A Day in the Life of International Ms Leather 2018, girl ang

Photo credit Teagan Widmer   

Introducing Angela Saide aka girl ang, International Ms Leather 2018 and a pretty rad chick. We talk to her about the Leather community, about winning IMsL and her Melbourne based business Little Miss Leather which provides custom made leather garments.

Q. Tell us how the Leather sub-culture or community evolved, about your involvement and what it means to you.

The Leather sub-culture began after World War II when returned American military men joined biker clubs; they found the hierarchy and protocol structure were something they had been missing. Within this group there were many gay men looking to connect with other men who had similar interests. The biker clubs and the Leather men branched off to become different groups. Leather men looking for rough or kinky sex started to come together privately to play, after many years Leather bars started to open providing a place where they could meet. Women became more involved in the community during the AIDS crisis when they were caring for their sick and dying brothers. The Leather community these days is a vastly diverse group of people who span the entire gender spectrum and are into many different things. They also have strong beliefs about how you carry yourself in the world, your ethics and morals. I have been involved with the Leather community for about 5.5 years. This community means the world to me – I’ve found family here.  

Q. The Leather and Kink communities overlap but they’re not always aligned and you mentioned this in your IMsL speech. In what way are they different?

I differentiate the two by saying kink is something I do and Leather is how I live. Leather people are all kinky, not all kinky people identify with the Leather subculture. 

Q. Having a fetish for wearing leather doesn’t mean you are part of the Leather community. Can you explain that? 

Some people have a fetish for leather clothes (because leather is sexy!!!) this does not mean they identify as being a part of the Leather subculture. The Leather subculture has traditions, protocols, and history. Without an understanding of these, or a desire to learn them it would be odd to say you were Leather. 

Q. The Leather community gives the impression of being very male dominated. Have you noticed a shift in recent years and how do Leather women find their own place?

There are more male identified people in our community than other genders. Although that ratio is becoming more balanced it is not always easy to find spaces where everyone mixes well. I believe it is important for all people to have a space they feel comfortable in. An event might be exclusively for male identified, female identified, pups or rubber and they are great spaces to meet like-minded people. It is also important for there to be times/events/spaces that are all inclusive. As our community grows there becomes more opportunity for differently inclusive spaces.

Q. You’re obviously very artistic, and through your company, Little Miss Leather, you’ve turned your passion into a successful business. And it’s not just kink related, we saw some very cool Steampunk top hats on your Instagram feed.  Tell us how it feels to see your designs modelled at Oz Kink Fest. 

It feels amazing!!! Fetish Expo at Oz Kink Fest calls to the catwalk a huge variety of alternative gear from many different designers. Having my creations worn by people and seen on the stage has definitely been a highlight for me personally and a huge opportunity for my business. 

Q. I listened to an interview where you talked about your reservations about working with leather from an ethical perspective as you don’t eat meat. It’s obviously given you a lot of respect for the product. 

I have fallen in love with working with leather; each piece is unique in that it has come from a living animal. Leather is also a porous material that can last a really long time and be passed on from one person to another if well cared for. My respect for the product is huge, even my scraps of leather are treasured and used. I also talk to bootblacks often to make sure I am looking after my leathers in the best way possible and so I can pass the information on to others.

Q. Tell us about your journey to IMsL and your motivation for entering.

My sponsors Lucrezia De Sade, Piercing HQ, Oz Kink Fest, and Aphrodite’s Pleasure were paramount to my journey. I also had a huge fundraiser that was supported by many local businesses, friends and family. My preparation for competing included creating a 5-7 min presentation, 90 sec speech, 3 min fantasy performance, studying, practicing pop questions, and coming up with a huge number of outfits (Saturday of the contest I had 8 outfits alone). With help from friends I also designed and created a Squirter hanky and pin for flagging purposes as a fundraiser and to promote awareness. I spent 12 months connecting with the Leather community worldwide on Facebook to build my social media platform and raised money for 7 different charities. The year prior to running, I also flew to the States to learn first-hand what exactly it was that I was running for. Without this understanding it would have been much more difficult. I was inspired to run by Sarge, IMsL 2015. She is an amazing Leather woman whom I admire and she believed I could carry the sash well. My personal motivations were to learn as much as I could and challenge myself in ways I couldn’t even imagine. My motivation for the win was to bring home the sash to the Australian community. 

Q. You’ve reached the pinnacle as far as the international Leather scene is concerned. What will this year’s IMsL commitments involve and what’s still on your bucket list?

This year my commitments are to be a visible sex positive kinky Leather woman. I will do this by traveling, attending events, judging contests, maintaining a strong social media presence, doing interviews, having conversations, doing fundraisers, educating, being involved and volunteering. Into the future I will maintain my involvement in the Leather community in any way that I can serve best. Once my title year is finished I will go back to university to finish my psychology degree; I am working towards becoming a clinical psychologist. 

Q. Education was one of your platforms for IMsL and you’re one of the workshop presenters this year for Oz Kink Fest. What are you teaching and what can people expect when they come to your workshops? 

This year I will be presenting a Fisting & Squirting workshop at Oz Kink Fest. The class will begin with education around safety, techniques, anatomy, consent, preparation, hygiene, and lubricants. There will then be a demonstration and an opportunity for people to practice with a BYO friend/lover/partner. A skill share discussion will happen afterwards time permitting. 

Q. You describe yourself as a rugged Femme hedonistic switch and an insatiable flirt. What traits do you think have made you successful?

All of them! I can be very extroverted and I love to meet people!

Q. What do you find people think about the Kink or Leather scene that they’re wrong about? 

There are many misconceptions about the kink and Leather scene including that we all like pain. Not all people are masochists. Leather and kink is inclusive of people with many different kinks. Another misconception is that kinky people have been traumatised in the past and that’s why we are into it now. As adults we all make decisions. Not all decisions are made as a result of past trauma, whether that is in the kink, Leather or any other realm of our individual worlds.

Q. If people are interested in learning more about the Leather community where should they go?

There is a lot of information on-line that is readily accessible to the general public. After that have a look in your local area for events or munches. I am also readily available to people who have questions or would like to talk.

Q. If you could give the younger you some advice about your career what would you say?

I would say to keep following your passions, let the rest fall into place! Believe in who you are and keep craving knowledge!!!

1 Comment

  • triXXXi66 Photo
    More than a month ago

    congratulations to Angela for her hard work and dedication to the community of leather lovers.

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