Leather Perspectives with Master Lady Faye Summary
One Saturday afternoon in March I had the pleasure of listening to a wonderful woman explain her experiences in Leather and how it has impacted her and the community. Everyone in Leather has their own experiences and come to the Community by their own paths. Lady Faye began her journey while in her forties and has not looked back since. Despite the barriers she encountered there were some great teachers that enabled her to grow and learn in her journey. Attending play parties for several months she learned what she could and eventually began her identity as a Dom.
Lady Faye discussed her experiences with Leather at the March Leather Perspectives event hosted by the National Leather Association Dallas at The Eagle. When she began her leather journey, it was still a new idea that women could be dominants or even tops. Although she began her journey identifying as a sub she quickly determined that this was not to last. When approached by Doms attempting to top her with promises or threats, she would often sardonically whisper, “interesting…” She also began her journey when being heterosexual still carried a stigma with some in the Leather community.
In 2005, Lady Faye became South Central Leather Woman of the Year and in 2006 became the International Ms. Leather; these events helped her become a model for change. “With a title comes a certain sense of duty”, she said. She decided that as a title-holder, she wanted to be an example that would bring honor, respect and show responsibility for the office of International Ms. Leather. Attending as many conventions as she could, she admitted that it can become a strain on your relationships but she is not at all sorry she did it. When she returned from one particular event an organizer sent her a letter thanking her for the respect and honor she displayed. Truly, she felt this was one of her greatest accomplishments.
Lady Faye’s Leather journey began amidst a time of change for the overall Leather community but her travels have brought her a perspective of strengthening the community. A strong leadership is required for the survival and growth of those following the path. “Good leaders need to be in the proper places; Sub or Dom is irrelevant.” Lady Faye stressed that people remember that this is a path, not a destination. What’s important, she said more than once is, “Find your cause and your passion then work towards it!”
When questioned about the role or challenges facing women in Leather she gave powerful statement. “There is no line anymore; women can do anything that men can do.” She also commented the greatest challenge women may face is, “Getting their voices heard.” In order to illustrate this point it was noted that there were few if any women’s leather groups in Dallas. Like a professor in a classroom, she smiled assertively and agreed. She encouraged any woman to begin plans for the creation of a new women’s Leather group. She restated her earlier encouragement by saying, “We must be a welcoming Community.” There is a need for groups that allow for a safe environment and sometimes these begin as ‘X-only’ groups. Still, Lady Faye insisted that the Community must be welcoming and that these groups should be spring-board gatherings into the Leather Community as a whole.
As the Q & A session was drawing to a close a peculiar question was asked. Lady Faye was asked what three things she would like to be remembered for. Betraying a soft smile she thought about it before responding. When she answered she prefaced it by saying that these things could apply to life as well as Leather. “There are three things I want folks to remember: Be yourself, be honorable, and have fun. Otherwise, why are you here?” Encouraging words from a Leather Woman who wants to see a strong Leather Community with a strong sense of honor moving into the future.