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June 20, 2013 | by Tyesha Best
Leatherati Bootblack Week: Northwest Bootblacks!

 

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States representing the Northwest Region: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

 

Events

Northwest Boot Weekend

 

Contests

Northwest Community Bootblack

Colorado Bootblack

Oregon State Bootblack

Northern California Community Bootblack

 

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Oil Tan Sam, OR

Sammy is a 27 year old bootblack from Portland Oregon. His roots are as a shoeshiner. After shining shoes for a while, he realized he had a leather fetish. One of his friends told him about the leather community and bootblacking, and introduced him to his current mentor. In 2012 he competed and earned the title of Oregon State bootblack. Where he spent a year serving his community. And in 2013 he competed and won the title of International Mr. bootblack.

Sammy is into bootplay, CBT, Canoodling, and a wide spectrem of play. What really gets Sammy off is service and helping the community.

 

 

Ruin

Only 8 months into the Los Angeles kink scene, not knowing a gag from an ass plug, Ruin had an opportunity to vend at International Mr. Leather 2004. And so her Leather journey began. There’ve been many steps from there to here, the most significant of which was connecting with her Sir. It was out of a desire to care for his boots that Ruin discovered bootblacking. At her Sir’s encouragement to branch out, and her mentor’s recommendation to run for a regional title, Ruin’s journey took a turn she never dreamed of when she went on to win the International Community Bootblack title. Her favorite thing about bootblacking is the energy exchange. From the light-hearted camaraderie amongst bootblacks, to salacious stomping scenes, to sacred acts of service, Ruin finds connection, expression, and gratitude in the leather that finds its way into her hands.

 

Justin Britton- Portland, OR

Justin Britton has always had a thing for boots and leather but that was taken to a whole new level when he became his Daddy’s boy back in 2008. What first started as a service to care for his Daddy’s leathers and boots, quickly grew into a passion and the heart of a bootblack was born. Justin’s been very lucky on his bootblack journey to be surrounded by well-seasoned bootblacks who freely shared their knowledge and expertise. A couple highlights in his relatively short bootblacking career have been being asked to be Mr. Oregon State Leather 2008, being Dominic Chevalier’s bootblack and most recently blacking at International Ms. Leather 2013. When he’s not doing boots, Justin can be found riding motorcycles with his Daddy or living out his racing dreams on his xbox, which is how he earned his Mama’s Family name of Mama’s Speedracer.

 

Dara-Portland, OR

Dara has been in the pan, queer, and Leather scene for the last eight years, spending half of that time in Portland. S/he learned the seeds of leather care from her first Dominant; the love of leather care and service led Dara to bootblacking and the Leather community. COPE 2009 in Columbus, OH, was Dara’s first opportunity to black publicly. In the Portland area, Dara is a practicing and active bootblack, a Bad Girl, a submissive service boy to his Leather Daddy, DJ, a dynamic bottom, and partnered to another Leather traveler, Leatheraven. Dara has been a PDX Bootblack since its inception at The Conservatory in early 2010. The last four years, s/he has joined the group at their Kinkfest fundraisier, raising thousands for local and national charities. S/he has been bootblack for many women’s, queer, and pan parties, PLA events, and DeaconX. Additionally, s/he is active in her Leather community as a Bad Girls board member and colors holder. S/he has taught bootblacking and leather care classes for the Bootblacking Weekend and Bad Girls.

 

Dylan-Portland, Oregon

Dylan is a switch identified Alpha Boy with a passion for knives, impact, service, and boots! He is the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Coral’s Worker Bee, Daddy’s Boy, A Cobbler, Farmer, and former Northwest Community Bootblack 2011. .

He is a founding member of the PDX Bootblacks and has worked with them

to raise thousands of dollars and counting at Kinkfest and other national Leather/BDSM events. When not producing events or volunteering with the PDX Bootblacks he is a full time cobbler and produces a line of leather care products (www.solesurvivorsundries.com).

He co-produced Boot Weekends 2011, 2012, and 2013, venturing forth on his own and drew attendees from as far away as Germany with a weekend of classes and parties in Portland, OR. This was it’s final year and he looks forward to what’s next.

When not helping make boots happen he plays as hard as he can- and has been at that for 10 years and counting-legally. Edges, switches (the people not the sticks), knives, boots, and service are a few of his favorites. Intelligence is a turn on and how he met his current partner and Daddy, Ty, who he lives in 24/7 service with in Portland, OR. He is an Alpha and often is seen co-topping and causing ruckus with the other kids in the “anarchist bootblack union” as the PDX crew has been lovingly termed.

