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PRESS

History Made as Asian Women Win Prestigious Titles: International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack

For Immediate Release - Piscataway, NJ, April 16, 2024 - In a groundbreaking moment for the global leather community, history was made as two Asian women, in the same year, specifically both from Korean descent, secured top honors at the International Ms. Bootblack and International Ms. Leather competitions. The winners, SpankCake and Goddess Indigo Rulz, have not only demonstrated exceptional skill and passion but have also shattered stereotypes and broken barriers within the leather community.

 

SpankCake, a talented bootblack from Los Angeles, Calif., clinched the title of International Ms. Bootblack with her creativity, empathy, and unwavering commitment to her craft. Her win not only highlights her remarkable talent but also challenges conventional norms within the bootblack community. Breaking barriers as the first Asian woman to be crowned International Ms. Bootblack, SpankCake's achievement serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring bootblacks worldwide.

 

Meanwhile, Goddess Indigo, hailing from Austin, Texas, emerged victorious as International Ms. Leather, showcasing unparalleled grace, strength, and a profound understanding of leather culture. Covered Leather Master Goddess Indigo is an author and international educator as well as a founding board member and President of Onyx Pearls Lustre Southwest and Directrix of MAsT Austin. With her compelling presence and dedication to inclusivity, she has captured the hearts of leather enthusiasts worldwide. As the first Asian woman to claim this esteemed title, Goddess Indigo's win marks a significant milestone in the history of the leather community, underscoring the importance of diversity and representation.

 

Both SpankCake and Goddess Indigo exemplify the spirit of resilience, passion, and inclusivity that define the leather community. Their groundbreaking victories pave the way for greater diversity and representation within the leather world, fostering a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

 

In the words of International Ms. Leather Bootblack’s (IMsLBB) executive director, Mademoiselle Ceci, "We are thrilled to congratulate Goddess Indigo and SpankCake on their historic wins. Their achievements not only celebrate their individual talents but also signify a momentous step forward for diversity and representation within the leather community. We are immensely proud to welcome them into the esteemed ranks of International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack."

 

The International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack competitions continue to serve as platforms for showcasing talent, promoting inclusivity for all, and fostering community within the leather world. We believe Leather as Activisim, whether it is fighting for human rights and sexual freedoms,we will continue to work towards listening to our community and stand up for what’s right. As we celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of Goddess Indigo and SpankCake, we look forward to a future where individuals from all backgrounds are empowered to participate, thrive, and make their mark on the leather community.

For media inquiries, please contact:

IMsLBB Executive Director Ceci Cloutier 

4049648459

cecicloutier@imslbb.org

Re: Contestant Acceptance and Investigation Policy Announcement

For Immediate Release - Seattle, WA - We are excited to share our policy regarding contestant acceptance, ensuring transparency and fairness in our contest. As an organization committed to upholding ethical standards and community values, we believe it is essential to establish clear guidelines for contestant participation.

 

Since 2023, our policy states that all contestants must consent to a thorough investigation as part of the contestant run. This investigation, as an integral part of the vetting process, aims to maintain the integrity of our contests and promote an environment of trust among our participants and the community. As Gen 5 producers, we firmly believe that if we make the choice to reject someone, we impose our unilateral will on the composition of the contestant class. We acknowledge that our scope is limited. By allowing the community to crowdsource vetting we can overcome potential bias in the production team and overcome limited knowledge due to the fact that we live in our own communities and do not have a complete view of all leather communities. The investigation piece of the contest run is a major part of the vetting process.

 

We understand that this is not the approach that some of you are used to. We remain committed to providing the most fair and ethical contest experience to all contestants. It has been made clear in the past that ending our investigations before the announcement, and relying on too small of a scope, reduced our abilities to ethically ensure the level of excellence and integrity that we expect of our contest and our titleholders. It is worth mentioning that the exception to this rule is, of course, in cases where the law is involved and we are not relying on our own limited judgement to discern guilt.

 

Contest investigations will be conducted with the utmost professionalism and confidentiality. All results will be disclosed to the judges before the contest, allowing for a transparent evaluation process. This measure is implemented to guarantee that every contestant is held to the same standards, fostering a level playing field for all.

 

We have complete confidence in our esteemed panel of judges, trusting their commitment to upholding ethical values and community morals in their decision-making process. Their role is crucial in ensuring that the titleholders selected embody the principles our organization stands for.

 

This policy not only emphasizes accountability, but also reinforces our dedication to promoting fairness, integrity, and community spirit in all our endeavors. We appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to strive for excellence in our contests.

