South Carolina Pride in Leather Keynote by LE 10 Sept 2016 “I want to feel like a bird, singing in an open cage…” Thank you South Carolina Pride in Leather for inviting me to be part of this wonderful weekend. That lyric is from a song called “Then So It Is” by Melissa Ferrick. I [...]
By Sarah Humble for Women's International Leather Legacy (WILL) I was sitting with Vi Johnson the night she gave a keynote speech to Colorado Leatherfest last April. As the emcee started reading her bio she looked at me, a touch embarrassed, and told me to remind her she needed to shorten that bio before her [...]
by Catherine Gross Speech for M/s Gathering – April 22nd, 2016 Thank you for asking me to speak. It’s a particular honor to speak at a conference whose workshops are composed by those attending and not the voice of one educator at a time. Speeches are generally about what is not quite right and highlight [...]
There are some exciting things happening in the Portland Leather scene! I was hearing ripples from friends as far away as San Francisco about a new, very active men's club called Flaggers PDX, as well as whispers about a new rubber club. When I asked for more details it seemed that there was one common [...]
I have a short video to share with you this morning that one of my titleholders put together last year: VIDEO Now that you have seen a little bit of history and had a good laugh, good morning. Master Jim, slave marsha and Sir Cougar, I thank you for the opportunity this morning the share some thoughts and ideas. When I was asked to give the keynote speech this year at South Plains, I was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and had just spent most of the day trying to make some tough decisions that I knew would affect some lives in our Leather community. I was also able to decide what I wanted to talk with you today about.
"It is a privilege to be here. I am honored to have been asked to speak today and thank you for this opportunity. I was entrusted with the title of American Leatherwoman only 5 months ago. To date, my journey has been filled with varied experiences and continued learning. I have traveled quite a bit with no plans of slowing down just yet. I have attended large events but I am really enjoying and cherishing my involvement with smaller events like this. This is where the heart beats in our community and where I can really get to know you."
(keynote address, Leather Leadership Conference XX, March 18, 2016) For 37 years, my workplace has been the television industry, and trust me, it’s very industrial. Television employs about as many Americans as the firearms industry. In fact, there are about as many guns as there are TV sets in the country, upwards of 300 million. The [...]
This was originally a blog found here. With the author's permission, it has been reprinted on Leatherati for your enjoyment. From "fuzzbutt07:" Last night I was approached by someone who is very prominent in the leather community and asked to do one thing as I gear up for the next stage in my title run. This [...]
Note: The following transcript was created using the notes that Viola Johnson graciously provided to Leatherati.com. Unfortunately no video of the speech exists. While these notes do not represent a full transcript of the speech, they do capture the vast majority of her remarks. While slights edits were made for clarity, this transcript attempts to [...]
""Im about to tell you a very personal, a very real story. Bare with me, as my face may leak. I was physically abused as a child which led me to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. My mother always got involved with these ridiculous relationships which were never healthy for her or her children. She was an alcoholic and I watched her deteriorate during my early teens. So, I was a mom to her other kids.""
"Thank you to the National LGBTQ Task Force for creating this award. There was a time, not so long ago, when many in the LGBTQ community wished the people into leather would dress normally at gay pride marches, and worried that we held back progress. Back then, I argued and won gay rights impact litigation by day as a practicing lawyer, but snuck my boots and leather pants out of the house at night so I could change in my car…out of sight...twice a night…night after night."