Leather Leadership Conference 9 Keynote, by Master Z

DEAR LEATHER BROTHERS AND SISTERS:

 

GOOD MORNING AND BLESSINGS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU HERE TODAY.  I HOPE YOU ARE ENJOYING YOUR EXPERIENCES AT BEYOND VANILLA XV AND THAT THIS NLA-DALLAS EVENT IS MEETING YOUR EVERY EXPECTATION. 

 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT KNOW ME, I AM MASTER Z, FROM DALLAS TEXAS.  THE REASON I NOW IDENTIFY THE CITY I AM FROM IS BECAUSE THERE IS ANOTHER MASTER Z OUT THERE AND I WOULDN’T WANT ANYONE TO BE CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH MASTER Z WAS UP HERE TODAY.   I DISCOVERED THIS OTHER MASTER Z ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO AFTER I BECAME A TITLE HOLDER. 

 

I WAS CURIOUS AS TO WHAT REFERENCES I MIGHT FIND ABOUT MYSELF ON THE INTERNET.  SO AFTER GOING TO THAT WONDERFUL GOOGLE THING AND TYPING IN THE REFERENCE …MASTER Z, UP POPS A REFERENCE.  I WENT TO THE REFERRED WEBSITE.  HMMMMMMMMM I THOUGHT!  LOOKS LIKE AN ELABORATE SITE THAT I DIDN’T KNOW I HAD.  AND AFTER READING FUTHER, I REALIZED ITOBVIOUSLY IT WASN’T ME.  I WONDERED WHO THIS INDIVIDUAL WAS USING “MY” NAME AND TITLE THAT I HAD BEEN USING FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.  I MEAN WHAT NERVE…WHAT HUBEROUS …WHAT A RIP-OFF!  WELL, LO AND BEHOLD WHAT I WAS LOOKING AT WAS A MARVELOUS, INTERACTIVE WEBSITE IDENTIFYING MASTER Z AS A CHICAGO HETEROSEXUAL DOMINANT WHO HAS BEEN IN THE SCENE FOR OVER 30 YEARS.  WELL, THAT OBVIOUSLY WAS NOT ME!!!

 

I DID HOWEVER, GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET MASTER Z FROM CHICAGO AND I AM PROUD TO SAY HE AND I HAVE BECOME VERY GOOD FRIENDS.  I LEARNED THAT I WAS A FEW YEARS OLDER THAN HE, SO I TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO RENAME HIM, MASTER Z, JR. WHILE I AM MASTER Z, SR.  SEE…AGE DOES HAVE its PRIVILEGES.  AND I HAVE RECENTLY LEARNED THAT THERE IS ANOTHER “MASTER Z” HAILING FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTHWEST.  IF THIS SHIT CONTINUES, WE CAN START OUR OWN CLUB.

 

AS YOU ARE PROBABLY ALREADY AWARE, OUR DISTINGUISHED KEYNOTE SPEAKER, TRISTAN TAORMINO WAS UNABLE TO JOIN US THIS YEAR. 

 

THOUGH I AM NOT AT LIBERTY TO SHARE THE REASON, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY LEGITIMATE AND I KNOW YOU ALL WILL JOIN ME IN SENDING GOOD THOUGHTS TRISTAN’S WAY WITH THE HOPE THAT SHE CAN JOIN US FOR SOME FUTURE BEYOND VANILLA EVENT. 

 

AND WITH TRISTAN BEING UNABLE TO BE HERE THIS MORNING, THE BV COMMITTEE STRUGGLED WITH HOW TO FILL THE TIME DURING BRUNCH THAT WOULD NORMALLY HAVE BEEN RESERVED FOR TRISTAN’S REMARKS.

 

 

 

 

 

THERE WERE A NUMBER OF NAMES THAT WERE SUGGESTED TO SEE IF THEY WOULD BE WILLING TO STEP-IN AT THE LAST MINUTE FOR A KEYNOTE ADDRESS.    MANY OF THOSE CONSIDERED WERE ALREADY SCHEDULED FOR OTHER EVENTS THIS WEEKEND.  AND…IN TRUTH, IT IS REALLY ASKING A LOT OF SOMEONE TO PREPARE A KEYNOTE IN LESS THAN A WEEK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THAT IS OF COURSE, UNLESS YOU ARE ALREADY ON THE COMMITTEE OF THIS EVENT AND ARE CALLED UPON TO FILL-IN.  THAT IS SOMETHING EVERY MEMBER OF THIS WONDERFUL BV COMMITTEE HAS DONE TIME AND TIME AGAIN.  SO…WHEN SOMEONE FROM THE COMMITTEE BROACHED THE IDEA THAT …”MASTER Z COULD PROBABLY FILL-IN”, WHAT ELSE COULD I DO?  BELIEVING IN BEING OBEDIENT TO THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE UNIVERSE OFFERS, AND….OWING UNDYING LOYALTY TO NLA-DALLAS AND THIS COMMITTEE, I AGREED TO PREPARE SOME REMARKS AND TRY TO FILL IN THE TIME, IF INDEED THIS IS WHAT THE COMMITTEE THOUGHT APPROPRIATE.

