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SELF 2009 - An Event to Remember

This year Zita and I went to SouthEast LeatherFest for the second time. We were busy the entire weekend. Through the encouragement of my friends and family, I was competing for Mr. SELF 2009.

We stayed with Zita's boi Andy and Margaret. Not only did I compete, Margaret ran for SEBootblack. Even though we had a handicapped room so Margaret could move around in the wheelchair, it was still crowded. Normal luggage, gear bags, and auction baskets for two contestants... I think we really needed an annex. We arrived much later Thursday night than we intended and barely got any sleep, but we had to hit the ground rolling on Friday morning. Notice I said "we." I entered the competition, but it was definitely a group effort. Zita and Andy put so much time and effort into this contest. And, just for the record, it wasn't just one contest, it was two. I came in first runner-up for NCLC, a feeder contest for SELF. I had very good feedback from the judges so we decided to take that work and support SELF.

Carnival was Friday night. It was a fundraiser including the auction baskets. I got to meet some of the judges, but not all. Oops. This is what happens when I get hyper-focused. I had a great time mingling with attendees and we raised $2000 for the contestant travel fund. Lady Catherine was distracted when she tested a very wicked implement on my little girl. Somehow she ended up buying that basket. I can't blame her, though. I know that I'm distracted when I see her welt-up...WEG!

Saturday was interviews with the judges. That's what it was, a job interview. Later that evening during the contest, it was an interview with an audience. Once we got going, everything flowed. The nerves stopped and I took the basic advice that everyone had given me: be yourself. "Take what you do seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously." I threw straight-lines up for the emcee to hit out of the park. The introduction, pop question, and speech went really well. The fantasy, on the other hand, was out of this world. Even if nobody had seen it, it was fun to do. We incorporated objectification, retro-service, and bootblacking; does it get any better? I had a blast, those helping me enjoyed it (thank you everyone!), and we got great feedback from the audience.

The only downside was that I wasn't in the audience enjoying the other contestants' parts. We got to see some of the fantasy run-throughs, and what we saw we enjoyed. I do wish we had been able to see and hear more. We snuck out behind the curtain to listen to Bettie's and Andy's step-down speeches. We got to see the community awards, and then we huddled behind the curtain to await the results. Zita and I both were teary-eyed as we watched Andy pass her title on to Margaret. Ms Jan ran well, but Miss Rae took Ms. SouthEast LeatherFest. I've known Ms Jan for a long time, dating to my pre-kink years. How time flies. Congratulations to Miss Rae! We had a great time getting to know you and I'm proud that you and Margaret are my title-siblings.

Yes, I did get the title. It was surreal. Mr. SouthEast Leather 2009. I had a very long talk with someone I respect after the social that night. He discussed that it's rite of passage in our community. I came here from the bedroom-bondage side of things. I was asked this weekend if I considered myself a Leatherman. I don't know if I would call myself a Leatherman, but I see this as a part of my journey, acceptance into the tribe. Sunday night, Zita got a tattoo to commemorate her graduation from nursing school (4th in her class, thank you very much). I got my first tattoo to commemorate SELF weekend.

So, for all the people who helped me along my path, I am truly thankful. I can't describe how much of this experience I owe to the support and love of my partner Zita. Thank you, beloved. My little one (someone else...lol) couldn't be with us for the contest, but I'm so thankful for your love and the work you did as well. To Andy and Margaret, thank you for everything you did for us. I'd also like to thank Lady Catherine and nic for their encouragement and support. I wouldn't have had the courage to run the second time this year without it. Elcca, Beth, Kim, and Bettie, your help was greatly appreciated. I'm sure we'll all be seeing much more of each other over the coming years.

Now, onto the work. It's going to be a busy year. Zita's going into her first year of nursing so our schedules will be hectic. It's all part of the journey, one that I'm looking forward to with eyes wide open. "Everyone holds a piece of the truth," and I hope over the next year the people I meet will share those pieces with me. Growth comes with learning, and I want to keep growing and learning.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Well congrats!!!

Glad to hear that everything is going so well! Miss chatting with you from time to time!!!
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
Thank you!
I'm on yahoo a lot more often as nefariousofnrg. I miss chatting with y'all too. Tell everyone I said hi!
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you!

I'm getting ready for bed, otherwise I'd chat you up right now!!

I will give hugs around! We're off to Border Wars this weekend - K & N are already there with camp. I've got a couple of appts to do tomorrow before I can get out there, which is KILLING me of course. ;)

So I shall catch up to you VERY soon!

Jun. 17th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
I am honored to be your sash sister as well as part of your family. Your support and guidance were invalueable this weekend. Much love and many hugs.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Proud as well!
Margaret, it was awesome to share this with you! I'm so happy that we have this, and we're going to have a lot of fun over the next year... and beyond!
Jun. 17th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jun. 17th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
You make me proud to be a member of your family. You make me proud to be your best friend. I am glad i could help where able (you know, when i wasn't balled up in a heap somehwere dying) and i will be so glad to help through the entirety of the year and beyond.

ma petite
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
You were so much help. I'm proud you are family as well. With love always...
Jun. 17th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! We're looking forward to seeing you soon!
Jun. 18th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to express how proud of You I am, dearest SIR. The only thing that would have made it better is if I could have been there with You and our Family. If nothing else, I could have "Mama'd" Andy ;)

As always, I love You, and am honored to be Your little one.
Jun. 18th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
Oy! You had to use that icon... *rolls eyes while LMAO*

Thank you again, little one. We'll have lunch soon.

Jun. 19th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
Congratulations, Nef (and Margaret too!). I wish you the very best with your title year and this newest chapter. :)
Jun. 20th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you Carmina! I'm hoping to see you and Adder sometime soon.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )