Posted by: johannalee | October 6, 2009

Joe – a leatherwoman who was a friendly sort (unusual in that milieu)

Johanna and I had a brief flirtation, though it never led anywhere, but we continued a friendship as we were both going to the 12 step leather meetings.  Unfortunately Joe wasn’t able to embrace recovery, though she tried, but that didn’t stop me from being friendly with her.  She was one of the few dykes in the leather community who consistently was friendly to me.

What probably meant the most was when I went to Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival FINALLY the first time ever, in 2001, when I lost my house and my partnership in a particularly nasty breakup.

I ran into Jo, and she was very friendly and supportive, and it was nice to see a familiar face in such a sea of womyn whom I didn’t know. It was quite overwhelming for me, being a Festie Virgin that year, along with that immense loss.  We hung out a bit together, and socialized. She’d tease me about my chosen last name above…it kinda irritated me, but it was kinda cute too. She knew my other incarnation too, but that is the name I go by on women’s land and women’s sacred space. We also got along both being Pagan as well.

Like others, I’d see her here and there, sometimes in the Castro around Dyke March, or at Ardys’ house when she came down to visit, or one Dyke or gay event or another. I know in some ways she was a lost soul, not knowing quite where she fit. But at least with me, a gentle, kind soul, a sister  Butch Pagan LeatherDyke.

The last time I saw her was at Santa Cruz Pride. Such a vanilla event, and it was nice to see her, then the other leatherdykes and dykes who were her friends that congregated around. It’s where I first met Dani and V. Willow was also there, and we all stood together for several minutes. It was good to see Jo, but was sad to see her physical condition. I know she lived a rough life. I was glad Dani and V were taking care of her, and that she had love among friends who also were there for her. That’s so important. We ALL need that kind of love.

For some of us, it’s members of the Dyke communities we travel in that are our family, and who best understand us. I know this certainly was true for Jo. She had huge hurdles to overcome, especially when she described her family background.

We also compared tattoos too. Goodbye Jo, I hope you’re doing some hot scenes there in the Elysian Fields.

In DykeAmazon Sisterhood,

-Artemis Passionfire


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