Aug 23, 2013 the inaugural SF Sober Leather Contest took place at the Women's Building in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. No one knew how well the contest would be received as opinions were divided as a great idea and a thing that was needed, to one not so well received and did not have a place due to the traditions in 12 step recovery.
In Fall 2012, Katerina du Lac who identifies as an intersex leather woman came up with an idea to do a sober leather title contest, not knowing at the time a friend of hers had a similar idea at one time, nor did she get or understand the work it would take to take on such an ordeal. As someone who had social knowledge and interactions with the leather community in San Diego, and in Salt Lake as at the those times would have identified as an oppressed leather man who fought sexuality as part of identity in order to hide being intersex due to being a licensed and ordained minster and later convert to LDS church, with a PhD in Divinity verses Doctorate of Divinity as could not prescribe to stance on male dominating agenda as she lived half of her time in one gendered role and the other half in another and was was doing bareback porn while in active ministry, In Jan 2010 this casual take on the leather community while in Salt Lake opened the door to drugs and becoming HIV+. When Katerina entered the SF Leather community it was after almost 3 years of being positive and overcoming Health issues, she dived in to what would be almost every nook of the community, to be a servant to her community and find find her place.
In a desire to be a humble servant to her Leather community and family, she grew upon as an individual and woman of leather heart from the many clubs and different involvements in the community while finding family a family for the first time in her life outside of her immediate, finding strength and genuine love from the community as whole, finding her place in the world, and finding out what it truly meant to be a Leather Woman. Which Katerina attributes to the greatest two people who inadvertently wrangled this tornado was Iain Turner when he asked "Why do you do what you do?" and Nerine Mechanique when she would what Katerina would always remember as noncensually top her and get her to submit in taking care of herself after a particular phone call one night. Katerina never would have thought a friendship and a respect for someone would blossom from a night at the Powerhouse when she was worried about keeping Ms SF Leather's freshly attended boots from Missy were kept clean. Katerina found her place in the community as result post contest which gave her the ultimate gift, she learned to take care of herself and find herself in the community by simply being herself and the most important work she can do for the community was take care of herself first and that is her most important contribution she can give to her Leather Community and Family.
SF Sober Leather Contest and also what later formed the SF Bay Area Sober in Leather [SF BASiL] was formed not as something to say look what Katerina did, it was a tribute and bridge to what Katerina thought was needed to bridge the gap between the sober leather community and the leather community as whole. during multiple conversations with people when she actually thought people were serious about the community needing more leather contests, her aspergers took over and there was no stopping her which she even planned to a SF Bay Area Kink Contest (rest assure not happening she does not want to want to own another contest, nor if she knew how much work it be she would never had done but wouldnt change it if she had a choice to do over again she would stand behind her decision.) Producing the Contest did the three things that it was intended for it to do bring the sober and leather community together, open up dialogue, and help create leaders in the sober leather community. With David "Trouble" Sanchez taking the title of Mr SF Sober Leather 2013 he has pioneered the way for title years to come and with the Board of Directors (oops should say as the Board thinks is more appropriate Board Slaves we are ensuring a legacy that embodies sober -centered Kink and Leather identities for years to come.
While the inaugural year was suppose to have a Ms SF Sober Leather title, Katerina felt that there was not a gender equality inclusive feel to the contest against male identified and female identified components, and made a decision without consulting the Associate Producer to remove it and would appoint a Ms SF Sober Leather instead. No one stepped up for the title so it was removed at the last minute. Many decisions that were made on the spot the almost drove a wedge and in fact did drive a brief one were made in order to provide a contest that was inclusive to all people who desired a sober life. She also changes formatting of the contest as she poured over the 12 step Recovery models 12 Traditions so not to violate the recovery Model. The contest is sober title contest, for those who chose a sober lifestyle whether in recovery or not (opens the doors to those who live sober from any active addiction for whatever reason such as beliefs and a life addiction not part of their story) THIS IS NOT A RECOVERY TITLE, nor was their recovery was allowed to be made an issue even though the contestants chose to share their story to the judges. We made sure Anonymity was kept. SF Sober Leather Contest neither endorses nor lend opinion on any 12 Step Fellowship or Recovery Model. SF Bay Area Sober in Leather [SF BASiL] as a community sober-centered social hub however may.
The Contest was in fact received well once people saw how it was conducted, had lots of community support, and while was a feeder contest to Ms San Francisco Leather Contest, Daddy Ray Tilton in an Impromptu announcement at the contest that the Mr SF Sober Leather Contest component would in fact be a feeder into Mr. San Francisco Leather Contest.
Many mistakes and a gross neglect on knowing the workings of the Leather Community and Leather Pageantry was made in the conception and implementation of the the contest, and yet were lessons well learned which allows for a smoother contest in 2014. In the end for a first year contest that was in fact a success a job well done, and the people both local and across the country who continually write and thank SF BASiL for having such a contest and the stories of inspiration that are told due to people calling SF BASiL and SF Sober Leather Contest a Beacon of Hope and something our communities needed really make this an organization of the people according Katerina. In Katerina's email and message closing tagline and closing.
In Service and in Leather,
SF BASiL Admin and Board Slaves