Racism Alive and Well in Philadelphia

Ever since i came out to leather just a little over a year ago as a slave, a black slave to a white Master at that, i have had no problem with race getting in the way of my lifestyle. And the picture i had of the leather community in the beginning was a rosy one. One of comraderey, togetherness, unconditional love all tied together with a strong sense of community. Leather folk helping leather folk no matter what the cause or condition, no matter what color. i began to see glimpses of reality, when my Master decided we would go to San Diego LeatherFest as presenters, participating in several workshops. As the months became few and turned into weeks before the event, i witness many "personality conflicts" in e-mail correspondences between my Master and various peoples he was facilitating.

Being somewhat naÔve, i remarked to my Master that his slave thought that the leather community seemed so together and look how everybody is engaging in all this petty bickering and fighting over such trivial things. "Welcome to the real world, boi." He said. "Just because youíre family, doesnít mean you donít have fights does it?" "No Sir." i said. Life went on, time passed and i saw the truth in it all. We are people just like any other. Some of us are good, some of us are bad. Some of us are proned to love and some of us are proned to hate. The only exception about us and the rest is that we all love some form of kink, usually drenched in leather.

So as a slave who protects his Master i began to hook up my radar and keep a look out for all of those smiley faced backstabbers, those evil satanic leather worshippers, just plain negative types. Especially when we were about to embark on a trip around the US as an out interracial Master/slave couple. We got all sorts of cautionary advice from friends and family about different parts of the country. Everything from not wearing camaflouge fatigues in those "militia states" to keeping off rural roads in the South.

Our cross-country journey was great! The Master/slave contest in Denver was our first contest ever entered, even though Master had judged many a contest in the past. it was a wonderful experience. i met so many wonderful and loving leather men and women, many of whom i felt in awe just to be in their company and many of those personal friends of my Masterís. The rest of our trip through the south and up and the eastern seaboard into New York, Canada and then across the mid-west and back home was flawless. We both enjoyed many places seen for the first time by both Master and slave and not a negative incident through out.

After returning home and settling into finding a new place to live, we anxiously awaited the next publication of International Leather Man. itís an issue on the Master/slave lifestyle. Master and slave were one of five couples featured in the article with five pages no less. We were fit to be tied waiting (at least this boy was) for the issue to come out. in the meantime we went on about the business of finding a new place that we could hunker down for the winter and work on LeatherWeb, our Global Leather Village website, leatherweb.com.

A month, then two go by, boi was out on the street running errands and Spirit said, "Go into A Different Light." No, Spirit wasnít telling me to change a light bulb, but go into the gay bookstore on Castro street. So i went in and headed straight back to the leather sectionÖand there it was, the new International Leather Man. i quickly scooped up two issues and looked through the first. Oh, my God! There we were in living color (and black and white also). The pictures, the story Master wrote about on our particular twist of our lifestyle, everything. Master will be so pleased when i get these home, i thought.

Well, He was very pleased and began emailing all our friends. Sir had done a great job of training His slave and marketing the package. Master has been in and has supported this community of ours for forty + years and well deserves to be in this magazine. His slave deserved being in the magazine because he is a perfect shadow of his Master. All of those chosen for this issue are most deserving.

We were in seventh leather heaven over being in the magazine until one day we came into town after moving to check our mail.

Boi went in and got the mail from our mail service as ordered. There was the usual bills and junk mail along with a piece of mail addressed to Master without a return address. i handed the mail to Master for his perusal. He scanned through it sitting in the van, tossing aside the bills and junk mail and focusing his attention the envelope addressed to Him in rounded handwritten letters.

He opened it carefully, just tearing off the end of the envelope. He pulled out a single page, opened it and read it. He sat for a few seconds after reading it, folded it and placed it back in the envelope. He tossed it in the pile with the others, started the van and we drove off to the next task. On the way we spoke about people and things, our friends, nothing out of the usual. We finished our tasks in San Francisco and then drove home, seventy miles north of the City in the redwoods of the Wine country. We had just moved here and were still getting settled. A day went by unpacking and re-arranging things and of course computing. it wasnít until the day after that that i discovered what was in the mysterious letter Master had received.

Sir was sitting at the computer answering email as he faithfully does two or three times a day when he paused and pick up the letter which was sitting on a shelf nearby. He took it out and read it again, this time sitting back in his chair with a puzzled look on his face. After a moment He looked up and said, almost to Himself, "i just donít understand it." Boi sensing that something was out of balance said, "Sir, what is it that Master doesnít understand, Sir?" He looked at me for a second and handed me the letter (i had already forgotten about it). i took the letter, opened it and read it. it was typed with an old typewriter and hand signed with that rounded almost printed style the author had.

It was a racist hate mail letter. i folded the letter and handed it back to my Master. He looked at me and said that this was the first time ever that he had received something like this in his life. He just couldnít believe it. i asked my Master why He didnít show the letter to me before. Master said because it wasnít worth showing me. But i could tell by the look in his eyes he didnít want me to be hurt or upset by it. i looked at my Master with loving slave eyes and said. "The poor thing, heís just jealous and wants You, Sir, and canít stand the fact that we are happy together, and unfortunately this is the only way he has of expressing himself. if he didnít like our relationship and was nauseated to read it (all the way through), why didnít he just stop reading it? Why didnít he just write to the editors of International Leather Man and let his thoughts be known to them instead of sending my Master this vile and disgusting, not to mention illegal, hate mail."

i experienced several emotions at once. Shock, disbelief, hurt, indigence, pity and anger. i wasnít angry (at the time) about what this man thought about blacks, but angry that this person who calls himself a master, could be so disrespectful of another Masterís property. It lasted for all of about thirty seconds or so before my Higher sense took over and all of the low vibratory feelings it created rolled off me like water on a slanted Gold roof with the residue drying up quickly in the warm sunshine of Higher consciousness. After a while all i had left was some slight wondering and a lot of love and compassion for this person whose heart is so filled with the darkness of hatred, that he must express it in such a way.

The next Sunday, Master and slave went to church. We attend a New Thought Metaphysical Church in Oakland, California. A female choir singer sang a beautiful song about the Light of Love and how it can light the darkest passage way. This man with his message of hate came into my mind. i began to think about how his heart and soul must be filled with so much darkness, that even he canít see the darkness that has him held in such tight bondage. So, i began to send him Love and Light in hopes that maybe, just maybe a thin layer of darkness could be stripped away, enabling him to at least see a little grayness, a little bit of light on the outer edges of his darkness.

Master and slave have no ill-feelings towards this man, no hate for his action. For we believe that by harboring ill-feelings and hate for cowardly acts such as this only fuels the fire of hatred and darkness. And the only way to put out the fire is not to feed it with the fuel it needs to exist.

So if you are out there Sir, Master and slave wish to send you our unconditional Love to you and thank you for your interest in our article published in issue number fourteen of International Leather Man.

Yours in Love and Brotherhood

boi rodtney ross - MASTER PHIL ROSSí slave

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