Below are two announcements of fairly recent losses within our local community. We here at NoSafeWord have struggled with how to properly express ourselves on the show anytime there is a loss of of fellow kinkster.
For the first, Bill Parkin is a member of the community with whom I have met but had little chance to get to know personally. I have, however, seen the impact he has had on the community because of several people who have spoke highly of him. He should be celebrated for his contributions and efforts, that is a given; but more importantly we should celebrate how many lives he managed to touch and help lift up. Good journey Bill.
The second loss, Pup Phoenix, is far more difficult to discuss, especially on a comedy podcast. When the loss is of someone so young, so sudden, so unexpected, it is that much more difficult to feel like we do justice to celebrating who he was and creating a proper memorial. Questions surrounding the manner of how he passed and why jump to the front of our minds, naturally; but necessity of decorum out-weighs the need to know, even when the motivation is to try to find some way to use the tragic death as a way to start a conversation about preventing further losses.
In the end we chose not to tackle the subject on the air… for now. Rather than using specific examples we hope to one day, in the future, to find a way to talk about loss and how we can deal with it, or perhaps prevent further losses when possible.
Until then, we hope everyone will take a moment to remember and wish them well to where ever their next journey takes them.
For those of you who have not heard, the Seattle Leather community has recently lost two important titleholders. Bill Parkin, most recently Seattle Leather Granddad 2011, passed away on Friday, 20 June and Pup Phoenix, Seattle Daddy’s Boy 2014, unexpectedly passed away this Monday, 7 July.Bill “Ma” Parkin was truly one of the founding members of the Northwest Leather Community. For many people, “Bill Parkin’s Home For Wayward Boys” was where they learned and grew into the Leather lifestyle. He would open his house for many, providing them with a safe and stable place to grow personally and professionally. Over the course of decades of involvement with the Seattle Leather community, he helped mentor many of the individuals we now see as leaders. In addition to building the Leather community, he also helped establish the Seattle LGBT bowling leagues that are still popular today. We will remember him for his brilliant blue eyes, sparkling smile and quick wit; we will forgive him for his habit of salting his beer.Phoenix was an enthusiastic member of and contributor to the Northwest Leather Community. He competed in last year’s Northwest Puppy Contest as well as winning the Seattle Daddy’s Boy 2014 title. As part of his title year activities, he co-hosted the annual Chili Feed, lead the Leather and Kink contingent in this year’s Pride Parade, and most recently, represented SML at TRC’s Black Forest Party. Most of all, we will remember him for his contagious smile, energy and his efforts to include all of his Leather brothers and sisters in the community.Sunday, there will be a series of events to remember both Bill and Phoenix. People will be gathering from 10AM-1PM at West Seattle Bowl, for a celebratory “Sunday Gay Bowling” to remember Bill. At 2:00PM, there will be a Celebration of Life for both Bill and Phoenix at the Cuff, including memorabilia from both individual’s lives. Please come in gear to honor and remember both Bill’s and Phoenix’s contributions to the Leather Community, as well as bring stories and memories of both of them. Per Bill’s wishes, there will be no speeches or eulogies.
Yours in Leather,
Mark Handel, on behalf of the Seattle Men in Leather Board