I arrived home from California on Nov 5th to a house full of friends. Boi Jen has already flown in from Florida several days earlier to be my replacement while I was away. She knows what she is doing and I trusted her with my household while away. Several hours after my plane landed I was back to the airport to pick up Margaret, SouthEast Leather Bootblack aka girl go fix it. She flew in to help keep me sane for the weekend and make sure things ran as smooth as possible. More came in the next day, Ms Kitty from Florida and Shy Butch from York. Remi was also here and he wound up taking over the Production Manager Position for the event.
Nov 7th is a day that I will always remember. Philadelphia Leather Pride Night was finally here. I don't think any of us were prepared for what happened that night. What started out as a community project where I was asked to Produce a fundraiser turned into a major adventure. I remember standing firm stating I was only going to run Philadelphia Leather Pride Night....well the 5 hour event turned into the event plus an after party at the Bike Stop plus a host hotel plus a vendors mart plus a volunteer appreciation after party at the hotel... whew... so much for just 5 hours. Did I mention Rick Storer himself came to Philly and brought the LA&M Traveling Archives to display for us?
The doors opened at 7pm, somehow we were visibly ready. An army of volunteers had shown up to help out, I believe at one count it was over 80. The night opened with boy kevin on stage flagging then Pandora to open the event and introduce Jill Carter as our EmCee. Rick made a quick appearance on stage and help up Ms Carter's IMsL sash that he had brought back to Philly from the museum. I don't think she realizes mo st of the crowd stood up and cheered when she was on stage and they stayed standing when Jo Arnone was brought up next as our Auctioneer. The local Title Holders came out in droves to present items at the live auction. I saw faces that have not seen in many years. A car load even drove up from Baltimore after the Mr Maryland Leather contest.
The crowd became thicker and thicker and almost ever seat in the house was taken. The night was a whirlwind. As Producer I was everywhere with a huge smile on my face. I kept hearing the auction and the numbers coming in. I looked around and saw the event coordinators. They were absolutely amazing! Each one of them represented a different community group from the 5 state region. Between them and seeing so many different groups in the audience this was the largest gathering of leather, M/s, kink, and BDSM communities in many years in our great city. This night the venue became a classroom on what leather is about and who we are.
When the first segment of the auction was over Master Steve and slave tami, the Northeast Master slave couple for a quick speech then came on our entertainment. The Peek-a-Boo Review (burlesque show) donated a 30 minute segment. It was during this time that I did my first stage change. When the show ended Jo took the stage again. It was time for the Passional Power Hour where all auction items were donated by Kali from Passional and Passional Toys. My grand appearance... on stage in full fem attire.. corset, collar, opera gloves, skirt, harness w/dildo, fishnets, high heeled boots, fully hooded with a handful of toys. The audience had no idea who was up there. The 3 toys all went for triple their value. Jo did know it was me and we had discussed prior how far I was willing to go to raise money...which was pretty damn far. Each piece of clothing slowly was won and taken right off of my b ody. Jo kept leaving the heels on me and was having fun watching me try to balance. When the hood was taken off of me I could hear OMG coming from the audience. The rest of the clothes were quickly bought off of me and damn if they didn't have fun doing so. I will never forget Thomas with the boots. He used his teeth to loosen the ribbon and unzip them. I have also learned black electrical tape may not be the best thing to use to cover the nipples. Taking that off hurt worse then what was done to auction off the toys...lol.
Stage change #2 put me in my red leathers and back on stage with Rick Storer who had also brought back Caren Cunninghams title vest. She had passed last year only a couple of weeks after winning Ms NJ Leather. I have missed her friendship and it was important to include her in the night. She is the one that had convinced me to run for a title so we could throw fundraisers together. The final segment of the auction had started and we were out of time. We had to be out of the venue by 12:30 and it was midnight. Jo did her magic and sped up the auction. This was the wow segment of auction items. The one that I went after the hardest to obtain was won by my Director of Ops Wendy and Head of Security Sir Charles. They won an intimate conversation with Vi Johnson. I was beaming watching the stage. As the auction ended our keynote speaker took the stage. Our community is very fortunate to have obtained our newest resident. Ms Khiki who was the first Ms Atlanta Eagle then had won the title of International Master in 1999. She is so amazing and I heard every word of her message about rebuilding communities. Unfortunately during her speech the clean-up had to begin. I felt horrible and will find a way to make up for it. It was past 12:30am and management had already sternly told me we had to clear out. I wound up having to leave to return the chairs by 1am then off to the after party at the hotel. After inhaling several pieces of pizza and socializing it was time to head home. 4am I finally fell into bed for a handful of hours. The next day was the vendors mart at the host hotel and it was very successful. We kept the event as affordable as possible and found a hotel for 69 a night and was able to make the Philly Leather Flea a free event to go too. So $100 got you 2 tickets to the event plus a hotel room for the night and a vendors mart the next day. Mission accomplished... I was able to go to DC to keep a promise of showing up to the women's event at the Crucible. What a way to end the weekend!