What is Your Scene Name? Sir Jaqe
City and State of residence? Tampa, FL
Region of Residence? Mid Atlantic
What are your pronouns? She/her/hers
What is your gender Identity? Genderqueer, Female
What is your sexual identity? Queer, Dyke, Butch
What is are your racial identities? African American
What is/are your ethnicities? (Culture, nationality, ancestry, language) Cameroon and Irish/British
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? Offline
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink Tracks in the mid-90s and being given a slave named Hildegard during Bound (a Black Rose event)
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison? Men, men, and white men and not seeing myself reflected in any way. I was about to start my own leather group when I was introduced to the Highwaymen TNT. They treat and still treat me like a leather brother with a dick bigger than theirs. We collectively held sex parties on the 3rd floor of the DC Eagle and that is how the Capitol Bus Crawl started. I saw a need for more interaction and more travel between leather bars. Oh and fun and fucking. Now the scene seems a bit lackluster as people don’t appear to know how to have fun or just have fun with fucking anymore. Unfortunately, women have never been into bathhouses in the US, and Lord, I wish this wasn’t the case!
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why? Hands down have to be my sister. We were so twinning like growing up and circumstances, homophobia, and fatphobia from her now ex-husband lead to a 20-year estrangement between us. Even during that, she continued to be my ride or die and when I stepped down as American Leatherwoman 2017, my sister was right by my side and we did a dance routine to ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge and she didn’t bat an eye and even got leather for me!
What book have you read that influenced your life and why? THE POLYAMORY BREAKUP BOOK: CAUSES, PREVENTION, AND SURVIVAL
by Kathy Labriola. It taught me how there are needs I have that I wasn’t meeting and how in my attempt to make everyone happy that I was making myself miserable.
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community. It was my birthday grind down with my sash husband, Matt Bamford (Mr. & Ms. Capital Pride Leather 2009). Our birthdays are just 14 days apart and so we did joint birthday sex-positive for all grind down on the 3rd floor of the DC Eagle and it was spectacular!!
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light – Dylan Thomas
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels) Highwaymen TNT – Member since 2008, Road Captain from 2008-2015; Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association – Member since 2002, Vice President 2003-2008
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. There were black folks in the leather scene in my local community. All guys which were and are fine as that’s how I came up in the leather community. When I was looking for a club to join, I looked at the Centaurs and they were all white men. Potomac, Sigma, Spartans I didn’t see around the club (DC Eagle) but when I looked closer the Highwaymen TNT had black members (men), women (Max, Schelli, and Joansie) as well as trans members. We also started off and was founded with members from the deaf community as well as black members and partners. It also didn’t hurt that nearly all of the Highwaymen TNT members I knew worked at/managed/owned parts of the DC Eagle.
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 walk into any situation knowing that I am noticeable and know that I am a female, I’m black and fat. I don’t look like the typical leather bar patrons especially when I go to leather bars/nights in other cities/parts of the country and world. I think this is why I go to the complete in my black cowboy hat. I’m not typical in any sense and you will know that I’m there one way or another but I also make myself as approachable as possible. Still, I can walk into any bar and not get served. I developed a habit of showing my money at the bar and just waiting and when I finally get served (if I haven’t moved onto another bartender), I will let them know that I saw them ignoring me and that it wasn’t nice nor warranted and then I’ll tip the barback a large tip directly in front of them.
Is there a specific instance where you feel your Blackness enhanced your experience in Leather? Yes
If you answered “yes” or “maybe” please explain. I like and appreciate the Onyx Deep South chapter so very much. They will come out and support and meet up with me every single time I come to town (FLL). They are open, gracious and if I ever officially move to Florida, I will move to FLL because of them.
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity? Being a female who is a Sir
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community? In the greater LGBT community, I am an unknown and not given the time of day, to be honest. In the Leather community (esp in Mid-Atlantic and NJ) people know who I am and cheer if my name is announced.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Yes
Please explain your previous response. It can and only will get better from this. Black people are taking more of a stance and a fuck them I’m here attitude and it’s glorious! People are finally starting to see that if you don’t like something or something doesn’t work for you, then stop talking and moaning about it and DO THE THING! Make it happen; they will come.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black? Follow your heart. Look to your Elders… and then look for others. Not everyone is out to help you but there are still good upstanding folks in the community who will steer you right and mentor you to be the best YOU can be and will celebrate that best in you.
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