 

SO NOW….YOU WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND WHY, INSTEAD OF HAVING A SEXY DOMINATRIX TALKING TO YOU THIS MORING, YOU HAVE ME INSTEAD.

 

BUT BEFORE I START, LET ME SHARE A JOKE WITH YOU.   HAVE YOU ALL HEARD THE ONE ABOUT THE ENGLISHMAN, A SCOTSMAN AND AN IRISHMAN THAT ARE ALL ASKED TO GIVE A SPEECH TO THE MEMBERS OF THE DEAF SOCIETY?   WELL, EACH ONE BEING VERY COMPETATIVE, WAS DETERMINED THAT THEIR SPEECH WOULD MAKE THE BEST IMPRESSION ON THEIR DEAF AUDIENCE.

THE ENGLISHMAN GOES FIRST, AND TO THE SURPRISE OF THE SCOTSMAN AND THE IRISHMAN, HE STARTS BY MAKING A RUBBING MOTION, FIRST ON HIS CHEST AND THEN HIS GROIN.

WHEN HE FINISHES, THE SCOTSMAN AND THE IRISHMAN ARE CONFUSSED BY THE SIGNING THAT HE WAS MAKING AND THEY ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS DOING???

 

“WELL”, HE EXPLAINED, “BY RUBBING MY CHEST I INDICATD THROUGH SIGN LANGUAGE BREASTS…AND THEREFORE…LADIES.  BY RUBBING MY GROIN, I INDICATED BALLS, AND THEREFORE, REFERRED TO GENTLEMEN.  SO….IN SIGN LANGUAGE, MY SPEECH ACTUALLY STARTED OUT WITH….”LADIES AND GENTLEMEN”.

 

ON HIS WAY UP TO THE PODIUM, THE SCOTSMAN THOUGHT TO HIMSELF THAT HE WASN’T GOING TO LET THAT BASTARD ENGLISHMAN GET THE BETTER OF HIM.
HE BEGAN HIS SPEECH WITH HIS OWN BRAND OF SIGN LANGUAGE BY MAKING ANTLER SYMBOLS WITH HIS FINGERS ABOVE HIS HEAD AND THEN RUBBING HIS CHEST, FOLLOWED BY RUBBING HIS GROIN.

 

WHEN HE FINISHED HIS SPEECH, THE ENGLISMAN AND THE IRISHMAN ASKED HIM WHAT HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING.  “WELL”, HE EXPLAINED, “BY USING MY FINGERS TO SIMULATE ANTLERS AND THEN RUBBING MY CHEST AND GROIN, I WAS STARTING MY SPEECH TO THE DEAF AUDIENCE BY SAYING….DEAR LADIES AND GENTLEMEN….

AS THE IRISHMAN APPROACHED THE PODIUM FOR HIS TURN, HE THOUGHT TO HIMSELF….” I HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN THOSE MAINLAND BASTARDS.  HE STARTED HIS SPEECH USING THE SAME SIGN LANGUAGE AS THE ENGLISHMAN AND THE SCOTSMAN BY MAKING THE ANTLER SIGN WITH HIS FINGERS ABOVE HIS HEAD, AND THEN RUBBED HIS CHEST AND RUBBED HIS GROIN, FOLLOWED BY MASTURBATING FURIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THE DEAF AUDIENCE.

 

WHEN HIS SPEECH WAS FINISHED, HIS COLLEAGUES ASKED HIM WHAT THE HELL HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING?

“WELL”, HE EXPLAINED, “BY USING MY FINGERS TO IMITATE ANTLERS AND THEN RUBBING MY CHEST AND THEN MY GROIN I WAS SAYING PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THING YOU TWO SAID. 

