Lady of leather

Dallas chef Synn Evans took off her chef’s coat and put on a cowhide vest on her way to being crowned Ms. Texas Leather

culture-1
LEATHER MAMA | Synn Evans is a long-standing member of the leather community, but won the first event she ever entered last week: Ms. Texas Leather. (Photo courtesy Oblivion Images)

JENNY BLOCK  | Contributing Writer
lifestyle@dallasvoice.com

I want this.”

That’s how Synn Evans felt about the Ms. Texas Leather title from the minute she decided to compete. As of Saturday night, that desire became a reality.

She’s in full regalia for our interview, including black leather vest, chaps and her medal. She sports a jet black Mohawk, devilish grin and blue eyes with a gaze as intent as it is kind. Ms. Texas Leather is not a beauty contest, but it’s hard to imagine her looks didn’t help her case.

Evans has been a member of the leather community since 1996, when her best friend introduced her to the scene at a party.

“I was introduced to good people and taken by the hand because of connections. It’s a huge networking system,” she says. “No matter where you travel, you have a place to walk into and fit in, and whatever turns you on is all right. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s like you just know something you just belong with.”

Still, her entry last week marked her first leather competition — surprising, considering how she lights up when she talks about leather:

“I love the way it looks. I love the way it smells. I love the way people dress in it. It’s not for everyone and I get that. But I think that if people were introduced to it in a proper way, it would be hard to walk away from. It’s exciting.”

Her love of leather is in no way hampered by the fact that many see the scene as the domain of gay men. “The leather scene is dominated by men,” she acknowledges. “It was started by men. Women were there, but it was a separate entity. Throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, it started to take off and the feminist movement was really intertwined in it.”

Despite its male roots, Evans says she doesn’t feel any disrespect from her brothers in leather. “I don’t think there’s a problem for women in the community. Men appreciate having their own space just like I appreciate having the women’s space. I’ve never had any trouble. I get along very well with the gay male community. I’ve never had anyone be negative in any way, which is one of the reasons I love the leather community so much. It’s really just a matter of visibility.”

It’s that very issue that helped Evans to win the title. “Visibility is part of my platform, for women in the community to be seen and heard,” she says. Evans also hopes to improve access to the community for those who are hearing impaired, an issue close to her own heart as her last partner was hearing impaired and her current partner, Lillith Grey, is a sign language interpreter and instructor, as well as Gulf Coast Leather Woman of the Year.

“When I announced I was running for this title, [Former IML champ] Jeffrey Payne said to me, ‘It’s going to be a title family now.’ Next I’m going for International Ms. Leather.”

Evans says prepping for the competition was no easy task, between writing a speech, preparing for the interview, researching the judges and preparing a fantasy scene (a four-minute-long performance). Of these, it was the interview, Evans says, that really had her nervous.

“What was so stressful was that they could ask anything — personal, professional, family, anything — like, ‘What does leather mean to you,’ or ‘How do you plan on raising money for the title [for travel]’ or ‘How will your students feel about this?’” She stops and smiles. “They would think it was cool.”

In her vanilla life, Evans is a chef instructor at a community college and a private chef for various events (including for Glory Hole, her partner’s fetish production company; see sidebar). When Evans goes off to her professional gigs, her Mohawk gets collapsed and her jewelry comes off  as her chef’s coat goes on. “In my professional life, I try to be neutral,” she says, although some things, like her tattoos, she keeps on display “because they’re me.”

“Transitioning back and forth between the worlds really isn’t that hard. Like everyone else, you have a time and place for everything in your life. You always find a time and place for things that are important to you and I would never give up the leather community for anything in the world. It’s incredibly liberating to be with people who don’t care if you want to be pierced or don’t want to wear clothes or whatever.”

She laughs. “It’s all about pleasing yourself, realizing what you like and what you want and doing it … as long as it’s safe.”

It’s clear that the win means far more to Evans than just bragging rights.

“This title is a huge opportunity for women in the leather community here in Dallas and across the state. Part of my job as titleholder is to get people to come out. This title has the opportunity to really give the issues and the community the visibility it needs.”

Then she leans back, takes in the moment with a slow breath, and smiles. “It’s pretty cool.”

Indeed.

………………

GET YOUR KINK ON

culture-2This weekend, it’s time to get kinky and retro.

