Colorado Leather Fest 2016 – my perspective
For most people Colorado Leather Fest 2016 started on Friday mid-afternoon or evening. For me, it started almost 3 years before. You see, about three years prior my MOO (Master of Origin) heard stirrings about a new event that was going to be started in Colorado and got both of us invited to that initial board meeting. At that meeting, he recommended me for Operations, the on-site director, who would make everything go smoothly and ensure the event producers were available to be seen and talked to because everyone wants to talk to event producers. I don’t know why this is but every event I have attended this has been true for.
Friday CLF 2016. My things were mostly already packed. (I was still tweaking the bootblack kit) and at 7 am I was at DIA near baggage claim, very excited and slightly nervous. I was lucky enough to be able to pounce upon (or volunteer for) a big service opportunity (outside of just helping run the event itself) and be able to pick up our head judge and his slave from the airport. Luckily they looked very much like their pictures on the website (he was even wearing the same hat) and I was able to pick them up without incident. They asked if I would drive them thru McDonalds and I countered with an offer to take them to my place and make them breakfast. They kindly accepted and I got to enjoy cooking for more than just the hubby and I that morning. They are great conversationalist and if you ever have a chance to sit down and talk with them (Master Malik and slave cathy), I recommend you do.
After breakfast, we loaded up the car and headed towards the hotel, Jako-the hubby(bless him) had called ahead and asked about getting people checked into their rooms early and after dropping off our guests we headed out to buy those last few things we needed/wanted so that I was ready for the weekend.
I don’t think I stopped moving from then on, except for the seven hours of sleep I got during the weekend. Our opening ceremonies were beautiful. There was only one real complaint I kept hearing from people and yes, it started Friday night. “How can I attend everything I want to attend? There is so much awesome going on” This is the perfect complaint to have when you are running an event! The Leather ball, I did not see much of because I was hovering in the back of the bootblack lounge with about 20 other people watching High Shine and learning parts of a 15-year history of International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack. This is very important to me because these ladies helped pave the road so that I, as a pansexual heavy fem, can bootblack at events and even be recognized as a good bootblack! These ladies and many others helped blaze the trail I, and many others, am walking and expanding.
Saturday night was yummy food and then the room was open to all to come in and enjoy the next portions of the contest and some fun entertainment. Including Marsha Mellow’s return after debuting last year and was joined by a new debut artist Somona Loving in a duet to the song Sisters from White Christmas. Master Trent again missed Marsha completely and Sir Gareth was absent during Samona’s performance. I guess they must have been out smoking. They certainly missed out!
The next step was a gift to Momma Vi and her library of many boxes of handwritten correspondence and newsprints. If you have been following Reclaiming our Leather History, you know the details. If you haven’t, get on it!!! It is an amazing group and we need boots on the ground the help us keep finding our own history and items and make sure we don’t lose our culture.
Sunday brought me more unexpected delights. In answer to the “how are you doing?” question, I kept being asked, I smiled happily and stated “exhausted” in complete honesty.
At the keynote brunch, I did eat a little bit but I couldn’t eat much. I was too emotional myself both from helping and from play and from day three of leather family awesomeness. Momma Vi spoke to us about how not showing up in our larger communities allows us to be restricted and diminished by the “dominate” vanilla culture. I hope others heard it and were as disgusted and angry as I was and that all of us show up at all polls to ensure our own protections by voting our lifestyle on any issue that comes up. Anger can be an amazing motivator.
Next was closing remarks then the closing ritual, which I had realized when I did sit down to eat was not only the one I suggested but I was the one who was doing it!!! Whoops! Ok what did I submit again? Do I remember? Yep, I do, good. The ritual went well and more people had more feels and more tears happened. I thought we were done with the feels until we all said our goodbyes, but I was wrong. Haus Dragon and House of Sinfulpleasures, the houses my bubbas (baby bootblacks are bubbas to me when I have had the honor of getting them stared on thier paths)are in, weren’t done with me. They came up to the stage and called me up. As my mind was already in clean up and tear down mode, I was confused but game. Then they thanked me for all I had done for their bootblacks and gave me a gift from the silent auction. A full pass to WILL (Women’s International Leather Legacy) in August. I had seen it in the auction and had thought about bidding on it myself but then got so busy I forgot to bid on anything and here they all were sending me there to a place where leather women are celebrated!!! My turn for tears and hugs all around. I think my regular quote this weekend about my extended leather family was “I love my family! Y’all suck!” usually said through teary eyes and a smile
The final thing for me before tear down and going home was helping LE break a law in my first ever really public pony play. In Colorado, it is illegal to ride a horse while intoxicated. She had her drink and I got to be the horse! Here’s the video. It was a great way to enjoy a good laugh to “end” the event!