 

“WELL WHAT ABOUT THE MASTURBATION?” QUERIED THE ENGLISHMAN AND THE SCOTSMAN?
“WELL”, HE SAID, “WHAT I WAS SAYING TO MY DEAF AUDIENCE WAS…

DEAR LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE……”

 

I CAN TELL YOU FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE THAT BEING ABLE TO USE AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE TO COMMUNICATE WITH OUR DEAF BROTHERS AND SISTERS IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.  IN FACT, WE HAVE AN EXPERT IN THE AUDIENCE; OUR NEW MS WORLD LEATHER, MICHELLE JACKSON.  PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING HER TO DALLAS USING THE ASL SIGN FOR APPLAUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE THIS….

 

AND I WILL SHARE WITH YOU AN EMBARRASSING PERSONAL STORY ABOUT TRYING TO USE ASL.  I WAS ASKED TO JUDGE THE 2004 INTERNATIONAL DEAF LEATHER CONTEST.  I WAS HONORED AND THOUGHT I WOULD LOOK ON THE INTERNET AND TRY AND LEARN A COUPLE OF SIGNS.  I LEARNED …WOOF…WHICH YOU HEAR ME AND A NUMBER OF OTHERS SAY ALL THE TIME.  I ALSO TAUGHT MYSELF WHAT I THOUGHT WAS THE SIGN FOR “THANK YOU”.  I SAY THOUGHT BECAUSE ALL THROUGH THE WEEKEND I WAS TRYING TO BE COURTEOUS AND USE WHAT I THOUGHT WAS SIGN FOR “THANK YOU”.  WHAT I WAS ACTUALLY USING LOOKED LIKE THIS (DEMONSTRATE) _ VS. WHAT “THANK YOU” REALLY SHOULD LOOK LIKE (DEMONSTRATE).  ON THE THIRD DAY, FINALLY SOME KIND SOUL CAME UP TO ME AND EXPLAINED THAT THE SIGN I HAD BEEN USING ACTUALLY MEANT “FUCK YOU”.  SO, ALL WEEKEND, WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS SAYING “THANK YOU”, I WAS ACTUALLY SAYING “FUCK YOU”.  AND YOU WONDER WHY LEATHERMEN SOMETIMES GET A BUMM RAP. 

 

OK…SO NOW THAT WE’VE BROKEN THE ICE WITH SOME LAUGHTER AND MY OWN STORY OF PERSONAL EMBARASSMENT, LET ME GET ON WITH WHAT I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DO BY THE BEYOND VANILLA COMMITTEE…NAMELY….. SHARE SOME THOUGHTS WITH THIS DISTINGUISHED AUDIENCE.

 

I WAS HONORED AND HUMBLED TO HAVE BEEN ASKED BY THE BEYOND VANILLA COMMITTEE TO SAY A FEW WORDS THIS MORNING DURING THIS BRUNCH.

 

AT ANOTHER BREAKFAST ADDRESS I WAS ASKED TO GIVE AT THE LEATHER LEADERSHIP IX CONFERENCE HELD IN PHOENIX THIS YEAR, THERE WERE SOME SUGGESTED TOPICS OR THEMES THAT WERE GIVEN TO ME TO CONSIDER WHEN CRAFTING MY REMARKS.

 

SOME OF THOSE SUGGESTIONS WERE

·     “THE FABRIC OF LEADERSHIP”,

·     “LEATHER/BDSM HISTORY”,

·     “CHARACTERISTICS AND ETHICS OF LEADERSHIP”,

·     “OUR CHANGING ENVIRONMENT”,

·     “TRIBES TO NATION”

·     “RELATING TO MAINSTREAM”, AND

·     “WHERE ARE WE HEADED?” 

·      

AS I CONTEMPLATED THE THEMES SUGGESTED, I THOUGHT THAT THESE MIGHT BE A LITTLE HEAVY FOR BREAKFAST.  HOWEVER, I FOUND A COMMON THREAD THROUGH ALL OF THEM AND THAT WAS THE CONCEPT OF LEADERSHIP.

 

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ALL OF YOU HERE TODAY ARE SOME THOUGHTS I HAVE IN RELATION TO THE CONCEPT OF LEADERSHIP AND ITS’ IMPORTANCE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

 

WEBSTER DEFINES LEADERSHIP IN THIS WAY…..

