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Seattle, WA -- Yesterday was my thirty-eighth birthday. This weekend has also included the events associated with Northwest Leather. And while those of you who read my blog regularly may grow tired of reading it over and over, I must state again how truly blessed I am by the people with whom I share my life.
My boy Derek and his partner of twelve-plus years, Doug, came out from Chicago to be with me for my birthday. You can imagine my joy in having Derek with me; the connection we share is probably the strongest in my life right now. And my relationship with Doug has grown beyond my expectations. Although the relationship Doug and I have is not of the D/s variety, I still consider him one of my boys and the bonds we three share create a kind of family. While it may not seem familiar to many, it is my core.
Of course there is another boy I've been trying to court into this strange family of ours for almost a year now. Jeff and I have had some challenge over the past couple months but I am cautiously optimistic of the future. He's out of town this weekend but we had a chance to reconnect before he left. I'm not sure how things will progress but I do know I am very much in love with him. It's clear he loves me in return, too. I think this may scare him a little but with time we'll figure out what to make of our relationship.
Then there is my foundation, the Dragon Clan. My brothers and our whelps form the base of what I consider my community. Gene and Odie (pictured above) in particular are sources of inspiration and support. I can't count the number of times over the course of the past year the Dragons have offered their encouragement and compassion. These have been my first responders when I have sought counsel and comfort.
Expanding beyond this foundation is my broader community of family and friends. Having the Northwest Leather weekend coincide with my birthday gives me the opportunity to spend the time with them as well. Leather/Sm events in Seattle tend to attract the best players from throughout the Pacific Northwest, many of whom I consider among my closest friends. I got to see some of the women that contribute so much, including Lynnda, Alycyn, Tobin, Alyxx and Matisse. I had a chance to thank Malixe for all the photos he's taken over the years (including those posted with this entry). I got to visit with guys outside the men's community like Max and Monk in addition to the many gay and queer men I know from Seattle and Portland. I even got to play a little with my favorite girl from Toronto Gloria (pictured left) who came in to judge the contest.
All in all, it was a glorious weekend that also produced three new titleholders for the Northwest region: Rich Bryan as Northwest Leather Sir 2008, John Trueman as Northwest Leather boy and Shell Bishop as Northwest Community Bootblack 2008. Congratulations to each of them.
Next up on my schedule: Inferno XXXVII. I leave for Chicago on Wednesday then drive out with Derek. This will be my third Inferno and our second anniversary. To say I'm excited would be an understatement.