I made an appearance on the Alter Ego Podcast! I was interviewed about pony play by the wonderful Athena Rosette. We cover everything from how I discovered pony play, what activities it entails, the effects it has on me, and how getting in touch with my inner horse utterly changed my life.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Learning Burning Wheel — the Swiss watch of roleplaying games — is a daunting task. The Burning Wheel Bible consolidates the Hub of the Wheel into a menu of selectable moves that drive the game forward, providing a unified approach for new and experienced players alike.
"Showing Up" is the stepdown speech I gave at Colorado Leather Fest 2017 before passing on the mantle of Mr. Leather Colorado. I also gave an abbreviated version of this speech after placing in the Top 20 at International Mr. Leather in 2018.
Anyone at Voodoo Leatherworks can tell you that I am a different horse than the one who first stepped through those doors five years ago. It took me three tries, you know; I would sit in my car for about fifteen minutes, grappling with my social anxiety, exposed to a level of vulnerability I’d never experienced before. Then I’d drive away. I did that three on different nights, in three different months.
Running for Mr. Leather Colorado felt a lot like that: sitting in the parking lot starting at a set of doors. Except you’re not in a parking lot, you’re in a hotel room, and the only way out is the door. And your extended Leather family – who you love and respect beyond expression – is waiting on the other side. Events like this are all about the woo, and they’ve got a tub full of it, and they’re going to drown you in it.
I think a little hazing is important in title contests, because competing for a title is a ritual of metamorphosis. You are figuratively – and in some cases, literally – stripped down to your barest essentials, and your peers put you back together as the you that they see, the you that they know you can be.
Our own Don Collings told me that “the you that you are now can be a titleholder.” Because this metamorphosis is something that can happen to anyone. All it takes is showing up. Everyone is capable of showing up, but that doesn’t mean everyone does.
Showing up means taking initiative, picking up the ball and running with it even if it isn’t your ball. It means being present – both physically and mentally – even when you have all the excuses in the world not to be. It means maintaining your integrity, living out your values by example even when doing so is inconvenient or painful. Most importantly, it means being authentic, even if the world around you says you don’t belong.
Do you have to hold a title to show up? Of course not. Are you able to show up 24/7? You can certainly try. Do you have to be the loudest person in the room to show up? Not at all. But what I learned during my title year is that you can make great changes in yourself, the people around you, your community, and the world at large by showing up.
All it takes is to walk through those doors. And if you do, we will follow.
I want to take a second to thank:
- My family at House Thorns for their invaluable mentorship and support.
- Voodoo Leatherworks and its membership body for creating the home I’ve always yearned for.
- My title brothers and sisters for undergoing this incredible journey with me.
- Michael Hobbs for figuring out what the hell to do with a guy who dresses up like a horse.
- Master Prophyt for pulling me off that couch and into the rest of my life.
- The Rocky Mountain Pony Herd for being the horses they want to see in the world.
- My Dad for instilling in me my most important values.
- And my Mom. Your love and passion ignited in me a fire that I have dedicated my life to igniting in others.