#IHOR Tribal Spotlight
In 1987, a 17-year-old girl was dating a boy sweet enough to agree to parent the bastard child she was about to give birth to. They had met at a skating rink. In April of that year, she gave birth to what seemed to be a daughter, and what turned out to be a lot of other things. In one of those nature versus nurture arguments, this kid and father-that-didn’t-have-to-be not only look alike with their long dirty brown/blond hair and red facial hair, but they both grew up to be kinky AF. The father does leather work, crafting his own floggers. And it’s thanks to him and his stashed copies of Anne Rice’s iconic novels that our star of this spotlight discovered themself and their kinky side before they were old enough to be legally able to venture into Paddles in New York for themself. It’s also thanks to this Metallica and motorcycle loving parent that this kid was told to never apologize for who they were. He probably didn’t mean be a Non-binary trans, devoutly religious, butler when he said “be anything.” But he definitely meant “kinky” and “polyamorous.”
My parents were cool. My parents were so cool that I used to invite my friends over for dinner just to watch them react to stuff that happened at my house. There is no spotlight on me without talking about them. And to circle back to the trans thing for a moment, when I told them I was trans, they told me, “no.” And the reason they told me, “no,” was because I loved glitter and dresses. But they came around and then it didn’t matter that I was trans, just that I was a dick of a teenager. And that’s important. Because now when people ask me to talk about what it’s like to be trans, I don’t have that much of a story. Instead, I just got to be a dick of a teenager that eventually became obsessed with “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs” and “The Marketplace” and “Mr. Benson” and knew they had to be Somebody’s somebody. Their support made every difference.
At some point in my early adulthood, my hearing went from okay to basically gone, and I slowly made the transition into being not only a trans slave, but a disabled trans slave. Deafness is such that should you find yourself amongst the Deaf Community, you would find an absence of phrases like “you can lipread, right?” and words like “impaired.” Our focus and strength comes from the Power and Beauty of our language and culture, not the absence of our hearing. Joining this Community, and specifically the Deaf and Leather/Kinky portion of this Community, has defined my Leather Journey. We are a fierce group of people that look out for each other, talk for hours after we’ve started saying Goodbye, and always say “I Love You.” Being a Deaf (or any disability, really) slave, teaches you to be creative in the ways in which you serve or Master and unapologetic in the ways in which you love and live. There is no Person-first here. To know me is to know my Deafness. There is no separating the person from the Deafness. It is the lens through which everything is seen. And it is one of my favorite things about myself.
My Deafness, my slavehood, and my Mastery are 3 of the 4 things I consider to be my Core Identities. The fourth? My Sikhism; my Faith. On August 5th 2012 a white guy hell-bent on showing his country pride and hurting some Muslims brought a gun to a Sikh temple and killed 6 people. I didn’t choose Sikhism that day, but I think that’s when it chose me. One of the men tried to fight off the shooter with a butter knife, because that’s what you do when you’re Sikh. You never give up, no matter the odds. My research into Sikhism started as a curiosity into something I didn’t know much about and since then has become a thing so Powerful and Important that it is apparent in every part of my life. Finding ways to tie that into who I am as a Leather person has been an adventure.
My Kink Life has happened almost exclusively at the Dark Odyssey events. I started going there when I was barely legal and have been to almost all of them since. It’s where I was raised. I went from newbie to presenter there, and I learned a lot about who I was as a Leather P/person. Namely, that I was both the M and the s. I identify as a Middle in that I do not switch between being a Master and slave, but am consciously and constantly both. I have been a Master for going on five years now. My slave is exceptional. He is both devotedly loyal and stunning in his submission.
Back to me. There were these hints of kink around my life because of my father, that I would sneak in and read, and roleplay until I had created entire worlds in my head. Like playing house, but dirty. I probably wrote entire novels in my play acting as a tween and teen. I have spent a lot of my adult life ghost writing and continuing to roleplay. My characters and stories are such a vital part of what makes me who I am, that it goes largely without saying that it also makes me the Master I am.
