What is Your Scene Name? Deep Stealth ONYX, Soulewax
City and State of residence? Atlanta, GA
Region of Residence? Southeast
What are your pronouns?
What is your gender Identity? Transman
What is your sexual identity? Pansexual
What is are your racial identities? African American
What is/are your ethnicities? (Culture, nationality, ancestry, language) Afro-American, Nigerian, Irish, English
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? Play party
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink I was at MAL, got invited to my first play party & haven’t looked back since
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? It was diverse, being in DC/MD/VA area – mostly straight not too many queer parties or gatherings… Now I’m in ATL and it’s significantly different, less opportunity or perhaps I just haven’t met the right people
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? My mother, mostly because she’s lived nearly 90 years
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? “This is Just My Face”, Gabourey Sidibe – because she is everything. No one realizes how being fat, black & socially not accepted as beautiful can make you feel. If you live through all that, can create success, you are a true superhero. I strive to be that kind of hero to myself, my children and those who love me .
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. All experience is my favorite. Really. Every time I get to share space with like-minded folk I recognize my privilege and it is the best time just for that. Even if I never pull a glove or a whip out of my bag.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share. Nah I kind of hear things and interested to write them down, then promptly forget… oh here’s one: “The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class — it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.” -Anna Julia Cooper
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels) ONYX, 5 years
Are you a founding member of any club(s)? No
If you answered yes to previous question please list club(s), or write n/a. n/a
Are you a founding member of any organization? No
If you answered yes to previous question please list organization(s), or write n/a. n/a
Were there any other Black leather folks around in the leather scene when you came into the scene/community? Yes
If so, did you find that you gravitated more towards each other? If not, how did this affect your experience? Did you build your own community? Say more about your experience. Of course, in fact this is not to be separatist but I don’t typically go to events where I know there’s no black and brown folks present. Everyone wants to see someone who looks like them, I never knew that I felt that way until transition, but it’s a fact of life now .
Do you think being Black has hampered your experience in the leather/kink community at all? Maybe
If it has, what kind of things did you do to try and remedy those issues? If it hasn’t, please describe. Yes, and I have to say I haven’t done much – I wanna fully own all the times I haven’t been a trailblazer, for those spaces that are diverse now there at some point was a someone who spent a whole lot of time being the only person of color, then one more, then another – those people pave the way for change, I want to be better at being that trailblazer IRL to pay it forward so to speak.
Is there a specific instance where you feel your Blackness enhanced your experience in Leather? No
If you answered “yes” or “maybe” please explain.
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity? Being trans has always been more of a barrier than being black. Even though, you see that I’m black first – I feel black first, but in a space that is heavily focused on sex and how fuckable you may or may not be is one instance that gender identity may get a higher order of precedence
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? That varies… I tend not to internalize shit that’s not meant to be internalized. That means if I don’t know you well, I’m not really concerned with you. It’s an automatic defense that has served most of us well, we can’t get hurt if our feelings aren’t exposed- so I walk with a guard up in both cause you never know. I don’t think there’s a difference in how you’re treated that’s consistent enough between the two to draw any real conclusions
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Yes
Please explain your previous response. I’m optimistic 🙂
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? Be who you are. Don’t be fake. Don’t take any shit, and help the people you see getting shit on, regardless of whether or not you think they’d do the same for you. Try to maintain your values but be open to flipping the script when it’s necessary or for your personal, emotional or mental benefit.
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