Happy Sunday! Please enjoy this keynote speech given by Q Wilson at Leather Reign in 2018! #POCKLE #WomensHistoryMonth #BlackWomensHistory #Kink #Leather #Q #QWilson #QueerLeather #Kinky #History #Herstory #PeopleofColorKinkandLeatherHistory #POCKLEWomensHistoryMonth #pocklekeynoteproject
“Thank you Tris,
Good evening everyone. Before I start I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the folks who are volunteering this weekend. Sometimes we take for granted what our experience would be like on our magical weekends if we didn’t have so many people step up to do the “grunt” work.
Of course, I want to thank the staff and producers of Leather Reign for inviting me to speak.
Should this address go completely off the rails, please see Becca Bee, Tris, and/or Travis with all of your questions, comments, and/or criticisms.
If you’re playing the banquet table version of buzzword bingo, my advice to you is ½ shots or you’ll be hammered by page 3 of my address.
I have to tell y’all, keynoting is a tiny bit stressful for me. While I am quite the extrovert, this is only the second time that I've actually keynoted. I think of myself as just a boi… a bootblack, not someone who commands an audience in any way. I'm no Master nor do I consider myself a dominate even.
I wondered what it is that I could share with folks who are primarily in master-slave dynamics and many of whom are my elders. I honestly couldn’t think of what I could share that would be something that you didn’t already know.
Well, I am a trainer and facilitator so instead of worrying about what it is I could tell a bunch of people who are primarily in Master/slave dynamics, I started to think about what is it that I could share that might be impactful to (hopefully) all in attendance.
Storytelling is kinda my thing. The stories I relay the best are my own. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to share bit and pieces of me in hopes of helping you understand what’s important to me and why it should be important to you.
I know I’m preaching to the choir for the most part here, but if you don’t have a choir robe just yet don’t worry, there’s still time.
I try not to take for granted that there is a choir, that chorus of folks who are already on board with what you're saying ya know?
Many of you took for granted what could happen in 2016 when we voted. Now we're all looking at a very different reality. Well, actually only some of us are looking at a very different reality.
Now that your collective indifference has made a shift so seismic in our society that even straight white men feel it…
Shit's gettin’ real
If you’re feelin’ some kind of way about what I just said, ask yourself why?
To those of you who have recently joined the ranks of the marginalized, forgotten, and lied to folks everywhere, from what was once the middle class, welcome to the Rebellion.
Here’s your first lesson:
Intersectionality, what is it and why should it matter to you? Intersectionality, by definition, is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
I identify as a POC, AFAB (assigned female at birth, a woman), queer, ethically non-monogamous, and a sex worker and an awful lot of other things. None of those identities or labels offer me a “leg up” in society. They are often the reason I am denied access, overlooked, and almost always underpaid.
Intersectionality, for me, means that there is not one daily aspect of life where all of these things don’t come into play in some way, shape or form. My very existence is the center of these intersections
Intersectionality, for me, means that I *must* factor into each and every thing I do, what any 1 aspect of who I am may impact how I'm able to move through the world.
I must factor in whether wearing my hoodie while driving at night with the hood up because my ears are cold is worth it because I might just be that person that quote fits the description. I have to choose between being comfortable in my own damn car and my very existence.
Lesson # 2
The world is changing
Your world is changing
We must adapt
We must evolve
or we will die
What does that evolution look like? That evolution looks like collectively moving from mere tolerance to full acceptance.
Which brings us to lesson 3
Acceptance versus tolerance what is that even? What’s the difference anyway?
Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
Think about what people mean when they say your kink may not be my kink but that’s ok. You can tell by the way they say it the tone in their voice what the underlying message often is.
But acceptance, acceptance means more. Acceptance means doing more.
Acceptance looks like you're not just going to offer a scholarship for queer or POC people, you're actively going to reach out to queer/POC and other marginalized groups to make sure people know what's available.
Acceptance looks like not just tolerating women in the Leather community, but accepting and acknowledging the place of the lesbians who held the hands of all those gay men, leather or not, as they lay dying.
I’ve been told that I’m one of the “cool” kids. So I want to share with you some of the things I think are super cool.
So here is Lesson #4
I think, It’s super cool to use clear, open, honest, communication.
I think It’s cool to care about the experiences of people different than you
I think It’s cool to ask the marginalized folks in your world how you can best support them.
It’s hella cool to listen to them and actually *hear* them.
I think it’s cool as shit to educate yourself and not expect marginalized folks to do the emotional labor for you.
Your honorifics are not more important than my pronouns. Which are he/him/his by the way since so very few of you asked.
Yes, change is hard.
Yes change is uncomfortable
Lean into that shit!!
Embrace your new world
Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.