What is Your Scene Name? Sir Robert
City and State of residence?
Hackettstown, NJ
Region of Residence? Mid Atlantic
What are your pronouns? He/him/His
What is your gender Identity? Male
What is your sexual identity? Gay
What is are your racial identities?
African American
What is/are your ethnicities? (Culture, nationality, ancestry, language) Black
How did you first get into Leather and/or Kink? Offline
Give a Brief Description of your entrance into Leather and/or Kink
In retrospect, I realize I’ve always been rather kinky. As a developing adult, I knew quite early that I didn’t like boring sex. So around 19 I learned that the ropes and whips, gear, and dominant activities I engaged in were part of a larger subculture. While working at Outloud! bookstore (Nashville) my boss sent me to promote a book sale at a local bar. I was given a Chain harness and flyers. It was a leather run for the Conductor’s and let’s just say That’s when I knew.
What was your local scene like when you were starting? How is it now, by comparison?
My local scene was pretty active. There were several leather/Levi clubs and bar nights. Lots of community nonbar opportunities to engage other kinksters. Today every one of those resources ceases to exist. So not sure what the kink newbies options are there now.
Who’s the most influential Black person. In your life and why?
Sir Dexter Edmond. I met him long before I knew there was a scene. He was a tangible example of what I wanted to emulate both as a leatherman and a Sir.
What book have you read that influenced your life and why?
I read the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty long before I probably should have and found it…inspiring. I may or may not have incorporated scenes from that book in real-time.
Talk about one of your favorite experiences in your local Kink and/or Leather Community.
12 Days of Christmas! produced by Hooker and Boys. It’s an opportunity to engage with others in my community in a non-contest environment for a great cause. If you haven’t attended one you don’t know what you’re missing.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? If so, please share.
You can like the life you’re living or you can live the life you like.
Name of Clubs you have been a part of? (Please also notate duration, leadership positions if any, and membership levels)
Hooker and Boys, While I have never been a club centric kind of guy I am proud to be a part of Hooker and Boys for over 7years.
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.
Not a lot, but it didn’t really affect my experience. I was active in an org called Brother’s United at the time and they encouraged me to live out my blackness wholly and authentically.
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’m me, I do the things that ignite my passions with people who value me. My aspirations and joy do not lie in being validated by another.
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 don’t live a compartmentalized life. You get all of me all the time. In a scene or relationship, it’s my experience as a black man that gives me self awareness and natural intensity that enhances what we get into. It allows me to be confident, not cocky.
What is a specific challenge you had coming up in Leather that was unrelated to race/ethnicity?
How do you find you’re treated in the Leather community vs. the greater LGBT community?
Hmm, I don’t think I pay much attention to those that make a distinction between the two. Me being kinky is equally present and relevant as me being gay in the grand scheme of things. Usually the phrase “You know that’s just Robert” applies in either scenario.
Do you feel that the leather community and embracing blackness has a positive outlook? Maybe
Please explain your previous response.
That’s never been a concern of mine. When you are comfortable with yourself and your own perspective you don’t care if someone else is or not.
What advice would you give to newcomers in the Leather scene who are Black?
Sit with yourself a while, take some personal inventory on who you are, and hope to be, maybe even stare at your naked self in the mirror. Embrace that person you see, love that person you see. Then gear up and get out there and have fun. Everybody isn’t for you and you shouldn’t be for everybody.
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