What is Your Scene Name? Exile ONYX
City and State of residence? Baltimore
Region of Residence? Mid-Atlantic
What are your pronouns? He/him/His
What is your gender Identity? Transman
What is your sexual identity? Queer
What is are your racial identities? African American, Caucasian
What is/are your ethnicities? (Culture, nationality, ancestry, language) Jamaican/Irish – English
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? Offline
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink Been into the look since I was 12, but started being a more active member of the community when I was 18. I started going to regular kinky play parties and met some leather folks and knew I belonged there.
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? I grew up in the Bay Area. Leather is all around. I went to Folsom when I was 17 and that was totally normal. Lol
I moved to Baltimore recently and the com out there is different. Smaller, but just as mighty.
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? There are many in my life, but I’d have to say my aunt Angela. She is the funniest and toughest person I know.
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? V for Vendetta. When I read it, it gave me chills. When I saw the movie, I realized how close to that exact scenario we actually are.
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. My Going to IML party at the DC Eagle. It was small, not a lot of people showed up, but the people in my life that I have grown to love out in Baltimore came. I was less than a year into living there and that was the first time I felt like I had a community there.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share. I am enough.
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels) ONYX (founding father NW)
Queer Sphere (secretary)
Alameda Leather
Are you a founding member of any club(s)? Yes
If you answered yes to previous question please list club(s), or write n/a. OYNX North West
Are you a founding member of any organization? No
If you answered yes to previous question please list organization(s), or write n/a. NA
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. Yes and no. It depended on the event and place.
Do you think being Black has hampered your experience in the leather/kink community at all? Yes
If it has, what kind of things did you do to try and remedy those issues? If it hasn’t, please describe. I joined some fellow black leathermen and created ONYX NW.
Is there a specific instance where you feel your Blackness enhanced your experience in Leather? Yes
If you answered “yes” or “maybe” please explain. When I joined ONYX, I felt like I had family in leather. Now when I go to any event anywhere in the US, I know I have family there.
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity? I have had multiple people come to me and say that they didn’t think black folks were into Leather (including other POCs). I have had to do a lot of edits and emotional labor to deal with this stigma.
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? I am overwhelming treated better in the leather community. Even before I won IML.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Maybe
Please explain your previous response. I think it’s getting better. We have a long way to go, but progress is progress.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? We belong here and are just as kinky as anyone else in the community. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
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