 

We welcome any evidence-supported feedback for this year or any year's contestant class. Please submit any concerns via email to imslbbgen5@gmail.com, using the subject line: "Contestant class". Thank you for being a valued part of the IMsLBB community.

 

Sincerely, 

 

The IMsLBB Production Team

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For Immediate Release

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of a beloved member of our International Ms Leather community today, Luca. Her presence was a beacon of light, her dedication to the community was an inspiration to us all. Through her tireless work and unwavering kindness, she enriched our lives in immeasurable ways. Her warmth and passion resonating with everyone she encountered and leaving an indelible mark on our hearts.

 

As we navigate this profound loss, let us remember and celebrate the remarkable individual she was. Let's honor her memory by upholding the values she cherished and sharing the kindness she so freely offered. Our hearts go out with deepest condolences to her family, friends, and all those whose lives she touched. Though she may no longer be with us, her spirit will forever echo within our community.

Re: Sir Ang

Seattle, WA - October 19, 2023 - After many months and countless hours of arduous and intentional labor on the parts of Sir Ang, her team and the restorative justice mediator, IMsLBB is in receipt of a final recommendation on how to proceed in this matter.

 

The report states that Sir Ang has participated actively and wholeheartedly in the restorative justice process. She has engaged both on her own time, and with the restorative justice mediator, in a rigorous journey of introspection, accountability, and growth. Throughout its duration, she has shown deep care and concern for those who submitted the consent allegations that led to this investigation / restorative justice process, despite their non participation in said process.

 

Through open and honest conversations that have facilitated understanding, empathy, and a path forward, Sir Ang has completed the restorative justice process that has been requested of her by the restorative justice mediator.

 

IMsLBB will be taking the recommendation of the restorative justice mediator and Sir Ang will be welcome at all IMsLBB events as your 2018 International Ms Leather.

 

As the IMsLBB team strives to work towards ensuring safer spaces and promoting consent culture, we will continue to fine tune the process of intaking and processing consent incidents. We acknowledge that this process has been difficult and traumatic for all involved and we are grateful for the grace and community focused approach that was employed in this matter.

Re: Contestant Drops Out of Contest

Seattle, WA - April 19, 2023 - We regret to announce that Diamond Pearl, one of the contestants in the upcoming International Ms. Leather Contest, has withdrawn from the competition due to personal events. 

 

In a statement, Diamond Pearl expressed her disappointment at having to withdraw from the competition, but explained that unforeseen personal circumstances have made it impossible for her to participate. She expressed her gratitude to the organizers of the competition for their understanding and support during this difficult time.

 

The organizers of the International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack Contest and Weekend wish Diamond Pearl all the best and hope to see her return to the competition in the future. The competition will proceed as planned with the remaining contestants, and we are confident that it will be a successful and exciting event for all involved.

 

We would like to thank Diamond for the care and self awareness that went into making this difficult decision.

Re: Sir Ang

Seattle, WA - April 17, 2023 - On April 5th Sir Ang made the decision to step down as Head Judge for IMsLBB 2023 to focus on the restorative justice process.

“After much consideration and introspection, I have decided to step aside as head judge of IMsL this year. Creating safer spaces has always been important to me and the thought that I may have been responsible for taking away anyone's safe space requires my full attention at the moment. I am willingly cooperating in all aspects of the restorative justice process and trust that the NCSF investigation into allegations of harm will be thorough. I will respect their final decision.

While I do not know *all (edited) the details of the allegations, I take accountability seriously. I will apologize and do the work to make amends, take responsibility for my actions, and participate in more education to continue to grow and do better.”

 

As the purpose of the IMsLBB investigation is to determine whether Sir Ang would be required to participate in an accountability process, and she has agreed to willingly participate on her own, there is no further need for investigation on our part. We will be proceeding with the restorative justice process as soon as possible. 

 

We want to thank the community for stepping up to assist in this investigation and for your grace as we continue to learn and grow together.

Re: Contestant Drops Out of Contest

Seattle, WA - April 4, 2023 - It is with regret that we announce Brynn’s withdrawal from the International Ms Bootblack contest due to unforeseen circumstances.

Brynn was an incredibly promising contestant in the competition, and her withdrawal will leave a significant void in the event. We are deeply saddened by this unexpected turn of events and would like to extend our support and love to Brynn and her team.

We understand that Brynn had been preparing for this competition for a long time and had put in a lot of hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, sometimes life takes unexpected turns, and we must make difficult decisions. We respect Brynn's decision to withdraw from the competition, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

We would like to assure our attendees that the contest will continue as planned, and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that the event remains a success. 

We would like to thank Brynn for the care and self awareness that went into making this difficult decision.