      LEADERSHIP – A NOUN

1.     THE OFFICE OR POSITION OF A LEADER

2.     CAPACITY TO LEAD

3.     THE ACT OR AN INSTANCE OF LEADING

 

FROM THOSE DEFINITIONS, I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW LEADERSHIP IMPACTS MY LIFE AND THIS WONDERFUL, ZANY COMMUNITY WE CLAIM AS OUR OWN.  I THOUGHT ABOUT THE EXPERIENCES I’VE HAD IN LEADERSHIP CAPACITIES AND THE RAMIFICATIONS THAT THOSE LEADERSHIP ROLES HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE.   I ALSO THOUGHT ABOUT THOSE INDIVIDUALS BY WHOM I HAVE BEEN LED AND WHAT IT WAS ABOUT THEIR LEADERSHIP THAT ATTRACTED ME TO FOLLOW. 

 

IN TRUTH, I BELIEVE THAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEADERSHIP HAVE COME FROM MANY DIRECTIONS IN MY LIFE.  TODAY, I AM CHALLENGED TO LEADERSHIP IN MY OWN LEATHER FAMILY…BOTH AS ONE OF THE HEAD OF A HOUSEHOLD OF THE TEXAS LEATHER TRIBE, AND MOST CERTAINLY IN LEADERSHIP TO THOSE WHO HAVE HONORED ME WITH THEIR GIFT OF SERVICE AND SLAVERY.  I HAVE HAD LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN MY OWN LOCAL COMMUNITY AS A CO-CHAIR OF NLA-DALLAS AND AS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE DEFUNCT DALLAS CENTER FOR ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES.

 

I HAVE ALSO EXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES IN OUR NATIONAL LEATHER COMMUNITY AS THE 2004 INTERNATIONAL MASTER AND SLAVE ALONG WITH SLAVEBOY TONY.

 

AND CERTAINLY, I HAVE HAD TO FACE THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES WITHIN MY OWN PATH OF DOMINANCE, RECOGNIZING THE INHERENT RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH THAT BLESSING.

 

 I CAN SAY THAT EACH LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE HAS DEMANDED THAT I CALL UPON CHARACTERISTICS OR QUALITIES OF LEADERSHIP THAT EITHER HAS BEEN LEARNED THROUGH LIFE EXPERIENCES, MIMICKED THROUGH WATCHING OTHERS I ADMIRED, OR SOMEHOW WERE GIFTS UNEXPLAINEDLY BESTOWED BY THE UNIVERSE. 

 

 

 

 

I COULD SHARE ABOUT HOW ALL OF THIS WORKS OR…TRYS TO WORK IN MY LIFE….HOWEVER SINCE BEYOND VANILLA IS TRULY ABOUT COMMUNITY EDUCATION, ORGANIZATION AND THE ABILITIES OF THIS COMMUNITY TO STRENGTHEN AND GROW, I DECIDED TO CRAFT MY REMARKS TO THOUGHTS ABOUT LEADERSHIP FOR OUR  LEATHER/BDSM/KINK COMMUNITY IN GENERAL.  IN DOING SO, I SETTLED ON FOUR ELEMENTS THAT I DEFINED THIS WAY:

·     WHAT ARE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES OR SKILLS AND HOW DOES ONE GET THEM,

 

·     WHERE DO I BELIEVE WE ARE TODAY REGARDING BOTH LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEADERSHIP,

 

·     WHAT STEPS CAN LEADERSHIP TAKE TO STRENGTHEN AGAINST WHAT I BELIEVE ARE DARK DAYS AHEAD,

 

·     AND….HOW I BELIEVE LEADERSHIP MUST PROTECT AGAINST THE INTERNAL STRIFE, TURMOILS AND DIVISIVENESS EXPERIENCED WHEN LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES OR MISDIRECTIONS OCCUR IN LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITIES, TRIBES AND FAMILYS.

 

I FIGURED THAT SCRAPING THE SURFACE ON THOSE TOPICS MIGHT GET THOSE OF YOU HERE TODAY TO REFLECT ON LEADERSHIP, FILL THE TIME NICELY FOR A BRUNCH ADDRESS AND, HOPEFULLY NOT GET ME IN TOO MUCH TROUBLE.

