What is Your Scene Name? Sir Andre
City and State of residence? Houston, Texas
Region of Residence? Central Southwest
What are your pronouns? He/him/His
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) N/A
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? Offline
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink Back in 2003, I was introduced to kink by my girlfriend at the time. This prompted me to want to study more of the lifestyle. We eventually transitioned our vanilla relationship to a D/s one and she became my first submissive.
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? I was living in Mobile, Al at the time. Everything was underground, almost nonexistent. I had to go online and connect with others via chatrooms, before the days of Facebook. I was happy to move to Houston which has a larger presence. However, it was predominantly white. I’m the type to adapt though. I’m happy to see more people from Alabama finding their way to the dark side.
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? Currently, it would have to be my wife. She’s also a Dominant that I’ve mentored. And her growth in the lifestyle has encouraged me to continuously elevate my knowledge and skillset.
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? The most recent book I’ve read was Journey in Leather. It was very informative and dispelled a lot of misinformation I learned about leather from my own studies.
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. My favorite and affirming experience was when i crossed as a Man of Onyx. Being transgender, I often feel like I don’t fit into most spaces. However, finding Onyx was like finding a home. My first bar night will always stay in my heart because I felt like I found my people and I had a blast.
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) Houston People Exchanging Power for two years. Onyx Lone Star as a full brother for 10 months.
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? No
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. For me not having other black leather folks around me didn’t impact my experience too much. I wanted to learn and if that meant being around non-POC people to do so then so be it. By finding various POC spaces, I felt more comfortable which made it easier for me to trust the information if that makes sense.
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’ve been in some spaces where my skin color caused glares from some members. However, if I paid my money and I was invited then I wasn’t about to be scared away. And I always gave feedback in hopes that the organizers pay attention and make changes.
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?
My biggest challenge was being taken seriously as a trans leather Dominant. The lifestyle is still very misogynistic.
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? I’m more comfortable in the greater LGBT community because that’s my first home. Leather has a long way to go when it comes to being diverse and inclusive.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Maybe
Please explain your previous response. In some spaces leather is still very non-POC, even our home bar is predominantly white. So we’re still fighting to carve out our space in this community.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? Find your tribe but also don’t be afraid to explore. There’s something to learn from everyone.
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