Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 - What a Year!

Good Evening Everyone,

Here we are at the end of another year and it is time to reflect on 2009 and look forward to 2010. Let's start with 2009!

2009 brought many changes in my life. However, the one constant I am most grateful is that the year began with my husband, David, and the year has ended and I'm still with my husband! Change is good; however, no change is worth losing this wonderful man over. I am most thankful that in all the changes that have occurred over this past year, he has remained the one constant in my life!

Another change I am most happy with is our boy, adam, joining our family. He has fit right in and David and I (and the puppies) are thrilled that he has blended so well within the fabric of our family.

As for huge changes, I'd say the largest one was in the realm of titles and subsequent duties. 2009 began with the title of Mr. Dallas Eagle, which lead to Mr. Texas Leather, which lead to International Mr. Leather. This change alone lead to other changes: the resignation of my corporate Human Resource position in order to fulfill the goals and obligations as David and I had set for being IML, my traveling to all parts of the world representing the community at large and the IML title, and my appreciation of airport food. The biggest outcome (so far, as I'm only half way through my IML year) has been the friendships and family I have developed on each and every trip. From Ft. Lauderdale to Portland, Oregon and from Seattle to Berlin, Germany, I have been able to develop relationships that will last a lifetime.

I have been given the opportunity to hold the title as IML and I have pushed in every direction to ensure that I uphold the title and the trust the community has placed in me to the fullest extent possible. God knows I have had good times, incredible times actually, with so many people. Times like kicking back at someones home, smoking a cigar, sharing a drink and talking about whatever the hell we wanted! Being able to speak to so many individuals within the community and hearing so many points of views about the "state of our community" as a whole and the state of their local community was awesome. We have so much to learn from each other and I have been given this great chance to reach out to so many individuals and learn about it first hand. And then to take this information and pass it on to another community or individual that may find it useful in bettering themselves or their local community is one of the items that I wanted to accomplish with this title.

There have been some private moments with individuals that I will always cherish. Such as the times I have gone to clinics with individuals to have them tested for HIV because they felt they had no one else to go with them and did not want to go alone. Sitting there with them awaiting the results; hugging and crying with them when they found out they were negative because they could finally release all of their emotions or hugging and crying with them when they came back positive. Reiterating to those that were negative they needed to make sure they practiced safe sex and reassuring those that were positive that the end of the world had not been reached because of their status. Both scenarios can be a roller coaster of emotions for the individuals being tested and we all need someone to lean on. You may ask yourself why I would cherish moments such as these. I cherish them because I feel that it is important for us to be there for one another, not just during the parties and the good times, but during all times. In these situations, I was there for these individuals when they felt there was no one else. I know, first-hand, how that feels to feel there is no one there and to be able to step up and say, "I'm here, how can I be there for you", and know that these individuals trust and respect me enough to allow me to be a part of that journey with them, is something I will always cherish.

This year has been the year of emails! LOL I receive on average, each day, a little over 100 emails. Emails from every part of the world, about every topic imaginable. I answer all of them; however, some are about three to four weeks in arrears. However, I do try to answer all of them in an expedited manner. I also spend much time going through my spam folder, as many emails go directly to my spam folder that are not spam.

This year I was deleted from FaceBook for my obscene and indecent photo (to the left). Someone actually took the time out of their lives to report me to the FaceBook police. I still laugh about the fact that anyone would see this photo as being obscene and indecent. Come on! Really??? Needless to say, I've changed my privacy settings on FaceBook.

This year also brought me the news that I am losing my hearing, rapidly. It was not something I was prepared to deal with; however, it is what it is. I had been wearing hearing aids for a year when I went back for testing and my hearing had suffered tremendously. We ran more tests and it was discovered that the nerves going to my brain were 'dying'. It's genetic and other than hearing aids, there is not anything else on the market that could assist me at this time. However, the medical field is always evolving and we never know what they could come up with tomorrow.

This year also saw me graduate from Texas A&M. Yea!! I learned many things over the last semester; however, the most important item I learned is this: Do not take 12 hours of class AND travel every weekend for IML. It will just about kill you! LOL

2009 saw the beginning of the Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc., a non-profit charity that David and I started. When I first bought my hearing aids it amazed me as to the cost of the devices; $5,000 for the pair. David and I are fortunate in that we were able to purchase them outright; however, there are too many individuals within our community who are not able to afford such an expense. Thus, the SSC Fund created the "Hearing from the Heart" program to raise money to assist individuals with the purchase of hearing aids. The first project was the 2010 Calendars featuring the 2009 International Mr. Leather. Through the sales of these calendars, we have raised thousands of dollars to assist these individuals. The sales of these calendars also supports The Leather Archives & Museum and National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. We look forward to announcing the contributions made to each of these in February, once the sale of the calendars has subsided.

2010 holds many opportunities for myself and the family. The SSC Fund will continue to fund projects in order to raise money for its beneficiaries. Be on the lookout for them!! I will step down as Mr. Texas Leather January. I will continue to travel the world representing the community and the IML title; then step down as IML over Memorial Weekend in May. After May, as the 'former' IML, I will continue to travel and support our community just as wholeheartedly as I have these past few months; however, without the sash! LOL I will most likely go back to working a professional job; however, I'm not sure in what aspect. I have had many doors open up to me; so the family and I will discuss how to proceed. I will begin my MBA program in the summer. We will cross our fingers that my hearing maintains the status-quo.

2009 was a banner year for myself and my family. I never dreamed I would have had the year I had and I am grateful for each and every moment. I have no doubt 2010 will also be a banner year for myself, my family and the community. Keep reading my blog and if I'm in your neck of the woods, make sure to come out, support the community and say hello! I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

Next up: Phoenix for Mr Phoenix Leather!

Your Leather Brother,

1 comment:

  1. A terrific post, and thanks for sharing it. There have been great Mr. IMLs and there have been inspirational IMLs. For many of us, you've been both.