What is Your Scene Name? miss jamila
City and State of residence? North Hollywood
Region of Residence? CA
What are your pronouns? She/her/hers
What is your gender Identity? Femme
What is your sexual identity? Queer
What is are your racial identities? African American
What is/are your ethnicities? (Culture, nationality, ancestry, language) African American
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? I cane across the site Black Beat and it listed a munch that I went to.
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink I went to a munch 20 some miles away from where I was living because it was the only one that was for Black folks. At the munch, I met a Dominant and his slave and they invited me to a play party going on later that night. At the party, I bottomed for the Dominant and it was so exhilarating and sexy and freeing! It was incredible to discover eroticism without having to have sex with someone. I was hooked!
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? The scene was definitely smaller, very, very White which was rather lonely, but more chances of pick up play than I see now and it was more protocol-driven which was both cool but could also be alienating. Now, the scene in LA feels more diverse which I love! However, it’s also more separated which is both a benefit and a problem. I see a lot more versatility in play and how people dress and there are a lot more events than before. I also see tons of new people so it doesn’t feel as communal as it once did and I worry that new people are either getting exploited or they come in with a lot of entitlement and not aware of what and who has gone before and that there are lots to learn.
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? I’d say, like lots of others, Mama Vi and Mollena Williams-Haas are my two biggest influences besides my original mentor. Both of these women are brilliant and powerful and their submission, grace, creativity, and joy continue to inspire me to search for the dynamic I long for.
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? The Sleeping Beauty series blew my mind and introduced me to all kinds of play and sexual pairings, hot!
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. For seven years I went an all women’s Leather event in Palm Springs called DESIRE and the variety of play, of bodies, of types of womanhood, types of dynamics, changed me for the better. I’ve been set on fire, won two fisting contests, laid under the stars while my friend threw needles in my body, smoked cigars, and laughed the night away with women who became my first chosen family.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share. -Take what you want and pay for it, says God.
-Life is like licking honey off a thorn.
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels) Threshold Society, member for 8 years, librarian 1 year, board member 1 year.
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. Unfortunately, I did not connect well with the few Black people that I came across in my early days. I felt very lonely and as the years have gone by I have become so hungry to see more Black folks playing and discovering Leather. It’s been really cool to see more Black/POC centered parties popping up within the last three years and I’m in a better position to travel and meet other Black folks and build community.
Do you think being Black has hampered your experience in the leather/kink community at all? No
If it has, what kind of things did you do to try and remedy those issues? If it hasn’t, please describe. Being Black hasn’t hampered me. Racism and sexism and how people treat slaves and subs have been the problem. Finding the Black Beat site and having the opportunity to speak with Mama Vi gave me a grounding and pride in being kinky and wanting to serve.
Is there a specific instance where you feel your Blackness enhanced your experience in Leather? Yes
If you answered “yes” or “maybe” please explain. Black people live with and engage with power dynamics in specific ways ALL THE TIME. I believe this gives a unique texture to, understanding and richness of experience that shows up in our play and our sex.
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity?
Finding a Master. I don’t know how much race plays into that or not. But there are too many people who treat or expect s-types to be doormats or passive and I’ve wondered if I’ve been overlooked as an s-type because of how I move through the world.
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? I feel comfortable enough in the larger LGBTQ community but my heart-place, the people with whom I feel most at home, who step toward their sexuality and embrace it are my Leather community.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Maybe
Please explain your previous response. Not completely sure of what the question was asking, but I believe Black people have helped to create and belong in Leather culture. It would not be as rich without us.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? Go to classes, READ and JOURNAL, document your journey, don’t be afraid to have conversations about how to cultivate and protect your mind body and spirit. Not all skin folk are kinfolk so find people whose words and actions line up. Build a community with your own and learn to build bridges with others. Have fun and allow kink/Leather to help you grow to be more of who you are!
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