By Richard Frasier

Being a newcomer to BootCo. and its community I am keen to share with you all my impressions of last Saturday night’s Leather Dinner and also take the opportunity reflect on my experiences in the community over the last few months.

As a former public servant who is currently masquerading as an impoverished art student, my immediate dilemma was what the hell to wear to my first Leather Dinner. Fortunately Ben (Pup) was on hand to assist me with an outfit that felt and looked great. No, I haven’t been sleeping in them but I am looking forward to slipping them on again for Hell for Leather and other upcoming events and perhaps purchasing another accessory or two.

On the night itself it was great to make new friends amongst the longer term members and newcomers like myself. The food that Ben and his team served was sensational and they did an amazing job to squeeze such a feast out of that tiny kitchen. One way or another, I have not had much real life exposure to the leather/kink/fetish scenes – and probably had some misconceptions about them. In the short time that I have been involved with BootCo. and its members I have been struck by the openness and generosity of this community, and these qualities were there in spades on Saturday night.  It was wonderful to see everyone enthusiastically celebrating the organisation’s many successes and achievements over twenty-five years – and the personal successes and achievements of members of the BootCo. community. Already I have a very strong sense of the community spirit that is BootCo’s foundation and I have a clear impression that the organisation is ‘punching above its weight’ on the national and international stages.

I am intensely curious about the things that make us tick and the diversity of desires, tastes and practices that comprise the human condition. Working out if and where I personally fit in to this community has been interesting so far and something that I have had neither the inclination nor the opportunity to do previously. It is just over three months since I first made contact with Boot Co, knowing next to nothing about the leather/kink/fetish scenes in general. Since then I have been very fortunate to meet and photograph a number of you who have generously shared your personal stories and experiences with me. Hopefully my visual story-telling efforts will contribute to a wider appreciation of leather and its various subcultures.

Happy twenty-fifth anniversary BootCo!