Week 1 As a Titleholder - Feb 2, 2016

Perhaps I was naive when I first decided to compete.  I thought in many ways that if I won, nothing would change; I would still be me.  I am still me, but I am also something more now.  Not because I won but because of how my community now sees me.  

I think in many ways my community was more excited that I won then I was.  Probably because for most of this week I was still in various states of shock, unsure that it had really happened.  I am fairly certain that I experienced every emotion any human has ever felt over this past week. Competing is exhausting.  It is also one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life.  

People have been congratulating me, ever since I won.  Yet I know, I didn’t win.  We won.  From those people who welcomed me at my very first event to those who offer me weekly and in some cases even daily contact and support now.  We won.  Every pair of boots and pants and dresses and piece of leather I have blacked since I first started, helped me win.  Every black I have talked shop with and every new black who I have been privileged to help teach won last Saturday.  I know that without your help and support over the years, I would have never had the courage to step up and compete, even if I had had the courage to continue bootblacking as a fem.  

There weren’t many fem bootblacks in the local area when I started blacking.  However, no one ever told me that “fem’s can’t black” so I embraced blacking into my identity as much as fem and slave.  I dress pretty and I black.  I wear heals and I black, though commonly they end up on the floor next to me. No matter who you are and how you identify, there is room for you to black.  When it comes down to it, the only thing that actually matters when you black is that you bring your heart to it.  The skills will come.  I will be spending a lot of time this next year improving my skills too.  Bring your heart and love of leather with you.  Let that love shine through as you care for the leather and your clients.   

I have been truly blessed to have the support of my community in reaching this stage of my growth.  And I learned this past weekend that I now have an even larger community that will continue to help me grow.  To that community, I ask all of you who read this to do me two favors:

  • First, please support your local bootblacks! If they need teachers, reach out to me and let’s find them some.  If they need clients, please let them work your leathers and let them learn.  If they need venues, try to help them find a place, even just for one night, to work.  
  • Second, if you have offered to help me, please send me your contact information or ping me on fet or fb so that I can remember who you are.  I know I received many offers on Saturday night and Sunday. I was so blown away that I do not recall all of them.  

There is a piece of advice for any of you who are looking to compete.  Bring a notebook with you and anyone who offers to help you in any way, ask them to write down their contact info so that you can remember them.  Do not trust your mind as, win or lose, you may forget how to think for a while as the plethora of emotions settle again.  

My emotions are starting to settle.  I can again feel the call to serve my mission and community.  This next year is going to be a wild and bumpy ride.  And I look forward to sharing much of it with all of you.  Thank you for your kindness and support.

~xiaoyi

Southwest Bootblack 2016

Perhaps I was naive when I first decided to compete.  I thought in many ways that if I won, nothing would change; I would still be me.  I am still me, but I am also something more now.  Not because I won but because of how my community now sees me.  

I think in many ways my community was more excited that I won then I was.  Probably because for most of this week I was still in various states of shock, unsure that it had really happened.  I am fairly certain that I experienced every emotion any human has ever felt over this past week.  Competing is exhausting.  It is also one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life.  

People have been congratulating me, ever since I won.  Yet I know, I didn’t win.  We won.  From those people who welcomed me at my very first event to those who offer me weekly and in some cases even daily contact and support now.  We won.  Every pair of boots and pants and dresses and piece of leather I have blacked since I first started, helped me win.  Every black I have talked shop with and every new black who I have been privileged to help teach won last Saturday.  I know that without your help and support over the years, I would have never had the courage to step up and compete, even if I had had the courage to continue bootblacking as a fem.  

There weren’t many fem bootblacks in the local area when I started blacking.  However, no one ever told me that “fem’s can’t black” so I embraced blacking into my identity as much as fem and slave.  I dress pretty and I black.  I wear heals and I black, though commonly they end up on the floor next to me. No matter who you are and how you identify, there is room for you to black.  When it comes down to it, the only thing that actually matters when you black is that you bring your heart to it.  The skills will come.  I will be spending a lot of time this next year improving my skills too.  Bring your heart and love of leather with you.  Let that love shine through as you care for the leather and your clients.   

I have been truly blessed to have the support of my community in reaching this stage of my growth.  And I learned this past weekend that I now have an even larger community that will continue to help me grow.  To that community, I ask all of you who read this to do me two favors:

  • First, please support your local bootblacks! If they need teachers, reach out to me and let’s find them some.  If they need clients, please let them work your leathers and let them learn.  If they need venues, try to help them find a place, even just for one night, to work.  
  • Second, if you have offered to help me, please send me your contact information or ping me on fet or fb so that I can remember who you are.  I know I received many offers on Saturday night and Sunday. I was so blown away that I do not recall all of them.  

 

There is a piece of advice for any of you who are looking to compete.  Bring a notebook with you and anyone who offers to help you in any way, ask them to write down their contact info so that you can remember them.  Do not trust your mind as, win or lose, you may forget how to think for a while as the plethora of emotions settle again.  

 

My emotions are starting to settle.  I can again feel the call to serve my mission and community.  This next year is going to be a wild and bumpy ride.  And I look forward to sharing much of it with all of you.  Thank you for your kindness and support.

~xiaoyi

Southwest Bootblack 2016

Year: 

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