Here in Leather and Kink, safety should be our top priority. So I appreciate a few minutes of your attention while I explain some of the lacking features of our culture. You can follow along with your listening ears, and your privilege left behind in your pocket.
It is always so wonderful to be here in Albuquerque. When Diane asked me to do the keynote this year, I was honored. When she asked me to teach, I couldn’t say no… and then there was this opportunity to get to know this year’s contestants as a judge…whatever you need! Then she asked me to sing too and I was like “Whoa! Now you are asking too much!” She wasn’t the only person that asked me to sing *cough Kathryn clears throat Gary*… and well, I hate to disappoint anyone so I will sing a little something.
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 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 [...]
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."
"I walk into the Eagle Los Angeles on a busy Friday night. After getting my drink, I notice one of my friends walks in with someone I don’t recognize. This stranger has a thick beard with a shaved head. He stands six feet tall. He has a stocky, muscular body adorned by an intricate harness and tight leather pants. His nipples stand on end. Mine do too. My friend makes small talk with me and proceeds to introduce me to this new stranger. This stranger interrupts, “We’ve already met. You’re Rahul. We hung out last week at the other leather bar.” Baffled, I disagreed, “No, we’ve never met before because I was working last week.” He responded, “I couldn’t forget someone as hairy as you are. You have an excellent brown skin tone too. Very hot.” Then I say, “I’m not Rahul. I’m Ali.” After inspecting my physique and my face, he says “I’m so sorry. You look exactly like . . .” I’ve had this conversation many times after moving back to Los Angeles from San Francisco. The truth is that Rahul and I are good friends, but we look nothing alike. We are different people. I turned to the internet for answers."