Glory Hole is a not-for-profit fetish event production company (which also has a kink/fetish performance troupe, called the Gloryhole Girls), with beneficiaries like the John Thomas Gay and Lesbian Community Center and other LGBT and kink charities. It was founded in part by Lillith Grey, an artist, activist, burlesque dancer and college instructor in the sex-positive community (she’s also partner to reigning Ms. Texas Leather Synn Evans).

Friday is Glory Hole’s ’70s Porno Party. “It’s going to be phenomenal,” Grey says. “We have live music, The Foxxy Love Show, community vendors, a private portrait photographer, a voyeur room, a full dungeon, hot DJs, and a catered fondue bar, as well as a no-cash raffle.” (One donated non-perishable food item gets you one raffle ticket.)

The location is sent to members the day of the party, and the parties are BYOB with a very strict no-photos policy. Security and safety are paramount at these events. Costumes are highly encouraged. “RIsque is A-OK,” is Grey’s motto.

Because it’s a members-only event, you need to join in time for the party (no applications are accepted at the door — if you can even find the door). To register by 6: p.m. Friday, visit GirlsGoneGloryhole.com.

— J.B.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Glenn Beck: I Wore A Bullet-Proof Vest To Whitestock 2010

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Fixing Craigslist

By Ty Pressley, The World According to Ty

For those of you who may not know, I’m pretty much like Scott Bakula from “Quantum Leap” (and I swear that any day now I’ll stop referring to that show in my punchline arsenal) — I’m bound and determined to fix the world.

Is there anything more amusing than the sordid and desperate ramblings found only in Missed Connections? Hmm, Dustin Pot Pie doing karaoke? Sue Sylvester from “Glee”? That might be it. Accordingly, I’ve decided to grace these CraigsList posters with my insightful — albeit unsolicited — advice.

After Hours TMC – Sat. Nite – m4m

Really like how forward you were. Not shy at all. I helped you find your vehicle in the rain. You drove me to my car. Regreting I didn’t get your contact information. Tell me about your vehicle make and model? Where was I parked and what did we do when we got there?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you either shared an awkward moment of silence; or, more realistically, you folded down the backseat and created your own version of Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.” If he was so drunk that he couldn’t find his car on his own — gotta love that commitment to excellence — he’s not going to find your ad on CraigsList. Unless he’s one of my drunk Facebook friends.

S4 Dance Floor Friday night – m4m

Your were dancing with four of your friends and you and another was wearing a vest (But you were the one in a dark shirt with the vest). You were wearing i think black jeans/courderroids with white nike hitops..with a nice ass.. We dance for awhile back to back and i touch you ass couple of times.. love to meet you and hang out…

Hold up. Friday? S4? Wearing a vest?? This guy might actually be referring to me and my besties on the dance floor!! This. Is. Priceless. Before you mourn over what probably would have been a cross between “Bad Romance” and “I Will Always Love You,” realize that there is no such thing as a Missed Connection at S4. You either went home with them, or you didn’t. And they definitely weren’t corduroy pants.

American eagle ne mall – m4m

Saw a cute dude with his mom at American eagle we exchanged glances hit me up if you see this never done this before hope it works

Let me start this by pointing out the obvious: He was with his mom. That’s usually a good indication that he is either underage, has no money, or has no friends. And you want to find him?? And you expect us to believe that you’ve never tried to hook up with a stranger online before??

Guy in the Red Ford Ranger – m4m

Friday you cruised up and down Bowser close to the Hidden Door. You and I spoke, for a short time, you said I was HOT. What color tank was I wearing? We should meet again, and you should come prepared. BEAR on the balcony. PS: I liked the mustache and the goatee….

I am quickly losing faith in humanity. Your tank top was a dark shade of failure. And if he had been interested, he would have told you to hop in and come home before his lesbian roommate realizes he took her truck.

All of these people have a few things in common:

• None of them are getting laid tonight.

• Do these people not bother getting phone numbers, or Facebooks? If he’s cute, introduce yourself. Get his name!

• None of them has any initiative. Seriously, try something original if you want to give a guy your phone number. Ex: “If you wanna call me sometime, my phone number is written on the bathroom wall.”

* If you think you might want to hook up with them later, seize the moment and do something about it. CraigsList isn’t a time machine and your best chance at a happy ending on CraigsList is rubbing … a lamp.

—  Dallasvoice