identity politics

Ready to Make Waves: Two Recent Inspirational Leather Speeches

I’ve heard more speeches in the leather community lately than I have ever in my life, and I gotta say — I’m moved. There is some beautiful oratory happening, some strong inspiration, some insight and sharing and vulnerability and power that I haven’t seen in a long time.

It’s how I used to feel, in feminist and queer activist circles. At all those rallies and meetings and events. But I haven’t felt that way about queer and feminist events in a while. Leather feels more at home, and more edgy, and like more relevant topics.

Here are two examples from this past year: Bianca Spencer, current Ms Rubber San Francisco, at the Ms Powerhouse Leather San Francisco contest, and Jack Thompson, at International Mr Leather in May of last year, delivering what became his winning speech.

Bianca Spencer’s speech from Ms Powerhouse Leather SF contest

Bianca, the current Ms Rubber San Francisco, gave this speech during the Ms Powerhouse Leather San Francisco contest — and I was moved. I mean, I think we all were. I haven’t been so inspired by a speech in a long time. Thank you, Bianca!

Jack Thompson’s speech at International Mr. Leather

I haven’t found the transcript for Jack’s speech yet, though I think I saw one at some point so I do think it’s out there somewhere. Jack is breaking down boundaries as an out, bi-racial, bisexual, HIV-positive trans man, and there has been some push back from the cis men in leather, but equally powerful support. It seems clear to me why he won, when I heard this. #JackIsMyIML

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert.

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