Thursday, August 30, 2012

"American Boys Bill of Rights"

While patrolling the web I came across this poster. It was published in 1947 as a toy add, but much of it applies to my view of what a leather boy is and what a leather boy deserves from the world. So it's a little gun rights heavy towards the end, but it has some elements that I think are missing from the emphasis of boy culture today. It says the following:
We… The Boys of America believe in these OUR RIGHTS: the right to LIBERTY, hard-won by our forefathers ~ the right to HAPPINESS that comes with the growth of a healthy body and mind ~ the right to TRAINING, thoughtfully planned by parents, school and church ~ the right to OPPORTUNITY, to live, learn, play and grow up in the time-honored traditions of a free people ~ and the right to learn to SHOOT SAFELY. We recognize and accept the responsibility imposed by these Rights. But ~ until we are old enough to vote we expect YOU ~ our fathers, mothers and other citizens who elect America’s city, county, state and federal officers ~ to be eternally vigilant that our RIGHTS be not abridged!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Leather Titles

I have mixed feelings about leather titles. I think those best served by leather titles are the title holders and contestants themselves. Running for a contest can be a huge confidence boost for the men and women who choose to compete. It takes guts to expose yourself on stage. For most, running for a title is a positive experience. In fact, more than half of those who have participated in a contest have competed in more than one. 69% of participants who have competed in a contest report that they have won at least one contest. If at first you don't succeed...

My husband is a title holder for this current year and winning has been an amazing experience for him. He's met people from across the country and made some lasting friendships. He also shows a comfort working a crowd that he never had before. This boost alone has increased his confidence at work and at home. He has kept his goals modest, simply to promote his bar and increase awareness of the leather community.

Unfortunately titles can also have a darker side to them. Winning can bring out the worst qualities in some people. It can also give false authority to a winner, allowing him or her to pass on bad or destructive information to new members of the community. Living under a microscope is a stressful experience, and this can push some to do negative things.