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My Mentor, Our Advocate Mark Thompson

imgresHave you ever been so angry or sad you just feel like kicking someone, repeatedly hitting that stiff sofa pillow or screaming at the top of your lungs until you cry? That passion suddenly explodes, hot steam belching out the dark clouds in your guts…and your heart is broken.

Mark Thompson died this month.  I am bereft. My mentor, a true gentle man, so bright and brave, a passionate Advocate of personal and sexual freedom is gone.  

13935101_10153753132337765_5710319041357638252_nFor over 30 years he also embodied the archetypes of  Spiritual Father, Confidant and Teacher for me. You probably know that he edited “Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics and Practice” circa 1991.  A prolific writer, Mark’s many books contributed immensely in recording, sharing and propagating the work of his many fellow travelers in LGBT and Leather culture.  Of this, his first non-fiction co-gender anthology, Fakir wrote,  “ ‘Leatherfolk’ challenges the last taboo: the use of the body and erotic energy to explore spirituality.”

I am angry, sad, at a loss. Too suddenly, he is gone. I’ve written before how I survived the HIV epidemic using BDSM and rituals to embody the pain and invoke healing during the years of so much death.  Here I am again.  

Preparing my now 35 year old ceremony, I wrap up the blue glass to be turned over for the departed, frame the pictures of Mark for the altar, gather my floggers into my bag, adding the candles I got at the AIDS Memorial Grove Event for the HIV Story Project, and, tucking the flowers into the car so they won’t spill on the way to our rite. I am ready.  If we don’t teach our “ youngins ” who will?  As I take my place in the center of our circle, I speak Mark’s name and Fakir and I call His spirit in.  Consciousness never dies.

I shared Mark’s books at the rite that night,  “Advocate Days,” “Gay Body,” “Gay Soul,” “Fellow Travelers,” and of course “Leatherfolk.”  I told them “Mark was one of the earliest members of Black Leather Wings, kinksters who mix faerie and leather.  I am one of them.  Curious about what I really mean?  Mark wrote about us in Leatherfolk.” And passed these pictures of him around our circle.

In My Office 2016


From “Leatherfolk” 1991


With his husband, Malcolm Boyd 2014

I did get flogged hard that evening, until I screamed, sobbed, and got to the place where I could celebrate his life and have fun with play. My back has not been bruised like that in a long time. Thank you Yossie, dear tribal brother, for giving me what I needed and holding me when I let my tears flow. 

I do not think I would have been centered enough if I had not received a big gift just one day after hearing of Mark’s passing.

The gift of masochism from a genuine aware masochistic bottom who understood that I was willing and able to step into my sadistic shoes and really dish out a huge amount of sensation with braided cats, single tail and canes while controlling him, encouraging him and empowering him in his masochistic bottom space. Very few people could have soared with that level of wanted pain.  He did and he knew that I cared. This fire burned high. I had almost forgotten how much I cherish the opportunity to have a chance to embody my Sadist archetype, caring sadist, mind you. The timing was right: I needed to unload my pain in a consensual clean SM exchange.

Sadomasochistically yours,


PS : Mark Thompson books are distributed by Goodreads, Amazon, Google. Find titles and descriptions at


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Karen Oeth #

    So sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your friend!

    August 30, 2016

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