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UPRISE! Speakers

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Cain Berlinger


Cain Berlinger has been an activist for the leather kink community since the mid-70's when he was first introduced to the Community in Toronto Canada. In the 1980's Cain moved to Europe and opened up Amsterdam's first daytime leather back bar and installed the first female bartender. He later wrote the groundbreaking "BLACK MEN IN LEATHER" followed by a collection of essays and the voices of the leather and kink community on the subject of pain due to be re-released in the Spring of 2023.

Cain produced the first of a series of IML feeder event, MR EBONY LEATHER in 1993. In 1996, Cain wrote the booklet DIABETES, SEX IN THE DUNGEON which is a free booklet for safety measures of playing with diabetics in sexual play situations (recently remastered and available for free on Amazon). In addition, Cain has published over 21 gay books of erotica, also available on Amazon. Recently, Cain was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Leather Association International.


"Mama" Vi Johnson


Viola Johnson is a leatherwoman, activist, motivational speaker and author who has been active in the leather BDSM scene for well over four decades.  Vi has served as a mentor to countless individuals, and was dubbed "Mom" by several generations of Leathermen and women. She is delighted to now be “Grandmom” and Great Grandmom to a whole new generation of “kinklings”.
Vi is passionately involved with preserving the history of the SM/Leather/Fetish communities. She is the Owner and Senior Griot of the Carter/Johnson Library and Collection. Mama Vi as served as an officer or board member for numerous organizations over the years, been an event presenter or contest judge and speaker in the USA and Canada. She is a proud member of the ONYX Pearls Mid-Atlantic chapter and is one of the eight Original Pearls of Onyx. Vi is a "Lifetime Member of ONYX" and a charter member of Tulsa Uniform Leather Seekers Association (T.U.L.S.A.), the Lesbian Sex Mafia (LSM), she is an honorary member of many other SM/Leather/Fetish organizations. Mama Vi is the wife of Jill Carter, International Ms Leather 1996.


Ms. Jay

Land Acknowledgement

A proud Anishinaabe Algonquin, Ms Jay, is a public speaker, storyteller, Dominant and River Protector. She specializes in ritual body modification and in using natural elements in play.

Indigenizing is not simply adding content to ideas that already exist, but rethinking old ideas and learning from past relationships to lands, culture, and communities.

Ms Jay strives to passionately decolonize sex and kink.

As the Matriarch to House of Iron, an Indigenous Leather Collective, she believes that the activism work of ending white supremacy begins first with body autonomy and radiates outward into change.

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