 

SO, THE FIRST ISSUE WAS,

1.         LEADERSHIP QUALITIES OR SKILLS AND HOW DOES ONE GET THEM AND THEN APPLY THEM –

 

 

 

I BELIEVE THAT EVERY ONE OF US HAVE, IN SOME CAPACITY, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND TALENTS THAT LEND THEMSELVES TO BEING A LEADER IN SOME DEGREE OR MANNER.  YOU’VE HEARD THE EXPRESSION… ”HE/SHE IS JUST A NATURAL BORN LEADER”.  A NICE EXPRESSION BUT I DON’T THINK THAT SOMEONE IS BORN THAT WAY.  VINCE LOMBARDI IS QUOTED AS SAYING… “LEADERS ARE MADE, THEY ARE NOT BORN.  THEY ARE MADE BY HARD EFFORT, WHICH IS THE PRICE ALL OF US MUST PAY TO ACHIEVE ANY GOAL THAT IS WORTH WHILE…”

 

THERE HAVE BEEN MANY STUDIES THAT HAVE LOOKED AT WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER …..AND IN TRUTH, THAT IS PROBABLY A FULL DAY SEMINAR IN AND OF ITSELF.  I KNOW.  I HAVE ATTENDED OF FEW OF THEM IN MY CORPORATE LIFE.  BUT I THINK THAT HERE TODAY, WE COULD AGREE IN PRINCIPLE THAT THOSE IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS AND WHO APPEAR TO BE SUCCESSFUL ARE GENERALLY:

·     INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE WILLING TO SERVE,

·     WHO WILL DO WHAT IT TAKES TO GAIN CONCENSUS FROM OTHERS,

·     WHO ARE NOT AFRAID TO MAKE A DECISION

·     WHO WILL BE DIPLOMATIC BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF HONESTY AND INTEGRITY.

·     AND FINALLY, THEY WILL TRUST OTHERS TO WHOM THEY DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES.

 

TAKING ON A LEADERSHIP POSITION, NO MATTER HOW GREAT OR HOW MINOR, TAKES COURAGE AND THE UNDERSTANDING THAT NOT EVERYONE WILL ALWAYS AGREE WITH THE VISION OR QUEST AS YOU SEE IT.  LEADERSHIP MAY BE SOMETHING YOU TAKE ON YOURSELF…LIKE RUNNING FOR AN OFFICE, POSTION OR TITLE IN THE COMMUNITY, OR IT MIGHT BE SOMETHING PRESENTED TO YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR SKILLS, OR YOUR STANDING IN THE COMMUNITY.  AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO SEEM TO APPOINT THEMSELVES AS LEADERS, TAKING ON ROLES THAT USUALLY THEY ARE NEITHER QUALIFIED FOR NOR DESIGNATED BY THE COMMUNITY TO FILL.  THEY MAY MEAN WELL, BUT EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN ME THAT 9 TIMES OUT OF 10, THEY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD.

 

 

 

 

ONCE YOU HAVE ACCEPTED A LEADERSHIP ROLE, BELIEVING IN ONESELF AND IN THE OBJECTIVES OF A TASK ARE ESSENTIAL IF YOU ARE TO BE SUCCESSFUL.  A LEADER MUST BE HONEST WITH THEMSELF AND AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO BELIEVE THAT LEADERSHIP WILL BRING RECOGNITION AND ELEVATION IN THE COMMUNITY.  QUITE THE CONTRARY.  MANY OF THOSE IN A LEADERSHIP CAPACITY HAVE STEPPED AWAY BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVITY AND PERSONAL AFRONTS THEY HAD TO BEAR OVER ISSUES AND BELIEFS THAT THEY TRIED TO LEAD FROM. 

 

 

 

THERE ARE ALSO ALL KINDS OF LEADERSHIP STYLES.  I PERSONALLY BELIEVE AN EFFECTIVE LEADER NEEDS TO WORK QUIETLY AND NOT BE CONCERNED ABOUT PERSONAL RECOGNITION.  I BELIEVE IT IS MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE TO CONCENTRATE ON GIVING THE RECOGNITION TO THOSE WHO ARE DOING THE WORK….BECAUSE THEY ARE THE TRUE HEROS, AND THE ONES THAT MAKES THING HAPPEN.

 

 

 

 

SO THAT BRIEFLY ADDRESSES THE FIRST POINT ABOUT LEADERSHIP QUALITIES OR SKILLS AND HOW DOES ONE GET THEM AND THEN APPLY THEM –

 

THE SECOND ISSUE IS NATURALLY FLAVORED BY MY OWN OPINION AND EXPERIENCES.  IT IS:

 

2.         WHERE ARE WE TODAY REGARDING BOTH LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEADERSHIP

 

 

 

 

