. To change that to what I am writing about…There are people in the Leather Community who are older than I am and who feel they are the Leather Police of the entire country. They go around asking about EVERYONE and then go on line to look for them to see if they are located on Police Records, sex offender records and other public records. If they find anything on you they take it upon themselves to OUT YOU to everyone in the name of making them fess up and be honest. What they are actually doing, and seem to take GREAT pleasure in, is causing a lot of trouble for those who have indeed been in trouble. They take great pleasure in doing this. Vindictive bitter people I say who have nothing else left in their lives. They lost their looks, their hair is gray and they are trying to keep whats left of their self importance and their stature in the leather community by trashing others. As they say, MISERY LOVES COMPANY!!

I have personally overheard one of the “leather police” saying…..do you know so and so? I’ve never heard of him/her. Well just because you didn’t hear of this person doesn’t mean they weren’t around. You know EVERYONE in the entire United States? REALLY? Well I went to such and such bar, club, leather event and “I” never saw them there! So I guess because they weren’t there the night that YOU were MUST mean they’re phonies. What kind of bullshit is that? THEN they get insulted when you tell them that you DO know so and so and YOU saw them at such and such place..Well THAT doesn’t mean ANYTHING to them because THHEEEEYYYY didn’t see them there!!

WHO THE HELL made YOU the overseer of the entire leather community in the ENTIRE 50 States? Get over yourselves. You’re not young anymore; you’ve been replaced; people don’t like being around you because you’re always so negative, miserable and bitter so please just go to your own table and be miserable on your own, thank you..

Next. There’s No such thing as the Council of Elders who oversaw everything that went on in the Leather community..Plain and simple that’s all BULLSHIT. Moving on…

Old Guard Leather is a misnomer..IT was Leather..They were gay leather bikers/ex-soldiers kinky men who got together and formed bonds and alliances…..There’s nothing mystical or magical. there are those who romanticize it…Well thats sweet but not accurate..I am sure some of these men fell in love with each other and I’m sure that there was romance to some degree but I cannot speak for everyone; actually anyone,  but what I saw and experienced. Again, and this is MY opinion…I think the tradition and protocol was borne out of the structure and discipline of the military for these ex gay leather biker soldiers…it was however different to some degree for them…I wasn’t there (am not that old) but from what was told to me…those guys were about sex and kink…The one thing and the ONLY thing I am sure about is that if you were TRULY a part of them, YOU WERE PROTECTED. They were loyal to each other ..They could get into fistfights amongst themselves but if someone attacked one of their own…look out!

When I speak, I NEVER speak for EVERYONE. I don’t speak for ANYONE but what I saw, experienced and the stories I heard, and trust me, I NEVER romanticize it. I don’t know everything and I am sure it was different from what I was told, in various parts of the country. I’m not the leather police or an authority.

I get VERY annoyed when the older ones attack the younger guys coming into kink and leather. Rather than poke fun of them try taking one under your guidance to teach them what you know from YOUR perspective. Remember its YOUR take on it NOT the gospel truth according to so and so. You put out the info and let them take from it what they want. I also get very annoyed when the young guys cop an attitude when thy know nothing about anything then take on a boy, throw collars around then do a GREAT deal of damage to other young guys who believe and hang on every word they say. THIS is a BIG problem! I want to speak to those young 20 something boys..Just because the guy is young and hot doesn’t mean he knows ANYTHING. Try going to the older guy WITH experience for mentoring. REMEMBER THIS… EXPERIENCE TRUMPS YOUTH EVERY TIME. To the older guy..DON’T use the kid sexually to make yourself feel better because you’re getting older and graying, and you want a trophy to show off……Give the boy your best and you’ll gain a boy for the rest of your LIFE even if he never serves you sexually!