Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yes, Sir, Thank you, Sir - My Interview with Michael Tattersall (re-post)

I attended Capital Pride this year for the very first time ever.  I went with my good friends, Morgan and Richard, and because of my new career as an author of gay male romance, felt like I belonged, sort of.

I had a lot of fun.

I saw Karl in his dog costume for the first time and later was able to connect with him through my husband who knew him from work.  He is a really lovely soul who has been so honest and forthcoming about sharing some details of his lifestyle with me.  He and his boyfriend, John, are helping me with a writing project that is currently in its planning stages.

I also noticed a very tall and attractive man wearing lots of leather, including a kilt, arm bands and vest...

Of course, he didn't pay much attention to me - he went straight for my cute gay friends who, truth be told, were attracting a lot of positive attention that day.  I don't blame him at all - they are adorable.  And I got to gawk and try to take a photo which unfortunately came out all blurry.  I did, however, see him at the info fair later on and shook his hand while giving him a promotional postcard for Exposure.  He had a stately, dominant presence that immediately struck my fancy.  Quite tall with beautiful eyes and a lovely smile, he was well spoken and extremely friendly.

Photo by Krystal Caring
I later saw his profile picture on Karl's Facebook profile associated with Technokink, Ottawa's Leather/Fetish Festival that he was promoting at the Pride Parade, so I knew it was him.  I politely requested to add him as a friend and he kindly accepted.  He warned me, though, that his Facebook Wall is a busy place.  It truly is.  But I love it, because Mr. Tattersall posts a varied collection of interest pieces and photos, both informative and humorous, evincing a high level of intelligence and comprehensive knowledge.

I also must admit to a fondness for perusing the many photos he has up there.  Anyone who knows me or has read any of my stories, knows that I have bdsm fantasies and a leather fetish.  And if Mr. Tattersall doesn't look the part of the perfect Leather Daddy, I don't know who does :)  Seeing him decked out in leather, holding a flogger over his shoulder...let's just say that my mind runs wild...

Anyway, I asked him if he would permit me to interview him.  He said yes, but he is a very busy man, so I had to wait patiently for his answers.  I am still waiting (Patiently, Sir) for the answers to some of my other questions.  But I am pleased to present you with Part I of my interview with Mr. Michael Tattersall, Mr. Leather Ottawa, 2010.

I first noticed you at Capital Pride 2011.  You are so tall and handsome, and you were wearing a kick-ass outfit.  Can you tell us a bit about it?

Thank you very much.
The Boots are Canadian Military, I bought new at a thrift store.  They had never seen a foot inside them, from the looks of them.  

My red socks are from Priape, their Toronto location.  They are sold as "sport fetish" soccer socks, and the colour indicates one of the kinky activities I find more enjoyable.  It is also my favorite colour, that red.  

The kilt was a purchase at the Mr. Leather Ottawa Leather and Gear Swap, in 2009.  It was only $40, and so was the rubber kilt beside it.  I couldn't afford both, so I chose the Leather kilt; it was a Leather Competition, and I loved the way it felt on me, so I wore it for most of my run at Mr. Leather Ottawa that year.  The previous owner came up to me afterward and said he was glad I bought it and wore it so well.  To me, that is a gift: the compliment, the price, and theexperience I was privileged to have while wearing it.  I honour the gift by wearing the kilt for him (as well as for me).  The rubber kilt was there again the next year.  Of course I bought it the second I saw it.  Turns out the two kilts were owned by the same man, and he is glad it is me who keeps them together.

The steel studded wrist guards, or gauntlets, were also bought at that swap in 2009.  They belonged to a friend of mine, but I didn't know that at the time.  He bought them years ago at CJ's booth at one of the events in the USA.  CJ is based in Denver and vends his Leather at International Mr. Leather in Chicago, and other places.  Jean-Francois told me just this year that they were his.  I wear them more proudly now, knowing they came from someone I admire.  

The Vest has my Ottawa Knights Leather and Denim Social Club "Colours" on it, and pins.  I got the vest in a thrift shop in 2009, and wore it during that year's Competition also.  The "Colours" are the insignia of the Knights, large back patch between the shoulder blades, and a smaller patch over the Heart.  The pins are event pins, "run" pins, and club pins gifted to me by my Leather Brothers and other people important to me.

How did you wind up with the title of Mr. Leather Ottawa 2010? 

The story is a long and tortuous one.  I'll give you the shorter version.  hehehe

I had such a great time running for MLO in 2009 that I told the Producer and others that I was determined to do it again.  So, when the time came to honour my Promise to them, I did so, for a couple of reasons.  First, the Knights put a lot of volunteer work into the Competition every year, and I believe that it is my responsibility as a member of the Community to support the efforts of those who work to build this Community. 

Secondly, I learned over the previous couple of years that the elements that I assumed represented the Community/were the Community, were merely "poseurs" and trolls out to self-glorify and to be seen as more important than they really were.  There are over 200 Leathermen and kinky fetishists in this city who will not wear Leather in Ottawa, in part because those "undesirable" people are mistaken for the kinds of men who are the Community.  I avoided the Ottawa Leather Community for a decade, just like those other hidden Leathermen, until I was shown there are many more people of good quality than there are trolls and ogres, and those good quality people do all the work the trolls and ogres take credit for.  I was hoodwinked into thinking those things for a decade, and since learning the Truth, felt it was necessary to "rehabilitate" the impression of the Community, in the Community.

How do you stay so fit?

Simple answer:  I am a Personal Trainer.  Long answer:  I suffer depression.  When I was diagnosed with clinical depression, the Dr. assessed my life story and drew  the conclusion I had suffered from childhood.  There is also a family history of mental illness, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Asperger Disorder, and possibly paranoid schizophrenia.  Physical activity is the number one way for the body to produce the chemicals the brain needs to function properly.  I have always been active, but not in a hyper-active way.  I was a geek, an unco-ordinated, zero-athletic-ability young queerling.  But I walked everywhere, cycled everywhere.  Well, in the warmer months.   I also do Massage now, and do fitness instruction, as well as teach Pilates.  I've been fat, I've been thin, and everywhere in between.  I burn calories extremely fast and have a hard time building muscle.  With the anti-depressants I was on, I had to eat constantly to stop the side effect of feeling an animal gnawing at my innards, and eventually topped out over 235 lbs.  I lost 50 lbs in a little over 3 months when I went off the meds, without doing much (insert another another long story sidebar--NOT).

4.  How long have you been involved with the Leather community, in Ottawa and elsewhere?

Another long story made short.  I started out in Leather as a child.  Leather was always around.  Mom would say, "Smell this" and shove a horse harness piece, or anything made of Leather, really, under our noses.  It is also in the family history a lot, from "Uncle Sam," the Saddle Major in the RNWMP, and from Texas Cowboys that came up to Canada with the longhorns after the Buffalo were slaughtered, and the Government honoured some of their promises to the Blackfoot and Cree that the Great Mother would always take care of them in bad times.  I also have Cherokee ancestors, and my Mom grew up on a ranch in South-East BC.  

Sexually, I was both drawn to, and repulsed by, what I saw in Leather imagery.  In 2001 I was in Montreal, met a guy, and he invited me to visit in a couple of weeks.  I did, and he and his Partner dressed me in Leather the first night, and in Latex the next night.  3 weeks later, I was back in Montreal buying Leather and Latex.  I spent well over $300 at U-Bahn and Priape...

Uh huh, ahem, well, on that note, please tune in for Part II of this interview sometime in the next couple of weeks. 

And excuse me while I go write a very hot short story set in Montreal...

~ Liz

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