Re: Sir Ang

Seattle, WA – March 23, 2023 -  IMsLBB is in receipt of a complaint lodged against Sir Ang, in which allegations have been made that call into question her ability to serve as Head Judge for the upcoming 2023 IMsLBB contest. We take all allegations seriously and have launched an investigation.  

As we continue to navigate the complex waters of awareness in understanding abuse and the non-consensual use of power, we find ourselves, once again, needing to appeal to a restorative justice model. 

We cannot stress enough that we must keep our standards, ethics, and values high. We must all be accountable for any harm that we do to one another. We must acknowledge that any one of us can do harm and that intention, while important, does not mitigate impact.
 
At IMsLBB, we do not believe in carceral punishment. Since any of us might do harm, we believe that growth is possible from all of us. We believe in restorative justice frameworks that rely on accountability. In this process, we need equity, access, and participation. Taking into consideration the current political climate in the United States, we find ourselves reminded that none of us are disposable. 

We are happy to report that we are working with a restorative justice professional who will, in the immediate future, assist us in navigating our current needs for an educated restorative justice approach and accountability process. In the long term, we are looking at possibly having them join the team to assist in creating and applying more universally applicable policy.

Sir Ang has approached us to acknowledge, and take responsibility for any harm that she has caused. She has requested an accountability process and wishes to move forward within the restorative justice framework that we are employing. As such, the investigation will wrap up as soon as our team has had the opportunity to review the statements submitted. 
 
After our investigation is over, we are committed to helping all sides of this, who might be interested in doing so, to take part in a restorative justice process. 
 
While the investigation is underway, we at IMsLBB will be taking the following steps immediately and in the future for the safety of our events:
 
Now and Leading up to IMsLBB 2023:

  1. We will pin the post with the allegations on the IMsLBB Facebook page until the conclusion of the investigation. (This will happen in tandem with disabling comments. Please send any further information to us directly at imslbbgen5@gmail.com)

  2. We will note on any future social media posts mentioning her, that Sir Ang has had allegations made against her, and an investigation is underway. 

  3. We will provide space for survivors of abuse at the IMsLBB 2023 event to speak with one another for support.

  4. We will reach a conclusion to this investigation before the IMsLBB 2023 event.

  5. Should the investigation conclude that the allegations against Sir Ang pose a threat to the IMsLBB community, we will advise Sir Ang to go through an accountability process, and she will not be welcomed back at IMsLBB events until she does so.

 

As soon as we can find qualified individuals/teams, we hope to provide educational support by:
 

  1. Holding a workshop about abuse in the community, red flags from both sides of the slash, and how to safely come forward as a survivor at our event and other community spaces.

  2. Holding a workshop about negotiation and explicit prior permission, both at the beginning of and whilst in the depths of, power exchange/authority transfer dynamics. 

 

As always, IMsLBB Gen 5 remains committed to transparency, accountability, safer access for all, and a prioritization of those most marginalized among us. We offer our continued thanks for every growth opportunity and for your grace as we learn how best to protect our spaces in meaningful and community-building ways.

In Leather,
Mademoiselle Ceci Cloutier, IMsLBB Executive Producer
& the IMsLBB Production Team

 

IMsLBB Brings On Two Associate Producers

Seattle, WA – January 26, 2023 – IMsLBB brings on 2 new production staff members. Former International Ms Bootblack Teagan Ross joins the team as the Contest Director overseeing the production of both the IMsL and IMsBB contests. Sir Damien joins the team as a Technical Director focusing on IMsLBB’s website, our event app and the “on-site to virtual” content streaming service that will thrust us into a new generation as a hybrid event and contest that can be accessed globally.

International Ms. Leather and International Ms. Bootblack is committed to promoting inclusion, diversity and access to all. As a part of these ongoing efforts, it is our esteemed pleasure to welcome Teagan Ross and Sir Damien to the IMsLBB Production Team. Please join us in thanking them for pledging their time, labor, perspectives and voices to our efforts to make IMsLBB fun and fabulous for everyone. 

As a former International Ms Bootblack, Teagan knows what it’s like to run for the IMsLBB contests and moved into the production of contests a number of years ago. Teagan previously produced the San Francisco Bootblack Contest from 2018-2022 and joined the team to focus on making the contest more equitable, accessible, and transparent. Contests have long taken place behind closed doors and Teagan looks forward to peeling back the curtain and including the contest in our virtual offerings.

Teagan’s responsibility begins as soon as applications are submitted and she will be the primary point of contact for contestants in the months leading up to the IMsLBB Weekend. Having a member of the production team in this role allows us to keep clear boundaries between the contestants and the executive producer, Mademoiselle Ceci. As we move beyond 2023, Teagan will work closely with the production team to iterate and improve the contest and select judges we can trust with the difficult task of selecting our titleholders. 