I BELIEVE OUR LEATHER/BDSM/KINK COMMUNITY IS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER MINORITY COMMUNITY IN THAT AS STRONGLY AS WE ARE UNITED, WE ARE ALSO, JUST AS STRONGLY DIVIDED IN OUR DIFFERENCES.  THERE ARE POCKETS OF LOCAL STRENGTH OF LEADERSHIP THAT I BELIEVE EXIST OUT THERE AND IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH AND EVERYONE OF US WHO ACCEPT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS TO SEEK OUT THOSE WHO ARE BEING SUCCESSFUL AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE DOING THAT WORKS.  IT WOULD ALSO SERVE US WELL TO PUT INTO PLACE THE BEST PRACTICES THAT SEEM TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.  THERE IS A CONFERENCE HELD EVERY YEAR CALLED THE LEATHER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE.  IF YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW, IT IS THE ONLY EVENT OF ITS KIND THAT HAS ISSUES LIKE THE ONES I AM SPEAKING TO AS THE FOCUS OF THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE.  THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER TAKEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND A LEATHER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE, MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER LLC X BEING HELD IN NYC, APRIL 6-9, 2006.

 

 

 

 

ON A NATIONAL LEVEL, I BELIEVE WE DO NOT HAVE A LEADERSHIP PRESENCE PER SE.  IT IS AFTER ALL, DIFFICULT FOR OUTLAWS OF SOCIETY TO ACTUALLY BAND TOGETHER IN NATIONAL STRENGTH AND UNITY.  IT IS IN EFFORTS LIKE LLC THAT WE ACTUALLY TAKE A BABY STEP FORWARD IN A NATIONAL IDENTITY AND A STRENGTHENING OF LEADERSHIP.  IT IS IN SUPPORT OF GROUPS LIKE NCSF THAT WE EVEN DARE TO KNOCK ON THE DOORS OF POLITE SOCIETY AND MAKE OURSELVES KNOWN.

 

 

 

WILL IT ALWAYS BE THIS WAY?  I AM NOT A PYSCHIC SO I CAN’T REALLY SAY.  WHAT I CAN BE FAIRLY SURE OF HOWEVER IS THAT WE WILL NEVER HAVE A STRONG NATIONAL PRESENCE UNTIL WE LEARN HOW TO CREATE ENVIRONMENTS IN OUR OWN LOCAL COMMUNITIES THAT FOSTER LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES AND ORGANIZATIONAL ABILITIES.  I WOULD BE SATISFIED IN MY LIFETIME TO JUST SEE A STRENGTHENING OF LEADERSHIP IN LOCAL GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS THROUGHOUT OUR COUNTRY WHO SERVE AND SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN WAYS THAT ARE MEANINGFUL.

 

AND THIS TIES IN VERY NICELY TO THE THIRD POINT I CONSIDERED, NAMELY,

3.         WHAT STEPS CAN LEADERSHIP TAKE TO STRENGTHEN AGAINST WHAT I BELIEVE ARE DARK DAYS AHEAD

 

BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THIS POINT TRULY MAKES ME FEARFUL.  I SUSPECT THAT MOST OF US LIVE SOMEWHAT COMPLACENT LIVES WITH REGARDS TO WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE NATIONAL FRONT.  THE VIGOROUS ANTI-GAY MOVEMENT ESPOUSED BY OUR FUNDAMENTALIST BROTHERS AND SISTERS ONLY SPEAKS TO THE FACT THAT WE, AS THE COMMUNTY OF SOCIAL OUTLAWS THAT WE ARE, WILL BE FAR FROM SAFE AND SECURE FROM THIS GOVERNMENT THAT SEEMS TO BE SUCCESSFUL BY USING THE TACTICS OF FEAR AND UNTRUTHS TO SELL THEIR VISION OF BIGOTRY AND HATE.  IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME TO GET INVOLVED BOTH PERSONALLY AND FINANCIALLY IN SUPPORT OF THE EFFORTS OF NCSF, NOW IS THE TIME.  IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME TO BECOME INVOLVED IN THE POLITICS OF YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY, NOW IS THE TIME.  LEADERSHIP OF EVERY ORGANIZATION, GROUP AND FAMILY MUST FIND WAYS TO DO THIS.  IT IS EITHER THAT, OR IT IS BACK TO THE UNDERGROUND DAYS OF WHAT I’VE HEARD ABOUT THE “OLD GUARD” WHERE SECRECY AND COVERT ACTIVITY WERE ALL WE COULD EXPECT FROM THIS LIFESTYLE.  DOING WHAT WE ARE DOING HERE TODAY WOULD BE TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE IN THE “OLD GUARD” DAYS. 

