Mar 062015
 

As International Ms Leather 2010, I weathered my own share of controversy. The IMsL 2015 has already weathered quite a bit of controversy. Those of you who have been following along on FaceBook and FetLife don’t need a rehash, but suffice to say that we’ve been waging wars on many fronts, starting with this image, which was to be the 2015 t-shirt.

IMSL

I saw it as problematic FIRST and FOREMOST because your main job as IMsL / IMsBB is outreach. Kiiiinda hard to do that with a dickgun shirt. Secondly, in this climate of terrible gun violence, I thought it was insensitive to have a sexually violent image on the shirt for a women’s Leather event. This isn’t a handshake-image.

Many people thought this was true. Still others thought it a “politically-correct over-reaction.” In the ensuing debate, some really busted shit happened. People I trusted violated my trust and insulted me. Lines were drawn and the conversation got real ugly. I was accused of being a hypocrite, because I have dome edgy scenes. As if engaging in consensual BDSM role-play means I cannot stand against non-consensual violence? How that makes any sense is beyond me. But I digress…

But in spite of the flamewars, some folks stayed productive. And tried to make shit happen. Some folks got together and drafted a letter to explain what we were looking for, and what the Producers of IMsL could do to help heal these wounds. And the Producing team listened.

I want to thank Angel Adeyoha and Koja Adeyoha for doing so much heavy lifting with drafts of the letter. I need to thank Sharrin and Pat for actually listening and doing the work. I must thank Kona Katranya for being my Mahalia. And I gotta shout out Ms. South Africa Leather, Selogadi Mampane, for reminding me how fierceness can stand even when others tell you to stand down.

And no – NOW I feel like I can attend with an open heart.

Through the generosity of Herr Meister, I’ve been granted permission and the time to go to IMsL/IMsBB next month. I need to figure out the finances, but I have faith a way will be made. I know, I know, who the fuck cares if I go to a Leather Contest? But I know some do. And I feel now that so much has been sacrificed and so many good people have worked so hard that my body in the room does matter. So, I’m-a try to make it, y’all. Plus I hear that Dixie De La Tour is doing a Bawdy Storytelling event there on Sunday night. Y’all know I can tell some stories….

 (or paypal to mollena.williams@gmail.com)
If you have some bucks to move our way, we’d be grateful. I say “our” because much of my desire to attend can be attributed to my feeling compelled to support Selogadi, who is the first Ms. South Africa Leather, and who is doing so with an unparalleled fierceness. We’d be grateful. If you can contribute so that I can be there to support her, as well as the Producers as they move forward, I would be grateful. If you can contribute so that I may continue the work we are doing to dismantle privilege and to further dialogue between and around these thorny issues, I will do my utmost to do this work with integrity and transparency. And signal-boosting / re-posting helps. A lot.Sincerely,Mollena Lee WilliamsMs. San Francisco Leather 2009

International Ms Leather 2010

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  3 Responses to “International Ms Leather 2015 and me.”

  1. Sorry you had to deal with it. It seems really weird that the community would get hostile over an issue like this. Doesn’t make the community look very sane at all. I agree with you that the dick-gun image is inappropriate unless the NRA is co-sponsoring. It’s also just strange and not aesthetically good.

  2. I can’t go and I am delighted to help send you. Thank you for your clarity & courage. I am grateful to all involved in this hard work.

  3. This is the best way that I know to reach you. Please read!
    I must say that I thoroughly enjoy your work and view you as bold advocate of alternative sexualities. I Know that you output voluminous work on race play, but I have questions that are not as typical. Is it actually beneficial to differentiate real versus fantasy in race play? Race play, and all human relationships, do not exist on the static, rigid binary of real/fantasy. I believe, rather than trying to distinguish the two, we should consider how these two things influence and collide into our subjectivity. Said another way, our fAntasy is a part of our identity in important ways. That being said, our discourse about race play should seriously consider how fucked up we are by eroticizing the power dynamics of racism. Rather than feign liberation, I want to explore our entrapment and replication of the very systems and philosophies that we’re trying to transcend. I’m white and a thorough liberal. I’m also a fan of misogyny and racism in my play. We can never fully use fantasy to mock, transcend, disavow, and make light of our pain. I’m really interested in your thoughts. Thanks

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