For all who are grieving or wanting to

All About You Photography

I wrote this last year when SouthWest Leather Conference ended forever.  At least the one I knew did.  On the Third weekend of January in 2014, I attended my first ever leather conference and fell in love.  In 2016, I competed for and won the SouthWest Bootblack title.  For the next 2 years, I taught and attend and joined my Family there to start the year off grounded in the love for the lifestyle and the spiritual centering SWLC always brought me.  I was scheduled to teach again in 2020, but the event ended suddenly and harshly.  During this time when we are all grieving, I thought seeing this post might help you know that you are not alone in your feels.  There is so much we will all miss that may never come back, from people, to clubs, to bars and businesses.  So many places we non-traditional folxs call home are gone.  Many of our tribe and family will be missing when it is safe to gather again.  Please be gentle with yourself as you go through these feelings.  

I’m grieving right now. 

My body knows I should be “at home” now. That I should be staying up too late with cigars and Bootblacks, play, and chocolate cake. That I should be getting up too early to meditate with a kinky Buddhist monk. That my weekend should be filled with classes, connections, and contests. That I should be cheering on friends new and old. That the woo should be knocking me over and energizing me all weekend. My body knows pain and passion and hooks and needles and drums and dancing should be near. My body knows that slowly we will all leave. Slowly we will each take a piece of that woo home with us to carry us through another year. My body knows that hugs and gropes and tears should be happening as we wander off until our paths cross again. 

My head knows why this isn’t happening. My heart breaks around all that caused this not to happen. My soul cries in longing for the way I started my years before. My gut wrenches in knots knowing that it won’t see those I look for. 

So this weekend I grieve. Southwest Leather Conference, thank you for what you were to me. Dance of Souls, thank you for what you were to me. I will miss you for as long as I live. I will endeavor to speak of you with the joy I knew you with. You were my first Leather conference. You were my home. I miss all that you were to me and to many. 

For now, I grieve. 

xiaoyi