 

 

Sean Bug-Portland, OR

Sean Bug was raised in a boot and shoe shop owned by his family for three generations. His earliest memories are of the smells of leather, cigars and shoe polish. NO WONDER he’s such a leather…enthusiast ;)  He has been a lover of shoes and boots from a very early age and honed his leather care skills through his journey into the gay men’s leather community, of which he is a part. Sean’s passion for leather care and community inspired him, along with his brother Scout, to create an opportunity for bootblacks to gather together, which went on to become the PDX Bootblacks.

 

He routinely shares his leather care skills with the public at gay/leather bars, kink conferences, country western dance events, people’s back porches and living room floors and has helped raise thousands of dollars for charity through his bootblacking. Sean Bug has worked with regional and international community bootblack titleholders and airport shiners alike, never turning down the opportunity learn, sniff products and share his knowledge – delivered with a sense of humor, laced with stories, and a flirty wink not far behind.

 

(photo credit to MaezImages)

Foxfire, Colorado

Foxfire has been part of the Colorado BDSM and Leather community for fifteen years. She was introduced to bootblacking about eight years ago, and it was love at first sight. After seeking out a mentor and spending three years learning about leather care, she has been bootblacking in the Denver area for five years. These days, she can usually be found around the bootblack stand, up to her elbows in polish, enjoying the fun and high energy. One of her favorite things about bootblacking is working with a client who is feeling down or having a bad day, and seeing that client walk away with a shine and a smile.  In May of 2012, she competed for and won the Colorado Bootblack title in its inaugural year.  Representing and defining this title has been a pleasure, a challenge ,and best of all, an opportunity to learn and grow as a bootblack and as a Leatherwoman.

 

“For me, bootblacking can be many things- meditation, service, a gift, a way to contribute to my community, a way to meet and interact with people, a spiritual exercise, a technical challenge, a contribution to history. I love blacking at bars and social events, but my greatest expertise is technical blacking and restoration. I am an historian of Leather life and culture. Few things make me as happy as acquiring a long-neglected vest or cap, and seeing it slowly become a beautiful piece of heritage leather as I bring it through the restoration process.”

 

Nick Elliott- Portland, OR

After Nick left the US Military in 2004, he spent his early leather years in Texas. He spent 3 years on the board of EROS, a long standing group in Houston, and was an active member of NLA-Houston. Nick currently lives in Portland, OR with his lovely wife, and has a boyfriend in Edinburgh.

Nick is one of the founding members of the PDX bootblacks, and a Portland Leather Alliance member. He is also the Oregon State Bootblack 2011, and International Mr. Bootblack 2012. He believes by taking care of your leather, he’s taking care of you.

Nick calls himself a bi-poly-pagan-kinky-gamer-geek or slut for short. He enjoys switching for impact and rough body play and loves to bite. He is also turned on by bears, armpits, gloves, and cigars.

 

Scout, CA

Scout, Northern California Community Bootblack 2013, is a man with a passion for all things boots and leather-related.  He is one of the resident bootblacks for Mr. S Leather and the bootblack coordinator for the San Francisco Eagle. He’s been bootblacking for over a decade, traveling all over the U.S. to spread the love of boots and leather. Boots, bondage, fisting, impact play, and rough-housing are only the sexy tips of the iceberg with Scout. He is also the brains and driver of the Bootblack van and was a founding member of the PDX Bootblacks in Portland, OR. Scout has also mentored many bootblack babys and is now a happy bootblack grandpa and great grandpa through his value of each one teach one or five! Scout is known to combine body-work with his bootblacking to fuse two excellent forms of service into one specialty.  In his free time he can be found hiking, camping, going on road trips, doing bodywork, bootblacking, volunteering in the community, and spreading his love of boots.

 

Brandi King first discovered the art of bootblacking while helping her Ma’am take care of a new pair of boots. That was over a year ago. Since then, Brandi has been working diligently to learn from the other bootblacks of the Seattle and Portland communities. Brandi is currently being mentored by Northwest Community Bootblack, Paul Grosart. She feels a great sense of camaraderie and honor when in the presence of other bootblacks.She has found her place in the Leather Community. She has had the opportunity to black in public several times and looks forward to the future. She strives to foster a strong sense of community in the Seattle area and hopes to make both her Mentor and her Ma’am proud.

 

Tris, Seattle Washington

Tris was a kinky girl who happened to find the Seattle, Washington Leather community in 2008 and immediately knew that it was her home.

Being asked to “shine” a pair of boots as a service in a previous relationship opened her eyes to the possibilities of bootblacking, and she took to it like a fish to water, starting by learning how to restore leather gear and progressing her way up to working a stand.

Tris is a bootslut who enjoys rough body play; fear play and is up for a challenge of (just about) any kind.  She embraces the traditions of honor, integrity, respect and service in Leather as the cornerstones to her daily life.