When I shared my stories with my slave, Eyon, for the first time, and he expressed interest in seeing what roleplay was like, I knew I had to have him. I created this elaborate story about a world called Shoki. I didn’t tell him the characters were slaves at first. I didn’t tell him much at first. And with every reveal, every mindfuck twist of the story, the characters became more real and Eyon became more Mine. There is other play- needles, knives, blood, impact, edgeplay - but my Sadism with him is extremely psychological. As Master and slave, W/we combine our passions for immersive psychological exploration with intentional protocol to embed Ownership and service into daily routines and O/our beings. O/our journey has brought U/us to present on disability and lifestyle topics and to be mid-conversation and planning for at least one published book.
As the s, I first started crafting myself in detail upon reading the Marketplace. I had never felt so seen. I was Parker. And then he was trans too. It was like being given permission to be trans and a slave and not just a sex slave, but useful and skilled and a Trainer. Someone who could be important because of their ability to perfectly organize and color coordinate a closet, someone who got a hard on when walking into The Container Store or the Office Depot, someone who could perfectly merge what it meant to be a slave and a butler. I read everything I could get my hands on fine-tuning myself into exactly what I wanted to be. And that’s another great thing being trans gives you; the permission and ability to color outside the lines and really become whoever you feel called to be, no rules.
I served several People in my first decade as a slave. The first I met at my home camp. A couple. I wasn’t ready for Them. But They put an ad in the back of the event program W/we A/all attended. They were the True Deal and I knew it the moment I saw Them. When I moved into Their house, I was presented with a Contract and Protocol Manual that was incredibly long and incredibly specific. I was the happiest I had ever been. I learned so much about being a better adult and a good slave immersed in the lifestyle for the first real time. When it came to the end of the trial period, and W/we ascertained that I was not in a place to continue, the release was as much a thing of Power and Beauty as the Dynamic had been. They set the Standard for what a Master should be as far as I was concerned. It is because of Them, that Every Master I have served since has been Exquisite and Extreme. I Owe Them All my entirety. They brought me into my own Power and slavehood. Without Each of Their Ownerships; I would be unrecognizable. They made me.
It has been almost two years since I started serving my current Master…this time. W/we had an incredibly passionate and spectacular contract previously that erupted all over Facebook. But after W/we gave O/ourselves some time to talk everything through and figure out where W/we mis-stepped and what W/we wanted out of life, it was each O/other. I have had the opportunity to serve some really incredible Masters and Dominants over the 15-years that I have been a slave, and one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that the right Master feels like Home. He feels as much like home when I curl into His arms this time as He did the first time. And maybe it took the leaving and the coming back for U/us to really see it.
I remember the first time I knew He Owned me. Not the first time I saw Him. Though, that’s a great story, and He tells it better than I. W/we had planned to meet at a sporting event at the DC Eagle. He had on like one shoulder guard or something sexy. I was completely caught off guard by Him and specifically, His forearm. The entire conversation, I memorized the way it looked and moved. It’s a slave thing really. I don’t know what it was. But I knew. The moment I sat next to Him that day I knew He Owned me. I stared at His forearm in awe that there could be this Person that could so instantly have this Power over me. We hadn’t even come there to discuss the potential of a dynamic. But I don’t think we were apart for a full day afterwards for four years. Even now, anytime I need to re-center myself, to push myself back into headspace, to remind myself why I serve, I look at His forearm and I know; He is my Owner.
I was His first slave. I was already trans, and adamant that I only wear male identified things. Which is hilarious now, because now I love lace. I still feel sexy in a button down and a tie but in lace and heels I feel Powerful. But I needed permission to come back to a place where I felt comfortable being feminine again without it feeling like it took from the male identity I had worked to build. He was very supportive of this. He always tried to be in my corner. Like when I scheduled my top surgery and I was trying to figure out if I should get tattooed nipples that were a more “appropriate” size or if I should keep mine and be able to feel them, but have them be large for “men’s nipples.” The amount of photos He showed me to validate my being a man if I had big nipples, was just incredible. Every day, He gave me Permission and Power to be Extraordinary.
These days, Master has allowed me the privilege of being Majordomo to Him and his House, engineered the LeatherReads monthly book shares, and given me the assignment of leading IHOR Gives Back into the future. There are so many moments between U/us that are noteworthy for knowing the slave that I am today, from an intimate and public collaring to being His during His time on the stage at IML. Ultimately, you can no more separate who you are as a person from your identities as you can from the Ownership of the Right Master. He is Home.