 

AND DO YOU THINK IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO GO BACK TO THOSE TIMES?  LOOK AROUND YOU….BECOME INFORMED….SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE VERY FABRIC OF TOLERANCE IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY.  MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS TO BE SURE.  THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE TAKING POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP TODAY MOST DEFINITELY HAVE TO TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION, BOTH FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL SAFETY AND THAT OF THE GROUP, TRIBE OR COMMUNITY THAT YOU LEAD.  DON’T FOOL YOURSELF INTO THINKING THAT IT WILL JUST BE THREE MORE YEARS OF BUSH AND IT WILL ALL CHANGE.  I DON’T THINK SO.  I THINK THERE ARE DANGEROUS TIMES AHEAD AND WE WILL SEE A VERY DIFFERENT COUNTRY UNDER THE CONSERVATIVE UMBRELLA THAT EXISTS TODAY.  IF THEY ARE MAKING STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO BAN OUR GAY BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM EQUAL RIGHTS TODAY, THEY WILL ONLY NEED LOCAL LAWS TO PUT PERVERTS LIKE US IN JAIL AND BACK IN THE CLOSET.

 

LEADERSHIP CAN LEAD DOWN THE WRONG PATHS.  IF YOU DON’T THINK SO, JUST REFLECT BRIEFLY ON THE LEADERSHIP OF OUR GOVERNMENTS, OF OUR CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS AND OF OUR CORPORATE MONSTERS WHO ARE STRIPPING AWAY THE WEALTH OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSE AND DESIGNS.  SEE WHERE WRONG LEADERSHIP HAS TAKEN THEM…..AND WE GET TO GO ALONG FOR THE RIDE.

 

 

WE IN OUR COMMUNITY MUST USE LEADERSHIP IN A WISE WAY TO PROTECT WHAT FEW HARD WON RIGHTS WE HAVE AS SOCIAL OUTLAWS AND TO HAVE ANY HOPE AT ALL TO REMAIN ABOVE GROUND AS WE BECOME MORE VISIBLE TO MAINSTREAM SOCIETY.

 

AND, THE LAST POINT, NAMELY:

4.      HOW I BELIEVE LEADERSHIP MUST PROTECT AGAINST THE INTERNAL STRIFE, TURMOILS AND DIVISIVENESS THAT MANY COMMUNITIES EXPERIENCE WHEN LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES OR MISDIRECTIONS OCCUR IN LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITIES, TRIBES AND FAMILYS.

 

WE HAVE ALL SEEN IT….IT IS LIKE A CANCER THAT EATS AWAY AT THE COHESIVE BONDS COMMUNITIES, TRIBES AND FAMILYS TRY TO ESTABLISH.  IT MAY COME THROUGH A CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP BY INDIVIDUALS OR FACTIONS THAT SIMPLY WANT POWER OR EGO DRIVEN REGOGNITION.  IT MAY OCCUR OVER A DIVISIVE ISSUE WHERE NO COMPROMISE SEEMS TO MAKE IT BETTER.  YOU KNOW THE PLOT.  YOU HAVE PROBABLY BEEN AFFECTED BY IT MORE THAN ONCE. 

 

IT IS IN THESE SCENARIOS WHERE LEADERSHIP ABILITITIES ARE TRULY CHALLENGED AND WHERE GREAT LEADERS ARE FORGED IN THE FIRES OF CONFLICT.  IT BECOMES A TIME OF SACRIFICE WHERE LEADERS MUST RENOUNCE OR ABSTAIN FROM SATISFYING THEIR OWN PERSONAL NEEDS OR WANTS AND TO JUST BE OF SERVICE TO THEIR CONSTITUENCY. 

 

IT IS THESE TIMES THAT A LEADER MUST BE GENUINE.  BELIEVE ME, INTELLECT IS NOT ENOUGH.  IT HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT THE LEADER WHO SPEAKS FROM THE HEART USUALLY WINS OVER THOSE WHO RELY ON REASON ALONE.  LEADERS MUST AVOID BEING SWAYED BY POPULAR OPINION AND THEY MUST STICK TO THEIR OWN CONVICTIONS IF THEY ARE EVER TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

 

LEADERS MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE AND DEMONSTRATE EMPATHY, TRUST, INITIATIVE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE.  THE LEADER MUST “WALK THE TALK” FOR WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH.  A LEADER DOESN’T ASK ANYTHING OF ANYONE ELSE THAT THEY WOULDN’T DO THEMSELVES.  A LEADER HAS TO BE A DOER, NOT A SYCOPHANT WHO JUST SITS AROUND GIVING DIRECTIVES. 