She is a founding member and the current Secretary of Seattle girls of Leather; a founding member and the current Treasurer of the Red Dragons Evergreen Chapter Riding Club; Center for Sex Positive Culture member and volunteer, and the current Financial Director/Event Coordinator for Paradise Unbound.

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Michael Ann Gilpin, Warrenton OR

Greetings, I was writing my bio, and realized, I have done quite a bit, and active in my community that I love, and I have family all over the globe. It seems so long ago that I was awarded IMsBB2000. I have done a lot since then, helping in my community, in contests, leather runs, mentoring and much more. However my best accomplishment to date: Surviving double bypass surgery in August of 2010. I had a ten percent chance of living. My community, family, came through with prayers and thoughts. And well here I am, proud to be a fem bootblack, and have amazing friends, family, and of course two wonderful gay men I am privileged to call Daddies, Jim and Wally. I now reside in Warrenton, Oregon.

I never thought I would be part of a History, when I started my journey. Actually, it was just me on the journey to figure out my true self, though it is always in the works.

When you speak of a bootblack, and in the social realm, shoeshiner; we bring history to your feet each time we bootblack. I remember once asking an Old Guard, why it is called bootblacking, instead of shoeshining, or shoeblack in the Leather community. His response; it sounds better. He did have a point. Now the word bootblacking brings new meaning. It brings heart, history, love, brotherhood, and family. I wont say that we are a rare breed, but it does take a certain person, to get into wax, making things shiny, and doing it because we love to do it.

You may not find an actual history of Bootbacking, but if you look under shoeshiner the history does coincide, in some respects. For instance, you actually have to have a history of shoes, and polish to have a history of bootblacking, ( a great reference on polish history http://www.blancoandbull.com/boot-cleaning/boot-polish-history/ )

And though each of us have a foundation, of how to bootblacking we all bring different elements, to the shine, to the person, energy, but always heart. “We really do shine in many different ways”

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LE – Oakland, CA
LE, the Lesbian Extraordinaire, a queer femme slave-identified leather girl, found the leather community the summer of 1995 and has been exploring and loving it ever since.  She is the International Ms Bootblack 15th Annual Celebration Coordinator which entails extensive fundraising and coordinating of fundraising events like Leather & Lace Invasions and High Shine throughout North America. She has been on event planning committees as hospitality coordinator and volunteer coordinator. She co-founded girls of Leather Albuquerque Metro (gLAM) in October of 2006 and is a member of various Leather and queer groups.
 LE is passionate about her community and is an avid queer and Leather community supporter. She has done workshops on safety, behavior modification, developing a mind set, hospitality and service.  LE has lived on both coasts and is now resides in the Bay area and continues to charm her way into people’s hearts with her natural talent and love for performing arts. She frequently travels throughout the country for business and Leather conferences. She is very interested in M/s, relationship dynamics and development, self-growth, awareness, and actualization (and of course the play!!). Whether she is volunteering, performing, or teaching, she always enjoys the opportunity to serve her community.
Spike Tranc
Spike Tranc,  San Diego CA
Spike began bootblacking almost 4 years ago as a service and quickly learned he enjoyed doing it in public as much as private.  Since then he’s established himself at Pleasures and Treasures, a leather adult store, where he teaches bootblacking workshops and offers leather care. Other places you can find Spike blacking are at Harness every month, San Diego Leather Pride and Desire. He loves to combine bootblacking with cigars by licking ash off of boots

Tyesha is first and foremost, a Leatherwoman. She is also a Queer Femme Tomboy, forever student, writer, a lover of history, teacher, musician and "paper schlepper" with an outgoing nature leads her to volunteer her gifts and talents wherever needed. Tyesha has lived in the DFW and surrounding areas for the past decade and officially calls Dallas her home though she currently lives in Wilton Manors, FL. An ex military brat, she knew about her sadomasochistic nature even while a young girl living in Italy and is grateful for the opportunities to discuss and demonstrate her thoughts on it. She also enjoys talking and teaching on generational and minority issues. Tyesha has served as NLA-International Policy and Procedures Chair, President of the Dallas girls of Leather and Leatherati.com as their Calendar Editor, Staff Writing Correspondent and Contributing Editor. She still serves NLA-International and now serves as Editor for Leatherati.com and Registration Coordinator for Gender Odyssey. She has served on many other boards and committees including Beyond Vanilla and Women in Leather International and Dallas Fresh Leather. Tyesha believes that evolution does not happen without knowledge of the past, neither does it truly evolve fully without the help and creativity of the future. She knows that wisdom and foresight have no age limit. When people understand this, history will be repeated less, solutions will be achieved faster and the Elders will have the ability to go on vacation. She is grateful for the mentors and close friends and family that continue to help the growth of her Identity and journey.

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