 

Sir Damien is a community advocate and historian, devoting much of his very rare “spare” time to collecting the histories of the Leather folks who walked before him. Sitting on the boards of the NCSF, POCKLE and the NW chapter of the Men of Onyx, Sir Damien has hosted hospitality suites, sat on panels, done demos and taught classes around the country. In 2016 he founded the Seattle Annex of the Carter Johnson Library and Collection, with Mademoiselle Ceci and, by her side, he has taken pride in making it his part time job to support IMsLBB as a technical producer since 2019. In that time, Sir Damien has built a free, membership based website open to all members of the IMsLBB community (that means you! Visit: www.imslbb.org), has facilitated the streaming of two virtual events during the pandemic, has built the IMsLBB Backdoor (an internal streaming service for our treasured monthly “Friends of IMsLBB” supporters) and has streamlined a captioning process to aid us in meeting our 100% captioned or ASL interpreted content guarantee. As Gen 5 moves forward, he is excited to continue creating new ways for all to access IMsLBB, both in person and virtually. IMsLBB is committed to continuing the virtual component of the weekend so that those who are unable to physically join us due to distance, finances, or ability are able to participate in the weekend like anyone else. 

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A Note to Our Community

 

The International Ms Leather and International Ms Bootblack team has been poring over your survey answers, reading your messages, hearing your concerns and watching the world as it unfolds around us. As times remain uncertain and fears continue to rise alongside the numbers, we have made the difficult decision to go virtual again for the 2022 event. We look forward to connecting with all of you safely on our digital platform this April, as we set our eyes towards an in person event in April of 2023 in San Jose, California, USA.

 

In preparation, we invite you all (if you haven't already) to set up your very own IMsLBB profile when prompted as you browse the site. There is no charge to do so and your profile will give you access to view, participate in and create groups that speak to your interests. Not only that, but you will be able to keep up on all the goings on in the International Ms Leather and International Ms Bootblack Community, while getting your flirt on with Leatherfolk from around the globe! Stay tuned for more information! Registration opens soon!

People of Color Kink & Leather Experience and International Ms Leather & International Ms Bootblack team up to bring you a very special:

JUNETEENTH TELETHON!!!!!!!

Join us for a day filled with history, Leather, cooking, kink, classes, art, and conversations as we raise funds for POCKLE and IMsLBB! Help us continue providing accessible content year-round! 

Our telethon will feature the Menopause panel filmed for IMsLBB 2021 moderated by TheGoddess Indigo and featuring Mama Vi, Judy Tallwing-McCarthey, Mistress Mir, Mistress Max Rulz, Mistress Jill Carter, and Shann Carr. 

Other programming includes:
• Learn some wonderful recipes from Jackie Thompson and Robert Bowden
• Listen in about POC Leather history from Graylin Thornton, Mama Vi, and Kinkerbell
• Take a deep dive into “Black Leather in Color” with Sir Damien and some of his ONYX Brothers
• Watch kinky drawing with Pup Shade
• Pick up the 101 basics of anal prep with Xir Oya 

Catch the telethon streaming from 12 pm EDT to 9 pm EDT on one of the following websites or social media outlets:

https://www.facebook.com/POCKLEPROJECT
https://www.facebook.com/IMsLBB
https://www.facebook.com/CarterJohnsonLibrary

International Deaf Leather (IDL) announced to dissolve the organization.

“During the past thirty years, the International Deaf Leather – formerly National Leather Association – Deaf Chapter (NLA-Deaf Chapter) transition to IDL as well, have been proud to support and foster multiple leather people with our IDL titleholders, contestants, supporters along with 7 founders – 4 have retired and 3 have passed away so that leave me a sole founder of IDL. It is time for me to retire from this organization. The 7 founders are Philip Rubin, Rolf Hagton, Bobby Andrascik, Michael Felts - deceased, Jim Dunne - deceased, Charles Wilkinson - deceased and me.

It is with heavy heart that International Deaf Leather (IDL) Core Committee have made the decision that it is time for IDL to dissolve the club. With today’s technology that have change and impacted our organization big time.

We want to express the deepest thanks to everyone who has been a part of our organization for past 30 years with your great support and appreciation.

We the core committee have decide to split our funds into two group. They are Mid Atlantic Deaf Interpreters Fund (MAD-IF) and International Ms. Leather Black Boot (IMsLBB) for Deaf Interpreter Fund.

Thank you once again for all your love, support and celebrated with us for these 30 years.”

—posted on the behalf of one founder, Bob D-Pirc

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