What is Your Scene Name? Sir Guy aka Sir Guy DeBrownsville
City and State of residence? Brooklyn, New York
Region of Residence? New York/Northeast USA
What are your pronouns? He/him/His
What is your gender Identity? Male
What is your sexual identity? Heterosexual
What is are your racial identities? African, African American
What is/are your ethnicities? (Culture, nationality, ancestry, language) Black American with Southern roots and West & Central African DNAD
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? Offline
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink First, just something I occasionally did, then a female friend showed me the scene briefly, then I found TES on my own.
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? I started in an educational group, which was very cordial and accepting and conducive to learning, then it turned political as I got deeper. The politics is still there as is racism, sexism, homophobia, trans phobia, etc. I am much more selective and don’t interact with the scene proper much anymore.
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? In my LIFE? My mother and deceased dad, both of whom taught me pride, culture, the value of reading and learning and carrying myself with dignity, as well as compassion and empathy and integrity.
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? So many… The Spook Who Sat By the Door, Manchild in the Promised Land, and Native Son were required reading when I was in junior high school. Elijah Muhammad’s “Message to the Blackman” was also influential. They were all lessons about the struggle of Black folks in America, about inequities and a system that was poised to destroy us… and it was about fighting back and not capitulating. Most of the books that have influenced me are either related to the struggle of Black people in the wilderness in North America, leadership or, like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, strategies that can also be used in every day life to overcome life’s obstacles.
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. Wow! To narrow it down to one experience is difficult, given the length of time I’ve been around and the number of experiences I’ve had. Perhaps the first time I presented at a large event. Once, I had been told that I would be presenting at an event, and then they reneged, saying essentially that they needed someone with more name recognition and experience and I was deeply hurt. So, when I got an opportunity to present and it was well received, I felt great about it and it opened the doors for me to present in many other conferences and groups thereafter. I really enjoy public speaking, having done it since I was six, so it was encouraging and invigorating.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share. “Only when you accept that one day you’ll die can you let go, and make the best out of life. And that’s the big secret. That’s the miracle.” -Gabriel Bá As a person who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and who has been living with it, this is a reminder to keep it moving.
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels) Emeritus Board member, The Eulenspiegel Society, serving as an active board member for seven years; Director of MAsT Metro New York, Director for three years, prior Assistant Director and Facilitator for three years. Founder of The Dark Lair: BDSM Support and Education for People of Color, Director for four years, now on hiatus real time but still active on Facebook and FetLife; a former Associate Member of ONYX NY/Northeast three years and an Associate member of the Dyke Uniform Corps, two years.
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. The Dark Lair: BDSM Support and Education for People of Color
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. Not particularly. I think we associated with each other about as much as with anyone else. I’m a Dominant Black man. Of the two other Black men there, one was a submissive into race play, the other I think was a switch who was a rope bottom and I’m not a rope person. The Black women I met were Dominant and while we spoke and I attended some of their group meetings I don’t feel there was any particularly special relationship between us, except that one was an icon and I respect her tremendously.
Do you think being Black has hampered your experience in the leather/kink community at all? Maybe
If it has, what kind of things did you do to try and remedy those issues? If it hasn’t, please describe. Initially, I didn’t think so because I was eager to learn and quick to help out. As I’ve settled in, I’ve observed people let their true personalities ooze out and though I try to be diplomatic, I’m not one to keep quiet when I see things aren’t right. I know for a certainty that my race played a part in some things. I try to come from a rational point of view, even when emotional. My upbringing has me trying to find common ground, and to seek amicable resolution but sometimes its just not possible. IN those cases, rather that waste my energy on a battle that will not be resolved, I’d rather leave the toxicity behind.
Is there a specific instance where you feel your Blackness enhanced your experience in Leather? Yes
If you answered “yes” or “maybe” please explain. Only when it comes to using my knowledge and speaking ability to address issues of race and when it comes to welcoming other Black folks and People of Color. I make it my beusiness to go out of my way to do that.
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity? Learning to be Dominant in a consensual authority based relationship. What existed in my mind and the reality of things was entirely different. It has taken me years to adjust to personalities, preferences, limitations and my own growth and development. I had hoped it would be organic but it is not when it comes to relationships.
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? To my face I am respected in the Leather community and most of the LGBT people who I interact with are in the Leather community also, so there really is no difference. Most of my LGBT associates are also Leather so there is not much of a divide.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Maybe
Please explain your previous response. I’m not sure I understand the question. I mean, I’m Black, first and foremost before I check any other box. Anyone in or out of Leather who can’t deal with that can step. I believe that there has been a greater presence of Black and other POC folks in the Leather lifestyles so by virtue of sheer volume and visibility, there has been more of an effort to include us in Leather. However, resistance still exists. I think it is the difference between acceptance and tolerance. There are many who tolerate us, and fewer who simply accept us… and those who do neither.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? Take your time. Seek to learn from a variety of sources. All skin folk ain’t kin folk so just because you’re dealing with another Black face doesn’t mean you’re necessarily dealing with family. Seek out wise ones, not just experienced ones (because their experience can all be bad!) Don’t allow anyone to define you, to push you in a way that feels uneasy to you or make you feel like you must be a part of something or accept something that doesn’t feel right. Trust the instincts that have allowed you to survive thus far. This lifestyle has the same folks good and bad, as the rest of society except they’re kinky They are not better or more enlightened. Be yourself. ind yourself. Love yourself. And remember the old adage, “All skin folk ain’t kin folk!” There are those who liked being fetishized or who appreciated being the only one who feel threatened seeing you walk through the door and they may make it more difficult for you than non-POC folks.
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