Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Like most 80’s babies in Washington DC, I was raised by parents who did their best to give me a “Cosby” life in a “Lean On Me” neighborhood. The oldest of three, I was often left in charge because my parents worked multiple jobs. I learned to be resourceful, creative, supportive, and caring, but it didn't leave me with conventional ideas of family. I left home at 16, which caused a rift between me and my biological family. Eventually, I started exotic dancing at local parties and later graduated to clubs. There, I was first introduced to slingshots, BDSM and the importance of chosen family. Working in the same clubs for years meant some of the other dancers, DJ’s, bartenders, and security became my family; some of those connections lasting until this day. Connections that helped me grow, supported my debaucherous development, and saved my life multiple times. Eventually, I traded in my slingshots for business suits and went to work in the vanilla world.
The connection, community, and camaraderie I experienced with my strip club family supported me through dark times and I missed them when I left. Being a perpetual loner and former sex worker meant I spent a lot of time by myself or with people who I felt could never understand the real me (outside of a few partners). Then, I discovered the leather community. Though I had been into BDSM for a while, my first kinky leather conference was the final Weekend Reunion. I was elated to see black and brown people unapologetically accessing their pleasure. Coincidentally, this was where I also first fell in love with the idea of Leather Family. During my first night there I saw Master Eli and the Illuminati House of Ra, including Sir Oya Ra. I stood awestruck by their precision, skill, and presence, but most of all the genuine sense of connection they exuded. Over time I started to see them everywhere and consistently they “showed up and showed out.” After my first extensive conversation with Sir Oya, I felt we might have something special for each other. As I had a chance to bathe in his energy and witness his skill level, I wanted to learn from him. The icing on the cake was when I met girl Greene. She is a top-notch masochist, smart, giving, and the “slaveliest slave that ever did slave.” When Sir mentioned starting Mount Saint Oya (MSO) I knew I wanted to be a part of his vision, so I asked him to be my mentor.
Leading up to the launch of MSO, we’ve celebrated birthdays and milestones together, supported each other in our individual endeavors, and spent some quality kinky family time. Though COVID has thrown a monkey wrench in O/our plans for world domination, we have still managed to stay connected and build a sense of camaraderie that I haven't felt since my strip club days. The family legacy motto “Illuminate, Inspire, Involve, and Innovate” reminds me to be cognizant of my contribution to my community and the family lineage reminds me I am not alone. Finding a leather family has been a medicine I didn’t know I needed and I’m grateful for this healing.