What is Your Scene Name? Rayne
City and State of residence? Baltimore, MD
Region of Residence? Mid- Atlantic
What are your pronouns? She/her/hers, They/them/theirs
What is your gender Identity? Non-Binary
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, Nigerian ancestry
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? A friend lol
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink My curiosity started in my mid 20’s. My partner at the time was so not into kink. Well, actually she was really obsessed with my elbows. So during sex, she would lick, kiss, and hump my elbows. But she wasn’t heavy into kink like I was. When we separated, I decided to do some exploring. I met Sir S’ango at a work retreat. From that moment it was on and popping!
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? I haven’t been in the scene for long, so I haven’t really seen any changes. Locally it’s cool. I prefer to play in queer spaces. The het and gay cis-male scene are ok but not for me. Although I love to show up and show them how hard women really play!
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? My mother. There was something powerful in watching her struggle being a single mother. We never really got along because of our strong personalities. She worked and hustled to make shit happen!
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? Are You There God, It’s Me, Margret
I read that book over and over again as a child. It’s about a little girl dealing with the woes of life and puberty. When she needed someone to talk to, she wrote to God because no one understood her or what was going on with her. I felt the same way as a child and kinda sort of the same way as an adult. When I need answers, I turn to Spirit and Ancestors for answers.
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. Winning the MALW title! The preparation and the contest were both an AMAZING and AFFIRMING experience. I was connected to so many ppl in the community. People I didn’t even know came together as my prep team. An awesome group of people made for an awesome experience!!
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share. You only get one chance to live your best life! Do it authentically and unapologetically!!
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels) Mid-Atlantic Onyx Pearls: Sergeant at Arms; Education Chair
Associate member of FIST
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. So the best way for me to answer this question is to talk about my first dungeon event that I attended for the purpose of participating. It was last year at a Unity Munch POC event, can’t recall the name of it. W/we were in a space in the dungeon that was a little intimate. Maybe about 4 or 5 couples were playing in the space. The energy in the room was so intoxicating!! Everyone’s play got into this amazing rhythm. You could just feel the energy passing through each person. I’ve yet to experience anything else like it.
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. I try to own every space that I walk into. Sometimes it’s great, others it’s a mess. Either way, I make the statement of ‘I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. You either deal with it or Nah!’
Is there a specific instance where you feel your Blackness enhanced your experience in Leather? No
If you answered “yes” or “maybe” please explain. N/a
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity? Learning to accept me! Learning to fall in love with the things that I like!!
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? Leather community, I’m either accepted in a space or not. I get way more dirty looks being a Black woman; A black woman with a male submissive. How dare a black woman hold a Leather title. I’ve had men, especially, walk right pass me and not acknowledge my presence. I have had people mistake me for other titleholders. LGBT community, I am well respected.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? No
Please explain your previous response. I can’t even explain my response lol see above answer
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? Find ya people!!! Find a tribe of folks that look like you!! Explore with them!! Empower each other!
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