May 29th, 2007

While I was away...

I'm home from IML, and I have lots of stories to tell.

But first, while I was away, a rifle shot was heard from San Francisco. Transgender acceptance vs. one of the most regaled SM/leather clubs worldwide, the Chicago Hellfire Club.

Read the amazing article published in the Bay Area Reporter here.

This very issue is a major reason why I am probably going to Delta this year, and not CHC's annual Inferno event.

More on the Chicago Hellfire Club.

Man, I really stepped in it with my last post, huh?

I see myself standing on other sides of the fence than some of my friends. I hope this doesn't affect anything in the way of our personal relationships, gentlemen.

My last post would seem to feel like I have a negative viewpoint on CHC. In reality, my feelings are completely opposite. Let me explain why I am so torn about this issue.

During my first steps within the halls of GMSMA, MAL, IML, the various small club runs and sash weekends I would roadtrip to... I would see the occasional vest with the CHC patch on the back. 95% of the time, the man wearing that vest was someone I respected... someone I looked up to. When I learned the history of the club, I read the names of all of our forefathers. People I wished I had the opportunity to meet. People I have learned from indirectly.

People I aspired to be.

I never thought I would actually ever attend Inferno. I was scared shitless over the prospect, feeling like I didn't belong. I wasn't a hard enough player, not good enough. I didn't belong as a bisexual man.

Then I attended. And I saw I had friends there, people who welcomed me to their space. Men who I looked up to took me under their arm and whispered into my ear - "Welcome home." I cried during the opening ceremonies. I cried at the end. I couldn't believe that yours truly would ever attend the SM Run to End All Runs, and I sure didn't expect to be so welcomed there.

I had a whole shitload of fun that weekend.

Every time I am in Chicago, I make it a point to play in the CHC Clubhouse. Whenever I walk into that dungeon, I feel alive. I feel history all around me. I see and hear and smell and feel the play that is happening all around me. It's MY kind of play - hard, intense, emotional, real, raw, present. I love SM play with men. I love the brotherhood all around me.

I like feeling like I belonged.

This weekend, after an amazing scene with qnetter, we went downstairs to come down from our respective highs. There by the TV is a bookcase with picture books from every Inferno run. We pulled out the book from when I attended... and there I was. Pictures of me, playing, in the fucking Inferno run book.

I almost burst into tears right then and there. Me, in the Inferno run book. Me, a part of that history. Hell, I'm tearing up right now.

See, here is the dilemma. The Chicago Hellfire Club to me has always been the pinnacle of Male on Male SM. To be accepted into those halls is to be welcomed into the next chapter of history. I see the CHC member back patch and I ache to wear one myself. I gaze at my run patch, and I wish I had more.

I aspire to be a Hellfire brother. With my fellow men.

My problem is, I cannot. Some of my fellow men cannot come with me, and that breaks my fucking heart.
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