 

 

A QUOTE I FOUND FROM DONALD H.MCGANNON, A DISTINGUISHED LEADER AT WESTINGHOUSE SAYS…”LEADERSHIP IS ACTION…NOT POSITION.”  THOUGH SIMPLY STATED, THOSE WORD SAY A MOUTHFUL ABOUT A SUCCESSFUL LEADER.

 

WHEW!!!!  ALMOST SOUNDS LIKE I’M RUNNING FOR OFFICE?  WELL, HEAVEN FORBID……

 

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES OF WRITING ANYTHING IS TO FIND A TOPIC, DEVELOP THE OUTLINE AND FIND A CLOSE.  IF YOU HAVE LISTENED TO AS MANY ADDRESSES AS I HAVE IN THE CORPORATE WORLD, THERE COMES A POINT WHERE YOU WONDER ….IS THIS PERSON EVER GOING TO FINISH?  

 

WELL FOR THESE REMARKS, THE ANSWER IS YES…. IT’S JUST ABOUT DONE…

 

I WOULD AGAIN LIKE TO THANK THE BEYOND VANILLA COMMITTEE FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO STEP IN AND SHARE SOME PERSONAL THOUGHTS ABOUT LEADERSHIP WITH YOU THIS MORNING. 

 

IN CLOSING, REMEMBER THAT EACH ONE OF YOU HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD.  IT MAY NOT ALWAYS BE IN GREAT AND HIGHLY VISIBLE WAYS, BUT THAT DOES NOT DIMINISH THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT YOU GIVE.  AND TO THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY BE NEW TO THIS COMMUNITY OF LEATHER/BDSM AND KINK, AND THINK THAT YOU DON’T KNOW ENOUGH TO LEAD, OR TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER STEPPED FORWARD TO LEAD, REMEMBER THAT WHAT YOU GIVE OF YOURSELVES IN HONOR AND WITH INTEGRITY CAN ONLY PRODUCE GOOD THINGS.  THOSE WHO HAVE LED AND CONTINUE TO LEAD IN OUR COMMUNITIES WILL NEED A BREAK SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE AND WILL WANT TO STEP INTO THE BACKGROUND AND TURN OVER LEADERSHIP TO THOSE WITH NEW ENERGY AND FRESH IDEAS. 

I WILL LEAVE YOU WITH A THOUGHT THAT ONE OF MY CORPORATE MENTORS SHARED WITH ME WHEN I FIRST TOOK A SUPERVISORS JOB WITH THE AIRLINES.  SHE SAID……. “LEADERS COMMUNICATE A VISION BIGGER THAN ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL BUT THEY ALLOW EACH PERSON TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ROLE THEY PLAY IN MAKING THE FUTURE HAPPEN.”

 

I HOPE EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ROLE YOU ALL PLAY IN THE LEADERSHIP OF THIS COMMUNITY AND HOW VITAL YOUR PARTICIPATION WILL BE IN MAKING OUR COLLECTIVE FUTURE SAFE, VIBRANT AND FUN WHILE RETAINING THE LABEL OF SOCIAL OUTLAWS AND ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE PEOPLE THAT WE WEAR PROUDLY.

 

MAY EACH OF YOU SEARCH YOUR HEARTS AND FIND SOME WAY….TO TAKE YOUR TALENTS, YOUR SPIRITS AND YOUR HEARTS, AND CONTRIBUTE, EACH IN HIS OR HER OWN WAY, TO THIS COMMUNITY.  FIND WAYS THAT YOU CAN LEAD AND CONTRIBUTE.   SUPPORT THOSE YOU PUT IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE.  THEY WILL NEED IT.  A COMMUNITY FOCUSED INWARDLY ON INDIVIDUAL WANTS, DESIRES AND RECOGNITION FAILS MISERABLY.   IT IS ONLY THROUGH COMMUNITY AND IN UNITY THAT WE DERIVE STRENGTH TO WITHSTAND THAT WHICH IS YET TO COME.

 

I WANT TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR LISTENING THIS MORNING AND WISH YOU ALL PEACE, CONTENTMENT AND THE ABILITY TO HEAR THE MESSAGE OF THE UNIVERSE AND SURRENDER IN OBEDIENCE TO THE CALL FOR SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP.

 

THANK YOU AND NAMASTE

 

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